Here I sit, 37 weeks pregnant, resembling Shamu, Willy, and friends. Now that I'm full term, things get kicked up a notch. Soon we'll launch full on into baby mode, so I want to write down the happenings of my pregnancy with Reece.
We found out we were expecting baby number 3 on December 28, 2010 when I was only 4 weeks pregnant. I had been having suspicions that something was happening in my body for a week or so, and with the confirmation of the test, lots of emotions came rushing forth. I was so excited to see the next member God planned for our family, couldn't wait to share the news with the girls (even though that waited a few more weeks), worried about fitting 3 car seats into our Explorer, and thinking that I needed to get a pre-natal vitamin and increase my water intake. I immediately turned to the internet to find out my EDD and learned that it was September 7. I remember thinking that September seemed so far away.
Morning sickness set in the next week at 5 weeks, 2 days. I have had morning sickness with all 3 of my pregnancies, but it started around 7 weeks with both the girls. I wondered if that was a sign that a little boy was baking. Oh, and the term morning sickness is a joke. I had 24 hour sickness. I even got awakened in the middle of the night with the sickness.
I had my first appointment with the OBGYN at 6 weeks. This appointment is really just a technicality where they confirm the pregnancy, bombard you with paperwork, and answer any questions the parents to be may have. I also got some medicine for the morning sickness which proved to be a God send. 2 weeks later, at 8 weeks pregnant, we had our next appointment and got our first look at our sweet baby. The heartbeat sounded magnificent. Even with this being our third baby, I was nonetheless amazed at God's handiwork.
8 week ultrasound
At 12 weeks, we returned for another ultrasound to rule out any genetic abnormalities. It was amazing to see all the growth and development that occurs in just 4 short weeks since our last ultrasound. The baby was healthy, growing on schedule, and the ultrasound technician told us she was 70% sure a boy was in our family's future. I wasn't convinced because thanks to Dr. Google, I had read about the development of the spine at 12 weeks and how it can be deceiving as well as early gender predictions and their chance of being correct.
12 week ultrasound
Thankfully, at the end of the first trimester, my morning/all day sickness backed off. Now, usually around this time, the first trimester exhaustion backs off as well. I remember with my pregnancy with Grace, it felt like I walked out of a fog. I suppose thanks to the general exhaustion that comes along with being a mama, I didn't feel that with Emma Kate's pregnancy or this pregnancy. That could have also been attributed the anemia that was discovered at during my 8 week blood work.
At 16 weeks, I broke out the maternity clothes! I wanted to make it to 18 weeks like I did with both the girls, but the rubber band trick just wouldn't work any longer. At my 16 week appointment, I asked the nurse if we could do an ultrasound just for fun. After my appointment, she snuck me back to the ultrasound room. Baby still looked perfect and had either a penis or a really big toe according to the nurse. :) Justin laughingly said that if what we saw was a toe, then the baby had bigger issues than whether he was a boy or a girl.
16 week bump
Finally, at 20 weeks, it was confirmed that Numero Tres was indeed a boy! Besides obviously being excited, I have to admit a little streak of panic entered my mind. What was I, the frilly, pink loving, "sparkle is my favorite color", girl raising mama going to do with a dirty, messy, boy?! And, then all that passed and I decided that I would learn to love tonka trucks and mud pies as much as I love princesses and sparkly accessories. We had chosen a name for a baby boy several years earlier, and knowing that our little Reece Paul was on his way and seeing how perfect he was on the ultrasound made us so thankful for this little blessing.
Precious Baby Boy - 20 week ultrasound
20 week bump - Happy Easter!
At the midway point in my pregnancy, I felt great. And really, I continued to feel great. The next appointment was great as well. We saw "the spunky dr" in my OBGYN group at the next 2 appointments. She scheduled another ultrasound to recheck my placenta which had been low lying at the 20 week ultrasound, it turned out to not be a worry (plus we got a bonus look at our boy). She also informed me that I should pray this baby gets Justin's beautiful skin like the girls have. They all have this "looks like it came from a bottle" tone of olive skin. This is also the same dr that told me when I was pregnant with Grace that I should have taken a second look at Justin before deciding to reproduce with him due to me being so petite and him being pretty massive, head included. :) If I weren't aware of and in love with her spunk, that comment might have offended me.
20 week ultrasound
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13
By the time the third trimester arrived, summer was here, which in Georgia means humidity arrived. Being able to go swimming whenever the Grace, Emma Kate and I felt like it made the summer not only bearable, but quite lovely. I'm pretty sure I heard one of the squirrels at the pool whisper "Thar she blows!" but it didn't stop me from donning my ever shrinking swimsuit. This summer was also the time that the girls asked almost on a daily basis when Reece was going to be here. They were so excited to pick out items for his nursery and buy anything baby related from clothes to diapers. Emma Kate's main concern was that we were stocking up on diapers, but not wipes, Every time we went into a store, she asked if we were finally going to get her brother some!
25 week bump
28 week bump
Around 30 weeks, nesting kicked in. I can honestly say that for the next several weeks, our house was "company ready". I cleaned and organized every nook and cranny in the house. Probably twice.
30 week bump
As summer progressed, my belly grew as did our family's excitement. My appointments became every other week instead of monthly. Everything continued to go well. I was especially prayerful about my blood pressure. With both Grace and Emma Kate, my blood pressure, as well as some other signs that pointed toward pre-eclampsia made my doctors choose to medically induce me. Both inductions went well, but I really wanted to go into labor on my own and have a natural birth. God continued to answer my prayers and with each appointment, my blood pressure stayed in a healthy range.
32 week bump
Our family and friends gave us a baby shower for Reece on July 23, 2011. It was a wonderful celebration of this new life God had planned. I am so thankful for all our loved ones who got to come celebrate with us.
At 36 weeks, we saw the spunky doctor's very mellow husband and partner. I was dilated 1-2 centimeters. This didn't alarm me in the least since I seem to dilate early. Work also started back that week, so my plans to pack hospital bags and finish Reece's nursery were delayed so I could work on lesson plans. I didn't think I would go into labor early, but I wanted to get ahead on plans to make it easier on myself once students started back. That weekend, we did paint the nursery, and my nesting continued.
At this point in my pregnancy, I was HOT, my back ached, my hips ached, and I was running out of room in my shirts. But, really, I felt good. And, I had already forgotten the awful sickness that plagued the first trimester. I didn't realize how the issues I had with the girls had made me feel. This was definitely my easiest pregnancy yet as far as third trimester discomfort goes.
The next week, Grace started Pre-K and I scheduled my 37 week appointment for that same day. I met with the mid-wife that day who I absolutely love. She is pro natural birth and my appointments with her are always fun and we have good conversations. We discussed my desires for a natural birth. I told her I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, so she reminded me to monitor my contractions and when they were 3-4 minutes apart for 2-3 hours, then to come in. (Those who already know Reece's birth story are probably laughing about now). She checked my cervix which was now 2 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. Again, I didn't think anything of it because at 38 weeks with Emma Kate, I was dilated 4 centimeters. She told me it would be a great idea to get the car seat and hospital bags ready to go. No problemo, that along with finishing the nursery were on our to-do list for the weekend.
That is as far as I got with my pregnancy report.
The next day was Saturday. We worked all day on the nursery, and I cleaned bathrooms, did laundry, dusted, and straightened just about every room in the house. I was 37 weeks, 3 days pregnant and it was the last day our family was a family of 4. I went into labor that night and our sweet baby boy was born in the wee hours of Sunday morning at 37 weeks, 4 days. Stay tuned for his birth story!