Monday, February 28, 2011

36 weeks

Late again!  Sorry folks!!!

Baby is now the size of a: crenshaw melon...  Anyone know what that is?  Baby Lucy weighs approximately six pounds, gaining about an ounce a day, and she measures anywhere from 18 to 20 inches long.  Her skin is nice and smooth; her liver, kidneys, circulation and immune systems are basically "good to go".  We're just waiting on those lungs to fully mature.  She's shedding (and ultimately consuming) the waxy covering that has protected her skin for the past NINE months; this will form the contents of her first #2.  Absolutely thrilling, I know. 

How I'm feeling:  gargantuan.  I slept terribly this past weekend; which is ideal because I'm already exhausted as it is...  Basically, I'm ready to have this baby.  During the week I had a pretty big, disgusting (and hugely exciting) development that indicates my body is preparing for L & D.  I won't go in to specifics, because it truly is gag-worthy.    

Physical differences from last week:  still tippin the scales at 30 large. 

What's been on my mind:  to-do lists.  We've decided on a pediatrician; my three BIG remaining to-do's are pack for the hospital, buy all the little things we still need, and prep/cook all the meals for the freezer.

What I'm looking forward to:  my prenatal appointment on Friday.  I am really, REALLY hoping to hear that Lucy is head down, or at least transverse (horizontal)!  We've spent the past two weeks, and a small chunk of change, trying to turn this baby.  I'm having my first internal exam (how very third trimester of me), and I'm PRAYING to hear there's been some dilation or effacement.  If anyone has a few spare prayers they'd like to direct towards Lucy's being head down/dilation progress, that would be HUGELY appreciated!!!

Random thoughts:  I had the most beautiful baby shower on Sunday, and I just feel so lucky and thankful to have such an amazing family and friends.  Baby Lucy is very loved (and spoiled) already!  I've got an entire post dedicated to the shower (with tons of pictures) in the works already!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

No we're not naming our daughter Juliet....that would just be silly.

I thought it was about time we announced Baby Shelton's real name, considering her expected arrival is a mere month or so away.  

As you all know, we never got our clear cut money shot, and that is why we never "painted the nursery".  We're leaning towards girl, but in the event that we're wrong, we've got a back up plan.

I have loved this name since I was a little girl.  Before I met Casey or fell in love with red hair, I used to say that I would name my first daughter this...  I had told Casey about the name long before we were pregnant or married even, and he just sort of shrugged along and didn't pay much attention - shocking!  Well after the first ultrasound, we started skimming baby name websites...  Very few names caught our eye; let the record show that girl names are exceptionally more challenging to chose than boy names.  I found myself comparing every name we considered to the original name that I loved.  That was when we realized that that was it:

Lucille Ann Shelton

 And of course, as previously mentioned, if she is actually a he...we have a back up plan.  ;-)

Monday, February 21, 2011


35 weeks down; 35 days to go.  Eek!  (I don't care that this post is a day late, I've been waiting forevaaa to use this post title)

Baby is now the size of a:  honeydew (still).  She's now over 18 inches long and weighs between 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 pounds.  Her nervous system and immune system continue to mature with every passing hour, but all other bodily systems and physical features are fully formed.  Growth has slowed drastically; it definitely feels like she's running out of room.

How I'm feeling:  TIRED and big.  I've had incessant swollen feet, leg cramps, heart burn, and LOADS of back pain - all the typical pregnant lady stuff - for the past few weeks.  I've finally reached the point where I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore.  Don't get me wrong, its been fun...but I'm ready to meet my baby and lose this weight!

Physical differences from last week:  well I've had the ever-changing bump since Wednesday afternoon, thanks to a heaven sent chiropractor (more on that in a separate post):

What's been on my mind:  packing for the hospital, calling the pediatrician, cook and freeze meals.  All the little things that we have left to do, and the one daunting task, before babe's arrival.

What I'm looking forward to:  the baby shower (next Sunday), our last birthing class (Wednesday), our hospital tour (next Saturday), annnnnnd MATERNITY LEAVE!!! 

Random thoughts:  I'm heading to the spa with my mama bear in a bit for a maternity massage!   Woooooo, thanks mama!  I cannot wait to lay on that table with the belly cut out!!!  (I'm a stomach sleeper, so the past eight some months have been mildly torturous)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Birth Plan

Well...I've finished my birth plan, with the help of some very patient friends and this handy dandy website.  Please don't think this means I expect everything to go according to plan; I am well aware that complications may arise and/or hospital procedure may conflict with our wishes.  At the end of the day, all that matters to us is our babe's health and safety.  
I reviewed the BP with my doctor this past Friday, and she was surprisingly receptive.  Don't get me wrong, she made a few jabs at me and my BP; but for the most part she was in agreement and (seemed) to fully understand our wishes.  She approved and initialed the plan and stapled it to our file.  The few items that were unacceptable were due to hospital policy at Scottsdale Healthcare on Shea; I've highlighted those items throughout the plan.

The website's format includes an opening note to the doctor and staff, followed by a list of our preferences for various procedures and labor care.  Now, I realize my opening note might seem a tad contradicting...allow me to explain...  I would *like* to have a drug-free and intervention-free delivery, and that is what I'm going to try to do; BUT if at some point the pain becomes unbearable, I'm allowing myself to get an epidural (after reaching a certain dilation goal that I've set for myself).  Or if the baby is in distress, obviously, I want her to be safe and I have absolutely no problem with intervention.  AND if at any point, some form of intervention can be used in place of cesarean delivery, I want the intervention.  I want to do anything I can to avoid a c-section.  So, without further adieu, (my longest post to date and) Our Wishes for Childbirth:

I would like to try to have a drug-free and intervention-free delivery. I realize complications may arise, and I do not expect everything to go according to plan. I would like to avoid a cesarian delivery at all costs; I would like to exhaust all methods of intervention prior to committing to a c-section delivery.

Taylor Shelton

  • I would like to be free to walk around during labor.
  • I wish to be able to move around and change position at will throughout labor.
  • I would like to be able to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labor. Hospital will only allow ice chips, and absolutely no food.
  • I would like the lights in the room to be kept low during my labor.
  • I would prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum.
  • I do not want an IV unless I become dehydrated.  If I test positive for Strep B, I will have to have an IV from the get-go.
  • I do not wish to have continuous fetal monitoring unless it is required by the condition of My baby.
  • I do not want an internal monitor unless My baby has shown some sign of distress.
Labor Augmentation/Induction
  • If labor is not progressing, I would like to have the amniotic membrane ruptured before other methods are used to augment labor.
  • I would prefer to be allowed to try changing position and other natural methods (walking, nipple stimulation) before Pitocin is administered.  Dr. O prefers that we not use nipple stimulation by breast pump because it can cause too many contractions.
  • Other Labor Augmentation/Induction Preference: I would prefer to use natural methods prior to artificial methods.
Anesthesia/Pain Medication
  • I realize that many pain medications exist. I'll ask for them if I need them.
  • Other Anesthesia/Pain Medication Preference: In the event that the pain becomes unbearable for me, I would like to have an epidural; please, absolutely no narcotic pain relief.  Dr. O said that if I decide that I need pain medication early in labor, it is better to use narcotic pain relief than an epidural because an epi can slow labor progress.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, I would like to avoid a Cesarean.
  • If my primary care provider determines that a Cesarean delivery is indicated, I would like to obtain a second opinion from another physician if time allows.  There may not be time for this in the case of an emergency c-section; from the time the decision is made to the time the baby is delivered is ten minutes or less.
  • If a Cesarean delivery is indicated, I would like to be fully informed and to participate in the decision-making process.
  • I would like My husband, Casey present at all times if My baby requires a Cesarean delivery.  Hospital policy prevents Casey from being present while I am being prepped for surgery, but he will be brought into the operating room just before the surgery begins.
  • I wish to have an epidural for anesthesia. 
  • So I can view the birth, I would like the screen lowered just before delivery of My baby.
  • If My baby is not in distress, My baby should be given to My husband, Casey immediately after birth.  Hospital policy states that all c-section babies are immediately put in the artificial warmer; Casey would be allowed to accompany the baby and touch her through the warmer.
  • I would prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for My baby's safety.
  • I am hoping to protect the perineum. I am practicing ahead of time by squatting, doing Kegel exercises and perineal massage.
  • I would appreciate guidance in when to push and when to stop pushing so the perineum can stretch.
  • If possible, I would like to use perineal massage to help avoid the need for an episiotomy.
  • Other Episiotomy Preference: I prefer to take my chances with a tear than an episiotomy; unless an episiotomy can prevent a c-section delivery. 
  • I would like to be allowed to choose the position in which I give birth, including squatting.
  • I would like My husband, Casey and/or nurses to support me and my legs as necessary during the pushing stage.
  • I would like to try to deliver in a hands-and-knees position.
  • I would like to try to deliver in a squatting position, using My husband, Casey or a squatting bar for support.  This will only be permitted if Casey and I can support my weight, the nurses and doc will not provide assistance.
  • Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming My baby is not in distress, I would like to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase.
  • I would appreciate having the room lights turned low for the actual delivery.
  • I would appreciate having the room as quiet as possible when My baby is born.
  • I would like to have My baby placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery.
  • Other Delivery Preference: Please keep all mirrors out of the room; I do not wish to watch the birth.
  • Other Delivery Preference: I do not want my husband or other family members at the foot of the bed.
Immediately After Delivery
  • I would like to have My husband, Casey cut the cord.
  • I would prefer that the umbilical cord stop pulsating before it is cut.
  • I would like to hold My baby while I deliver the placenta and any tissue repairs are made.
  • I would like to have My baby evaluated and bathed in my presence.
  • I plan to keep My baby near me following birth and would appreciate if the evaluation of My baby can be done with My baby on my abdomen, with both of us covered by a warm blanket, unless there is an unusual situation.
  • If My baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, My husband, Casey or some other person I designate will accompany My baby at all times.
  • I would prefer to hold My baby rather than have (him/her) placed under heat lamps.
  • I do not want a routine injection of Pitocin after the delivery to aid in expelling the placenta.  Dr. O said this is ultimately my choice, but if I start to hemorrhage, the doctor will have to be "elbow deep" in my vagina to stop the hemorrhage without any form of anesthesia.
  • After the birth, I would prefer to be given a few moments of privacy to urinate on my own before being catheterized.
  • Other Immediately After Delivery Preference: Please do not show us the placenta.
  • Other Immediately After Delivery Preference: Please let the cord stop pulsating before cutting it; this is very important to us.
  • I would like a private room, if available.
  • Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby.
  • I would like to have My baby "room in" and be with me at all times.
  • I plan to breastfeed My baby and would like to begin nursing very shortly after birth.
  • Unless medically necessary, I do not wish to have any bottles given to My baby (including glucose water or plain water).
  • I do not want My baby to be given a pacifier.
  • I would like more information about breastfeeding.
  • I would like to meet with a lactation consultant.
  • I would like to take still photographs during labor and the birth.
  • Other Photo/Video Preference: I would like a few photos to be taken during the labor; and I would like both photos and video taken immediately after birth. 
  • My support person(s) is/are (support people) and I would like them to be present during labor and/or delivery.
  • Other Other Preference: My support person is my husband, Casey Shelton, and I would like him present during labor and delivery.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

34 weeks

I'm just a blogging fiend this weekend! 

Baby is now the size of a: honeydew (still)!  She's almost 18 inches long and weighs approximately five pounds.  We continue to have lots of brain development; her little brain has formed billions of neurons, and it is now hooking the neurons and synapses together.  In other news she now urinates about one pint per day, and her is skin is beautifully smooth (thanks to all that adorable baby fat).  I read that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks, having no other health issues, are generally as healthy and developmentally sound as those born full term (aside from a brief stint in the neonatal nursery post delivery).  While I am absolutely ready to no longer be pregnant, her room is still a tad barren...oops!

How I'm feeling:  huge and slow, and tired, of course.  Seeing my reflection is absolutely frightening.  I feel big, but not that big.  And when I walk along side someone (Casey or my mom), I realize how slow I've become; I always have to ask them to wait up or slow down.  My hourly trips to the bathroom have increased to twice hourly; this not only embarrassing, but also frustrating and annoying.  I'm still having bouts of nausea, and I had two random head aches this past week...NOT fun!

Physical differences from last week:  I'm a big cow; see The Ugly Post for more on that.  Here's my weekly pic:

What's been on my mind:  I keep reading that we should have the car seat installed and a hospital bag in the trunk by now....  Hopefully we'll have those things taken care of in the near future.  Other than that, my big to-do is the cook and freeze meal prep, pediatrician interview, and finishing up all of my pregnancy/baby books.  Casey's big to-do is the back yard; don't worry he has help, its just not me, lol.  You can look forward to a post on the cook and freeze meal prep in the near future. 

What I'm looking forward to:  our next birthing class!  Its on Wednesday, and I can't wait!  The teacher is just so funny, I laugh so much from the start to the end of class. 

Random thoughts:  meet "The Baby Mobile".  We spent a good chunk of our Saturday purchasing Casey's new ride, after he sold his junker Jeep on Friday night.  I am soooo jealous that he has four doors!  It is so great to finally have TWO reliable cars in the family; especially with babe's arrival just around the corner.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Birth Class Part I

Well we went to our first birthing class on Wednesday, and it was phenomenal!  The class is called Birthing Basics & Breathing Techniques, and it is held at Scottsdale Healthcare on Shea.  The class is three weeks long; it meets once a week for THREE hours!  Its unfortunate that its on a Wednesday, because Casey and I are usually curled up in bed by the time the class is over.  I guess these are the sacrifices we make for our babe (lol).

The teacher is a labor and delivery nurse that works at the Shea location, and I LOVE her.  I wish there was a way to request her for my labor and delivery.  She is hilarious, to-the-point, and very informative.  I was dreading the class all day, because I’ve been reading and preparing for this kiddo for over eight months now; I didn’t want to have to go to class too.  After the first five minutes of class I found myself practically choking, that I was laughing so hard; and now I can’t wait for the next two weeks of class!   

We covered a lot of material in three hours.  I surprised myself with how few notes I took; I'm usually the freak scribbling furiously throughout any class, but I guess I didn't have to this time because I knew most of the information she shared...  We talked about warning signs of preterm labor, true labor vs. false labor, timing contractions, some hospital procedures, episiotomies, stages of labor and the labor process overall.
As a side note, the speaker showed us pictures of her grandchildren, and her granddaughter was a breech baby.  Apparently breech babies have misshapen, bowed legs immediately after delivery, because they've been sitting criss-cross applesauce for the past 10 months...but its nothing to worry about.  Their legs straighten out shortly after delivery and their crawling/walking is not affected.  It was alarming to see, and that was why she showed the class - so that we'd be prepared...

Also, I finished my birth plan, so I'll have a post on that coming up.  Woooooooo!  We are just knocking out this baby to-do list!  Happy Saturday peeps!  :-)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Ugly Post

Warning:  cranky, depressing post below...

Let me start out by saying I love my baby.  I also love being pregnant.  What I do not love is how I've dealt with being pregnant. 

Today I had a prenatal visit, and as I mentioned on Sunday, I had to step on the scale.  I'm up 30 pounds at 33 weeks 5 days (hell, who am I kidding, I like to call myself 34 weeks in conversation).  That means that I'll finish this beautiful experience closer to forty pounds heavier than thirty pounds heavier; this was not part of the plan people. Now, the reason I say that I do not love the way I've dealt with being pregnant, is because from the moment I saw that little "+" on the pregnancy test, I stopped counting calories and I divorced my elliptical. If you take anything away from my blogging journey, PLEASE take this advice:

When you get pregnant...continue working out every single day, and eat as if you were trying to maintain your non-pregnant weight. 

Think I'm wrong?  Think you'll enjoy being large while you can?  You won't.  You'll watch the numbers creep up on the scale, and you'll get depressed.  And this is not supposed to be a depressing time.

Two other pieces of bad news that I'd like to share with my devoted readers:

1)  The baby is still in breech position.  I asked the doc today to see if she could tell how the babe was lying, and she wasn't 100% sure, but she was pretty sure that the baby was in breech.  My hopes and dreams of having a vaginal delivery are fading.

2) I have a stretch mark.  A full-fledged stretch mark.  And there is at least one more developing.  I noticed it a week or so ago.  On one of my many trips to the bathroom, I looked at my belly like I always do, and while looking at my front, I didn't see anything.  It was when I turned to look at my profile that I saw a strange red mark.  I called Casey over panic-stricken, and he confirmed that it looked like the start of a stretch mark.  I just broke down and cried for a very long time.  I know it may seem shallow, but its my body, and I officially can never wear a bikini again.  I'm 20 years old, and I'm condemned to one piece bathing suits for the rest of my life.  By the time I could afford a tummy tuck I'll be old and wrinkly, and to the point where I shouldn't be wearing bikinis.

And on that note, I bid you adieu.  Have a pleasant weekend folks.  You can look forward to my weekly stats post and a post on our birthing class in the near future.

Monday, February 7, 2011

33 weeks

Before I start with the weekly stats, I have to tell you!  I had my first pregnancy dream, and it only took 8 months, but I finally had one!!!  LOL.  In my dream I went into labor, and Casey and Fallon brought me to a swimming pool to deliver.  No one called my doctor, instead we had one random, frazzled nurse deliver the baby.  The labor was pretty short, it only felt like a few hours, and it was painful, but not as painful as I expected it to be.  In the end we had a little baby boy, I dropped 30 pounds immediately after delivery, and my stomach was flat and perfect.  I would not mind that kind of L & D experience one bit!  Haha

Baby is now the size of a: honeydew!  She weighs about 4.5 pounds, and now gains weight at a rate of 8 ounces per week.  And we are now past the 17 inch mark in height; I read we can expect up to an inch in growth this week alone!  Her skeleton is hardening, her brain is developing, and her little body is soaking up the antibodies present in my body.  She's also starting to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing, and she keeps her eyes open while she's awake.  I can't wait to see those little peepers.  We can expect her to descend into my pelvis anytime in the next 6 weeks. 

How I'm feeling:  like a big, fat pregnant lady.  I waddle; my feet swell and ache; and I drool over strawberries.  On Saturday we ran A LOT of errands, as a result my right ankle swelled to the point that I had a golf ball sized lump on the inside of my foot; it actually hurt to walk.  Other than the ankle thing, all the usual symptoms are still present: heartburn, fatigue, back pain...nothing I can't handle.  Overall I still love being pregnant.  :-)

Physical differences from last week:  I have to step on a scale in t minus 3 days.  Booooooo!  I really do not want to know what my weight gain is anymore.  Here's my weekly pic, lookin huge:

What's been on my mind:  our birth plan.  I've spent all of my lunch hours for the past few weeks researching and constructing the ideal birth plan.  Now, I don't expect everything to go according to plan, but I want to go in there with certain goals and I hope to meet most of them.  I would *like* a med-free, intervention-free birth; but I am not going to freak out or feel like a failure if I decide I need an epidural or some form of medication/intervention.  My #1 priority is to avoid a c-section delivery; I will exhaust ANY and EVERY method available before committing to a c-section.  I don't want the scar, I don't want the painful recovery, I don't want any of the negative associated with c-section deliveries.  I just pray that my little babe cooperates, and is currently in the head down position or planning on shifting to this position by D-Day!

What I'm looking forward to:  our birthing classes.  They start this Wednesday.  We signed up for a three-part class; its three, three-hour classes, over the course of three weeks.  The time slot is not ideal, but our hospital (surprisingly) did not offer a wide variety of classes.  And of course I can't wait for the baby shower!  Even though my large butt is having a hard time finding a cute outfit for the shower, I'm still very excited to see all of my friends and family and celebrate our babe! 

Random thoughts:  we built the headboard for the twin bed in the nursery this past weekend.  And we bought a cute comforter that coordinates with the coloring in the bedding and other decor.  I can't wait for the rest of this room to come together!!!  Here's a pic of the twin bed set-up (I expect to spend many nights in this bed the first few weeks that she's home with us):