Thursday, December 30, 2010

35 weeks... 28 days to go!

At 35 weeks, Collin's physical development is basically complete. His liver and kidneys should be functioning. He's still "practice breathing" to get his lungs in shape, which I notice because of his frequent hiccups. When he "breathes," he actually gets amniotic fluid in his lungs. It's happening just as it's supposed to, but the fluid causes hiccups. :)

As baby fat continues to deposit, Collin is increasingly able to regulate his own body temperature and might even be developing dimples of chubbiness on his knees and elbows. :) He's probably around 6 pounds by now!

There's more baby than fluid in my uterus at this point, confirmed by my weekly "fluid check" ultrasound today. I'm at the OB office twice a week now -- Monday for stress testing and Thursday for stress testing, an ultrasound, and an overall checkup. The stress testing has been a little frustrating, but today Collin and I finally figured it out! :) I have to keep one monitor on Collin's heartbeat, even when he moves. It's a little tricky because we want him to move (so we can confirm that his pulse spikes and then returns to normal), but when he moves the monitor loses his heartbeat. The first three stress tests took over an hour, but today we finished in 30 minutes and I actually had five recorded accelerations instead of the required four! Since I have to do the test twice a week, it will be nice if we can complete the process in 30 minutes rather than 60!

The 34th week wasn't at the top of my list of most comfortable weeks, but I've been feeling better the last couple days. I'm so glad I've had time off from school because it's been really nice to get extra rest. I start back at school on Monday and I'm pretty sure I'll be wiped out for the next several weeks!

We'll see Dr. Betoni (the perinatologist) for another in-depth ultrasound next Thursday the 6th, and he and our OB will work together to make a final decision about induction. From Dr. Russell's perspective, everything is looking really good at this point. Due to my excess fluid, he's planning to induce labor at 39 weeks -- around the 27th of January -- if I haven't delivered by then. That explains my calculation of 28 days to go! At the very latest, it will be 28 more days until we meet Collin!!! :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a lovely Christmas this year! My parents came down for the long weekend and we had so much fun. We only had our camera part of the time, so I'm posting the pictures we have.

On Christmas Eve we went to the 4pm church service, which was so well-attended that we ended up sitting in the lobby with a few hundred other people watching the service on big monitors. That was a bit disappointing, but it was still a great service. We had Christmas Eve dinner at The Melting Pot, and it was as amazing as ever. Dinner was delicious, and the whole evening was very fun! :)

On Christmas day we slept in, then my mom and I started making a Christmas feast. We had ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, bread, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. It was delicious too! :)

We let the girls open presents, which was fun to watch. They got a stuffed squeaky toy and some bones, which they thoroughly enjoyed!

We spent Christmas night at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, enjoying the "Electric Safari." They have the zoo decorated with TONS of Christmas lights, and it was so pretty! The night was cold, but not nearly as cold as it could have been! We stayed warm enough because the CMZoo involves a lot of walking, plus we got to go inside for some of the exhibits.

Everyone loved the zoo, and we made plans to visit again next spring/summer when we can take Collin to see the animals! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

34 weeks

The email updates I receive about pregnancy say Collin might weigh 4 3/4 pounds, but he was there three weeks ago, so he's probably more around 5 3/4 pounds at this point. We have two sets of friends who had full-term babies about that size!

We had two appointments last week for stress testing. They strap two monitors on my belly - one to monitor for contractions and the other to monitor Collin's heart rate. A good test shows that his pulse is steady, spikes when he moves, and quickly returns to his resting rate. It takes awhile to collect the data, but everything looks good.

We also did a test on Thursday for fetal fibronectin, which is a protein that basically "glues" the amniotic sac to the uterus. Presence of the protein would indicate that the amniotic sac is detaching, which would mean that I'll be going into labor shortly. The test was negative, which means there's a 95% chance I won't go into labor before January 6th.

I'll go in for stress testing again Monday and Thursday, and hopefully the data is still good. We see the perinatologist and have a regular OB appointment again on January 6th, and we'll expect to have more information about Collin's expected arrival after those appointments.

At this point, everything's looking good. Collin is perfectly in position, but apparently planning to stay where he is for a bit longer. :) We've reached an interesting time - we don't want Collin to come before he's ready, but we're so ready for him to be here! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

33 weeks!

Talk about being on the downslope! :) Tonight we did the pre-admission process at the hospital, paid our co-pay, and took a tour of the birth center. Seriously, Collin is lucky he's going to be born at such a gorgeous facility! Now that we're pre-registered, we just have to show up whenever I'm in labor and everything will be ready for us! The tour was awesome, because now we have a much better idea of what our time at the hospital will be like. It's getting so close! :)

At 33 weeks, my overall comfort level is still really high. I have moments of discomfort, but I feel really good. :) The 32nd week was a milestone - the official retirement of all non-maternity pants and the appearance of a stretch mark. Bleh!

Collin's weight is around 5 pounds at this point, and he is SO busy! He's moving pretty much all the time, and I still feel quite a bit of whole-body movement that makes my entire belly rock. I've felt him have the hiccups three times so far, once while I was working with a small group of students yesterday. Talk about distracting!

His skin is now pink and getting pretty smooth due to the accumulation of quite a bit of baby fat. His head may grow 3/8 of an inch this week because of his ever-expanding brain, even though I'm pretty sure he already has reached genius status. :) He continues to practice breathing, and this week he might even be able to coordinate sucking and swallowing with breathing. Most of his bones are hardening but his skull remains in three segments to allow for delivery.

I think the seventh month was big in terms of my growth, as evidenced by the new picture:

Only one more day of school until Christmas break! Having the next two weeks off will be such a treat!!! :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Due to a bit of rescheduling, we had appointments today with our perinatologist and our OB. We got to watch Collin on the ultrasound machine, and the tech printed several 3d images for us. The technology is amazing! She was able to take a photo in 2d, change the image to 3d, and then turn the view so we got cute pictures of Collin's face. :)

First is his adorable profile:

Next are 3d shots of his face:

Isn't he handsome? :) Things are looking pretty good. Collin weighs 4 pounds, 9 ounces! All three brain ventricles are appropriately sized, which is great news! There are still some concerns though...

Collin's kidneys are both enlarged, with the right one especially big (13mm compared to the expected 7mm). If his kidney reaches 15mm by the next appointment, we'll have to meet with a urologist to set up a potential procedure for once Collin is born. The excellent news about the kidney issue (basically they're refluxing) is that it's fairly easy to treat. We'd do an outpatient surgery at Children's Hospital in Denver that involves injecting collagen at the ureter, which is a procedure that cures 85% of cases. So anyways, we're waiting to see how the kidneys look next month and we'll make plans from there.

The other measurement Dr. Muench is concerned about is the ratio between Collin's head and femurs. His head is large (measuring 35 weeks), while his femurs are average (31 weeks). Because the ratio is so off, it raises a red flag for potential Down Syndrome. Again, it's wait and see...

On the plus side, my amniotic fluid level is less this month than it was last month. I'm at the top of normal (measuring 24, where 25 is polyhydramnios), but still normal! My uterus is at 35 weeks, so I'm only 3 weeks ahead at this point.

The biggest news at this point is that we're starting very frequent appointments at the OB for non-stress tests to monitor Collin. Starting on December 20th, I'll go in twice a week. They strap monitors on my belly to monitor for contractions and to monitor how Collin's heartrate is impacted each time he moves or I have a contraction. It's an opportunity to collect more information about how Collin is doing, which we appreciate. :)

We're continuing to trust in our God and know that he has equipped us to tackle whatever challenge He presents to us. Eight weeks or less until we know what the challenge is! :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

31 weeks and Baby Shower #2

At 31 weeks, Collin still has plenty of room to be moving like crazy! His movements are often visible from the outside, which is a fascinating experience. I spend quite a bit of time just staring at my belly watching him move. Pretty soon he'll be too big and his dwelling will be too crowded for so much movement, so I'm enjoying it while I can! :)

This is a big week, as almost all babies born after 31 weeks go on to live normal, healthy lives. All organs are fully developed except the lungs, which just need a little more time to mature. A lot of brain and nerve development is happening this week, plus - as if the past 30 weeks haven't been one - he's going through a growth spurt. He'll continue to gain half a pound each week until about two weeks before birth!

I still feel really good, and we're so excited to meet sweet Collin!!! We still have things on our to-do list, but we're also ready for him to be here. :)

My lovely friend Alex hosted a baby shower for me yesterday, and it was so much fun. I'm lucky to have fantastic friends here in Colorado Springs, and they definitely took good care of Collin!

These are all the gifts we received!

I made delicious filled key lime cupcakes. :)

I got a picture with almost all of my lovely friends that attended. :)

This is Machala, who I met because I work with her husband Jim. She's a stay-at-home mama to her three fantastic kiddos, and I'm so excited to get our children together!

This is Brittney, who I met through work.

This is Kim, a friend I met through Alex.

Sarah and Amy are friends I work with.

Darcy and I worked together several years ago, and she now stays home taking care of her darling kiddos. I'm excited for playdates with them!

Tava is a friend I met through Alex.

I met both Amber and Alex because their husbands work with Ryan.

Janice's husband works with Ryan. Their baby TJ, born two weeks ago, is who we refer to as Collin's best friend. :)

Jana was my teammate and partner-in-crime at school last year.

We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends here, and I definitely had a blast spending the afternoon with the girls. I'll leave you with the two winning photos in the "Collin Collage" contest:

Jana and Sarah definitely have a good idea of what Collin will look like, right? :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Progress in Collin's room

Remember how I said we were hoping Collin's room would be done by the beginning of December? Well, it's still the beginning of December, but his room isn't quite done yet. However, we're close! The dresser/changing table and rocker are still downstairs awaiting their final coats of white paint, but other than that the room is basically done. :)

Here's what it looks like this morning: