Wednesday, December 27, 2017

36-week ultrasound and some baby prep

Last week, I had another ultrasound. At my 20-week anatomy scan, the baby was in such a position that the tech could not get all the heart images they were supposed to get. That, combined with the fact that this baby's heartbeat has been more challenging than average to track on Doppler, made my midwife recommend I go in for another ultrasound just to make sure all is well. 



All did turn out to be perfectly well, praise the Lord, and of course we had the added joy of watching this little one 'live on screen'. The 3-D ultrasounds are incredibly detailed now. Baby opened and closed his/her eyes, sucked on his/her hand, and looked just like our other babies.


We again chose not to find out the gender, so I have no exciting announcements in that regard. Baby was measured at approximately 7 lbs 1 oz, which made me think they must be way off on the growth predictions, but the tech said they are usually within one ounce, give or take. I don't know if she's wrong or if this baby is indeed large for dates. The last two of our three babies were 6 lbs and change at birth, whereas this one might still gain as much as a half lb per week for the next four weeks!

I was especially surprised by this estimate since I myself have only gained 15 lbs thus far with this pregnancy, having stayed on Weight Watchers the full nine months (in maintenance mode) to keep from gaining unnecessary pounds. Looks like I might be shedding most of that overnight when the baby is born! I will blog another time in more detail about WW and following the program while pregnant or breastfeeding.

36 weeks pregnant


Speaking of food, I am almost completely done stocking the freezers for after the baby's birth. Between making room for the precooked breakfasts and dinners, and organizing a group beef buy from a local ranch, I went through all four of my freezers over the weekend, tossing odds and ends and taking inventory of everything, as well arranging it all for maximum efficiency. I do this every six months when I do a group beef buy, but this was the first time I actually made detailed inventory lists for each freezer, which I mounted in the kitchen so I can update them anytime we take out or add anything to any of the freezers.




Our basic setup is that we have two fridge/freezer combos in the kitchen (called kitchen fridge and office fridge), as well as two deep freezers in the school room (called chest freezer and stand-up freezer).

Here is the list of foods I have made for this time around. You can click on the images to see them in larger.

 
The meals in red still need to be made and frozen, hopefully this week. I did manage to bake and freeze two gallon bags full of lactation cookies today, so that was an accomplishment and a load off my mind. I greatly depend on those in the early weeks to bring in my milk.

This list is kept in Google Drive, that way I can update it anytime, anywhere, from my phone. It might seem my logistics and inventory sheets are a little overboard, but with a family my size, I need to outsource as much of my mental energy as I can. Very rarely do 10 seconds go by on any given day between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. when someone (or multiple someones) do not come to me with various needs. It's like having 9 phone lines (10 if you count my husband, 11 with the new baby) that all ring, all day long, often at the same time, while I am the only one in the call center answering calls while also doing the day-to-day tasks that go into feeding, clothing, educating, and keeping alive and healthy all these people. If I can write it down and not have to remember off the top of my head, sign me up!

My mother-in-law will once again fly out as soon as I go into labor to help watch the kids during the birth, and in the days after. My biggest dread is a) going through labor again (it does NOT get easier the more babies I have had!), and b) giving birth in the winter. It's cold even in the daytime, but at night when I usually seem to be going into labor it's even colder, not to mention I labor in a birth pool and getting in and out will be misery in the cold. "Cold," of course, is a relative term. It's Arizona after all. Outside temps are between 50-75 in the daytime, and about 35-60 at night. In the house, we keep it an even 72 degrees. Still, that's cold for us, plus the days are shorter so it seems cold and dreary.

Please pray for a safe, easy delivery during a temporary heat wave! Preferably on this tax year - ha! :)

14 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your meal planning strategies. Great ideas. Praying for a safe and easy delivery. God bless

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  2. HI Zsuzsanna, I thought you might be interested in this article I received in my notifications yesterday. God Bless you, your children, and Pastor Anderson
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4iezOmFwPk

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  3. Do you have a furnace? I'm assuming that you do since you said that you keep the house at an even 72 degrees. Couldn't you just turn up the heat to whatever temperature you want for when you are in labor? If you don't have a furnace, you could just go out and buy a couple of space heater to plug in. They are not very expensive.

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    1. Yes, we have central heating. I also have a very nice and effective space heater. However, by the time it's warm enough for a laboring woman who is in and out of water to feel toasty warm, everyone else will have melted - HA!

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  4. You look amazing, and baby is beautiful!!!

    I love the work you do with freezer meals. I've tried to do it for three pregnancies now, and failed each time - but hey, there's always next time! Thanks for sharing these great ideas!!

    Diana

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  5. Aww... your so beautiful. Blessings to you and your family.

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  6. Your organization skills are very inspiring! I wanted to ask you or anyone else here that could be of some help to me. I am 8 weeks postpardum and have not breast feed for about 7 weeks due to laching problems. My milk is pretty much completely gone, I did not pump because we did not have a pump and could not buy one at the time. I have since been able to get a manuel pump and I am trying to get my milk flow to come back but isn't coming back. I have been taking fenugreek vitamins to try and bring my milk in as well as pumping, but I am still not producing, not even an ounce. Is there any advice you could give to help me with this, it is greatly appreciated.

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    1. Breastfeeding.....rewarding and yet such a headache all at the same time. I had different experiences with nursing all three of my babies. First child was early (he is now 6 and a half and has a diagnosis of autism) and could not/would not latch at all without a nipple shield. I used that for 9 weeks, kept trying to get him to latch and one day he latched and we made it to a year before he weaned himself. Second child no issues. Third child, born late, big and seemingly perfectly formed, for some reason had an excruciatingly painful latch. I blame myself for what happened subsequently. I assumed we would have no problems and was not prepared. I was in constant pain. She tore me up on one side. However, for the first two weeks she was gaining weight, so I carried on thinking I just needed to push through and the pain would eventually subside. Except that sometime after two weeks a cascade of events....a case of mastitis and plugged ducts where I could express nothing....led to disaster. I discovered she had not gained weight for three weeks. I visited a lactation consultant, was told all was well with her mouth (no tongue ties), and I just needed to position her differently. Tried that...no dice. Tried a supplemental nursing system (SNS) which we both hated, all while supplementing. Finally wracked with guilt and exhausted, I quit nursing her directly and pumped for awhile. I had nearly dried up, but was able to get my supply up to 20 oz of expressed milk per day, not enough for her needs, but it was more than half of what she needed, do I carried on for almost 7 months and then got so sick of it I quit. Fenugreek did little for me. I really think supply is mostly dependent on being well hydrated and nourished, having little stress to deal with, and a baby who is nursing well and often. I had a lot against me, although with the other two I was an excellent producer. Long story short, If I were in your shoes I wouldn't waste a lot of money on galactagogues. They may work a little for some, but they are not miracle workers.

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    2. Thank you for your advice, anon!

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    3. Anonymous it sounds like your bub did have ties, unfortunately they are missed by many drs and lactation consultants.

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  7. Wow you are doing so well prepared and only 15 pounds that’s amazing I usually gain so much with pregnancy but I know I overeat when I’m pregnant so that’s definetly why. Great job mama! You look adorable! My labors aren’t necessarily easier only in a sense that my mind is more prepared so I’m not as nervous during labor, my head is in the game so to speak. So excited for you and will be praying for a quick and easy delivery and most of all a safe one!

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  8. I should add, there are other things that affect supply too. And especially after my last experience, I don't judge women who after a myriad of issues choose to just quit and enjoy their child. Nothing beats breast milk, but then again, breast milk isn't magic either. It didn't prevent my firstborn from getting autism. And we didn't vaccinate him before he was diagnosed. So, you take the "breast is best" message with a grain of salt and do what you need to do, and your child will be fine. I know some won't agree with me, but that's my experience. My daughter at 2 and a half is doing just fine despite having some formula.

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  9. You look great! When is the baby due?

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