Pregnancy Update Week 37

How far along? Currently 37 Weeks!  We have reached the point in the pregnancy in which Baby Boy could arrive at any time.  You know what that means: every little movement, twinge, and sensation makes me think, “Is it happening???”  Not quite yet, but oh so soon.

According to “What to Expect” and their app, Baby Boy is the size of a winter melon, is around 19-22 inches and 6.5lbs.

Total weight gain:  Enough to cook a proper baby boy.

Bump Alert: FULL alert!

IMG_6599With an ever-growing baby, my body is going through some major changes as well.  Check out the difference:

IMG_6598

Maternity clothes? Exclusively maternity!  I have had trouble finding comfortable clothes lately, but refuse to spend another dime on  maternity clothing.  Baby will be here soon enough and then I’ll have my choice of SO many t-shirts and yoga pants during my postpartum days.

Stretch marks? Still moisturizing and still luckily stretch mark-free!

Sleep: I am so relieved to tell you that it’s gotten so much better!  I still wake up once during the night, but I am able to get back to sound sleep.

Workouts: I reduced my daily steps goal to 10,000 steps instead of 15,000.  I still reach the higher number most days, but as long as I reach my goal, I am happy.  The strength training sessions have come to an end, but I’ve been doing a lot of stretches that have helped to keep me limber.

Best moment the week: Last week on Sunday, our wonderful friends and coworkers hosted a baby shower for us.  It was so incredibly sweet!

RCSA Shower 2

RCSA Shower 4

RCSA Shower 5

RCSA Shower 6

RCSA Shower 7

Food cravings: Normal eating patterns, but I have definitely joined the batch lunch making bandwagon.  I’ve always been a creature of habit when it came to my breakfasts and lunches, so it shouldn’t have taken me so long to start packing for all five days.  It makes the work week evenings so much less stressful.

I will say that I have increased my water, not just liquid, intake by about 30 ounces per day.  I cannot seem to get enough water.

Labour signs: A few more contractions here and there, but other than that everything is normal.  My OB gave me the run-down of what to look for before calling her.  It gave me a lot of peace of a mind, and also an increased anticipation.

Symptoms: I still have dry skin and at the end of the day, my feet get pretty swollen.  Thank goodness we live in FL and it’s usually sandals weather.

Belly button in or out? Still an innie despite the belly growth.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy and tired

Mom Advice

From the “Sleeping Should be Easy” Blog – Newborn Tips and Tricks for New Moms You’ll be Glad You Read

Newborn tips and tricks:

#1: Onesies can also be pulled down.

Want to know the real reason onesies have those envelope flaps on the shoulders?

I thought it was to accommodate different or growing head shapes. That’s just one part of it. You can also pull the onesie down when your baby has an explosive poop. Rather than maneuvering a filthy onesie over the baby’s head, you can pull it down towards the bottom.

#2: Do the elbow-to-the-knee move to eliminate gas.

My babies had serious cases of gas. Drops weren’t cutting it. New bottles weren’t either. What did help was a neat body move that expelled the gas immediately.

Lie your baby down on his back. Then, move his right arm and left leg towards each other as if the right elbow and left knee were going to touch. Do the same with the opposite elbow and knee. Alternate a few times until your baby stops farting.

#3: Keep newborns awake no longer than an hour and a half.

Newborns sleep a lot. They may not sleep in long stretches, but over the course of the day, newborns will be mostly sleeping. Or, more importantly, newborn babies can’t stay awake for long periods of time. An hour and a half max.

I made this mistake with my eldest, toting him around family parties way longer than an hour and a half. He felt cranky, and we were miserable because of it. Now I know to put newborns to sleep if an hour and a half has passed.

#4: Track your baby’s feeding and diapers.

You’ll want to track how often your baby feeds and at what time. If he’s breastfed, track how many minutes he nurses and on which breast. If he’s bottle-fed, track how many ounces he drinks.

In addition to feeding, keep track of your baby’s diapers, noting whether they were wet from pee or dirty from poop. You’ll also want to record what kind of poop your baby had, such as color, texture, and how often they peed or pooped. I know, not exactly enticing, but necessary.

I created this feeding and diaper tracker that’s yours free when you sign up for my newsletter:

 

#5: Follow the eat/awake/sleep routine.

Do your nurse or feed your baby to sleep? I used to rely on nursing my eldest to sleep, especially for naps. But then he started to fall asleep only through nursing (or rocking). Nursing to sleep wasn’t the way to go.

The newborn stage is challenging enough as it is. Get a head start with these newborn tips and tricks to help you care for your new baby.Then I read Tracy Hogg’s E-A-S-Y technique (eat/awake/sleep/you).Feed your baby (eat) when she wakes up (awake) so she’ll have energy for her awake time. She won’t rely on milk to fall asleep. And she’ll have something to transition from sleep to awake.

After your baby has been awake for an hour and a half, then you put her sleep drowsy but awake (sleep). She can explore different ways to put herself to sleep, such as sucking on her thumb or rolling her head side to side.

And once she’s asleep, you can tend to yourself (you) and repeat the cycle.

Such a game changer for me! All this time I thought my only option was to nurse to sleep. But that only makes the baby rely on nursing or sucking to fall asleep.

#6: Find alternative ways to hold your baby.

Your baby’s preferred position? In your arms. The snuggling is good, but not sustainable. After all, you need your arms for other things, and it’s not always safe to fall asleep with the baby in your arms.

Use other techniques to hold the baby, such as these items I’ve used or recommended:

Try different ways to put your baby to sleep or to hold your baby using any of these methods. The more options you have, the less likely you have to convince your baby to sleep away from your arms.

#7: Swaddle your baby to sleep.

Master the art of swaddling:

  1. Place a square swaddle blanket (like these Aden+Anais ones I used) flat on a surface like a diamond.
  2. Fold the top corner down 5-10 inches towards the middle so that the diamond now looks like the top part got cut off.
  3. Place your baby on top of the swaddle with her neck aligned with the straight line you just folded.
  4. With your baby’s arms held straight down next to her body, fold the left corner of the swaddle over her body and tucking it under her back. Her left arm should still be free.
  5. Fold the bottom corner up and over her left shoulder, tucking it inside the swaddle.
  6. Holding her left arm down, fold the right corner over her arm and entire body, tucking into the swaddle.

Everything should be comfortable and tight. You want to mimic the snugness of being in your womb. The moro reflexes typical of the newborn stage also cause her to flail her arms. This wakes her up, either because of the motion or she hit herself on the face.

Look at this step-by-step illustration of how to swaddle a baby from the Mayo Clinic.

You can skip these steps using a velcro swaddle blanket or the Magic Merlin. Both keep your baby snug, helping her fall and stay asleep. I personally used the velcro swaddle blanket which helped so much! I didn’t have to worry about the swaddles coming undone. It comes especially helpful in the middle of the night—less steps to do!

#8: Use white noise so your baby doesn’t startle.

Your baby listened to the white noise of your womb. To go from that to a pitch-quiet room is a big change. Help your baby sleep longer with a white noise machine or a fan. There should be enough sound to keep her from jumping at the slightest sound.

#9: Hang darkening curtains.

Your baby has no sense of day or night when she was in the womb. Out in the real world, she’ll need help adjusting to the hours. Help her get into a routine by hanging darkening curtains, especially at night. Her body will adjust and she’ll know that nights and dark mean long stretches of sleep.

Conclusion

The newborn stage is tough enough as it is. You’re not getting any sleep. Forget about hobbies or leisure time. And your baby takes up nearly all the hours of the day.

With these newborn tips, you’ll have an easier time caring for your baby. You’ll know the best way to relieve your baby of gas and how to help her sleep longer. And you can finally enjoy the newborn months a little bit more

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