Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cloth vs. Disposable

We have mostly been planning to do disposable diapers because I felt that cloth would just be too much work when I go back to work.  Then, we saw these diapers called happy heiny's (  These looked much different than what I envisioned cloth diapers to look like.  Mom used cloth diapers with me and Jeanne', so she felt totally up for using them while Sarah Graves is at her house.  I started looking into the cost comparison and depending on what type of cloth diapers you buy, you can save anywhere from $1200 - $1700.  That is pretty attractive, not to mention knowing that you aren't filling up a landfill somewhere. 
There are lots of different varieties of cloth diapers out there, but the ones that seem to be a good investment and user friendly are diapers that have snap closures, with a pocket for an insert to absorb the contents, and they are one size that adjusts as your baby grows from a newborn up to 35 pounds.  You can also purchase the traditional type of cloth diaper known as a prefold and these are definitely the most economical type of cloth diaper you can choose.  
I found this great site that explains a lot about the process of cloth diapering today (  From reading message boards on the subject it seems that many people have found their daycare provider to be open to cloth diapering as well.  
 Aaron is not interested in cloth diapering because he fears that it will leak more and the diaper pail will smell worse than if we use disposable diapers. I don't have any firsthand knowledge to know if this is true or not.  I am wondering if anyone who reads this blog has tried cloth diapering?  Even if I don't know you personally, I would appreciate hearing about your experience with it good or bad. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Welcome to the Family, baby Wyatt!

Last night, my cousin Lynsey gave birth to a little boy!  His arrival was a bit of a surprise to everyone as she wasn't due until January 10.  Lynsey went in for a check-up and her doctor was concerned about low amniotic fluid levels, so she went to the hospital and they induced labor.  Fortunately, all went well and their baby boy arrived late last night.
They named him Wyatt Oneil Clark.  He weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces and is  20 inches long.  Mom and baby are doing wonderfully.  Such a blessing!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gifts for Sarah Graves

I mentioned that we received some gifts for Sarah Graves for Christmas.  Her grandparents bought her two big things that I think she will really appreciate, her stroller and her swing.  She's a lucky girl!
You know that we had to put them together.  I even tested Lucy out in the stroller around the house!  My parents gave us the stroller and Aaron's Dad and Beverly gave us the swing and the accessories for the stroller. 

The stroller was super easy for Aaron to put together and he has all the accessories on it that we may need for our first outing.  The diaper bag attaches to the side of the stroller so that you don't have to reach for it under the baby's seat.  He has the adapter for her infant car seat all hooked up so that we can snap it in and be off.  I love how big the canopy is on this thing.  It has another section so that it can come down almost entirely over baby, perfect for napping on the go.  I am still so impressed by how easy it is to fold.  The diaper bag has to come off, then you just lift a handle on the seat and it's folded.  I can't wait for to be here and be able to go somewhere!

I think this swing willl see a lot of use!  I picked it because it can plug in to the wall outlet, or it can use batteries.  I like the idea of not being caught short on batteries when we need it the most!  It plays several songs and sounds and the mobile rotates, so hopefully that will make for a happy Sarah Graves! 

We have received so many nice gifts from our family and friends!  No baby could be more equipped to come into the world than this one!  We even have diapers and wipes all ready for her, so now if she would just get here!

Belly Shot!

Here's the update on Sarah Graves this week:
With just three more weeks to go and at about six and a half pounds (though weight and height vary from fetus to fetus), your baby is doing just fine. You can expect weight gain to be about half an ounce per day. (Boys, though, are likely to be heavier at birth than girls. And here's a bit of boy baby trivia to back that one up: Moms carrying boys tend to eat more than moms carrying girls — a foreshadowing of teenage refrigerator raids to come.) Since your little one is considered full-term at 37 weeks pregnant, if your baby was to leave the wet nest this week, he or she would likely thrive. That's because Mother Nature and you have done such a fine job.

So what's keeping your little one busy while waiting it out until D-day? Practice, practice, practice. Your baby is simulating breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking on his or her thumb, blinking, and pivoting from side to side (one day you feel the tushy on the left side, another day it has swung around to the right side). All these are skills needed for his or her next gig — starring as newborn.
Here's an interesting fact: Your baby's head (which, by the way, is still growing) will, at birth, be the same size circumference as his or her hips, abdomen, and shoulders. And guess what's making an impression (literally) these days on those shoulders and hips: fat — causing little dimples in those cute elbows and knees, shoulders and hip, and creases and folds in the neck and wrists.

Monday, December 28, 2009


We had another check-up today and all looks good.  We met with Margaret and really liked her a lot.  For me everything looks good.  Blodd pressure is right on, weight looks good, and the measurements show good growth.  Baby girl had a good heartbeat and is now positioned with her head down and anterior.  She hasn't dropped yet, but her head is getting low.  Margaret expects that she will drop about 2 weeks before delivery.  I can't believe how close it is getting!  I am getting so excited to meet her!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


We had a truly wonderful Christmas!  On Christmas Eve we went to one of my parents' neighbors for their annual Christmas party and had a nice time visiting with their friends.  We went to Christmas Eve mass at St. Benedict's and really enjoyed the beautiful service.  I was pleased that we sang so many pretty carrols, including Silent Night by candlelight. 
We all spent the night at Mom and Dad's and woke up together to open presents on Christmas morning.  We received so many nice gifts from both sides of our family.  I'm sure I will soon be posting pictures of some of the cute things for Sarah Graves. 
We had Christmas dinner at some friends', the Currans.  It was a lovely dinner and their family was really kind to welcome all of us.  After dinner, we had a dessert party at my parents' house.  This was probably the icing on our Christmas cake!  Mom's friend Jacquie's brother Roland plays the piano and will play while everyone sings carrols and anything else we can think of to request.  The hit of the party was singing the 12 Days of Christmas.  Everyone gets a day and there are props that you have to use when it's your turn.  If you miss your part or don't sing out, Roland starts again.  Some verses took several tries before we completed them!  It was a really fun evening.  Below are some pictures from the dessert party.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

I think this time of year every Christian has thoughts about Mary, Joeseph, and the journey they set off on that changed our lives forever.  This year I have thought a lot about Mary and her situation.  Probably because my own pregnant belly has grown quite heavy, the Braxton-Hicks contractions are more frequent than they were a month ago, and my sweet baby girl has now grown large enough that I can feel her every move inside me.  So, I feel like I can identify with Mary more now than I have ever. 
When I think about her setting off on a donkey on a trip, my heart goes out to her.  How her back must have ached on the journey, the constant need to find a place to go to the bathroom, and the constant desire for something to drink.  I know she was used to a life that required a lot of work, but that journey must have felt endless.  Then, I think of how much I have read and tried to prepare myself for the work that lies ahead and how she probabvly had little more knowledge of the process of giving birth than just her faith in God and that it would be fine.  In some ways, her lack of medical knowledge may have been a blessing as she probably just went about it on instinct and had no expectation of how it should be.  Her faith in God was well placed because she gave birth to a baby boy who did change our world forever, just as she had been told.  
I hope this Christmas finds you with a few moments to reflect on your own faith and what you will put it in this coming year.  
Have a merry Christmas! 

A New Friend

Our friends, the Mayfields, sent this sweet friend for Sarah Graves.  She is a little fairy complete with wings and a wand!  What a sweet toy for a baby girl.


I did a lot of baking on Saturday and these were two of my creations, iced sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies.  I could eat my weight in the iced sugar cookies!  I just love them so much!  I only make them around Christmas and I think it's because I know I can't stop myself from just eating and eating them. We'll just blame the weight gain on the baby :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Spinning Babies

Through our doula I found out about how you can encourage your baby to rotate to get positioned for labor.  The site is and it is really amazing to me how exercise and posture can encourage them to rotate.  It also taught me a lot about how I can get an idea of her position based on being conscious of movement.  You can start try to position your baby quite early in pregnancy, but I only just found out about it. 
I have been using some of the exercises and suggestions to encourage Sarah Graves to get into an anterior position that will make my labor easier.  Based on her movement, I can't tell if it has been successful yet.  I will ask how she is positioned at my appointment on Monday.  Our new midwife does not think that is a pointless question like the last one did. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


This adorable hat came as part of a baby gift from my cousins, the Tadlocks.  I can just imagine us taking Sarah Graves out for a walk wearing this!  It's cute as a button. 

Belly Shot!

Here's the update on Sarah Graves this week:
Your baby's skull isn't the only soft structure in his or her little body. Most of your baby's bones and cartilage are quite soft as well (they'll harden over the first few years of life) — allowing for an easier journey as your baby squeezes through the birth canal at delivery (and less prodding and poking for Mom along the way). At 36 weeks pregnant, the skull bones are also not fused together yet so that the head can easily (well, relatively easily) maneuver through the birth canal.

So your little bruiser (who you've now learned won't be bruising you all that much with those soft bones) is now about six pounds in weight and measures slightly more than 20 inches in length. Growth will experience a slowdown now, both so your baby will be able to fit the narrow passageway to the outside and also so he or she can store up all the energy needed for delivery.
By now, many of your baby's systems are pretty mature, at least in baby terms — and just about ready for life on the outside. Blood circulation, for instance, has been perfected and your baby's immune system has matured enough to protect him or her from infections outside the womb. Other systems, however, still need a few finishing touches. Once such notable example: digestion — which actually won't be fully mature until sometime after birth. Why's that? Inside his or her little gestational cocoon, your baby has relied on the umbilical cord for nutrition, meaning that the digestive system — though developed — hasn't been operational. So your baby will take the first year or two to bring that system up to speed.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sarah Graves' First Christmas Present

Last week amidst all of the activity of finding a new caregiver and hospital, we received a Christmas present for Sarah Graves from her Aunt Lexie.  It is so cute and we can't wait for her to be here to be all snuggly warm in it!  Thanks for the pink warm-up, Aunt Lexie!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Doula and Water Birth Class

We had a very busy afternoon and evening last night.  We met with Pam for our prenatal visit in the afternoon and attended a class on water birth and looked at the hospital where we will now be delivering yesterday evening. 
The prenatal visit with Pam was really good.  Mom met us so that she could met Pam and be a part of the discussion about the birth.  We focused mostly on what my ideal birth might look like and talked a lot about the different options that are there and different things to consider for coping with labor.  Mom and Aaron both noted that I am irritable when I am in pain, so we are grateful for someone like Pam to be there and try to help me without Mom and Aaron having to deal with a grump.  Pam has a very calming way and I feel so grateful that we found her.  She also has some really cool products that you don't see in stores.  One of the neat things is called a Moby wrap and lets you wear your newborn and baby up to 35 pounds.  At first Aaron and I were thinking that we didn't really need anything like this, but now we are thinking that it would be a great way to keep her close and still have a free hand to do things like play fetch with Lucy. 

Our water birth class was really great!  The persoon who taught it is a Labor and Delivery nurse and she is the nurse that I hope for.  She is really supportive of natural childbirth and sounds like she would really be there to partner with caregivers and doulas to help you have the birth you want.  She even mentioned that they really do read your birth plan.  It was also amazing to me that there were about 10 or 12 couples in the room and they were all wanting a natural childbirth and were working with a midwife and usually a doula!  Many of them were also late transfers to this hospital and Intown Midwifery when they realized that their medical practice that agreed they would support natural childbirth really wasn't that supportive.  A few of the couples were a little granola, but several of them looked just like us and just want the best birth out there. 
We learned a lot about water birth and what we can expect from it.  We wouldn't labor in the water until active labor when I am dilated about 5-6 centimeters.  If you get in the water too early it can slow the contractions down and labor doesn't really keep moving.  The water will be very warm so that baby can keep her warm temperature.  They keep it between 98-101 degrees.  Lucky for me, I really like a warm bath!  The tub is like an inflatable kids pool with a little seat in it.  A new liner is put in for each patient so that it is always clean and they fill it with water from the shower.  We had a chance to see one of the rooms and with the tub, bed, and baby care area it is pretty tight.  I was a little disappointed to hear that only 3 people can be in there with you, but can see why space is an issue.  Because this hospital is in downtown Atlanta, some of the rooms have an amazing view of the city skyline.  It was beautiful at night! 
I am now feeling really excited about the change and feeling really confident that I have put together the best group of people to support me and Aaron in this process and help us have the best outcome possible.  It's really a good feeling!

Visit with Midwife

Wednesday we went for a visit with a midwife at Intwon Midwifery.  Aaron and I were both very pleased with what we found.  We met with Anjili and their practice and the hospital seem like a good fit for us.  She was very patient with my questions and she took a look at my birth plan and didn't have a problem with it.  What a relief to go for a check-up and feel like they want the same thing you do!  I didn't realize before how exhausting it was to have to constantly stand up for what I want and try to convince the caregiver that it is the better way for me.
We also did all the regular check-up things and all looks on track.  I am measuring right about where we should be, my blood pressure is good, and Sarah Graves seems to be positioned with her head down.  Anjili thinks that she is a little posterior, so we need her to rotate a little more in order to be just right for delivery, but there is time for that. 
Aaron and I both felt very comfortable and think these midwives are a good fit for what we want in our birth.  For those of you concerned about emergencies and things going wrong, they have back-up from an Ob/Gyn, but with a little luck we won't have to meet him!
So far it is looking like it was for the best that we were dropped from the other practice!

Belly Shot!

This week has passed in a blur and we are a little behind.  We took the belly shot, but this is the first chance that I have had to post it. 

Here's the update for Sarah Graves at 35 weeks.
At about 20 inches and five and a half pounds (but with about five more weeks to grow), most of your baby's growth over the next month or so before you meet will be in weight (with a gain of anywhere from one pound to several), not height (baby's pretty much reached the in utero limit in that department). Accordingly, fat continues to accumulate at a rapid pace these days (on baby, not just on your hips). Back in the middle of your pregnancy, your baby's weight was made up of only two percent fat; now at 35 weeks pregnant, that percentage has soared to closer to 15 percent (and will increase to 30 percent at term). Which means your baby's once skinny arms and legs are now quite plump…and irresistibly, squeezably soft.

Also continuing to grow at an amazing pace is your baby's brain power. Luckily, the part that surrounds that amazing brain — the skull — remains soft. And for good reason: A soft skull will allow your baby to squeeze more easily through the birth canal. (Mother Nature was really thinking this one through — imagine trying to push out a rock-hard head…ouch!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Visit with Santa Paws

The first year that we had Lucy, Jeanne' was looking after her one Saturday for us and decided it would be fun to take Lucy for a picture with Santa Paws.  The local PetSmart does it every year as a fundraiser and the picture came out so adorable.  We have been taking her back each year and she just loves to go.  PetSmart is for Lucy what Toys R Us is for a 6 year old, pure joy.  She loves all the attention that she gets from the employees and other shoppers and sometimes we meet a nice doggie who will let her get a good sniff.  Oh the thrill!
On Sunday, we took Lucy for her third picture with Santa Paws.  Our little puppy is growing up!

Cookie Time

Baking Christmas cookies is probably one of my favorite things about the holidays.  I like sending the cards and decorating the tree, but the cookies are the best.  I baked these cookies for a cookie exchange that Jeanne' and I went to on Sunday.  Through Jeanne' I met a nice group of girls who get together every year to do a cookie and ornament exchange.  I love getting to try everyone else's recipes and find a few new favorites!  The recipe that I tried this year is a chocolate mint cream.  They turned out tasting pretty yummy and the bright green mint chips give them a nice bit of color.  This could be a keeper!

Aaron and I made these last night.  They are a toffee crinkle.  They didn't turn out exactly like the picture in the book, but they taste pretty good!  I'll be bringing these to an ornament exchange for the women's group at church tonight and Aaron took a batch for his holiday luncheon at work. 
Hopefully this weekend I will have some free time to work on making some of our other favorites like cocoons and iced sugar cookies. 

Monday, December 14, 2009


I wanted to update that I was able to get an appointment with Margaret Strickhouser who comes very highly recommended.  I wonder if this was meant to be because when I called I was told that she had one opening left for a January birth.  Hopefully this is where we're meant to be and that will be the end of the search!  Our appointment is on Wednesday, which is right on schedule from my last check-up. 
I was also able to get us signed up for a water birth class and hospital tour at Atlanta Medical Center on Thursday.  I am not at all familiar with this hospital, so I hope that we have a good feeling about it.  I kind of like the idea of being able to labor in water.  That's something that I had written off because Northside does not permit it. 
Now I just have to get all the records transferred and insurance information changed. 

Back to Class

This Saturday we went to a breastfeeding for couples class and we really learned a lot.  Aaron learned that his job is going to be to get the baby good awake when it's time to eat so that she will be ready.  We practiced a few techniques for how to get them awake like rubbing their palms and the bottoms of their feet as well as doing little baby situps. 
The class covered some other good things like positions for holding the baby to feed, how to know if you're baby is getting enough, and that it should not hurt.  The instructor also showed us several different newborn feeding schedules and how each was different, but still perfectly fine.  One thing that I appreciated is that she covered with us how to feed your baby from a bottle in the case that they need the bottole in the first few days (e.g., baby can't maintain her blood sugar well, mom's milk has not come in), but you still want them to breastfeed. 
I would really recommend this class.  Aaron and I both felt like we learned a lot from it. 
After class Aaron took me for a yummy lunch at Maggiano's. Who could ask for a better date than that?

Friday, December 11, 2009

You Wouldn't Believe...

I came home yesterday to get ready for my office holiday party and as Aaron and I went through the mail there was a letter from my doctor's office.  I opened it expecting a bill, but was taken aback when I started reading that they regret to say they will no longer provide me with medical care because they feel that they can't meet my needs.  It seems that all my questions really did have me labeled as the problem patient and I was taking up a lot of their time with all these questions, so they terminated me.  I never in my life expected such a thing to happen.  I don't think that I have been kicked out of anything before.  In fact, I like to believe that others usually find me likable (no need to comment if you disagree with me here :) ). 
The timing of this is quite unusual because when we met with our doula, Pam, I mentioned some of the concerns I had about the practice I was with and delivering at Northsdie.  She made mention that it wasn't too late to find another practice and that if I was interested she had some suggestions for other midwives that practiced in hospitals that might be more supportive of natural childbirth.  Aaron and I talked about it and quite honestly I admitted that I was very busy and just didn't want to take the time to find a new care provider and do all the work it would take to change.  Then, the next day this letter comes.  Do you think the universe was trying to tell me something? 
So, I am now feeling quite unsettled as we consider a new midwife, a new hospital, changing our childbirth class (we were scheduled for one at Northside), the possibility of pursuing water births (Northside didn't allow, but the hospitals we are considering now do), plus all the other holiday madness that is going on.  It will all get sorted out in the end.  We will end up with the care provider we are meant to be with and this baby will come in her own time.  I just like to have the i's dotted and t's crossed in advance. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

We found a doula

Throughout my research on birth I have read about the benefits of doulas.  Doulas act as a support person for the laboring woman and her partner.  They don't provide any medical intervention, but they do stay with you throughout labor and will provide suggestions for positions you might try and other things to make you more comfortable during labor. 
We have talked a bit about having a doula and even asked the midwife at one of our appointments.  She felt it was more for people who don't have a partner to support them in labor.  After my last appointment with the midwife that I don't care for, I decided that I would be better off having all the support that I can get. 
There is a group of doulas that have a practice called A Labor of Love and that is who I contacted to find out about hiring a doula.  Pam was recommended to us and after reading her bio we felt she would be a good fit for what we want.  Aaron and I met with her for an hour this evening and both felt comfortable with her and felt she is someone that we would want to be with us throughout labor and delivery. 
In a couple of weeks we will have a prenatal session with her to really talk about our vision for the birth and for us to get to know one another better.  I think that working with her will allow me to relax a bit about the birth and lose some of this anxiety that I have around the hospital and the medical interventions.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Belly Shot!

Here's the update on Sarah Graves' growth:
Your baby could be as tall as 20 inches right now and about five pounds. Need a visual? Hold a five-pound bag of flour in your arms and imagine it's your soon-to-be-born baby (cradle it, and you'll only get strange looks in the baking aisle). Then stack three such bags one on top of the other (and get ready for some more strange looks, maybe from the same clerks who saw you grinning and holding that one-pound box of sugar a few weeks ago). That's how tall your baby is at 34 weeks pregnant. (Now go bake some oatmeal raisin cookies with all that flour!)
If your little doughboy is, well, a boy, then you'll be pleased to know that this week his testicles are making their way down from his abdomen to his scrotum. (Some baby boys — three to four percent — are born with undescended testicles, but they usually make the trip down sometime before the first birthday.)
Your baby's fingernails now reach the end of the fingertips and may even curl over the tip, making a manicure one of the first things you'll need to do for your little bundle.

Saturday Night at Our House

Saturday evening at our house was spent putting up Christmas decorations and watching championship ballgames.  Lucy likes to watch football and will sit there with Aaron for quite a while. I'm not sure if it's the fast movement of the players or the constant petting that she loves most!  Aaron is looking forward to having baby Sarah Graves sit with him next year and we're both hoping that the tigers will be the team we cheer for at the SEC Championship.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baby Care

Yesterday we went to a newborn care class.  I think that we have both read enough that we were familiar with a number of things that they went over, but there were a few new things.  One thing they mentioned is that all newborns have a startle reflex called the Moro reflex and they basically bring their arms up all of a sudden.  I guess many parents have mistaken this startle for their newborn having a seizure. 
The other thing is they give you a DVD of "The Happiest Baby on the Block", which covers some good soothing techniques to calm a newborn.  It also demonstrates how to swaddle a baby so they feel secure.  All good things to know. 
We were hopeful that we might meet some expectant parents, but the other couples in the class were extremely quiet.  Maybe the husbands were all just hoping to get home in time to see the championship football games.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Today I had a check-up and Sarah Graves and I are both doing well.  My blood pressure is great and my weight is looking good.  We listened to her heartbeat and heard it loud and strong.  She is positioned so that he legs and arms are near my ribs on the right side, which would explain the discomfort that I am in with all of her movement.  She is kind of laying sideways, so she hasn't gotten into position yet, but there is still time for that. 
I brought my draft of my birth plan to go over with the midwife and that was an interesting experience. I think my record has me labeled as the problem patient because the midwife came in noting that she read that I don't trust the hospital and would like to have a home birth.  I felt a little like Elaine on Seinfeld when she wants to steal her medical record from the doctor because it labels her as difficult and she doesn't want that to follow her.  I met with a new midwife today and she is not my favorite.  She seemed intent on focusing on all the things that can go wrong during birth and trying to scare me into believing that the hospital's technology and policies were definitely going to be necessay to keep my baby from dying.  Not exactly a comfort to any expectant parent.  I like the other 3 midwives a lot, so we will just hope that one of them is on call when Sarah Graves decides to make her grand entrance :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shower Pictures

Here are pictures from the Shreveport shower.  We did a little better job remembering to take pictures, but I still wish that we had taken more.  We received lots of nice gifts and I picked out some of them to show pictures of.
Aunt Lynn did these adorable labels for water bottles that say "Natalie's baby shower for Sarah Graves Caldwell".

A friend of Arden's did this cake and it looked so cute and tasted so yummy!

Here's a shot of the food table all decorated like a present!

This smocked dress is so adorable!  I can't wait for her to be able to wear it!

Aunt Arden had this picture made for Sarah Graves' room and it matches her bedding perfectly!

Here's a high chair that fits on your kitchen chair.  This will be perfect for dining at Mom and Pops'!

I am so excited to be able to watch her enjoy this doorway jumper!  She is going to have a blast.

These two dresses in pink were made for Sarah Graves.  The lace and embroidery is just so sweet.  I love them both!
Grancy had these bibs and matching burp cloths made for Sarah Graves and they are just adorable.

Aunt Lynn had this quilt made and the colors are perfect in the nursery. Sarah Graves will certainly love to stretch out and play on it.

The shower hostesses gave us the hamper and storage bins that match the bedding in the nursery.  These bins are soon going to hold all of her favorite toys!

Here's a shot of me with the shower hostesses, Aunt Lynn, Arden, Ms. Nancy, and Mam-Ma
Aaron was a real trooper and stayed for the shower.  He enjoyed visiting with aunts, cousins, and family friends that he doesn't see very often.  Here's a shot of Mam-Ma, me, Aaron, Ms. Nancy, and Arden.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Belly Shot

This week your baby may be anywhere between 17 to 19 inches in length and weigh more than four and a half pounds. At this stage in fetal development, your baby could grow a full inch more this week alone — especially if he or she has been on the shorter side. Weight gain can range from a third more growth to a full doubling before the big debut.

The level of amniotic fluid in your uterus has reached its maximum at 33 weeks pregnant, making it likely that you have more baby than fluid now. That's one reason why you're probably feeling lots of nudges and pushes — there's less liquid to cushion the blows. (Of course that means you're even closer to your baby now!)
If your uterine walls had eyes, here's what you'd see: your fetus acting more and more like a baby, with his or her eyes closing during sleep and opening while awake. And because those uterine walls are becoming thinner, more light penetrates the womb, helping your baby differentiate between day and night (now if only baby can remember that difference on the outside!).
And good news! Your baby has reached an important milestone about now: The development of his or her own immune system that (along with antibodies from you) will be able to provide protection from mild infections.

Here's the belly shot from last week:

Monday, November 30, 2009

We're Home!

We drove back from Shreveport yesterday.  We had a great time and they gave us a fabulous shower.  I will post about the shower later with pictures.  After being away from Lucy for a week we were excited to pick up our fur baby!  Lucy stayed at Mom and Pops' house, the equivalent of Disneyland for a doggie!  She had a fabulous time taking walks, supervising Christmas decorating, and being the center of attention. 
I'm glad she had some time away because she has recently had a run in with the law.  Yes, animal control has notified us that a neighbor complained about Lucy's barking.  Last week I contacted Angie, a fabulous dog trainer who has helped us in the past to understand Lucy's behavior and make her an enjoyable member of our family.  Angie's interpretation was that Lucy has a lot of nervous energy that may be due to her sensing the baby coming and is likely due to us being more busy than usual and me not getting out to walk her as much as usual, and this nervous energy has been directed at barking.  The recommended treatment is intense exercise that includes running to help her get her nervous energy out and be back to her more balanced self.  
She had a lot of exercise at Mom and Pops' house and did not make a peep all last night!  We are checking into a doggie daycare once a week as a way for her to get to run with other doggies and really get some exercise.  Hopefully, she will be back to her old self soon! 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We made it to Shreveport and have been enjoying our time to visit with Aaron's family.  Aaron and I are very thankful this year to be expecting our first baby and that we have had a healthy pregnancy.  That's a lot to be thankful for on top of all the other good things we have in life. 
I hope everyone is having a Thanksgiving surrounded by people they care for and realizing how much there is to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Heading to Shreveport

Aaron and I have been busy getting ready for our trip to Shreveport for the holiday.  When we are there for Thanksgiving, we celebrate what we refer to as Merry Thanksmas.  In other words, we combine the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  The good thing about this is that it has forced me to finish a lot of my Christmas shopping and the bigger task, getting the gifts wrapped! 
I ran out of time this morning to do a belly shot, but will try to get a picture soon and may double up next week.  We have been so diligent about it that I hate to miss a week!
Regardless of the picture, here is the update on sweet pea.
This week your baby weighs almost four pounds and could be up to 19 inches long. And though that's a head-to-toe length, your baby is actually back to a curled-up position (you try standing up in those cramped quarters!). At 32 weeks pregnant, you're likely feeling tapping and squirming instead of your baby's signature rocking and rolling. That's because, while comfy, your baby is a bit tight for exercise space right now. Your baby has also probably settled into the head-down, bottoms-up position in your pelvis in prepartion for birth. That's because the fetus's head fits better at the bottom of your inverted, pear-shaped uterus. It also makes it easier during childbirth if your baby comes out head first. Fewer than five percent of babies prefer the bottom-down (or breech) position by full-term. Don't worry if your baby hasn't assumed the head-down position yet. There's still a good chance he or she will flip head-side-down before birth — even in the tight confines of your uterus. 
While your baby is still getting nourishment through the umbilical cord, it won't be long before you'll be bringing on the breast milk or formula (and soon after, the mashed carrots and peas).  In anticipation of that momentous transition to mouth feeding, your baby's digestive system is all set and ready to go.
And because your baby is accumulating more fat, his or her skin is finally turning opaque (like yours), which means those see-through days are over.  Though weeks away from D-day, your baby's looking more and more like a newborn. 
And speaking of that big day, hope you're resting up for it — because your bambino certainly is. In preparation for that big first date with you, your baby is sleeping like a baby — with sleep cycles of 20 to 40 minutes long (which would also account for the decrease in movement you're likely feeling these days).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Visiting Friends

On Saturday a close friend from my childhood and her husband came to stay with me and Aaron.  Kristi and I know each other from when our families lived on the same street in Houston.  Our families were good friends and stayed in touch after we both moved away.  Then, Kristi and I were roommates for a time at TCU.  Since college we have both been busy with grad school and haven't seen each other in several years, so this was a great chance to catch up!  We had a lot of fun visiting with them and hope that Kristi's husband, Ben, likes the program he is going to visit at UNC so they might be a little closer to us! 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

3-D Ultrasound

Yesterday we went for our 3-D/4-D ultrasound and it was quite amazing. Mom, Dad, and Jeanne' joined us for our first real glimpse of Sarah Graves.  We think she's quite the cutie already!
We were able to see that sweet little face! She likes to keep her hands up over her face and seems to grab onto the umbilical cord a lot, but we managed to get her to cooperate some! I love the fat cheeks and those sweet little lips.  I have been in love with her for some time, but having a face to think about just makes me more in love! 
I can't wait until we can kiss those sweet cheeks!  They might be chapped for some time!

That's the umbilical cord coming down the side of her face, not a long ringlet!