Sunday, September 25, 2016

Everything's ok!

OMG please don't hate me. I can't even begin to tell you how busy life has been - and yes, all while being in the early stages of PREGNANCY! (woot woot!!)

Everything's ok over here!

And I don't even have time to sit here and write a detailed blog post to you like I really want to do, but I felt I had to at least let everyone know that ALL IS GOOD. We had our first ultrasound this past Monday and not only saw but HEARD baby's heartbeat! Yay, usually at 6 weeks you can just see it flickering, but not hear it yet!!

You know how detailed I am and honestly the reason I haven't given you a blog post is because I was being super anal about it and knew I didn't have the time to write a post like I wanted to. Every night I'd go to bed (way too late) and think "OMG I still haven't updated my blog!" But I didn't want anyone to worry or think bad things or even just hate me for abandoning you all!!

So there's a brief update to hopefully hold you over! It's such a busy Fall for us. I will give you more details soon. But all is GREAT and GOOD and we are pregnant and it's so amazing - even for the 2nd time. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

SooooOoooOOooo

I'm here! I'm here! (and I have a lot to share so be sure to read all the way to the end!)

OMG going through all of this stuff while RAISING A CHILD, is no joke! There is no relaxing. There is no sitting down for a LONG, LEISURELY, blog-writing session. Everything is short bursts of getting a little done here and getting a little done there.

With my first transfer I think I wrote in my blog like almost every day after the transfer. When I think back to those days and picture myself lounging around my house, I can literally hear harp music in my head and I see myself wearing flowing silk robes and practically floating from one resting spot to another, all with this amazing soft glow of warm light radiating over me.

THIS TRANSFER is me lugging my toddler on my hip, un-showered, barely dressed, trying to eat and feed my family and like - transfer? what transfer? I would not advise this. You really are supposed to rest if you can. And you really shouldn't be carrying that toddler around (mine is 30 pounds!!!)

This is literally what I looked like this morning

I *HATE* to say this because it makes me feel blasé about the transfer. But I couldn't help but feel like...we still have 2 more embryos, if I mess this one up. So unless you too have multiple other embryos on ice and feel like going through transfer prep again, please try to take it easier than I have. It's hard because my Little One is incredibly demanding of ME (and me only) and Hubby works a lot. We probably should have had him take some days off work...But I also did look at the below very closely. I had this in my last transfer post and will share it again here:

Days Past
5-day Transfer
Embryo Development
one The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell
two The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
three The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation
four Implantation continues
five Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop
six Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream
seven Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
eight Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
nine Levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy

The day of my transfer and the 2 days following, I *DID* try to take it easy. I didn't carry my toddler. I tried to remain sitting or reclining as much as possible. I wanted to give that little embryo a good solid chance to implant in my uterus. But as the days have passed, I just haven't been as diligent as I was the first go-around. I mean, back then I was nervous to carry my own computer bag!

So anyway - do as I say, not as I do...

Just listen to me, gosh dangit!!!

But there is business to report on, so report, I must:

2 Days Post Transfer (Sun): 
I was hoping to see implantation bleeding (spotting) but didn't. I took it pretty easy again today so it was a very low key day.

3 Days Post Transfer (Mon):
Still no spotting…this made me kind of...sad. Because I had implantation spotting with my first pregnancy so I was fully expecting to see some spotting yesterday and count it as a good sign.

BUT.....

I have a new theory about this. For all of you keeping track - you'll recall that last time, my report to Dr. A that I saw some spotting had her say "yay implantation bleeding!" but she also had me run into her office to check my progesterone levels because low progesterone levels can cause your lining to start breaking down. Not good. And in fact, last time my progesterone level was low and we started shots of progesterone in oil that night. I started developing a new theory this time that maybe the no-sign-of-spotting was actually a good thing and meant that my progesterone levels were good! Maybe it had NOTHING to do with implantation bleeding. Hmmmmmmmmm.

Hmmmmmmm.......

So anyway - I won't know for sure until my pregnancy test. But this thought was keeping my spirits up! I returned to acupuncture this afternoon. It was weird to be back there doing acupuncture on a routine basis again! Today was the first day I saw one of the doctors who used to treat me when I was pregnant before. So familiar! When he asked, I told him I hadn't felt much cramping today, but then of course I noticed some as I headed home.

4 Days Post Transfer (Tues):
So maybe I've been feeling more cramping today - or maybe it's just my imagination? GAH!!! But by the evening today I'd say I felt a lot of faint cramping. I also ran over to Dr. A's office for a blood draw to check my progesterone levels (not sure if she does this for everyone, but since I had progesterone "issues" last time, I wanted to check it this time to see if we needed to add shots). And we got: 8.5 ng/mL! This is excellent!! And could also be confirming my theory (and explanation why I still have seen NO spotting.) Dr. A said it's a GREAT number for vaginal administration of progesterone (Crinone). WHEW.... maybe I'll dodge the shots this time?!

5 Days Post Transfer (Wed):
I am definitely feeling cramping. It’s faint and not as strong as period cramping, but very noticeable. This is good news I would think! My boobs feel a little sore/tingly but I have a hard time believing that's anything to note (and yet here I noted it...)

6 Days Post Transfer (today):
And folks - that leads me to TODAY. This morning to be precise. I'm doing exactly as I did with my last transfer since, well...we have a toddler now (I mean: success!) And I had a really, quite honestly, uneventful pregnancy which went full term. Baby was textbook perfect - so why would I not do everything the same this time? 

Last time, on the morning of my 6th day post transfer, I took my first pregnancy test. A First Response Early Result pregnancy test to be exact. This is the one that apparently can detect trace amounts of hCG in your urine, earlier than other tests. I used it last time and it didn't let me down on 6dp5dt.

As I would assume most of you ladies know, when you take a POAS (pee on a stick) pregnancy test, you want to do the test FIRST thing in the morning - with your most concentrated pee. So if you wake up and have to pee at 5:30am - then you do your pregnancy test at 5:30am. I woke up at 5:30am, likely due to the suspense, but I laid there for half an hour trying to go back to sleep (yah right). It didn't work - so I got up and got my things together:
  • 1 Dixie cup
  • 1 FRER pregnancy test
  • 1 generic Target pregnancy test (why not?)
Want to know what happened?... come back and check tomorrow!!
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Hahaha just kidding! 

Yah right you think I'm going to have time to write a long ass blog post tomorrow?!!!!

:)

We got a faint positive!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

It's in there!

Aaaaaannnnd it's done! Our 2nd transfer happened yesterday! (And of course, my 1st transfer led to my 19mo toddler.) So officially - our 2AA embryo which was fertilized the same day as my living, breathing CHILD, was just thawed and transferred to my uterus. It's an AMAZING thing.

It's in there! Let's hope I get Prego!!
The day went basically just like the last time (which I linked to in my first paragraph so if you want details, go read that one).

When I did my last transfer in 2014, it was at a different location than we went to this time. So this new location was N-I-I-I-I-CE compared to the previous. My acupuncture location had also moved to the same building as the fertility center (they were together at the last one too) which makes acupuncture pre/post transfer SUPER easy.

Acupuncture:
With my last pregnancy I did acupuncture for almost my entire pregnancy - starting with twice a week in the first trimester and moving to once a week/every other week after that. Because of that, I'm obviously very familiar with this acupuncture practice.

I called them up, basically like I did last time, to come in once before my transfer (I could have been treated for a couple months prior and it would certainly not have hurt anything, but my insurance only covers a maximum number of sessions/year so I preferred to concentrate those on the transfer/pregnancy rather than before.)

The day of the transfer they suggest you do an acupuncture session before the transfer and then do one after the transfer. I love this actually - because I step out of my acupuncture sessions feeling so calm and relaxed and being relaxed is very important during the transfer.

The day is here!

The Transfer Day:
Transfer appt: 12:30pm (check-in 12:15pm)

For transfer they want your bladder full as it helps to guide them as they look at the ultrasound picture during the transfer. So about 10:30am I measured 16oz of water into my bottle and started sipping on it.

We scheduled my acupuncture (typically about a half hour session) for 11:30am. So I spent my half hour doing acupuncture and then as soon as they were done I took my valium. Dr. A wanted me to take a valium about a half hour before the transfer because this also helps to keep you calm so that adrenaline doesn't make your uterus contract and mess up the transfer!

By now it was 12pm so Hubby and I walked over to the fertility center. It was all so calm and quiet and not stressful. The new (to me) facility is beautiful. We were escorted into a waiting room beyond the waiting room - my guess is this is for discretionary reasons. Then escorted into the transfer room. I joked in my last transfer that the room was no larger than a handicapped bathroom stall but this room was MUCH larger. Like the size of a normal exam room.

I really had to pee at this point. Actually I did even during my acupuncture and was wondering if I could pee "a little bit" out but I decided not to - didn't' want to mess everything up! It's a good thing too because the nurse who was assisting said that my bladder was "Perfect"! Said nurse got me all situated in the giant-chair-with-stirrups, which actually reclined much more this time than I remember being last time.

Dr. A came in and handed us our baby's first picture!

Hopefully, hopefully a sibling for our LO!
Our 2AA embryo all ready for transfer.

We gazed at the photo which is even more meaningful to me now, because I have seen it come full circle. I remember getting this same photo at our first transfer and now I think of all the hundreds of thousands of photos we've taken of our "5AA" AFTER birth! So incredible.

Then we got down to business! Just like last time: speculum (fun!), catheter, everything cleaned out and in order and we wait....
.....
.......
........
and then the embryologist comes in! I had to sign some forms (yes while holding that position) and then we were good to go.

I know last time Dr. A was able to get pictures for me that she printed but I guess she can no longer print photos of the ultrasound pictures, SOOOOO if you want to take any photos of the little tiny shining embryo that now rests inside your uterus - you'll have to do so with your own camera pointed at the screen. And no, you can't actually SEE the embryo (it is microscopic). What you see on the screen is the liquid surrounding the embryo.

I was asked to rest there for a little bit (maybe 5 minutes) and then I could finally head across the hallway to relieve my bladder! WHEW!! And insert a Crinone (which I had brought along from my stash at home). That'll be 3 Crinone applicators today.

And then we were out - and heading back to acupuncture for another session.

So relaxing...no really!

I think we were leaving the fertility center by 1:45pm. It all happens so fast!

Taking it easy was much harder this time around than for our first transfer because now, of course there is: Kiddo. Kiddo is extremely demanding and always NEEDS Mama. Mama is by far the favorite all around. But Hubby is great and very good at distraction (he is well seasoned by now.) So after we got home, I ate my half a pineapple core* and settled into my bed to watch some movies and TV shows while listening to toddler squeals and daddy chuckles out my window. I felt like I was getting away with something!!!

Dr. A suggested I not carry anything heavier than 20 pounds, if possible, up until my first ultrasound (2.5 weeks after transfer). Lemme tell you: it is going to be IMPOSSIBLE to not carry my almost-30 pound monster around. IMPOSSIBLE. But I shall try my hardest. Today and yesterday (since this is implantation time) I am being quite strict about the carrying thing, but I may ease up a little by 4 days past transfer since implantation should be completed by then (you can find information about the stages after transfer, on my first transfer blog post which I linked to in the first paragraph). The not carrying my child, is just not something I can sustain so we'll see how things go over the next few days.

If and when we [hopefully, hopefully] get pregnant again, I don't think I'll have the time to do weekly posts through my pregnancy like I did with my first born, but I will still try to keep track of these days post-transfer.

In fact, here's a little bit about yesterday and today for you since you're chomping at the bit:

Day of Transfer:
Felt very gassy and my stomach was very gurgly. I took it SUPER easy. Watched TV all afternoon while Daddy played with LO. Tried to remain in a reclined position as much as I could today.

1 Day Post Transfer (today):
Not as much of that gassy feeling. Actually felt totally normal so it was hard to not do my normal things. I didn’t leave the house but I was up and around a little more - still not carrying/lifting LO, but prepared meals and made a simple dinner for us. One thing that was noteworthy is how tired I was. I took a 2 hour nap (very unlike me). It seems odd since I wasn’t too tired yesterday. Is the valium kicking in a day late!? I may have felt a tiny bit of cramping - but I swear I was feeling that before the transfer! LOL.

Eat the core of a pineapple (only) to aid in implantation

*Pineapple core: you may recall from our first transfer, that I consumed the core of a pineapple over the days after my transfer. This stems from the "Eastern Medicine" portion of my transfer instructions. The core of the pineapple (not the meat) contains bromelain, an enzyme which can aid in implantation by acting as a blood thinner/anticoagulant and also acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Cut a pineapple widthwise into 4 pieces, then use a cookie cutter to remove the core. Eat 2 of these core pieces on an empty stomach, the day of your transfer and the day following your transfer: therefore 1 entire pineapple core within 2 days time. (Last time I ate it over 4 days instead of 2: 2 years later, instructions have changed!) Don't eat the meat of the pineapple (supposedly tropical fruits should be avoided in early pregnancy if you follow an Eastern Medicine diet) just the core and only those first 2 days.

And that's my post for Transfer #2! I'm still in disbelief that we're going through all of this again. But it's happening and there is certainly no turning back now! :)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Polyps and Thyroids and Vitamins, oh my!

Mother Nature and I haven't tangoed too much recently. But as soon as we started the dance to prepare for this second transfer, she IMMEDIATELY reminded me that it is *SHE* and absolutely, completely and totally *not I*, who is in charge. I was cruising into this transfer thinking like "yea...I got this. I been here. Whatevs....no big." And so of course she started throwing me curve balls like it was no ones business.

"Curve ball for you, curve ball for you..."

After my July period ended (during which, I started birth control pills on Cycle Day 2), I went into Dr. A's office to start things off. I had a water ultrasound appointment right at the end of July - to check that everything looked great in my uterus. And I WAS fully expecting everything to look great. I mean, I'm a rockstar seasoned IVF/transfer/pregnancy/mommy Pro-with-a-capital-P now. Everything was gonna look great!

It did not...

I had another polyp (or maybe 2 actually). Dr. A found a polyp back in Sept 2013 before my first stimulation/retrieval and that little guy had come out too. Uterine polyps are nothing too scary for the most part. They COULD cause you trouble getting pregnant (if you're trying naturally and your egg fertilizes, depending on where the polyp is - the embryo may not be able to implant in your uterus.) Typically they are not cancerous, but they are always biopsied after removal to be sure. Polyps tend to be more common in slightly older women (like post-40) and for the most part have no obvious symptoms. BUT these guys had to come out before we did a transfer, for sure. And for me, there was a timeline to keep. I was still on BCPs at this point and needed to remain on just up to the polyp removal. But I had to stop the BCPs no less than 5 days prior to starting the transfer hormones (Estrace/Estradiol/Estrogen to build up my uterine lining), so if I wanted to keep the 8/26 transfer date then we had a very small window to work in. We needed to get into the surgical center ASAP. I mean their first available opening!

Here's how it went ended up going down:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wed Thursday Friday Saturday
7/31 8/1 8/2 8/3 8/4 8/5 8/6
Last BCP Polyp Removal Period started
Start Estrace Period Ended

Fortunately the EARLIEST appointment the surgical center had was basically the LAST appointment we could do and still stay on schedule. WHEW!!!

Whew!!!!

So that was curve-ball number 1. But I hit that curve ball (or more like Dr. A did!) and was feeling all confident again. Let's do this transfer!!! Gonna kick the $#!+ out of this! 

Cuve balls number 2 and 3:
Another thing Dr. A did at my water ultrasound appt was to take blood to make sure things/levels and such were looking good there too. For some reason there was a big delay in getting the results (to be honest I didn't even know I was waiting for results until I got an email from Dr. A with those additional curve-balls!) Almost 2 weeks after my polyp removal, which was just a week before we'd start Crinone/Progesterone, I got word that my TSH and Prolactin levels were high and we absolutely needed to get them down or we'd have to postpone our transfer. 

What the what?!
Come again?

I'd never even heard of TSH or Prolactin.

Oh and I had a slight Vitamin D deficiency. ACK?!!

I was supposed to be all hardy and able-bodied and was going to just cruise into this transfer!

Argh! Poor me!

Soooo the Vitamin D curve ball was not a major one. My level was 28.2 ng/mL and the normal range is 30-100 ng/mL. I didn't even ask Dr. A about this one but of course we don't want to go into a pregnancy with low vitamin D levels. Our bodies need Vitamin D to maintain proper levels of calcium and phosphorus, which help build Baby's bones and teeth. Dr. A asked me to start taking a 5000 iu supplement so I got on top of that one right away!

Back to the TSH/Prolactin thing:
TSH = thyroid stimulating hormone. The pituitary gland at the base of the brain controls hormone production in your body. It makes TSH which tells the thyroid gland how much T4 and T3 (thyroid hormones) to produce. The TSH level in your blood reveals how much T4 your pituitary gland is asking your thyroid gland to make. If your TSH levels are abnormally high, it could mean you have an underactive thyroid. This is important for many reasons. A high TSH level could affect implantation and could cause miscarriages, premature birth, pre-eclampsia, low birth weight and mental problems in the baby. Basically you want your thyroid to be operating very normally before you try to get pregnant!

Prolactin elevation is typically due to TSH elevation so Dr. A said not to worry about that one (it should come down when we get the TSH down.)

So the bad news - my numbers:
TSH: 4.04 uIU/mL 
Normal range: 0.45 - 4.5 uIU/mL
But for Pregnancy: under 2.5 uIU/mL

Prolactin: 35.5 ng/mL 
Normal range: 4.8 - 23.3 ng/mL

The good news:
With 50 mcg of Synthroid/day I should be able to bring the TSH down. This is good news, because we're up against ANOTHER close timeline!!! We want to see those TSH/Prolactin levels come down before we start the Crinone. Once we start Crinone and the final transfer meds (Doxycycline and Medrol) we're moving towards transfer!

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wed Thursday Friday Saturday
8/7 8/8 8/9 8/10 8/11 8/12 8/13





Start
Synthroid
8/14 8/15 8/16 8/17 8/18 8/19 8/20




Lining & Blood Check Start Crinone

Dr. A said the Synthroid (I was taking the generic, Levothyroxine) could help within 5 days. And if my levels still weren't down by my check on the 19th, we could try a bolus dose which has been known to help as well. Ai yai yai this is all nuts!

So I went in for my lining check on Friday which (ok, finally some good news) was BEAUTIFUL!
"My, what a beautiful lining you have..."
Thankful for that - the Estrace is doing its job! Dr. A also took my blood that day and I waited impatiently for the results. I'd started the Synthroid last Saturday so it would have been 7 days of taking it and she said it can work in as few as 5. We wouldn't get the TSH results back until the next day, but my estrogen level was 390 pg/mL which she deemed "excellent"!

By that next day (yesterday: the day I was supposed to start Crinone in the evening, if we were a go) Dr. A was having some difficulty getting my TSH results from the lab, so she had me go to a different lab who could turn it around the same day. Good thing I didn't have plans yesterday and could run out to get more blood work done! KUHRAYZEE!

Finally, finally, finally at 8pm last night I heard from Dr. A:
TSH: 1.8 uIU/mL
Prolactin: 9 ng/mL

Yes! Yes!! YES!!!
We are a GO!!!

 We were a go for transfer!!

OHMYGAW... I ran upstairs and inserted my first Crinone (ahh, Crinone - how I [have not] missed you).

What a frantic couple weeks! But I drop-kicked the polyps, tackled my thyroid and even took on some vitamins and HOPEFULLY, HOPEFULLY my body is fully ready to accept our perfect little 2AA embryo on Friday!

I seriously have no idea how anyone gets pregnant without the help of modern medicine. NO idea. I need to lie down and take a nap after writing this blog post. Exhausting.

Transfer post coming up next. Keep us in your good thoughts!!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Remember me?

Hi there! Remember me?
Hey there, friends!!
I'm the one who blogged non-stop for like...ever. And then I had a baby and EVERYTHING changed. It's so unfair in a way.  INFERTILITY. You wish so hard for so long (and no - Hubby and I really didn't wish all that hard for all that long.  I am VERY AWARE that we were some of the lucky ones on this infertility journey) and then you finally have your baby and it's blissful...for a few minutes. Then you realize: I HAVE A BABY?!!!  I'm RESPONSIBLE for this mini person 100%?!! And they cry?! And they nurse ALL THE TIME?! And...my nipples!! And...my lady parts!!!!.....

And I will be the first to admit that I definitely had some postpartum depression (yes, are you KIDDING ME?! What kind of cruelness that this huge shift in my life is causing me a type of depression; however it's something I'd wanted so badly for so long?!) 

And you have ZERO time for anything. All you do is care for your baby and I have no idea what I was doing when kiddo was sleeping - attempting to sleep (that was difficult) or taking a 2 minute shower, or shoving food in my mouth, or trying to find X, Y or Z that I hadn't seen in days and needed badly. It took all of my energy, planning and forethought to even get that last blog post written and it was a WEAK post. Those early days were rough.
It's quite honestly - brutal
But as hard as having a newborn was, the hours do fly by. And then the days. And then weeks and months and before you know it, you have a laughing, talking, smiley-faced, cheerful 1.5 year-old toddler blowing kisses, giving hugs and saying things like "wuv you Mama" and you decide you're gonna sign up to do it ALL over again!  *sigh*

I read something recently that said having a second child is like this: "imagine you're drowning in the ocean. And then someone hands you a baby."

I can only imagine. And yet here we go!

The wonderful, amazing reality of banking frozen embryos is that I DON'T HAVE TO GO THROUGH ANOTHER RETRIEVAL (and really honestly, those horrible days post-retrieval when you're waiting with bated breath for the reports on embryo/blastocyst development and genetic testing.) We still have 3 frozen embryos that are no older than the day we froze them - almost 2.5 years ago! This gives me such a sense of security that we will get our sibling for our little one and who knows? Maybe even more (but not going there yet!!!)
Siblings! They're with you through your entire life...
So I recently reached out to Dr. A again and let her know we were getting ready to go for another kid! We picked a transfer date of August 26th (a date that has special meaning to us and also puts our kiddos a good "almost 2.5 years apart" which I think is a great age difference.) Working backwards this means she'll want me to let her know when my next period starts and we'll kick things off then. The last time we chose our transfer date, I guess it was close enough to my natural cycle that I did not need to take birth control pills, but this time she'll have me start birth control pills the day after my next period starts (around mid-July) so that my body is ready for transfer on the date we picked. I'm ever so slightly concerned about developing a cyst since the very first time we were preparing for stimulation and retrieval she put me on BCPs and we had to postpone my stim due to a cyst developing (which can be caused by BCPs). But we'll be doing a water ultrasound, to check that everything looks good, a couple weeks into the pills so if anything appears, we'll deal with it then - and I can still keep my special transfer date. Wish me luck!

So that's what's up and that's what we're planning! I CAN'T believe I'm about to do this again. It's all so different approaching a transfer now that I'm already a mommy. I still can't believe we're signing up to take on responsibility for yet ANOTHER mini-human. But we're intelligent, capable adults so I'm quite confident we'll all make it out alive and relatively happy.

Here we go again!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Baby

Throughout this whole process I continually held back in overly celebrating all the small victories - with the words that we'll only really be celebrating once we hold our baby in our arms.  Well, we are celebrating!!  Our baby was born on Sunday January 18, 2015 at 12:37pm and we have held our little one over and over and over again.  And it is absolutely wonderful.

I had planned to write out my whole birth story here, but having a newborn at home is (no surprise) proving to not allow me a SPECK of free time so I will unfortunately not be able to include that in this post.  But perhaps when things slow down (like when our child is in preschool!?) I'll be able to add the details.

Everything is perfect and wonderful and we are all home safe and sound.  The real journey now begins!

I don't really know what will come of this blog.  We do still have frozen embryos that I imagine we'll want to use in the next couple years, so perhaps I'll write more then.  Or even earlier?  But for now I'm pushing the pause button.  There's a baby here and I'm going to hold them in my arms now.  :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Week 39

Wow - another week and another blog post.  As I write each of these last few week's of posts I wonder to myself if I'll get to write the next week's.  Well I only have 1 week left here so that gets me through 97.5% of the 40 weeks of pregnancy.  Amazing how far I've come!  And all along I was always SURE Baby was going to come early.  I was convinced like around 37-38 weeks.  Yet here I am passing the 39 week mark and head into the LAST WEEK OF PREGNANCY and still no major signs that this baby is going to make an appearance anytime soon!  But we know it's going to happen in the next week since my Dr. said I'll be induced before going over 40 weeks (due to the gestational diabetes - at 40 weeks the placenta will be aged more like 42 weeks).
They're on their way!!!

How far along: 39 weeks, 1 day
What did baby do this week:  Our baby is relaxing, making fists, dancing, rubbing it's head against my bladder, hiccuping and essentially freeloading.  There's no more major development going on.  In fact, the posters I see at Labor & Delivery when I go in for non-stress tests specifically say that babies shouldn't be induced for any non-medical reason until 39 weeks.  That means babies are GOOD TO GO after 39 weeks.  My baby is good to go.  Come ON with ya!!  As I've said the past few weeks - baby's weight and length will really vary by now from person to person.  Likely anywhere from 6.5-9.2 pounds and 19-21 inches from head to heel.  About the size of a small watermelon.  Finally - the watermelon comparison!!  Baby should have almost completely lost the vernix and lanugo that coated their skin.  Baby's digestive system is now capable of digesting liquid foods and they're peeing at regular intervals.  Skin should now be a pinkish color.
Total weight gain:  35 pounds.  I realize this is absolutely average (though the high end of average) but man is it hard to see on the scale!!!
Symptoms:  Carpal tunnel - ugh.  But I've gotten into a pretty decent routine of wearing my wrist braces at night, icing my wrists for 20 minutes at least once a day, not doing too much cooking or work with my hands...and it seems to maybe be helping.  At least I haven't been woken up with serious pain in the past few days.  There was 1 night maybe a week ago that I was up for 1.5 hours dealing with the pain/tingling in my hands.  Swelling in my feet/ankles/calves - nothing new.  Visiting the restroom literally almost every half hour.
Queasy or Sick:  Like other recent weeks - occasional nausea in the morning before I eat.
Sleep: Pretty good for the most part.  Sleeping almost all the time on my right side (left side hurts my jaw).  Sometimes I'll put the (very thin) pillow under my left side and lie on my back - this way my body is tilted a bit to the right so that all the weight of my belly isn't resting directly on my back.  And this is all working for me okay even thought I'm up maybe 2-3 times at night?
Best moment this week:  Overall feeling truly ready.  Baby is giving me so much time - I’m getting everything done, even the small things.  I even had time for a prenatal massage.  Usually when I get massages I go for the no frills and deep tissue kind.  I'm there to get worked on, not listen to zen music and sniff aromatherapy.  So a prenatal massage was a little different than what I'm used to - more Swedish style.  But it was super relaxing and I had requested that this massage therapist do some lymphatic drainage to help with the swelling in my arms and legs.  Lymphatic drainage is essentially very light rubbing from the largest muscle (for example, the thigh) towards the lymph nodes in the groin and armpit; which makes room for moving fluid built up in the smaller muscles (calves/ankles/feet).  So the light rubbing starts with the thigh muscle moving up, then calves moving up and feet/ankles moving up.  It made a lot of sense in theory - but I really didn't notice any difference afterwards.  Dang.
Hardest part of the week: Feeling a little more uncomfortable.  The baby feels even lower this week than in previous weeks (and the little one has been low for a while).  I really can't bend over much at all.  And if I'm sitting - I can't really sit upright; have to lean back.
Looking forward to:  Duh - obviously meeting our baby!!  I'm cautious about *wishing* for my pregnancy to be over just because I'm a little uncomfortable with the carpal tunnel, constipation, inability to bend over, blood sugar testing, etc.  Cuz I mean - how comfortable am I going to be in the next couple months as I heal from either a vaginal or Cesarean delivery?!  I'll tell you what I'm NOT looking forward to though: a change in my hair.  I complained at the beginning of my (and even mid) pregnancy that my hair wasn't all that different and I thought it was supposed to get thick and awesome.  Well I'd say in the last 2 months or maybe even this whole 3rd trimester, my hair has been awesome (for me).  I have almost the worst hair of anyone ever (thin, fine, dry at the ends, oily at the scalp, kinda wavy but not in a pretty way so I have to dry it every day, breaks easily).  But lately it's not oily so I've been washing it every other day (thank gawd cuz my hands go almost 100% numb as I blow-dry it); it's thicker, it sets into nice waves as I sleep so the non-wash days even look good!  It's still dry, but I can deal with that.  I'm DREADING the hair loss that I know is coming and then I'm so scared that my hair will be even worse after pregnancy than it was before!  Eeeks!!
I'll miss you, Hair...
Movement: I thought Baby was supposed to chill out as we got closer to delivery since there is SO LITTLE space in there.  But no.  I'm still feeling a lot of movement - it's definitely sporadic, but there are times I feel like I'm just getting pummeled from the inside out!
Food cravings: I'm still craving breakfast carbs like nothing else.  I mentioned this in Week 35 too but it hasn't gone away.  Forget about alcohol or sushi.  One of my first meals post-delivery will be pancakes, waffles, donuts, French toast, coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, muffins and scones.  Yes all of that at the same sitting.  ;)
Happy or moody:  Not really happy or moody but a word I continue to use: peaceful.  I'm thankful this little baby is not rushing us and I'm able to get so much done and feel prepared.  I really feel for my friends who were totally surprised by their babies arriving at 33, 34, 35 and 36 weeks.  Even my girlfriend whose baby arrived at 38 weeks caught her off-guard.  I think (hope) that I'll be able to handle labor and delivery better just feeling READY.
Labor signs: I guess not.  Definitely having some Braxton Hicks contractions, but nothing painful other than the lightning crotch I've mentioned.  This past week I started to get nervous about my water breaking (even though it's supposed to only be 10% of women) so I started wearing these GIGANTIC pads whenever I'm out in public.  I sit on a beach towel on the couch and in my office chair.  And while our mattress came with a waterproof cover, I also have one of those large rectangular pads (found in the incontinence aisle with the Depends and such) just under my sheet.  So I guess I'm ready for anything!
Belly button in or out:  Still in - don't think it's going to flatten and for sure won't turn into an outie.  But it's super small and I can see the back of it (is that a weird comment?)
Wedding rings on or off:  Wedding and engagement rings are off.  I've taken to wearing a ring I usually wear on the middle finger of my right hand, instead.  It fits even if my hands get a little swollen.  And sadly, my finger is ALMOST big enough to fit Hubby's wedding band!  Wow.
Stretch marks:  Yup - those few I found on the bottom side of my belly.  I can only see them in the mirror and if I lean back a little.  On either side of my belly.  I hope they don't get too bad.

Learnings from the week: I've been told numerous times to watch/read The Happiest Baby on the Block.  Apparently this guy is a "baby whisperer" and has some great techniques for soothing a crying/fussy baby.  We have the DVD and are planning to watch it tonight.  Hopefully we'll learn something before that baby arrives!
Final Thoughts:  I didn't think we were going to actually pack our bags until it was time to go to the hospital, but I started to worry about a situation where I go to my OB appt or a NST and they see something wrong and check me into the hospital right then and there.  Would I be able to direct Hubby to pack what I need?  Would he know WHICH black leggings to grab?  Um, doubtful.  So this past weekend we both packed our bags as best we could.  Fortunately it was easy to pack Baby's bag since none of that stuff will be needed prior to the hospital!  For all the items I couldn't pack (due to my needing them on a daily basis) I have them on a list and will just be sure to grab them when the time comes.  And some things I've packed, but am just wearing them out of the suitcase and then being sure to pack them back in there at the end of the day.  It's working.  We're ready!  :)