Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Purpose

I have had one main purpose and one secondary purpose since starting this blog. My main purpose was to get it all out. To have a safe place to say what I was feeling and share what I was going through, in hopes that others might reach out to me and I wouldn't feel all alone in this journey. My secondary purpose was to be out there, sharing everything, no matter how "okay" some people thought it was, to hopefully help someone else feel not so alone. I have kept my blog fairly anonymous over these past couple of years, but decided to share a link to it on my facebook wall on October 15th this year for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day. I'm so glad that I did. A friend of mine, whom I haven't seen in over a decade, reached out to me. She had recently experienced a terrible loss and it felt good that I could offer her some knowing words and a safe place to let it all out. We are all a part of this terrible club and we all handle the loss differently, but I find it so very important to give and receive support from women who understand fully what it means to lose a baby. As the holidays draw near, it can be extra difficult, especially when the pain of the loss is so fresh. I encourage anyone who is suffering alone or in silence to reach out to someone who understands. Feel free to message me - we can talk publicly or in private.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Capture Your Grief

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I remember my 4 angels today, as I do every day. They are never far from my mind and always in my heart.  I found this amazing blog and idea called Capture Your Grief. I just love this idea and although I have always been private with my photos, I think this is one place I will make an exception. I will update this post throughout the month.

 
Day 1. Sunrise


 
Day 2. Before Loss Self Portrait

 
 
Happy vacation days with my husband. Enjoying a romantic beach vacation and hoping we might come home with a little present.


Day 3. After Loss Self Portrait

 
 
This was a week or two after we lost our son (our second loss). I spent a lot of time staring out at the water.


Day 4. Most Treasured Item

 
The tree given to us in memory of our son. It is so special to me, especially when butterflies flit around it.



Day 5. Memorial

 
 
Our son's butterfly urn that rests on our fireplace mantel. Two of our other babies rest in a hospital memorial garden, while the other baby was too early to have a physical memorial resting place.



Day 6. What Not To Say



The most terrible thing was someone telling me not to share my miscarriages on facebook. She called them a dirty little secret and compared me sharing the loss of my children to someone sharing they had an STD.

Day 7. What To Say



Please say his name.


Day 8. Jewelery

 
 
My "mom bracelet" - the "It's a Girl" charm for when my daughter was born, the "Mom" charm for my first Mother's Day, the butterfly for my lost son, the birthstones for all my babies. I have since added an emerald for my rainbow baby and will be adding a silver charm for him soon as well.


Day 9. Special Place

 
 
The beach and the Don CeSar are my special places. A place to relax, recharge, and think in solitude. It's a happy place and I like to be somewhere that makes me feel comforted and wrapped in sunshine. This is that place for me. If I can't be there in person, I look at paintings and photos we have from past trips and picture myself there.



Day 10. Symbol



The butterfly. I have seen many butterflies at very special moments throughout my journey.

Day 11. Supportive Friends/Family



We have been very blessed to have a strong support system - friends, family, coworkers, nurses, bloggers.

Day 12. Scents

I can't think of one.

Day 13. Signs



The butterfly is the ever present sign from my angel babies. They always have perfect timing.

Day 14. Community

The only community event I have participated in has been the lighting of a candle on October 15th at 7pm.

Day 15. WAVE of LIGHT



Today is October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Light a candle at 7pm to help create a continuous wave of light around the world for 24 hours.


Day 16. Release



A wonderful online friend of mine has been such an amazing support through all of this. She lost her son right after I lost Carter. She had a balloon release and released one in his honor, filled with wildflower seeds. I don't know that I have ever been more touched by someone's thoughfulness before in my life. This is not my photo as I was not present at the event.

Day 17. Anniversary/Birthday/Due Dates



Tears


Day 18. Your Family Portrait



We feel very blessed to have a beautiful family. There will always be 4 little souls missing in our photos. Thank you to a dear friend for this treasured photo.

Day 19. Project



I needed to put together a memory book and box to look back on. I included pictures from my pregnancy and after the loss of Carter. I haven't put one together for the other babies lost, but I do have folders of photos on my computer for each of those pregnancies.

Day 20. Charity/Organization

Carter had Down Syndrome and that is likely why he died. A charity we have given to in his honor is the National Down Syndrome Society http://www.ndss.org/Ways-to-Give/Ways-to-Donate/

Day 21. Altar/Shrine/Sacred Space

 
 
Planting his tree. This is our special place.


Day 22. Place of Care/Birth

 


Day 23. Their Name/Their Photo

I have one photo of Carter after he was born. It is a very personal photo that I don't share. I wish we had more.

Day 24. Siblings

My daughter is starting to ask questions now and tells me she's sad that Carter died. When she brings him up and asks questions I'm open with her and let her know it makes me really sad too. She has hugged me and wiped away the tears from my eyes. Such an empathetic little girl. I'm not sure what the proper approach is, but I think it's okay for her to know it makes me sad and that it's okay for her to be sad too. Our youngest is only 5 months old, so he doesn't know yet, but we will be open with him as well.


Day 25. Baby Shower/Blessing



We didn't have any baby showers for the other babies, but we did receive some cards and gifts when we announced the pregnancies.

Day 26. Their Age

4 weeks pregnant
16 weeks pregnant
9 weeks pregnant
10 weeks pregnant

Day 27. Artwork


This is obviously not mine, but it speaks to me so deeply.

Day 28. Memory

 
The most terrible memories from 3 of my losses are the moments I was told there was no heartbeat. It ruined ultrasounds forever for me.

Day 29. Music

Avril Lavigne Slipped Away is THE song for me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kodr0nR5ULs

Day 30. Your Grief – Tell The World



Day 31. Sunset

 
 
There wasn't much of a sunset with the rain and clouds, but our sunset in the United States happened during trick-or-treat. Enjoying the blessing of my 2 living children.


*This project was created In Loving Memory of all the babies who died during pregnancy and the little ones that could only stay with their parents for the shortest of times. No parent should ever have to bury their child. We will speak about these precious lives. We will honour them. We will remember them.
Please share this project with anyone who you think it would help.
Love and blessings to you all.
 
 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Preschooler Questions

I knew the day would come when I would be asked by my 3.5 year old more details about the loss of her baby brother. I just didn't expect it to be so soon. Today I was rearranging the mantel and she started asking about the urn and why was it so special. I pulled it down and told her that Mommy had a baby in her tummy who was too little and not strong enough and he died in my tummy. She asked to see the ashes. At first she was confused as she looked at her very alive baby brother in his swing and asked if it was him, then I told her there was another baby in my tummy after her and before him (I decided not to go into detail that there were actually 4 other babies in my tummy in between. I figured that would get too confusing). She asked why he died and where he was, all the while I'm choking back sobs. I wasn't sure where to take the conversation...not sure what she could handle, not sure what belief system to set in place. We haven't dealt with death with her yet. We don't have a specific religious denomination that says in black and white what happens when we die. I consider our family to be quite spiritual, loving, and accepting of many beliefs and I want my children to find their own spiritual path as opposed to telling them what they should believe. I know what I believe and it is an ever evolving spiritual path. I'm not sure how to go about teaching spirituality in an open minded form and have struggled with it, and now I'm faced with it head on. I told her what my heart was feeling and in words I thought she could comprehend. I told her he's an angel and flew up to heaven, which is so high in the sky we can't even see it and beautiful like a park. I told her that every time I see a butterfly I think of him and I think it's his way of checking up on us to see if we are okay. She liked all of those things and was smiling as I told her about it. Bittersweet...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lost In Babyland

I have been absent from the blogging world since our little man arrived. I try to keep up a little bit and check in from time to time on everyone, although I have not been posting on your blogs or posting my own blogs. I'm just allowing myself the time to focus on some other things these days, but I have not forgotten all of you!

Our boy is 3 months old today...wow! He is my little chunky monkey who is the most smiley and happy baby I've ever seen. He loves to gaze into our eyes and have deep cooing conversations, blow bubbles, gurgle, chew and suck on his hands, and smile, smile, smile. We all love him to pieces. His sister is amazing and so nurturing and loving towards him. I just feel like the luckiest Mommy in the world. Of course she does have her moments when she asks me to put him down so that I can play with her, but that's to be expected. She loves being a big sister so much that she keeps asking me to have another baby! I don't think that's going to happen though. Although I'd love another baby, I don't think I can go through the heartache of another loss, so we don't plan to try again. We have been beyond blessed already.

I don't have much of an update on his lungs/rapid breathing. We have been to the pediatric pulmonolgist twice now. The first time he did a nostril/catheter test to make sure he had passages in his nostrils and we did a barium swallow x-ray to make sure everything was formed and working properly. Everything came back normal, although it did show some reflux. His reflux was continuing to get worse, so his pediatrician started him on Zantac a few weeks ago. We have see an improvement in his reflux and I think we are starting to see an improvement in his breathing *fingers crossed* - they did tell us that reflux could possibly be causing the problem. We do another chest x-ray in a month to see if his lungs are still hyper inflated. We'll see the pulomonlogist again in two months and if there isn't improvement we'll do a chest CT, which scares me because of anesthesia. Hopefully the Zantac will fix it all and we can move on without worry of lung/breathing issues.

I'm enjoying cloth diapering. Everyone told me it was addictive and they were right! I didn't do it with my daughter and I wish I would have, especially since she is STILL in diapers at 3.5! Unfortunately breastfeeding didn't work out. I was loving it this time around, but my milk just kept dwindling no matter what I tried. He got a breast milk/formula combo for quite a while, but he's now on full formula. I can't begin to say how sad I am about it and how much I miss bonding with him like that, but I did try my best. Our "little" guy is growing like a weed. Weighing in over 14lbs. now and already in 6 month clothing.

I'll try to update more often in the near future and share some fun and cute stories about the kiddos. There are so many! It's so much fun having two in the house and seeing them interact with each other. Loving them and loving my life so very much!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Remembering

It's been two years since we first laid eyes on our sleeping angel baby boy. I miss him so much and wish he were here with us. I feel a bit numb about it this year, maybe because I have a new baby at home and I'm distracted...maybe because time starts to heal...maybe I am still trying to push it away because it's too painful. It tends to hit me at random times. I will be washing my hair in the shower and just start sobbing again. It hit me pretty hard right after our rainbow baby was born for several days, just realizing all the things I would never get to do with him and what we all missed out on. I searched the internet for poems that spoke to my heart when we lost him. Here are a couple that I found very touching.

Don’t let them say I wasn’t born, that something stopped my heart, I felt each tender squeeze you gave, I loved you from the start.

Although my body you can’t hold, it doesn’t mean I’m gone, this world was worthy not of me, God chose that I move on.

I know the pain that drowns your soul, what you are forced to face, you have my word, I’ll fill your arms, someday we will embrace.

You’ll hear that it was “meant to be, God doesn’t make mistakes,” but that won’t soften your worst blow or make your heart not ache.

I’m watching over all you do, another child you’ll bear, believe me when I say to you, that I am always there.

There will come a time, I promise you, when you will hold my hand, stroke my face and kiss my lips and then you’ll understand.

Although I never breathed your air, or gazed into your eyes, that doesn’t mean I never “was”…An Angel Never Dies.

-Author Unknown

~~~~~

No farewell words were spoken,
no time to say goodbye,
you were gone before we knew it,
and only God can tell us why.
It broke my heart to lose you,
but you didn't go alone,
for part of me went with you,
the day God called you home.
-Author Unknown

~~~~~

I did not see you close your eyes,
or hear your last faint sigh,
I only heard that you were gone
too late to say goodbye.
-Author Unknown

~~~~~

We love you little one and miss you every day <3 Every time I see a butterfly I know that you are there.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

One Month Old

I can't believe how fast that first month went. He is such a beautiful baby and so very sweet. We started getting a few social smiles here and there a couple days ago. I just love seeing his sweet little face light up as he looks at us. We had his 1 month appointment and he is mostly doing very well. He's still in the 50th percentile. His weight is up to 9lbs 8oz and his length is 21 1/4inches. Everything looks and sounds good except his respiratory rate. He breathes rapidly (60-80 breaths per minute), mostly when he's awake but sometimes while asleep too. He doesn't have any distress and everything sounds okay, but our pediatrician sent him to Children's for a chest x-ray. The heart looked fine and the lungs were clear, but they were hyper inflated. She had us set up an appointment with a pulmonologist at Children's and we don't get in to see him until June 14th. So we are just waiting now (and worrying). Hopefully it's nothing more than exaggerated newborn breathing. It's difficult not to worry especially given our history, but logically, he seems like a very healthy little guy with this one little thing that isn't quite the norm, so I'm hoping all will be fine.

Day to day is filled with lots of feeding and lots of snuggles. He's a lot like our daughter was as a newborn and doesn't like to be put down. He wants to be held while he sleeps, which I am happy to accommodate most of the time. It does make it tricky to get food for myself, so I haven't been eating well. Good news is I've lost 20-25 lbs already. It's so funny, it never fails that both kiddos need something at the same time, so I'm learning how to juggle two schedules. Housekeeping has taken a backseat and our house looks terrible! I don't notice too much because I am too busy staring into my baby's baby blues (or the lack of sleep is making me too delirious to notice). We finally started really getting out of the house as a family last weekend, which was fun. A trip to First Watch, some shopping, a walk at the park and a stop for ice cream. It's starting to feel like our new wonderful normal. Breastfeeding is not going as well as I had hoped. My supply was terrible and I haven't been able to build it up. I'm still nursing some, but he's mostly getting formula. It's tough to not have some mommy guilt over that, but I know that he is getting the nourishment he needs with a bit of momma milk thrown in, so that's what is most important. Sleep is pretty good for an almost 5 week old. Last night he slept for a 6 hour stretch for the first time! Typically he wakes every 3-4 hours to eat, so we are alternating feeds and each of us gets a bit of a nice stretch of sleep. If he's still asleep when my daughter wakes up in the morning, I have her crawl into bed with me, turn on some cartoons and I take another little snooze while snuggling my princess with my handsome little guy in the bassinet beside me - it is a little slice of heaven.

My husband and I are celebrating our 15 year wedding anniversary this week. I think we will likely be celebrating with our beautiful family of four. It took us a long time to get our complete family, so that sounds like a perfect way to celebrate to me!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm A Big Sister!

I am overjoyed to be able to post something as wonderful as this for my daughter! She is absolutely the BEST big sister that ever was. She is legitimately ecstatic to be a big sister. As we left for the hospital she kissed my belly and said "We'll see you soon, Sawyer" and my heart melted. She also told me that when I got home from the hospital my belly would be flat again and shouted out "Yay!" - maybe because that meant, in her mind, that Mommy would be able to get down on the floor to play again! The day after he was born she arrived at the hospital with her Grandparents. She was proudly carrying a big blue teddy bear balloon that said "It's A Boy" that she picked out at the hospital gift shop as she tiptoed in the door and cocked her head to get a first peek at her new little brother. She was wide eyed as she walked up to me to see him, wearing her "Big Sister" shirt. She asked to see his feet and hands, then looked up at me and said "He's beautiful!" - I was in a puddle of happy tears. I didn't expect that from a 3 year old, she is the sweetest little girl. She was so excited to get to hold him for the first time with Daddy's help. With each new person holding him, she wanted to explore his feet and hands, she has been fascinated with them for two weeks. After the visit, she got to go to the hospital cafeteria with Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa for lunch and I heard she got complimented by a stranger for how well behaved she was.



I ended up needing to stay in the hospital an extra day for a test for a blood clot in my leg (luckily, no clot was there), so my Husband had to run home to take care of a few things. He said when he got home she hugged him then ran down the hall saying "Where's my baby?" and she was so disappointed that Brother and Mommy were still at the hospital.

The following day we finally got to come home. She was waiting at the door as we came in and she was almost vibrating with excitement when she saw her baby brother. She checked him out, then started squealing "I'm a big sister now!!" It was like it was official in her mind now and she couldn't wait to scream it from the mountain tops! After getting settled in a bit, she sat down beside me, rubbed my belly and said "It's flat again!" (which it isn't, just more flat than it was), then she got a little grin on her face and said "Hello Nobody" to my belly, which had us all cracking up! Smart little girl realized there was no longer a baby in there.

The past two weeks have been mostly good. I have a lot of anxiety and worry that something is wrong with him. We had to have ultrasounds done on his kidneys and hips because of the single umbilical artery and the breech position. Luckily those came back completely normal. We have his two week pediatrician appointment today. He sleeps a lot, which I worry about even though the pediatrician says it's normal for some newborns to sleep 22 hours per day. My milk production is poor, so I'm hoping that will boost up. I started back on my anxiety medication and I'm hoping that will give me some relief in the next week or so. Right now I have some chest congestion, so I'm wearing a mask and trying to breast feed as much as possible because I can't even think about how worried I'd be if he caught this! I'm grateful my husband is home to help until Monday. Our daughter is adjusting well. Mostly all good things and she really loves to help and play mommy to her baby dolls and stuffed animals. Every once in a while she acts up a bit when she isn't getting play time with us when she wants. All in all we are settling into a little family of four groove and life couldn't be better!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our Rainbow

My 37th week of pregnancy started out beautifully. On Tuesday, May 1st my husband and I had a couple of doctors appointments spread out, so we decided to make it a date day. He called and set up a pregnancy massage for me as a surprise. We started out the day at the OB's office. She was worried he flipped back breech because of how I was carrying, so she had me step into the ultrasound room quickly. Luckily he was still head down. My appointment was fairly uneventful. My group B strep test came back negative, height of fundus measured 39 weeks (she said he's all stretched out), a finger tip dilated and soft. Everything looked good and we were on our way. We went to lunch at our favorite restaurant, First Watch, then did some shopping. I got two more potential coming home outfits, one at Janie and Jack and another at a cute little boutique we stumbled upon. After some shopping we went to my NST. Everyone at both appointments kept talking about my version and all the "excitement," guess we were the talk around the office. Now that he's not breech, it's harder to keep him on the monitor, he kept moving away, she had to buzz him to get him moving, then he wouldn't slow down. It was one of my more stressful NST's and even though they let me go and said he looked fine, I was still a bit nervous after what happened last week. My ultrasound there looked fine, amniotic fluid at a good level, but my husband and I got really nervous when the tech who called us back was the hard pusher. She said she recognized us and I wondered if she had been told about my complaint. This time she pressed a normal amount and it didn't hurt at all. Next was dinner out, grilled shrimp at Chili's, then on to Becoming Mom Spa for my pregnancy massage and paraffin foot treatment. It was so relaxing. A huge storm blew in on our way there and we were both drenched by the time we made our way from our front row parking space. Neat thing about that storm, on the way home, we saw a double rainbow. That is the second double rainbow I've seen recently. I knew that had to be a good sign for our rainbow baby.

Wednesday was a normal day, nothing too terribly out of the ordinary. I continued to have contractions and I felt a little off both Tuesday and Wednesday (I was actually nervous I wouldn't make it to my massage because I'd go into labor). I was losing small bits of my mucous plug on Wednesday, which made me hopeful something was happening to help me go into labor before they induced me at 39 weeks. I also thought the exam from the day before may have stirred some things up and it wouldn't amount to much. I played with my daughter, did laundry, and had a typical day, but warned my husband it could be any day now, although I assumed it would be at least a week away. That night I went to sleep a little later than usual, woke up at 4AM for a typical bathroom trip, layed back down and waited for him to kick before falling back to sleep (my typical protocol). He wasn't kicking and I started to get really worried...after 15 minutes I woke up my husband and he got the doppler. I searched for his heart beat but didn't know where to look for it since he flipped, so I was freaking out more until I finally found it and felt him kick several times after about 45 minutes. It has never taken him that long in the past, so my anxiety was through the roof and I couldn't help but wish he would just come so I could stop worrying (which I know will never happen, I'm his Mommy, I'll always worry). Finally back to sleep around 5AM.

6AM on Thursday, May 3, 2012 I awakened to a pop, or a strong kick, I wasn't sure which for a moment, until I felt a familiar small gush of fluid. Maybe he just kicked my bladder, I didn't think I'd really have him this early - 37 weeks 5 days. I tapped my husband and said "honey, I think my water broke" and he helped me slowly get out of bed. More fluid gushed and was convinced it was my water, so I hopped in the shower quick while my husband made phone calls to his parents to come and watch our daughter, to my doctor who said to come on in to triage, and to my parents to come on down to the hospital. As I got ready I soaked two bath towels, but contractions weren't any different than they had been for the past couple weeks. As we left for the hospital I realized we had a 25 mile drive downtown in morning rush hour traffic and I was glad the major contractions hadn't started yet. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny May day. The contractions started to pick up a bit in the car and I started feeling light headed, so when we got to the hospital I had my husband wheel me up to the 9th floor in a wheelchair. I got checked into labor and delivery triage right away, leaking all the way, so it was kind of funny when they said "so, you think your water broke" to which I said "I'm sure of it!" I got hooked up to the monitors, had an exam (2cm dilated at this time), and a quick ultrasound to make sure he was still head down. All systems go, I was being admitted.

They walked me to suite 2, a nice big birthing room, hooked up my IV, and told me to walk the halls to try to get the contractions and dilation going. My parents arrived and the four (5) of us started walking. I took a couple of breaks to sit on the birthing ball, played Bananagrams, and then my contractions started to pick up a little bit around 11:00 or 12:00. At 11:30 I was still only 2cm and since it had been almost 6 hours since my water broke, we started a low dose of pitocin. At 1:30 the contractions were getting a lot worse, so I got an epidural. At 2:00 I was already 5cm dilated. I was really shaky after the epidural and really anxious, so the next couple of hours weren't the most fun. At 4:15 I was 7cm and they upped the pitocin a bit, telling me I'd probably be ready to push in about an hour. Then I started to feel the contractions again, even with the epidural. I had to breathe through them and asked for a bump up in my epidural meds. I wish I hadn't because it just made my legs completely numb but I could still feel major contractions in my stomach. At 5:20 I was 9cm and they told me to let them know when I felt pressure and needed to push. My contractions were coming with only a 30 second or so break in between. Sometime between then and 5:45 I felt the sensation of pressure and asked to be checked, I was 10cm and ready to push. He was face down, unlike my daughter, who was face up and it took me three hours to push her out. They called for my MFM while the resident and nurse prepped the room. It was SO hard not to push and to breathe through these intense contractions. I had to breathe through them for about 5 minutes waiting for my doctor and I was worried he would just pop right out! Once she got there I put my legs up in the stirrups and pushed with the next contraction, they could see his head, my husband peeked, I asked if he had hair and he said he did. Another contraction and some more pushing, they said I was doing great. I remember being worried that I couldn't hear him on the fetal monitor anymore, so I was determined to push effectively and get him here as fast as I could. It was only a total of 5 or 6 contractions, my husband said "here he comes!" and I felt him slide out, he cried within seconds and it was the most beautiful sound in the world. After my doctor cut the cord (my husband had zero interest in doing that with either of our children), they put him on my chest and I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I was oblivious to the world around me where they were busy delivering the placenta and stitching up a second degree tear (I tore where I did with my daughter). His Apgars were 9 and 9. He weighed 7lbs. 8.8oz., 19.5" long and born at 6:11PM on May 3, 2012. He and my daughter are the most amazing, awe inspiring, loves of my life. I feel so blessed to be given these treasures and I will spend every day of the rest of my life loving them always and forever.

Welcome to the world, my beautiful rainbow baby


Monday, May 7, 2012

May 3, 2012

He's Here! I will write a much more detailed post in the days to come, but I wanted to let everyone know that our beautiful rainbow baby decided May 3, 2012 would be a good birth day. He arrived at 37 weeks 5 days, at 6:11 PM, weighing 7 lbs. 8.8oz., 19.5" and is the most beautiful little baby boy in the world. We are home now and everyone is doing great. I'm looking forward to finding the time to share all the details on his arrival and on big sister's reaction soon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Operation Flip This Kid

I need to start blogging more often than once per week. It seems like so much has happened! I'm 36 weeks, will be 37 tomorrow. I ended up in labor and delivery triage again on Tuesday after my NST. I was having a lot of contractions that were every 5-10 minutes apart, stronger than they had been, but not terrible. Since our guy is breech and they continued for a few hours, my doctor said to go on in to be checked for dilation. Luckily no change there, but I have continued with having contractions like this for several days now. The following day at my regular appointment there was still no change to my cervix, so I guess I will just have to deal with these until he gets here.

We have been trying to un-breech this baby for a while now, but he just wasn't budging. Every ultrasound he was in almost the exact same position. I tried the spinning babies positions, the cold packs by his head, talking to him, having Daddy talk down low, nothing was working. I decided to start seeing a chiropractor who is certified in the Webster technique. I saw her 4 times this past week and really like her. I felt good after the adjustments and was hopeful it would open up my pelvis for him to flip. My MFM's have been talking about turning him for about a month now, saying that we would discuss it at my 36 week appointment if he hadn't flipped yet, but that chances were good he'd be head down by then, 97% are.

Wednesday was my appointment and he was still breech at my amniotic fluid check/NST on Tuesday. My doctor starts the conversation and gives me all the info. I had been reading about ECVs (or versions) online a bit already. Different people rate the pain level differently and different doctors have a little different protocol when it comes to doing them. They are successful about 60% of the time. The main risk, which is very minimal is a chance the baby's heart rate can drop and you may need an on-the-spot emergency c-section. Most of the time if the heart rate does drop, it comes back up to normal range very quickly, as my MFM said, kind of like when you do a somersault and stand up and you feel a little lightheaded and woozy for a few seconds. These are high risk doctors, in the best hospital in our city for neonatal/maternal care, so I feel confident they will not recommend a risky procedure. She says they all like to do these and get excited for them, and that my baby feels like he is in a good position and a good candidate to have this done, so we decide to do it and book the appointment for the next day.

The next morning we arrive at labor and delivery bright and early. They set me up in a room, with an OR room on hold just in case. We started with an NST, then the doctor came in to do an ultrasound to make sure of baby's position and check that the cord isn't around his neck. Then I get an IV started and some brethine to relax my uterus so that I would not have contractions during the procedure. That stuff made my heart race and made me shake like crazy. The doctor comes back in. We have the best, he's the head of obstetrics at our hospital. I ask him some additional questions and share my concerns. He tells me that in all his years (he's been doing this for about 30 years) he's never had to do an emergency c-section and has only had to rush someone to the OR afterwards 3 or 4 times. This puts me at ease a bit and he tells me what he's going to do and that I can tell him to stop any time I want to and that if he's close to having it at that time he'll tell me.

He spreads the gel on my belly, gets a good grip of my kiddo's tush and eases it up out of my pelvis. This hurts, I mean really hurts! I start saying "ow, ow, ow, ow!" and we just started! He told me this was the worst part and to take shallow breaths. He starts to turn him, it is terrible pain, I'm white knuckles holding on to my husbands hand and the bed handle, trying to breath and see how far around he is and yelping in pain. I can feel pain in places his hands aren't and it looks like he's only half way there. I think about telling him to stop, but I'm thinking the pain will remain unless we get him all the way around, so bite the bullet and let him finish. Just as my leg starts to come up with almost more pain than I can take and it looks to me like we are only half way there, he grabs the ultrasound wand and tells us he's head down. I feel great relief for about 5 seconds. He checks baby's heart rate and I see his face change to a more serious tone. He tells us that baby is not tolerating this like he would like him to, then the flurry of crazy activity starts. He walks briskly toward the door, pushes a button and hollers "code" out into the hallway.

My nurse whisks my bed into the hall, leaving my poor husband in the dust. People start gathering around me, all I can do is look at every face that talks to me and plead with them to "please save my baby" - that's all I say repeatedly for the next 10 minutes that felt like 10 hours. I must have said it a million times. I'm in the OR, move myself over to the operating table, 8 different people are doing 8 different things to me, I'm overwhelmed and don't know what to focus on or think about, so I just keep repeating my mantra "please save my baby." It's like a scene out of a movie or a dramatic tv show, I didn't know that is how it really is in real life too. I'm being stripped down, shaved, censors of all kinds attached to my body, strapped to the operating table, all in a matter of seconds. The nurse keeps thinking she is finding the baby's heart rate and it's gone up and is fine and she reassures me, only to realize several times that no, it was the maternal heart rate (it was in the 150's). The doctor is fussing with an ultrasound machine that isn't working, they rushed a second machine in, he's checking the baby. He's giving orders to wait on the anesthesia. He assures me that his heart is still beating. Finally they locate baby's heart beat on the monitor and it is back up in the 120's, the crazy rush around me starts to calm down a bit. I'm still panicked, but nothing seems terribly imminent anymore. My husband has been out in the hall (he tells me later he is hunched over waiting for what feels like an eternity, hears a newborn cry, wonders if it's our son, scouts out a good place to throw up, then the nurse come out, updates him, sends him back to my labor room to put on scrubs so he can come in with me - he thinks part of the reason they sent him back to the room is so he wouldn't freak out other patients) and a nurse tells me she's going to go fill him in. Meanwhile, I won't take my eyes off the fetal monitor and am feeling some relief that his heart rate is strong and solid. My blood pressure is still high and I'm on oxygen. People slowly start to leave the OR and the doctor tells me that he will monitor us in the OR for the next 30 minutes, then he'll move me back down to my labor room to be monitored for a couple of hours. If all goes well, we will be released and I am to do vigilant kick counts and come back in the morning for a biophysical profile and NST. He goes out to talk to my husband. Then it was just me, one nurse (my original one) and a couple of people from anesthesia left, so I figured things were looking good.

My husband makes his way into the OR, they pull a stool up for him to sit on by my head and he starts stroking my hair. The blood pressure cuff goes off again and for the first time my blood pressure is back in the normal range. We wait for the 30 minutes, watching the monitor most of the time, it looks good. They take some of the things off of me but leave others on just in case, have me move back to my labor bed and wheel me back to our labor room. I'm on the monitors for the next 2 hours and my husband and I spend most of that time watching them. Baby boy is having good heart tones and accelerations like they want to see and we are feeling quite a bit of relief.

The nurse goes over the details on my chart and shows us how long each thing took. We were amazed at how long such a short period of time felt. The version took 2 minutes, if I remember correctly, it was only 10 minutes total from the time we started the version to the time they found his heart rate in the OR. It was only very briefly down in the 60s, we can't be sure exactly how long or what the rate was because I was off the monitors for those 8-10 minutes, but it couldn't have been any longer than that. I am sent home after 2 hours and I feel both relief and fear. Part of me wishes they would just admit me and keep me on monitors for a couple of days just to be sure, but I figure if they are letting me go that likely everything is okay.

This morning we went in for a biophysical and NST and he looked great. Passed everything with flying colors and we got to watch him practice breathe, which was cool. Seeing his sweet little face and kicking feet felt very reassuring. He's still head down, thank goodness. I'm still nervous and paying a lot of attention to his movement, which has been good and strong. I feel blessed and grateful that everything is turning out fine after our scare, but there is a part of me that is mad that we had yet another traumatic event to live through. I'm hoping everything else goes smoothly. In the end, I would never attempt a version again. It was painful and scary, and even though we got him to flip, I don't think it was worth the 10 traumatic and fearful minutes we had afterwards. Is that a typical result, no, but it wouldn't be worth the risk again for me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seriously!? Do You Have To Press So Hard!?

Tuesday and Friday and today were much of the same with good NST's and good amniotic fluid checks. My nurse at my NST's is a hoot. She's always very friendly and very chatty. We've been lucky to be the only one's in there recently. Our first couple of times we had to share the curtained off room with another couple, one of whom smelled absolutely horrible, and looked/talked like she had done many drugs in her life, and the other of whom played loud Indian pop music the entire time, which I can't say was terrible music, but it wasn't really something I wanted to have to listen to so loudly for 20 minutes - I can't imagine forcing my music choices on someone who had no say in the same circumstance, maybe some earbuds would have been a more appropriate choice...both interesting appointments for those reasons. Since it's just been my husband and I for a while now, we've gotten to know our nurse pretty well and she is never one to back away from conversation. It certainly helps the time go by faster.

Wednesday I had a 34 week growth ultrasound and an MFM appointment afterward. We headed back to the room with the tech who didn't seem too terribly friendly, then she started the ultrasound...I've obviously had a LOT of ultrasounds, and some techs push a bit harder than others, but this woman was out of control! I was in serious pain from her pressing down and actually was bruised and sore for two days afterward. I was sweating and wincing and finally my husband grabbed my hand, which I squeezed like I was in labor and after she had me roll over on my side I gave him a look, which she saw and asked if I was okay. I told her I was hurting from how hard she was pressing and she let up just a tiny bit. She talked through some of the things, but not others, then told us she had to go ask if they needed any additional measurements and to wait there. The only times we have been told to wait (aside from waiting for a doctor's signature to go for blood work after the NT) it has been code for something is wrong, wait here while I get a doctor. So the next 5-10 minutes were agony as my husband and I are thinking the worst and I can't stop crying. She walks in with another tech who introduces herself and I ask her immediately what's wrong, she said nothing was wrong, that our tech is new and literally just needed some help with some measurements. I explained that we have lost several babies and that it is never a good sign when they tell us to wait and she just reassured me all was fine. I still wouldn't believe her until our MFM later confirmed all was fine. Low and behold when the experienced tech took measurements, she was nice and gentle, like the many other ultrasounds I've had in the past. The new girl has some learning to do! I'm thinking don't put the woman who has been through many losses with a newbie, give me someone who makes me feel comfortable and confident and who doesn't stress me out. We are told we can leave the ultrasound and head down the hall for my MFM appointment and they will just walk the ultrasound results down, which makes me wonder if there are any red flags and they figure they'll just let my doctor handle the info instead of calling in the doc who is on call for ultrasounds that day. So down we go to my MFM's office, still very nervous.

I get there and get all signed in, and wouldn't you know it, it's a long wait kind of day. I think about an hour passed, my blood pressure was high. As soon as the doctor came in I asked him if the ultrasound looked okay, and thank goodness it did. Baby boy is in the 50th percentile, weighs about 5lbs. 9oz. and everything else looked good. We did end up with a couple of pics, but he's still breech and not in the best position for pictures. They took my blood pressure again and it started to come down. I've been having a lot of contractions, so he checked my cervix, which is still closed and high. Here are the latest pics of our handsome little man...

His Profile


Yes, All Boy!


His Face Looking At Us...Looks Like You Can See His Eyeball



Over the weekend we finished up our registry shopping with our Babies R Us registry completion coupon. The only thing I think we need to buy is petroleum jelly to have on hand for the thermometer. I think we remembered everything else. I have his laundry all washed up and am getting ready to put it all away. We still need to pack a hospital bag, but otherwise I think we are ready.

I haven't been feeling well. My heartburn is so bad that many nights I have to prop myself up with pillows to sleep, which just makes my neck and back hurt worse. Saturday night I woke up with such terrible heartburn it made me puke. My upper right leg has been numb for a while now, but today it started really hurting in the groin, I can hardly walk. I'm definitely at the end and I can feel it. I don't remember being quite this uncomfortable with my daughter's pregnancy, maybe it has something to do with him being breech. One good thing is my blood sugar numbers have been really good and with baby measuring in the 50th percentile, my MFM said I could cheat on my diet some! So tonight I had a cheeseburger, salad, and hot fudge sundae...and wouldn't you know it, my numbers were still fine even with a cheat! We are one month (or less) away from meeting our rainbow baby and it can't come fast enough! We love you little guy!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Last Week

I have fallen a bit behind on my posting. It was a busy week! Last Sunday (April 1st) I found myself headed back to labor and delivery. Over night  on Saturday I was having a lot of cramps and what I wasn't sure were contractions of some sort. I could feel baby boy moving like crazy and could hear my amniotic fluid gurgling. I also had some random nausea, couldn't eat, mild headache, lightheaded, just random stuff like that and that chest pressure thing was still happening. I called the on call MFM again and he told me to head down to L&D again to get checked out, so off we went. When we got there it was the typical hook me up to the monitor - baby looked great. I wasn't registering any contractions, but the OB felt me having some braxton hicks. I had to get a catheter for a clean urine catch (ouch!!!) and it all came back normal just slightly elevated glucose (my blood glucose test was normal though). The OB thought that my uterus was either just sore from a lot of braxton hicks over night or that the baby had turned or was trying to turn (this is what I was hoping all night as I was feeling everything). She did an internal and everything looked high and closed, not leaking any fluid. So home we went. Luckily my 3 year old hasn't minded these trips - thank goodness for preschool games on the iPad!

Tuesday I had my NST, he passed with flying colors. We also had an ultrasound. My amniotic fluid went up a tad to a 10. He's still breech, but had changed position some...now, instead of his head being angled off to my left, his head is almost straight up and down, but a bit off to the right, so yes, he moved, but in the wrong direction :/ we'll have to wait and see what the next couple of weeks brings. I've tried the positions and the ice pack up by his head, but not much going on right now. Friday's NST was really good as well. He had the most accelerations he's had at an appointment (I think 5 or 6 in 20 minutes), he was having an Easter dance party!

We kept busy Easter weekend. Friday after our NST my husband and I went out on a date again - gotta love the grandparents watching the 3 year old for an evening :) We had dinner out and shopped for the kiddos again. Saturday we went to a baby expo and got some good contacts for chiropractors and newborn photographers. They had fun things for our daughter too - she enjoyed cake, petting bunnies, and seeing a fire truck. Sunday was family time with our extended families for Easter. It was a beautiful day!  I hope you all had a beautiful weekend as well!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

33 Weeks!

Time is really flying now! Last week was my first set of non stress tests. Our boy did great on Tuesday. I wasn't sure what to expect, but they just hooked me up to monitor movement and contractions, just like they did when I went to labor and delivery. I could feel him moving around like crazy and watched his heart rate increase significantly with movement. That's what they look for. I also had a quick ultrasound to check my amniotic fluid levels. He's still breech and she tried to get us some good pictures, but he was not cooperating. He also wouldn't show us he's still a boy, oh well. We did get to see him curl his little toes under at one point, which was super adorable! My fluid level is the same as it was two weeks ago. Normal, but she said it was the low end of normal.

I had my MFM appointment on Wednesday. We met with the doctor who was on call when I last went to L&D and I absolutely loved him! Really great bedside manner. He reassured me that baby still has plenty of fluid and that I have a 97% chance he will turn on his own in the next few weeks. I'm still having intermittent pressure in my chest and back and he said to call if it gets worse or I get too worried. I'm not sure what it is, I'm hoping it's just pressure from how the baby is sitting and pushing on things.

Friday was another NST. The boy decided to sleep during the first part, so she had to get out this vibrating noise maker and put it on my belly. The poor little guy got startled out of his sleep and was wide awake for the rest of the test, showing her what she needed to see. My parents were watching our daughter, so my husband and I got to go out for a date night afterward. We had a nice dinner and went shopping. Of course, when you have a child and a baby who is soon to arrive, who do you shop for? The kids, not yourselves at all. We came home with some cute summer dresses for our princess and some great decor to add to the nursery.

Today we did our "finish up the registry" shopping trip with our 10% off coupon. It was lots of fun (until we got to the register and had to actually pay for all the great things we "had" to have). Now I think we have everything we need to have before he arrives. The nursery is in it's final phase and I'll be posting pictures soon!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Another Trip to Labor & Delivery

So I've been having this pressure in my chest and back very sporadically the past couple of weeks. It seemed to coincide with a particular move my dear son makes where he presses one foot into my right rib, one into my right hip bone, and pushes his head out on my left side. I just chalked it up to pressure from that fancy stretching move of my breech boy. Last night the pressure came but did not coincide with this move and would not go away. I took a Zantac hoping it was heartburn...nothing, so I googled. I know, I know, I shouldn't have, it just freaked me out that I was having a massive heart attack. Nervous, I took my blood pressure - I'm usually in the 110/65 range and I was 128/85 - ack! So I wait 5 minutes, freaking out and take it again 143/91, now I'm really worried (in hindsight, the anxiety is likely what caused the spike). I called the on call doctor and he didn't seem too terribly concerned. He told me it was likely nothing but to go to labor and delivery to be checked out. So, 11:00 at night we drag a groggy 3 year old out of bed and head downtown from our lazy, quiet suburb. They take my vitals, have me pee in a cup, and hook me up to a contraction and fetal monitor. Absolutely everything comes back normal and good. They leave me hooked up for quite a while and check my vitals a couple different times and both the baby and myself continue to look fine and healthy, although I am still feeling the pressure in my chest and back. My 3 year old is wide awake and completely content playing preschool games on Daddy's IPad. Daddy and I are uncomfortable and exhausted, but relieved all is looking good so far. When I see the doctor, she examines me and says that it is likely just "abnormally presenting asthma," she said if it were a heart attack or a clot that the baby would most likely be showing some signs of distress and he looked absolutely wonderful, and I was sent home. We finally crawled in the door at 3:00 AM. I'm still having the pressure and just started up my asthma meds again (I haven't needed any for several months). I'm hoping in a couple of days I'll start feeling better. My stupid anxiety has me a bit concerned that it is still something worse, but I guess the good news is I start going in for different things a lot this week and I would hope somebody would catch something if it were serious. Tomorrow is my first NST and the following day another appointment with my OB.

Our daughter loved her "Big Sister" class at the hospital! She got to learn how to hold a baby doll the correct way, diaper, swaddle, and feed a bottle. She got a cute little certificate and shirt, and they got to tour the maternity wing and see newborns in the nursery. She is still talking about her teacher and what she learned in class. It was a fun and special day for her.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Appointment Crazy

Tomorrow I hit the 32 week mark. That's when I start all of these crazy appointments. Is it weird to say that I'm actually looking forward to them in a way? I know it will be quite a stress load, especially for my husband taking time off of work to go to them with me and grandparents helping watch our daughter, but I'm relieved to be watched so closely. I'm excited to see and hear him frequently and this means we are getting really close to meeting him face to face! One thing that has me stressed about it all is that my bi-weekly testing will be at the sister hospital (because it's a closer and easier drive than the one I will deliver at), and it will be in the same facility where we found out we lost "C" (the son we lost at 17 weeks), where I had 2 D&C's, and where we went after we delivered him. If I end up in the same ultrasound room it will be very emotional. I'm afraid all of those anxieties will come flooding back when I walk in. That is the main reason I want my husband with me, plus if we find out something is wrong, I don't want to be there alone.

Tomorrow we take my daughter to her "Big Sister" class at the hospital I will deliver at. She's really excited! We are going to make a fun day of it for her, going out to lunch before and shopping afterwards. A day for her. It should be a lot of fun! It's been a gorgeous week and we have been having a lot of fun playing outside. She even got to ride her tricycle outside for the first time last night.



I'm getting to the very uncomfortable stage of pregnancy. Here is my complaint part of the post - I will try to get it all out in this one post. I don't want to forget these things either, so I'm writing them down. I'm still thrilled and blessed to be pregnant and wouldn't trade it for the world, so don't take it the wrong way. Here are the things I won't miss...the waking up at least 3 times per night to pee, having trouble falling asleep because my back or hips hurt or I have restless leg syndrome. Heartburn. It wears me out to do almost anything, climbing stairs, throwing in a load of laundry, trying to get up off the ground after changing a diaper. I love feeling him move, but he's starting to find some very uncomfortable positions that make me short of breath or make me contort my body as best I can to try to get him to move. My tailbone hurts all the time now and locks up randomly shooting excruciating pain. That same tailbone pain combined with the exhaustion from exertion makes my need to nest not happen, then I get irritated that things aren't just so. I want everything clean and ready but my body won't let me take care of those things, so my poor husband is being run ragged. And one last thing...I WANT A BIG TALL MILKSHAKE! Stupid GD! Okay, I think I got it all out ;)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

30 Week Growth Ultrasound

Today we had our 30 week growth ultrasound (at 30 weeks 4 days). I didn't think I'd be nervous for these later ultrasounds, but I was so terribly nervous! Worried he was growing okay or that they would see something wrong that they hadn't seen before. I am so thankful to report that all is well with our little man. He is weighing in at 3lbs. 14oz., all his measurements look good and he is in the 59th percentile for size. His heart rate was 134, which is good. My amniotic fluid level is 9, she said that was good. He's still a he, and a very wiggly he at that. The ultrasound tech told us he had the prettiest 3rd trimester heart she had seen all day. Unfortunately he is breech. His head is poking out on my left side, he's sitting on my bladder, and just like his sister at this stage, he has his feet up by his head. I had a lot more trouble telling what everything was on ultrasound this time. He's getting so big and she said that breech position is more difficult to see things. We did get to see his sweet little face and I am so in love! I can't wait to smooch him!


His skull, I think...


She said it's his legs, but I can't quite figure this one out...

A foot....

and the other foot...

Pardon me while I keep track of all the stats from my appointments, it doesn't make for very interesting blog posts, but I want to have record of it for the baby book. We had an appointment with the nurse practitioner after the ultrasound. She told me I had about a month left for him to turn and gave me a position to try. She also told me when he turns at this stage it could be really uncomfortable because he will push on my aorta and I could get really nauseous and faint for a couple of minutes. She also gave us some great news about the ultrasound. If we were to have growth restriction due to the single umbilical artery it would likely be presenting already, so in all likelihood he will grow just fine for the rest of the pregnancy. I've been put on iron once per day because it was a bit low.

I'm focusing on the gestational diabetes now. I met with my dietitian yesterday and talked to my nurse today who say to continue with my diet because it is working with my numbers. Hopefully it will stay that way. Apparently I was just barely over the limit with my 3 hour test (75/174/155), some charts I've looked at wouldn't even fail me at those numbers, so hopefully I have it even more mildly than I did with my daughter. I had a high number after lunch today (157), but I ate out and overdid my carbs with a big muffin and some fruit. I have had that same meal but only half the muffin and been fine in the past. Pinterest is not my friend while I have GD! Oh the delicious things I'm seeing on there! Not to mention it is a beautiful week here, in the 70's. My daughter and I have been playing outside all week and I would love to go out for ice cream with the family! All in due time...he'll be here by summer, so we'll just have to wait and go as a family of four :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Gestational Diabetes, Grrr!

Yep, I have it again. I failed my second two numbers of the three hour test. I honestly could care less about the finger pokes and diet. I've done it before and it's only for two months. I think it will be a bit more tricky this time to eat and poke on schedule while tending to my 3 year old. I lived by my timer when I had it with her...poke, eat, wait an hour, poke, wait an hour, eat, wait an hour, poke...you get the idea. Cutting down on the carbs isn't too difficult except for missing my morning orange juice and my desserts. Upping the protein is a little more difficult because I don't eat much meat, but nuts and cheese usually do the trick. My only real concern is making sure my son is okay. I was able to control my blood sugar levels with diet alone last time and my daughter had no complications (and that was over Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Christmas season - talk about tough ;)). I'm hoping all goes just as smoothly this time. One of the last things I needed during this pregnancy is one more thing that can cause pregnancy complications and stillbirth. It just makes me more nervous. In all likelihood though, keeping it well managed, there should be no complications. I'll just keep repeating that mantra.

We had our hospital tour this week. I'll be delivering at a different hospital (the sister hospital) than where I delivered my daughter. It is HUGE! I have been going there for all of my appointments and ultrasounds (my MFM's office is in the hospital), but I had no idea that the labor and maternity ward were as big as they are! They deliver the most babies in a year in my entire state (6000-7000) and they currently are caring for 67 babies in the NICU. There is a labor wing for high risk deliveries and one for regular deliveries. 2 floors for after care. A wing for mamas who are on hospital bed rest. The night we toured was extraordinarily busy, we didn't get to see a full labor room because they were full or dirty or about to be filled. They also had to double up some mom and babies in the after care rooms for a bit, which made all of us on the tour nervous. They assured us this was something that rarely happens, it was just an especially busy night. I have mixed feelings about how big it all is, but at least we will be in a place where they are well equipped to handle any complications that should arise, that's comforting. The birthing suites are nice and roomy and cozy. We have the option of birthing tubs, hot showers, birthing balls, things like that.

I hit 30 weeks tomorrow. It hardly seems possible! Only 10 weeks away from my due date. The nursery is coming along and we hope to have it finished in the next two weeks. I'm looking forward to my ultrasound this coming week. Hoping all looks good and healthy in there. Time is whizzing by! Here's the nursery progress...



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Let The Games Begin

We had our 28 week OB/MFM appointment yesterday. Baby boy seems to be doing well. His heart rate was in the 130s. I measured right on track. I gained more weight than I thought I had, although I shouldn't be too surprised with how I've been putting away the desserts. It wasn't enough weight for my doctor to bring up, and she actually talked about how thin I am when we discussed 3D ultrasounds and how that made me a better candidate for one. The nurse even complimented my bump and how perfect it is. I've also gotten a few random stranger comments about how I'm all belly. I just need to remind myself of those compliments when I step on the scale or look at my butt in the mirror. I had a small amount of sugar in my urine again, but she wasn't too concerned, just wants me to get my 4 hour glucose test in for the second time this pregnancy, so I scheduled it for next week. I'm craving sweets like crazy, so it would be difficult to hang up those hankerings if it comes back positive. She also did another cervix exam since I'm nervous about preterm labor. She said it's nice and closed and the baby is so high she couldn't even feel him. She doesn't anticipate me going into labor early.

I can hardly believe I have finally made it to the every two week appointment stage of the pregnancy! That makes it feel like we are getting super close to the end. We are getting ready to start the higher level of monitoring for the single umbilical artery. In two weeks I have an ultrasound to check growth, then in four weeks I'll start the twice per week NST's and they will check amniotic fluid levels once per week. It's also time to start kick counts twice per day. I officially started last night, although I had been starting to keep track a little bit a couple weeks ago. He has given me ten kicks within a few minutes both times so far. I think the last 2.5 months will fly, especially with all these appointments. I'm getting so excited!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Third Trimester

I'm so happy to be in the third trimester (although some books say I'm not officially 3rd trimester until the end of this week, when I hit 28 weeks, I think if there are only 3 months left then I'm 3rd trimester)! Only 89 days until my due date! Baby boy seems to be doing well. I feel him moving around on a regular schedule. He likes to sleep in the mornings until after lunch, then he'll wake up and move around a bit, take an afternoon nap, then at night he gets the most active. I am usually feeling him move around until I fall asleep. It's so reassuring to go to sleep feeling him. I can't even describe how in love with him I am already. My daughter likes to feel him kick and move and we talk about him daily and things he'll do when he "comes out." I think she is going to make an amazing big sister!

I have another OB appointment in a week. I'm still worried about preterm labor or my water breaking or him getting tangled in his cord, or not getting enough nutrients with the 2 vessel cord. I thought I lost part of my mucous plug last night, but there were no contractions and no blood, so from what I've read, that can be normal and it can regenerate in a couple of days. It could have just been CM too, I can't be sure. Day to day has been a little better this month and overall I haven't been quite as nervous, but I have had my moments.

My husband has been working hard on the nursery and we are so happy with how it's coming along! 3 coats of green paint and started on the wainscoting. I have a cordless roman shade ordered to go under the valance, which should be here in about a week. It's getting more and more real!



We also had a little photoshoot at home yesterday. I am really happy with how they turned out. Here are a couple of my 27 week baby belly...




Some days I have to pinch myself. If we hadn't gotten pregnant this cycle, there is a very strong possibility we would have thrown in the towel. If I had miscarried I likely would not have tried for another pregnancy. This is likely my very last pregnancy regardless of the outcome. I just don't have much more fight left in me. I am feeling so blessed and sometime overwhelmed with how well things are going. I don't want to jinx it at this point, but I am feeling mostly good about how this is going to turn out. I am beyond ready to move past this part of my life, my journey, and be content with the family I have been blessed with. I still look at other women's tests and get a bit sad that I will likely never experience those two pink lines again, and I'm sure once he's here I will miss things about pregnancy. I didn't have the family of 4 babies that I always thought I would have, but I am okay with that. The things we have experienced and the the things I have seen others go through makes me realize what a miracle it is that I have a beautiful and healthy daughter and hopefully will soon be holding the completion to our family, a beautiful and healthy son. I Am Thankful!




Saturday, February 4, 2012

Compassion

When I was pregnant with my daughter I did not get sick once. No colds, infections, stomach bugs, nothing. I got sick a lot for the first few months she was here, but that's another story. I have already had several colds and an upper respiratory infection with this pregnancy. For even more fun and worry, I woke up on Thursday puking. Let me tell you how strange that sensation is when your stomach is pushed all the way up at the top of your belly. The night before we had some take out shrimp. My husband ate it too and did not get sick, so I don't know if it was the shrimp or a bug. Either way, I was shaky, weak, sick, stomach cramps, and contracting, so my OB told me to go to labor and delivery triage, so off we went.

They checked me in and hooked me up to a contraction monitor and a fetal heart rate monitor. This woke my son up and he kept kicking. It was nice to get to sit and listen to him for an hour. They did a cervix check and said I was a fingertip dilated on the outer part, which is normal for women who have already had a baby, but nice and tight inside. I wasn't dehydrated, surprisingly, and my blood sugar levels were fine (95). While I was being monitored there were no contractions. They gave me a list of things to watch for and come back in for if I experienced them, otherwise, just let the illness run it's course. That's what I've been doing. Luckily the puking stopped after that morning, but the rest has lingered a bit.

My main purpose for writing this entry is to talk about the amazing nurse I had. She was asking all the questions they need to in order to get me all checked in, and as we started talking about the son we lost at 17 weeks, her tone changed. She told me she was the head of the demise comity at the hospital and wondered how everything happened at their sister hospital, where I was taken care of after his birth, and how I felt about it. I told her how we delivered him in our bathroom, still in the sac, and how we were afraid to touch him too much because we wanted to be sure he could be tested. She asked if we got to hold him and if they took pictures, I said no. She told me how sorry she was and that he was part of our family and the first thing they would have done there is broke the sac, wrapped him in a blanket, and let us hold him. There would have been photos and the entire situation would have been handled like a delivery and a loss. She is one of the few medical professionals to make me feel really validated in our loss and mourn, not only our son, but also the lack of comfort we received at the hospital. I haven't really cried like this about him for months, but this nurse granted me a very powerful gift that day...understanding and compassion, the permission to feel it again, and the validation that things were not handled as they should have been. I don't know if she'll ever know what she did for me that day, but it was very powerful and I am forever grateful.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Viability

I hit the 24 week mark yesterday (Saturday), which means one very good thing in pregnancy...viability! If he were born today there would be a chance he would survive. Don't get me wrong, it would not be the best scenario and chances would still be very slim, but it's good to know that we have made it to that point in the pregnancy.

I had an OB appointment on Thursday last week. It was a quick and easy appointment. I measured good at 23cm. She told us our son is an overachiever because he is already showing heart accelerations with movement, which is something they look for when they are doing the non-stress tests later on in pregnancy. Usually babies don't do this for another month. So, it looks like he is growing good and strong and healthy in there! I told her my concerns with pressure and cramps, so she checked my cervix, which is still nice and closed. She also asked me about movement and I told her how good and strong his movements are and that I know when his typical asleep and awake patterns are. She said I'm also about a month ahead from typical on that too.

I'm having so much anxiety now. I thought it would get better, but now that we are so close, the anxiety is worse than ever sometimes. I find myself fearful of pre term labor and stillbirth. I'm hoping once I start the higher level of monitoring in about 6 weeks that I will gain some peace of mind there. Logically I know our chances of this baby making it home safe and sound with us is high. It's just so difficult with our history to focus on that at times.

We started some baby registries at a few stores. I know we won't have any baby showers with a second baby (that's how things are done in the region where I live), but I know the stores send you a coupon to finish up your registry when you get close to delivery. I figured we would be buying all of those things anyway, why not get a good coupon too! It's been fun registering for boy things! We have a great start on some items and we started his nursery...




and here are some of the sweet baby boy clothes we have gotten so far (I didn't know that buying boy clothes could be almost as fun as buying girl clothes)...

And here's my 24 week baby belly...


Another 3 weeks and I'll hit the third trimester. I'm trying to treasure every moment, with the anxiety it's difficult to not just wish it were May already. I'm sure I'll have those moments once he arrives where I'll wish I had done a better job cherishing these pregnancy moments. I felt that way after my daughter was born and I couldn't wait to be pregnant again. I'm fairly certain this will be our last pregnancy, so I need to remind myself to enjoy the moments.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fetal Echo and Cervical Check

I completely forgot that I didn't update my blog - I blame pregnancy brain! My cervical check on Friday looked good. It's closed up nice and tight and is about 4.0cm, which is normal and about what it was two days before. It turns out our little guy had his foot and tushie pressed firmly against my cervix and bladder, which explains the cramps and pressure. We got some more photos and a third confirmation he's a boy. After that we had some time to waste, so we went and had breakfast in the hospital cafeteria.

The fetal echo also went wonderfully! We got called back to the ultrasound room by the head of obstetrics at the hospital. He, along with a pediatric cardiologist from Children's Hospital did the ultrasound. They told us they would be mumbling back and forth a lot throughout and not to let that worry us, that it didn't mean anything was wrong and they would let us know the results at the end. They were both very friendly and had fun joking around with us, which put my husband and I both at ease. They spent quite a bit of time checking out his heart, we got to watch and hear. After about 15-20 minutes, they turned on the lights and told us his heart looked as normal as they see on fetal echos. There could always be small holes that they don't see because they are looking through my stomach at something very small to begin with, but from what they can tell everything looks great. I asked if we would need another after he is born and he said we wouldn't unless the pediatrician at the hospital hears or notices anything abnormal.

This was such a big week for us and we are feeling very blessed to have received such wonderful news from his tests. It really feels like he's coming home with us in May!

Here are the pictures from our cervical check ultrasound (20 weeks 6 days). They are a little blurry because they are pictures of the pictures.

His profile


His Face (looking at us)


His Heart Rate (147 bpm)


It's A Boy! (although I think it's really hard to tell at this angle, she said it's up against his leg but she's still sure it's a boy)



I'm feeling a lot of movement now, which is really fun. It seems that each day his kicks and rolls get stronger. I'm still totally paranoid about preterm labor or my water breaking early. I thought I would relax after these tests, but I just moved on to the next thing to worry about. I don't have another OB appointment until January 26th, and I don't think we'll see him on ultrasound again until 30 weeks. That seems so far away since we have been having them so frequently up to this point. It's funny because with my daughter I had 2 in the very beginning with my RE, then waited until 21-22 weeks, then only had another one because we paid for a private one at 30ish weeks. I've gotten spoiled seeing our son so frequently!