Thursday, December 29, 2011

36w4d OB Appointment

Had my OB appointment today. I looked back last night at Jack's baby website to see what I was doing cervix-wise at this point, and the answer was-NOTHING. And I remember being so upset when she told me I wasn't doing anything yet because I'd had braxton hicks contractions since 19 weeks and been so sick with him, and I thought surely I'd been jipped with nothing to show for all of it! Today, I am 1 cm dilated and she could feel the baby's head! Her exam hurt like heck (not the lady parts, but the pelvis itself), but I guess if he's that low perhaps it should be uncomfortable.

I have gained 4 pounds in 2 weeks. After she saw the picture of my cankles from Christmas night, she said it was probably just that I'm beginning to retain more fluid, and that she's not concerned at this point since the swelling does go down after I've had my feet up for a while. That gives me a total gain of 8 pounds in the last 26 weeks.

Dr. A told me that if I make it to 38 weeks, they'll do another growth scan to make sure he's not too big to be delivered vaginally. Sounds good to me, but I hope I don't get that far because I had trouble scheduling my appointment for next week, and they scheduled my 38 week appointment for a Friday-and they don't do ultrasounds in the office on Fridays. Heck, at that point I'll only be two days away from being 39 weeks anyway.

I had trouble scheduling next week's appointment because my mom is giving me a "Girls Day" with her next Friday! She's got me scheduled for a prenatal massage (I had one when I was pregnant with Jack and wanted to bring that lady home with me), then we're going out to lunch, and to a movie. It sounds like a lot of fun, and heck, maybe the massage will put me into labor! The doctor's office tried to tell me that was the only day my doctor had appointments available, that she was double booked the rest of the week because she's going to be out the following week. That didn't make much sense to me considering my doc was on vacation all last week. Turns out she was thinking of another doc. My 37 week appointment is next Tuesday morning. It is still kind of inconvenient with it being between two of my 12 hour shifts at work, but I'll just have Archie drive me so I can sleep in the car. I asked if she would be able to strip my membranes next week even if my GBS test came back positive and she said that wouldn't be a problem. Glad what I read online isn't true at least in her practice. What could be even more inconvenient about next week's appointment is the fact she's going to strip my membranes between two shifts where I am the charge nurse at work. I'll have to make sure someone who can do charge takes a light assignment that they could keep in case things really start to move along and I have to leave work early. My luck, I'll get to work and half of our staff will be out sick. Guess that's why the bosses get paid the big bucks.

I did ask about ways to speed things up as my lower back/hips are really sore, the middle right sided back spasms are wicked, and I'm back to feeling rather cruddy. She asked what I had in mind and I mentioned acupuncture/acupressure, and evening primrose oil. She said whatever I want to do is fine, but she'd avoid castor oil (which my mom had brought up the other day and I really didn't want to do). She said the castor oil for sure would make me sick. I wasn't even thinking about that, I was just thinking that being stuck in the bathroom wasn't what I had in mind for putting me into labor.

I picked up evening primrose oil on my way home. It doesn't induce labor, but helps ready the cervix which I'd like to be as ready as possible for stripping my membranes next week. Yesterday we took down all of the Christmas decorations, took the tree outside for recycling pickup, and I set up the pack and play with the bassinet, and finished readying the baby's room. I think I'm about done with packing my bag (except for the last minute things like my hairbrush, toothbrush, etc).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

36 weeks

I am actually 36w2d, but this is my 36 week post. Christmas was lovely. My mood has been better this last week and a half or so, not sure why really. I'm less irritable for the most part. I don't know if it is because we finally have the nursery mostly set up and ready to go and that anxiety is gone, or if it's the fact that our little boy will be here in the next month. Either way I'll take it.

That said, I'm large and in charge, and ready for Charlie to make his arrival. Anytime sounds good. I only have 8 shifts left to work if I make it to 39 weeks. Current uncomfortable symptoms include sciatica, middle back pain (not related to kidneys as my renal ultrasound didn't show any hydronephrosis last week, nor did it show any stones, however, I was reminded that unless they are large enough, they won't show up on ultrasound anyway), increased acid reflux and vomiting, vericose veins that are in painful places, and cankles (see below). Charlie is still pretty active, although definitely slowing down over the last couple of days. No worries-he still moves enough for me to know he's ok, I watch this closely.

I'd like to begin to encourage Charlie to drop (this would probably greatly help my reflux and vomiting issues, but probably exacerbate the sciatica pain) and start to move out. With Jack at this point I was walking a mall for 3.5 hours with an 11 pound baby on top of my bump in an attempt to push him down and out, it didn't work. A couple of nights before I delivered him, I was at a holiday party and on the dance floor, that might have helped. My mom and I walked the mall yesterday, but I don't think it did much at all but make me even more tired, LOL. I'm thinking maybe I'll try my "Just Dance 2" wii game early next week, but I'm thinking I probably can't shake it or move it well enough to do anything productive. I'm going to ask my doc how she feels about evening primrose oil when I go for my appointment on Thursday. It doesn't bring on labor, but it does supposedly start help getting the cervix ready. My OB offered to strip my membranes for me at 37 weeks, but if I'm not dilating, that won't really be a possibility. I also read that if you are GBS positive, they won't do it, and I was positive with Jack, so I'm assuming maybe I will be this time too. That said, I don't know why that really matters since they'll be treating me during labor with antibiotics anyway. It's something to discuss at this weeks appointment since she'll be doing the test this week anyway. I read that acupressure can help bring on labor, but I am not ready to try that until after this coming Sunday. 36 weeks still makes me nervous despite how uncomfortable and ready I might be for him to come out. If he did it on his own now, I'd hope his lungs would be mature enough to avoid any real therapy in the NICU, but I'd feel awful if I did something to make him come now and then he needed help with his breathing. So, no action on my part (except maybe EPO if approved by my OB) until next week.

I'll have more of an update for you after my appointment this Thursday! For now, here is my 36 week belly picture :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

34 Week OB Appointment

I had an ultrasound (for growth scan) and OB appointment yesterday. I am 34 weeks and 4 days now.

I had the ultrasound first. He looks great, and was measuring about 5 pounds 11 ounces, and they have a margin of error of about a pound. It seems like a huge jump in weight to me, considering he was about 3 pounds 9 ounces just about 4 weeks ago. I guess it's possible, or it's possible that either measurement was slightly off. Either way, he is growing as he should. If you remember from my last appointment, he was breech. I'm happy to report he is now head down! He just better stay that way! And if you remember from my last appointment, I didn't ask my OB what the medical reason was for doing a growth scan, but I did ask yesterday after the ultrasound. Evidently there can be problems with growth when a mom has Grave's disease, but he looks great.

At my 32 week appointment, my OB checked my hematocrit (it was still low despite my taking iron-although I wasn't taking it everyday because it caused me to have other issues that colace wasn't taking care of) and my thyroid levels. They called me and faxed my thyroid levels to my endocrinologist who had also just drawn labs on me. My endocrinologist called me, and my TSH is low which is normal during pregnancy, but they now want to recheck my labs at 37 weeks to make sure they aren't going too low. They weren't going to check them until about 4-6 weeks post delivery as of my last appointment. I am now taking my iron regularly, and they recommended Benefiber to combat the other issue.

I gained back the two pounds I'd lost between 30 and 32 weeks, so I'm up a total of 4 pounds from my 10 week appointment, and if he truly weighs over 5 pounds, I guess most of it is him! I am still having intermittent contractions. Monday afternoon while we were on a movie date (while Jack was in school), I started having painful contractions regularly. They continued until the movie ended, so we went to get more bottled water for me, and by the time we got to school to pick Jack up, they'd subsided. Monday night I had more contractions, but they weren't regular so I ignored them. Tuesday afternoon I had more contractions, again not regular. I can say I have alot of pressure and what feels like bone pain (as opposed to cramping) between my legs, but things have just gotten alot more uncomfortable in general this last week. Sciatica is tons of fun, as is the muscle spasms I've been having in my mid-back, and the bone pain between my legs, and where I think everything is just loosening up like where my tops of my legs meet my hips. I remember that pain from being pregnant with Jack. I forgot how much I hate it!!!

When I brought up the contractions to my OB, she said she's not worried. As long as I make it through the weekend, he should be big enough and do well enough to go home when I get discharged home. They won't stop my labor as of Sunday if I did go into labor because I'll be 35 weeks. If he's born before 37 weeks, he'd be an automatic admission to the NICU, but the hospital where I am delivering has a transitional nursery, so they would watch him for 6 hours and if he is fine, he'd come to my room and go home when I go home. That's a much sweeter deal than if I delivered where I work. If I delivered where I work, babies born at 35 weeks weighing more than 2100 grams (about 4 pounds 10 ounces) can go to the full-term nursery as long as they transition well and don't show any breathing issues, if they do, then they have to come to us, and we don't have a transitional nursery, so they are stuck with us usually overnight and until the docs round on the baby mid-day the next day. I think it's so unfair, but they don't keep an attending physician in the full-term nursery overnight, so until that physician comes in to accept the baby, and ours ok the transfer to full-term, the baby stays with us. Not real good for maternal-baby bonding, nursing, or any of that.

Needless to say, when I called Archie to tell him that Dr. A said after Sunday he'd be ok and probably go home with us, we both got a little panicked. No joke, I should have taken a before picture of Charlie's room. Let me describe it. Picture clothes and blankets washed, but piled up on the rocker, the dresser, and the bed, and on the bed is also everything I have ordered or been given like a humidifier, carseat, moses basket, etc on the crib, with the front of the crib still off from when it was a toddler bed for Jack. Yeah, totally NOT ready. It's funny because with Jack, I swear the nursery was done and ready for sheets and clothes by like 30 weeks. Guess it's different when you already have one at home and you're not phased! Needless to say, the crib is put together, sheets on, decals on the wall (most of them, I still have another one I need to order), and most clothes put away. My agenda for tonight is to paint Charlie's name letters to hang tomorrow, and to figure out where all the blankets and sheets will go, as well as the burp cloths, bibs, etc.

Archie is stressed out because we don't have a hospital bag packed yet. He pulled out the bag for me last night, and first question from him this morning was, "Did you pack us yet?" Nope. I'll get to it, but seriously, with Jack I had tons of braxton hicks contractions and at my 36 week appointment was disappointed when she said I was only 1cm dilated. I realize that could be totally different this time around especially with having had some regular contractions, but I don't think he's coming at 35 weeks. That said, my friends on Facebook have advised that if I don't want to come home without pants and shoes, I'd better get something packed. I guess I'll make an effort maybe tomorrow morning. I've got things to do for Charlie's room tonight and cookies to bake for Christmas.

I feel like this is a really bittersweet time. We know that this is most likely our last child (unless God intervenes and puts us on a different path, but not one that includes fertility specialists), and that is sad because I won't get to experience pregnancy again. Don't laugh-I know, the IV's this go around, the morning sickness, etc., but seriously, this pregnancy was so much more enjoyable than my first one. Maybe it was because I was hydrated with IV fluids this time (and thus, didn't just get more and more dehydrated which makes you feel cruddy too) and I wasn't last time. But for sure, this time I wasn't throwing up 5-6 times a day for months like I was with Jack, so trust me when I say what I went through this pregnancy, despite not being tons of fun, was so much better than my first. Good thing how you feel during pregnancy has no bearing on how you feel about the child. I still feel guilty that I didn't enjoy that pregnancy as much. All that said about the sadness of not ever feeling another little one moving around inside of me, getting to see them on ultrasounds, etc., I'm so excited to just have him here and be able to hold him and snuggle him. Archie is feeling it too. He was just saying to me this afternoon that he can't wait to have another little boy fall asleep on his shoulder so contently again. It's the little things we can't wait for. And can I tell you, that I really can't wait to see my two boys interact with each other. I've been warned that our house will be a loud one with two boys tearing it up, but I honestly can't wait-as sadistic as that sounds. I just can't wait to see them grow up together. Jack told me yesterday that we haven't gotten a Christmas gift for Charlie. I hadn't planned on it because Charlie isn't supposed to be here for another month almost past Christmas. But Jack was insistent. So I told him to pick a gift. He picked a recordable storybook that he can record himself "reading" to Charlie on. I thought that was so stinking sweet. Nevermind the fact that Jack can't read yet. I'll have to tell him what it says on the page before we push the record button and just have him repeat it.

Ok, a little boy who just turned 5 this past Sunday is anxious for me to make cookies, so I've got to run, but before I do, here are a couple of pictures we got of Charlie's ultrasound this week!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

32 Week OB Appointment

My OB appointment was on Wednesday afternoon. It went well. I lost 2 pounds, so in total now I am up 2 pounds from my 10 week appointment. It's not for lack of eating-trust me, I'm eating! It may just be a fluke with yet a third different scale.

Otherwise, Charlie's heartbeat sounded perfect and where it should be. I have to get my hematocrit (red blood cell count) and thyroid levels rechecked before my next appointment on December 14th. I also am scheduled to have a growth scan in the office right before my next appointment. I told her the results of our ultrasound 2 weeks ago, but they need it to be documented which is fine. To be honest, I'm not quite sure why I'm having this ultrasound since she told me I wouldn't have any more unless medically necessary since insurance wouldn't cover it. No, I didn't ask why. I figured it was because of my poor weight gain. To be frank, I don't care either way, I get to see my boy again!

So all in all, good, boring appointment. That's how it should be!

Monday, November 28, 2011

32 weeks 1 day

Today I am 32w1d. 5-8 weeks left to go until we meet our newest little boy! Not too much going on. Saturday night wasn't good with acid reflux, choking, and throwing up, same for Sunday morning, but all in all, lately I've felt pretty good. I have braxton hicks contractions frequently-when I roll over, when I change position, when I stand up, when I sit I said, frequently. So last night when I was laying in bed with Jack and noticed that even though I wasn't doing anything, but was having contractions pretty regularly, I started to time them. 3-5 minutes apart. Of course, Jack had just fallen asleep. And he had school this morning. And Archie was on his way to work, and my mom was at her house presumably sleeping, and she had to work in the morning. I was laying on my right side, so I rolled over to my left because I knew before I called the doc, I'd better do what I figured they'd suggest anyway-lay on your left side and drink water. Problem was my reflux was acting up and the last thing I wanted to do was drink. So I waited to see if laying on my left was going to help alone. It didn't. So then I bit the bullet, downed more tums, and downed all of the water I had upstairs with me-about a liter worth. I laid there for another hour, they spaced out to 6 minutes apart and I decided to try to sleep as my husband had suggested when I'd called him. I had a few contractions wake me up, but for the most part they weren't painful, and I didn't want to go into the hospital, only to be told I was in false labor, and meanwhile have had Archie or my mom miss work or get no sleep. If they hadn't spaced out I would have called my OB.

I did call my OB this morning to find out at what point I'm supposed to call (I know when you're full term it's when your contractions are 5 minutes apart). but I'm not full-term yet. She said 4-5 minutes apart for an hour. So I should have called last night. Too late, and obviously I didn't wake up delivering my child in my bed, so that's a good thing.

My next OB appointment is on Wednesday afternoon, I'll update more then. For now, here is my 32 week belly pic!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Charlie's 4D Ultrasound

This wasn't an easy ultrasound. Charlie is breech (not worried-he has a few more weeks to turn), had his back to us, and his hands in front of his face initially. After a trip to the bathroom, some jumping up and down, and shaking of my rear (no kidding), he was finally moving. He then had his hands mostly under his chin, his foot next to his face, and was hiding behind my placenta. He still wanted to sleep, so we have some video on DVD (if my computer would work right) of him grimacing, looking like he let out a whine, and then opening and closing his mouth. He has cute cheeks, kissable lips, and I think looks like Archie's side of the family. Here are some pics! I can't wait to meet him in person!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

30 Weeks 4 Days

I had my 30 week OB appointment today. It went well. I measured where I should this time (yay!), it looks like I have gained 2 more pounds (up a total of 3 pounds from my 10 week appointment), and Charlie's heartrate was good! I asked my doctor about delivering given my pelvic fractures 4 years ago and she wanted me to call the ortho doc to get their approval. My ortho doc is gone now, but I called a friend (my IV nurse who works in the same area where I was admitted when we had the car accident), and she talked to one of the docs, they pulled up my records (with my permission) and x-rays and he said I should be fine to deliver the good old-fashioned way. Sounds good to me.

My uncle is a high risk OB, and we saw him over the weekend. I had asked him what he thought about the possibility of reinjuring my pelvis, and he said it's not likely, that whether the baby's head would fit through the pelvis is another story. No one is going to know that until I'm pushing and we see if he will fit. If he won't, I'll end up having a c-section emergently which will suck because I will have gone through however long in labor and tried to push for however long it takes for us to determine he's not coming out, but c-sections don't scare me otherwise. My biggest concern is that if I can't push him out and he gets stressed, the risk of him stooling in utero and then possible meconium aspiration. Or decels from his head getting mashed into my pelvis but not being able to fit through. Funny, c-sections don't worry me, but I really will not be on board with a vacuum or forceps delivery. Guess it goes back to knowing too much.

My next OB appointment is in 2 weeks!!!! So excited, these more frequent appointments mean that the end is in sight and we will finally get to meet this little boy we've waited and tried for 3 years for again!

Other things that are on my mind-Thanksgiving. Seriously-I'm doing that 30 days of Thanksgiving thing on and I had already posted this morning about being thankful for the internet so I can shop for the baby without going to a million places looking for that one particular thing. Otherwise, I would have been thankful for the times I haven't thrown up in public this pregnancy (yes, it was in the privacy of my own home this morning), for the fact that this pregnancy has gone more smoothly (so far) than my pregnancy with Jack. Thankful to whoever thought of making pantiliners so I only had to change my shirt this morning and not all of my clothes (damn stress incontinence). And thankful for the easy and sweet child God blessed us with almost 5 years ago after our first IVF cycle. That little boy is going to make some woman very happy some day. He really will. He compliments all the time, he encourages when it's needed, he goes running to get me paper towels or a bucket to throw up in when I need it and his dad isn't around, and today while I was laying on the table in the OB office and she was measuring me, he came over, put his hand on my shoulder and gave me a sweet kiss.

I know the first part of my thanksgiving topic was sort of humorous, but seriously, I have so much to be thankful for. We both have jobs while we have friends who are finding themselves in tough situations with only one working at the moment, or neither working at all and looking for work. We have a loving family who cares about us, helps us, and are actively involved in Jack's life and will be in Charlie's as well. I can't even begin to tell you how important that is to me. That Jack is making memories with both sets of grandparents that will last a lifetime. He got to know his great-grandmother some and will remember that, and he sees my grandfather (on my mom's side) and his wife a couple of times a year too. I wish we were closer to my husband's brother and his family, but his neice and nephew are in high school, and it's hard no doubt between their schedules and the difference in ages for them to really get on Jack's level, but he does know them and sees them a couple of times a year. I wish my sister lived closer so he could have a closer relationship with her. Jack talks to her on the phone, and I'm waiting for her to download the Tango app so they can see each other and talk by phone (skype caused problems with my computer so I uninstalled it). And she plans on coming out when Charlie is born to get to know him and to spend time with Jack, so there is that. We see her every couple of years, sometimes more often, just depends on what's going on with everyone.

Another thing I can't stop thinking about is tomorrow!!! I know, you're thinking, um, it's Friday which is great and all, but so what? We have our 4D ultrasound tomorrow! It's the little things, come on! We didn't have one done with Jack (we wanted to, but the only places I could find near us were about $400 and we were pretty strapped), but we had lots of pictures of his profile, hands, legs, feet, boy parts, etc., from his 20 week ultrasound. With Charlie, we got his profile and his face...that's it. And we have all the furniture and baby gear (for the most part) that we need for Charlie, so we want to do this, and it's MUCH cheaper now than it was then for the ultrasound. My mom and my in-laws are going with us and I'm so happy for that too. We didn't invite them to any ultrasounds with Jack and until this point, also hadn't invited them for any of Charlie's. Kind of like with Jack's delivery we wanted it to be our last moments together as a couple before we welcomed our little boy into the world and became a family of 3. My mom really wanted to be in the delivery room with Jack, and I probably would have let her stay, but I wasn't willing to hurt feelings and make my mother-in-law go out of the room and my mom stay. I wasn't as close to my in-laws at that point as I am now, and I think alot of that has to do with Jack being here and it just bringing us all together more. For the record, my father-in-law was in the waiting room while I labored and delivered (our mom's were in the room for the later part of labor, and outside the door during delivery) because he had the flu. He didn't get to meet Jack until he was a week old.

This time we've said my mom and his mom can be in the delivery room, but they have to stay up by my head. And if things hit the fan and the baby has problems or I have problems, they need to stay cool-Archie will need it, and I will need all of it. My father-in-law gets Jack duty. They are allowed to stay in the room while I labor so long as I'm comfortable. Jack's really sensitive, and I don't want him to be traumatized by watching me be in pain, so when things start to get going more, they will go to the waiting room. I'm hoping that I won't have worked all night and then go into labor like I did with Jack. I'd like to not be witchy like I was when we went to the hospital for my water breaking. I was fine through triage, and then we went to our L&D room and the first thing Archie did after putting down our bags was start to pull out the recliner. I was in back labor. Those two things weren't going together and if I wasn't going to be sleeping after working a 12 hour shift, he sure as heck wasn't going to be either. My attitude didn't get better until 2 hours later when I finally asked for the epidural at a whole...2cm dilated, LOL. Yeah, I'm serious, the back labor was ridiculous and I was contracting 1.5 minutes apart, and I was exhausted from working all night. I got the epidural and then my contractions spaced out and I ended up needing pitocin. I was more relaxed after the epidural which is good because my mom kept calling to see if she should leave work, or leave her work's holiday lunch yet, LOL. She was so excited.

I think my in-laws were happy to be invited to come to the ultrasound tomorrow. We're all going to lunch afterwards. We weren't sure if Jack was going to go with us or not since Friday is a normal school day for him, but complicating matters is that his school is having their Thanksgiving Feast tomorrow. I really didn't want him to miss that, and to be honest, I didn't realize that school would be doing that until two weeks ago, and I made the ultrasound appointment two months ago. I secretly wanted him to come to the ultrasound, but I wasn't going to force him to do one over the other. I looked into it, and I can get a DVD made of the ultrasound session, so I told him that we were going to see Charlie on the TV again, and that if he wanted to go he could, but if he didn't that was ok. I told him that he was having a Thanksgiving Feast at school at the same time, and wouldn't be able to do both. I assured him he wouldn't be missing anything if he decided to go to school and enjoy the festivities with his friends, and we would bring home a video of Charlie for him to watch on our TV after school. For the better part of last week he was going to go to school which was fine. But yesterday he told us he wants to go see Charlie. I again told him I could bring him home the movie of Charlie to watch on our TV if he wants to go to school, but he is insistent that he wants to see Charlie. I have to admit that I'm kind of happy!

I will try to post pictures from our ultrasound tomorrow, but with the appointment being at 10:30am, and going to lunch afterwards and the place being almost an hour from us, it's not likely. I have to work tomorrow night and will have to nap when I get home, but if I'm all fired up with excitement when we come home, I'll do it before I lay down!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's Been a While

It's been a while since I posted. No reason really, other than I didn't have much to say. I'm 29 weeks, and getting more uncomfortable (you know, little things like breathing that you take for granted until everything gets pushed up into your diaphragm), but all in all things are going well. I can't believe that come Sunday, I'll be 3/4 of the way through.

My next OB appointment is next Thursday. I have some questions for her, mainly regarding my pelvis and delivery. We had a bad car accident in October of 2007, and I was pinned in the car as a result of the accident, and ended up fracturing my pelvis in 3 places. When I saw her for an annual exam in February of 2008, she told me that she thought I would be able to carry to term which satisfied me at the time, however, because I didn't know if I'd ever be pregnant again, I never brought up delivery. She had made a comment at the time that she thought my pelvis was slightly smaller than it had been before given the fractures I sustained. So my questions mainly revolve around whether I risk reinjuring my pelvis during a normal delivery this time, and depending on the size of the baby at the time of delivery, whether it's worth compromising him. My real concern is that if he is larger than Jack (who was 6 pounds 12 ounces at birth) or just too large in general, I really don't want to risk a shoulder dystocia, his head not being small enough to fit through my pelvis or any other complications for him which could lead to ending up with a c-section after how many hours of labor and trying to push, or a NICU stay because something happened to him during delivery. I know too much as my mom put it the other day, and if I was clueless to what could happen, and what does happen, I probably wouldn't be real worried about it. But the fact of the matter is that I do know. I'm sure my OB loves that, LOL. I am not opposed to a c-section, but I also realize it's major abdominal surgery too. It's still too early to tell a whole lot at this point, so we will just wait and see, but I figure a conversation is at least in order.

We have a 4D ultrasound scheduled for next Friday. I failed to realize that this would be the last Friday before Thanksgiving, and thus, that Jack's preschool would be having their Thanksgiving celebration next Friday. Oops. I really don't want him to miss either thing, I'd feel bad if I made him go to the ultrasound and he could care less and would rather be with his friends at school. So I told him that his Thanksgiving party is at school the same day that we were going to go see Charlie on the tv screen. I explained that he could go to whichever thing he wants to go to, and that if he decides to go to school, I will have them make a video of Charlie so he can see it on our tv screen at home and really won't have missed anything at all. I told him he has until his second day of school next week to decide (so we can let his teachers know if he won't be going to school on Friday). He initially told me he wanted to go to school which was fine. Then today, he heard us talking about my in-laws, my mom, Archie and I all going out to IHOP after the ultrasound, and now he wants in on that deal. No doubt he's thinking about bacon (seriously, the kid LOVES bacon). I told him he has time to decide still, he doesn't have to decide now. I'm looking forward to this ultrasound and finding out how big he is measuring, and how much fluid I have at this point (to see if it's normal).

Speaking of that sweet boy of mine. I have to tell you that the last two weeks have been interesting around our house, well, it's always interesting with him around, but the last two weeks have been more entertaining. That might be the better description. It started two Mondays ago, when Jack came home from school and told me he wanted to change his name. I asked what he wanted to change it to, and he told me he wanted to be called "Bert." Yup, you read that right. I asked him where he got that name from (he was never into Sesame Street), and he told me he didn't know, he just liked it. I said, "Ok Buddy." Then he said, "No Mommy, it's Ok Bert." LOL. I called him Bert the rest of the night and tried to call him Bert the next morning and he informed me that he changed his mind and didn't like being called Bert anymore. Thank goodness! Then a few days later he told me he didn't want to call Charlie "Charlie". I thought he was going to go back to saying that he "hated" that name, but he didn't. He just wanted to know if we could call him Callen instead. I had to giggle, and asked where he'd heard that name. He didn't know, he just liked it. Now, Archie and I watch NCIS: LA, and G. Callen is one of the NCIS agents on that show, and we love him, BUT, we do not let Jack watch that show for obvious reasons. So where he got that name is beyond me, but it's a nice name. I asked Archie if he wanted to consider changing the name, and he said no, we've been calling the baby Charlie for weeks now, so it will stay Charlie.

Then over the weekend, we decided to go out back and play frisbee for a bit before I had to leave for work. Jack was looking at something with me, and turned around only to get nailed by the frisbee that his dad had thrown while no one else was looking. Needless to say, Archie felt awful when blood was flowing from Jack's poor nose. It's not broken luckily, I was almost crying (it doesn't take much these days) with Jack. His nose was swelling and starting to turn colors, so you can imagine the scene with me pinching his nose closed to try and stop the bleeding and with the other hand holding ice on his nose. It must have worked out well though because he didn't bruise up like I expected. After the drama was finished with, we went out back and played frisbee some more. With us throwing the frisbee basically to Jack's feet instead of high enough for him to catch it. We've played several times since, and understandably, he's still a little shy when it's higher than his waist, LOL.

My final story for this post is about this morning. Jack and I woke up, he kissed Chance (our greyhound) and then kissed my tummy. Then he turned, and asked me point blank, "How is Charlie going to get out of your tummy?" I know I hesitated and I probably had a deer in the headlights look to me because then he said, "Is he going to come out of your mouth or your belly button?" I had to giggle because of the innocence of a child, and remembering that as a kid I thought they came out of the belly button, were fed through the mom's belly button, and then for a while remember thinking that they were pooped out. I told him that Charlie wouldn't be coming out either of those ways. He wanted to know then, how was he going to get out? I told him that some mommies have surgery to take the baby out. That the doctor will cut them "here" (showed him where), and pull the baby out, and then they sew the mommy back up and everyone is good to go. Luckily he seemed satisfied with that answer and didn't ask how the other mommies get their babies out. I think my heart was in my throat until I realized that conversation was over. Whew!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

26 week OB Appointment

I got a phone call from my doctor's secretary on Tuesday. I failed my 1 hour glucose test by 25 points (my glucose at 1 hour was 165 and needed to be 140 for me to pass. I failed the 1 hour test as well when I was pregnant with Jack, but I only failed it by 8 points with him. My OB feels I will probably pass the test because she said most of the time if it's below 200, you don't have any trouble passing the 3 hour. Here's hoping! Needless to say, I get to do the 3 hour glucose tolerance test this coming Monday after I take Jack to school. I am dreading this because I remember how cruddy I felt when I had to go in after fasting with Jack, and wait 3 hours to eat. I thought I was going to throw up, but was amazed when I didn't. This time, I have to get up earlier because I have a little boy to get ready for school, feed him breakfast while I take my zofran and hope for the best. I figure by the time I get to eat, I'll have been up for 5 hours with an empty stomach. Oh well right? I just pray if I do throw up, it's not until the test is over because I don't want to have to drink that sickeningly sweet syrup twice.

My OB appointment was today. First thing was my weight. I am up one whole pound since my 10 week appointment (my first OB appointment this pregnancy). I'm ok with this, and my OB didn't seem concerned. Second thing was to take my blood pressure. I felt fine with the exception of having had really bad headaches the last 3 days. My initial blood pressure was 140/78. They rechecked it at the end with me lying on my left side for 5 minutes and it was 118/76 which is what I've been running, so we were all happy with that. I told my OB that in my paranoia after hearing I'd failed the glucose test, I tried to measure myself and thought I was measuring about 28 weeks. She said I was right where I should be at my 22 week appointment, but of course, we'd check it this time too. Sure enough, she said I was right between 27.5 and 28 weeks with my measurement. She's not going to worry too much about it until we see where I am at my next appointment.

Lastly, I had to ask because I just didn't understand the explanation I got from the gynecological surgeon back in November about the hysterectomy and why I wouldn't be able to have it done at the same time as a c-section if I had to have a c-section for some reason. My OB explained that normally (not pregnant), the blood vessels around the uterus and ovaries are very thin, so when they remove them, it's not alot of blood loss. However, when the woman is pregnant the blood vessels are dilated to about two finger-widths and so the risk of hemorrhaging is huge. THANK YOU. Finally, someone willing to explain it to me. I'm not arguing about when it's done, I just wanted to know the reasoning on why it couldn't be done at the same time as a c-section. Now it all makes perfect sense.

Charlie has been very active, to the point of scaring me sometimes. I just worried he'll get himself tangled in his cord like Jack did, and since there isn't a way for us to know if his cord is short like Jack's was, well, I get worried sometimes. My OB said her more active child was NOT the one to end up with a nuchal cord, it was her more sedate one that did. Jack was definitely more sedate than Charlie is, although he also had his moments of high activity. This child just goes crazy after I eat and doesn't seem to stop for a while. I love watching my belly jump.

A friend and I were talking the other day about our pregnancies-we're both on our second child-she's had a couple of miscarriages between children however. She is due almost 3 weeks after me. I was telling her that I feel guilty because I feel like while I'm enjoying this pregnancy more than I did my first one (I'm telling you, I was more sick with Jack than with Charlie even though this pregnancy has involved IV's and other issues which I didn't have with Jack), I don't feel like I'm bonding with this child the same as I did with Jack. She isn't enjoying this pregnancy as much as she did with her first, but also doesn't feel as bonded. She thinks it's probably because we have other kids to chase around and worry about, we just don't have the free time that we did before to relax in the tub, stroking our tummies and talking to the unborn babies. Maybe that's it.

I remember about a week after my first transfer, taking a warm bath and just laying there talking to the embryos, begging them to stick around, telling them how much love we had for them, and how much we wanted them. I remember laying in the tub with my swollen belly talking to Jack, reading him stories, trying to force Archie to read him stories and talk to him. This time, I've taken one bath (there just isn't enough time), and I talked to him a little. I told him that we were so glad he was growing, and how blessed we felt, and how I was so excited for him to come out in January and meet his big brother. I'll talk to him here and there when he's overly active, asking him what it is he's doing in there. Jack will occassionally sing a song to him, and he's always kissing my tummy. Archie has started talking to him more as the weeks have gone on. I don't know, it's just different this time and I don't know why. Maybe I won't experience the shock and guilt that I did when Jack was born. I felt so bonded to him in utero, but when he was born, I felt so disconnected. I felt so guilty about that and I couldn't understand. Was it because I'd been awake for 27 hours before he was born, and I was just sheer exhausted? Was it normal? Was I going to be an awful mother? I confided in my best friend, and she said she felt the same way when her daughter was born 8 weeks prior. I felt better, but I still felt like an already awful mother.

I just have these fears, some valid, some probably not so much. Don't get me wrong, I'm so excited, and grateful to be able to experience all of this again and to welcome another sweet boy into our family. We have more than enough love to give (heck, Jack would probably vouch for that when I'm squeezing him too tight in a hug, or smothering him in kisses). I'm just a little scared. One rocked our world. I don't think I got out of the house for the first 8 weeks before 10am, and I had trouble just figuring out what to do with him while I took a shower because all he wanted was to be held. I'm wondering (and trying to come up with a game plan) on how I'm going to handle two, let alone things like getting everyone up and dressed and out the door to take Jack to school by 8am. It's just going to mean earlier mornings and less sleep. If I thought I was in a fog for the first 3 months of Jack's life, I'm sure I haven't experienced anything yet, LOL.

Then I'm also dealing with the fears of an infertile. I've talked to a few of my infertile friends. IF is so hard. You work for years to start and build a family. We still have two embryos on ice. We've both said we're happy with two. But a couple of my friends have had their two, and thought that they were happy with that, only to say later, that they want another. Financially, two makes sense for us. We're out of money from the insurance to try again, so another cycle of thawing and FET would cost us totally out of pocket. We know twins would kill us financially, but it doesn't make sense to only put one back-especially when we've always put two back and only ever gotten pregnant with one. But with my luck, it would be twins. Don't get me wrong, we'd love them as much as our other kids, but the financial stresses on our family would be immense. I just can't see doing it. Jack tells us we need another baby all the time, and I keep telling him we're having another baby, and he says, "No, I mean after Charlie." Ugh. He wants that sister, LOL.

Believe me, if we got pregnant on our own (which I have to say after 6 years of trying, and 4 IVF cycles probably isn't going to happen since we tried on our own between cycles and before our first cycle), we'd gladly accept that blessing. I just don't think it's likely. I had prayed after Jack that we'd be one of "those" couples. You know, the ones who have to have treatment, and then they go on to magically conceive on their own afterwards...yeah, that wasn't us. So I can't imagine it would happen now. I've talked to Jack about being grateful for what God has given us. I have told him how hard we prayed for a baby, and how long, and how many doctor's appointments we had, and God finally gave Jack to us. Then I asked if he remembered how hard we prayed for another baby, and if he remembered all the appointments he went to with me to try to get ready for another baby and he said yes. I explained that God is finally giving us another baby-Charlie, and how grateful we are for him, and that we should be grateful that God had it in his plan to give us Charlie. That I feel like we have enough, but that if God gave us another baby without us having to go see the doctor's all the time, and without all of the things Mommy had to have done to give us Jack and Charlie, that we would welcome it with open arms.

It's hard to come to a decision we feel ok about as well for our embryos. Do we pay for them to be kept in storage? And if so, for how long? Is there a point when we don't want to go through anymore treatments? We could donate them so another couple out there could have a chance to have a child they've always wanted. But when I think about that option-as much as I'd like to be the person to do that, it feels like we'd be giving up two of our children for adoption, and as hard as we've worked to have our babies, prayed for them and wanted them, it seems so incongrous. It would be so hard to know that we had children elsewhere who weren't at home with us. After talking to Archie that's not something we're ok with either. But I also don't like the idea of letting them be thawed and just go. We worked so hard to bring life into this world. I'm not really sure what the answer is for us. It's something we're going to have to think, pray and talk about some more before any final decisions are made. We have until February to decide whether to store them for another year. Maybe we'll have made a decision by then.

Ok, I have to go, we're heading up tonight for my grandmother's services tomorrow. Hope you all have a great weekend.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I broke the news this morning to Jack when I got him up for school. Our conversation went like this:

Me: Jack, something sad happened last night.
Jack: What?
Me: Grandmom Ann went to heaven.

silence. I gave him a couple of minutes.

Me: Do you have any questions?
Jack: How did Grandmom Ann die?
Me: Well baby, she died in her sleep.

Then I got to thinking that I should probably clarify so he isn't afraid of going to sleep for fear of dying.

Me: You know, she was really old, and her body wasn't able to keep going. She'd been sick for a long time and her body just gave up. She went peacefully though, no struggling, and Cousin Paula was with her and holding her hand, so she wasn't alone. She was with people who loved her, and she went to heaven where she joined Great Grandpa Bob and God. She doesn't hurt anymore, and she is happy to be in heaven with them.


Jack: I want to say something to God.

I'm thinking, uh oh. Ok, brace yourself, he could say anything.

Me: Ok baby, go ahead.
Jack: Dear God, please help Grandmom Ann to stay in love with you forever.

Dear Lord! This child isn't even 5! Needless to say, I was balling like a baby. I told him that Grandmom Ann and God had a very close relationship even when she was here. When she was healthy that she used to go to church everyday (very strict Catholic), prayed everyday, prayed the rosary at least everyday, and that she really loved God. I told her that I was sure she was so happy to be in heaven with him, and to be reunited with Great Grandpa Bob after so long. I guess he could hear that I was crying (the lights were off as we usually have snuggle time when we wake up before we actually get out of bed and get moving). **As an aside, the "in love" part is something we occassionally say at home. I would never have expected that to come out of his mouth where God is concerned. Jack will ask if I'm in love with him, and I always tell him I'm very much in love with him, and he will say he's in love with me, so it's not a lusty type thing (obviously, he's 4, and my child-hello!) when he says it about Grandmom Ann and God, it's just the overwhelming feeling of love we feel for each other. Don't want people getting the wrong impression.**

Jack: Are you crying Mommy?
Me: Yes.

He put his hands up to my face and was feeling around for the tears. Then he gave me a big hug and lots of kisses.

I am so grateful to have this child in my life. He is the best medicine for a sad heart. How could he not make you smile with his sweetness and thoughtfulness?

My dad should be calling me later today when he gets information about arrangements for my grandmother. If this morning is any indication of how my son is handling this, our trip to CT for her services should be interesting.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

26 weeks and Updates

So, today marks 26 weeks for us. Everything seems to be going well. I am still nauseous sometimes, and the heartburn is still an issue, but I'm taking a half-dose (75mg instead of 150mg) of zantac about every 6 hours, and it seems to be helping for the most part. I'm still taking zofran-sometimes it's 2 times a day, sometimes not at all, just depends on the day really.

The newest development started about two weeks ago-braxton hicks (some of which are painful), and heart palpitations. I had both of these issues with Jack as well, the braxton hicks started at 19 weeks with him, and the palpitations at about 20 weeks, so this is occuring later this pregnancy. When I was checked out for the palpitations with Jack, I had to wear a halter monitor for two days, and it showed that I was having brief runs of SVT which is basically where your heart is beating really fast. It makes me feel dizzy and short of breath and lasts for a few minutes. When I check my pulse while it is happening, my heartrate is fast and irregular. It can also be caused by hyperthyroidism which I have, however, I had my labs checked and had an endocrine appointment right as this started this pregnancy, and all of my labs are normal, and my thyroid on ultrasound is "quiet". So, my primary care doc ran electrolytes, thyroid tests again, and checked my hematocrit. My sodium is slightly low (the low norm was 136, mine was 135) so not really low-and besides, I'm supposed to keep my sodium low because of the kidney stone issues. My albumin was slightly low as well, however, I'm not swelling up like crazy either, some edema in my legs at the end of a 12 hour shift, but that's pretty normal I think. My thyroid levels all came back normal. My hematocrit was the only thing a little low and it was 32.6 (normal low is 36). So no real reason as far as I can tell from my labwork. My doc also ordered an event monitor for 2 weeks. I'm not sure how this is different from a halter monitor except maybe I can push a button when I am actually experiencing the palpitations, and I can probably take it off to take a shower which was a "no-no" with the halter monitor. I have to wait for it to come in to actually be able to wear it. I did my glucose test on Friday, and I'm hoping to have the results by my next OB appointment this coming Thursday.

In other news, my grandmother has been in inpatient hospice for two weeks today. My father, my half-sister, and I have been taking turns calling daily to check and see how she is doing. She's had some days where they were shocked at how alert she was (mainly the first two days after her admission), and other days like the last two where she does nothing but sleep, and isn't really arousable for family or staff. The last two days have been bad, and she's not had anything to eat or drink. Tonight, my dad's cousin called to tell him that she was informed that it is only a matter of days that my grandmother has left. I got teary (my father sounded like a mess as one would expect), but I don't think it's really hit me yet, or I've just worked myself to a point where I'm almost ok with it. I've had such conflicting emotions, and I've cried alot over the last two weeks between her, and people seeming to just look at me wrong setting me into tears (I've been a tad hormonal I think). It's just so hard. If you call and get news that she's had a good day-you think, "Great, I'm so glad she's had a good day." But then you think, "Yeah, but if she's really declining, tomorrow might not be so good, and this is just dragging things out." It's hard to know how to feel. It's not like someone who is suddenly and unexpectedly ripped from your life, and the only thing you can think is "I can't believe this is happening. Why? Why did this have to happen?" If you call and it's a bad day, you're thinking, "God, I just hope she's comfortable and not in pain." You're wondering if her fight is almost over. You're wondering if she's going to go that night and be greated by God and her husband in heaven. It's just so damn hard. So I'm teary, but I'm not hysterical. My dad's cousin told us that one of her bad days last week, she told my grandmom that soon she'd be with "Uncle Bob" (to my dad's cousin) again soon. He passed away 18 years ago. I did lose it that night. I was afraid she'd give up and go that night, but I was also hoping maybe it made it easier for her to let go of us here, and just go. Just be at peace. Please just continue to pray for her to be comfortable and to pass peacefully and surrounded by people who love her. **Edited to add-My grandmother passed away later this evening. My dad's cousin was with her and it was peaceful. Thank you for your prayers.

So that is my life in a nutshell at the moment. I have two belly pics to share with you tonight. I had too much going on two Sundays ago to do my 24 week belly pic, and to be honest, I've just been trying to keep my head above water the last two weeks between work, trying to get this house decluttered and more organized, and worrying about a million things to even think about a picture. We kept saying we needed to take it, and finally we didn't drop the ball tonight. The first picture is Jack in his normal excited form. He has moments where he could care less about Charlie (he told me the other day it's boring waiting to feel Charlie move), and moments where he's way too excited. This was one of those moments. The second is more reflective of what the belly really looks like. Enjoy.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Everything Happens for a Reason

We decided we were going to drive up to CT to see my grandmother this past Sunday (yesterday). We as in, myself, Jack, my mom and my dad. Archie couldn't go as it was his weekend to work. I had no idea how much I would wish Archie was there, just to have him with me and comfort me. We knew she didn't have long left, and we wanted to make sure we made it up. Well, we were maybe 45 minutes into our trip, and my dad got a phone call from my stepmom. His cousin had called and said that the nursing staff had found my grandmother on the floor with a fever and were taking her to the hospital. I called his cousin and asked what had happened and which hospital they were taking her to, and told her we'd meet them there, but we didn't expect to be there for another 4 hours. She said she'd keep us updated.

When we got to the hospital, we found out she hadn't fallen. I don't know if my dad's cousin getting woken in the early hours of the morning just left her foggy or if the nursing staff didn't relay correct info, but I'm glad she hadn't fallen. She was, however, running a fever, and she had a cough. They hadn't been able to get a decent chest x-ray, and dad's cousin (she is in charge of my grandmother's care, and is also a nurse, so a good choice) declined to continue to attempt these x-rays and let be what would be. They believe my grandmother aspirated, which for those of you who aren't medically inclined, it means that at some point, she got food or liquid into her lungs instead of all of it going into her stomach. They will not be treating her with antibiotics. Her breathing sounded raspy to me, and her cough was somewhat junky.

My grandmother kept covering her eyes with her hands. We couldn't figure out if this was because she was emotional, wanted the bright lights in the hospital out of her eyes, or if she was in pain. My dad's cousin said she started doing this about two weeks ago, and she thought it was pain, but my grandmother has been more emotional lately. At one point, we saw her cover her eyes, and then she was wiping them, my father was sobbing, and I was balling. Not a pretty sight, it was just a really rough day. While we were at the hospital, the rabbi covering for Pastoral Services came to visit us. My grandmother is a devout Catholic, and received the Sacrament of the Sick back when she had her stroke 3 years ago, but he did say a beautiful prayer. Of course, I couldn't control my own emotions and again, was crying.

My grandmother was taken from the hospital straight to the inpatient hospice center. It is beautiful, and it overlooks the water, and has some really interesting rock formation in the water to look at as well. My grandmother had her eyes closed and appeared to be sleeping most of the time, and I just wished she would be able to enjoy that million dollar view if she had to be in that facility. We met up again at the hospice facility and sat with her while the nurses got her settled. I held her hand while she slept, and each time I took it away (usually to tend to Jack), she would be trying to grasp for something. I would put my hand back and she would settle. It was heartbreaking to say the least to see her like that. To have that be our goodbye and not have her know really that we were there.

But everything happens for a reason. I honestly believe that. If we had gone up last week as I had originally planned (but it was flawed because I was scheduled to work which is why we rescheduled for this past Sunday), we would have felt at a loss to be able to get back up there yesterday to see her. I'm not sure we would have been able to go up again while she was alive given everyone's schedules and tight finances (it's about $200 each time we go up between gas and tolls). Instead we were able to see her in the hospital and make sure she was ok (relatively speaking), we were able to see the new facility she would be in (her 3rd in 3 years if you don't count her stay in the hospital for the stroke), meet the staff, and finally, be able to say our goodbyes.

My dad called today for an update. They said my grandmother's cough seems to have subsided and she seems more alert. But her state of mind comes and goes, we all know that. We had all hoped and prayed yesterday that God wouldn't prolong suffering for her. If she's stopped coughing, I'm glad about that, but she lays in the bed twisted, and curled up, and moans in her sleep. It bothers me that she's more emotional-she probably realizes that either she's not long for this world, or that we're not there. If she goes in the next week or two, we probably won't make it back up for her last moments. I will only get 3 days off for services or bereavement, Archie doesn't get much as it's not his immediate family, nor does my mom. I can't go up to be with her at the end, turn around and come home for a day or two, go back up once she's cremated and they have her memorial mass. It's too much, and I won't have the time. I also have to have someone drive with me (it's a long drive, and my father doesn't drive), and if I thought I could do it without anyone when things are going ok, I know I can't when I'm an emotional wreck (being pregnant doesn't help with this). It bothers me that while she will be surrounded by her sisters, neices and nephews at the end (and don't get me wrong, I'm so glad she will be surrounded by people who love her), she won't be surrounded by the rest of her family-namely her only son, and her grandchildren.

I find myself really depressed about the whole situation. I got home last night, and talking to Archie, telling him about the day (combined with being tired and hungry), crying and upset, only led to me getting sick and throwing up in the kitchen. There's nothing I can do to make things better, or control anything about the situation. I can't make her more comfortable, I can't do anything to help her. I'm 24 weeks pregnant, and I keep reminding myself that while I don't have control over any of this, I do have to take care of myself and this unborn child within me. The last thing I want is to be so stressed that I go into preterm labor. I just don't think any of how I'm feeling is going to get better though until my grandmother passes. It will take time obviously for all of us to grieve, but the grieving process has already started for those of us who will continue to live on this earth after she's gone, and it's just dragging out indefinitely. Maybe my grandmother will go quickly. She's in the best place possible if she doesn't because they will be able to control her pain, make her as comfortable as possible, and they will make sure that she is well cared for. I already thought the nurses who worked with her yesterday were just so sweet with her. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Please just pray for my grandmother to be comfortable, and not to suffer. Pray that when she passes it is peacefully and she's surrounded by those who love her, that she isn't alone. Thanks guys.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

22 weeks 6 days and Updates

Just a few things to update. I had my 22 week OB appointment on Thursday. Baby's heartbeat measured 145, and I'm measuring appropriately. I lost a pound. No big deal I don't think yet though. I've yo-yo'd back and forth with this pound for the last 12 weeks. I imagine soon enough I'll start gaining. It's not for lack of eating. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed 2 boxes of Entenmann's Softee's donuts in the last two weeks, and the number of milkshakes I've had. The morning of my OB appointment, I had thrown up the crackers I'd eaten in an attempt to calm my nausea before getting out of bed, and after that, I was throwing up blood. I'm now trying zantac to see if that helps. I'm not sure if the blood was from all of the stress I've had this past week, or if it was just because of the irritation of my stomach, likely from all of the heartburn and reflux I've been experiencing. I'm guessing (and hoping) the latter.

My grandmother isn't doing well. She's more tired, feels cold, and her appetite just isn't great. Hospice home care came to do a referral for her on Wednesday. They did accept her into their program and the plan at this point is for them to visit her weekly (vs. monthly) and when it's appropriate, she will move into their inpatient hospice program. Through this hospice care she is receiving, she will get pastoral services (she's a strict Catholic, so I'm sure she would appreciate this), as well as a nursing assistant who will tend to her. The plan was to go up and see her this Sunday, however, I forgot that because we have a sticky childcare situation this week, my husband took off the nights I was scheduled, and in an effort to keep him from taking off in the middle of his work week, I picked up Sunday night. We would get back in time for me to shower and eat dinner before heading to work, and that's just not safe for anyone. So the plan is to go up next weekend and see her.

In other news, my sister called in the middle of the night on Tuesday night. Her two chihuahuas (8 and 11 years old) were attacked by a boxer and a pit bull, both off leash when she took them out for a potty run. Her dogs were on leash. The other dog owner took off with his dogs instead of staying to help and my sister had to pick up her two beloved dead dogs and carry them back into her apartment by herself. Dallas police claim that dogs are property, and they could only file a property damage report. One of my friends who is an attorney said that if they have a leash law (they do), they likely have a citation to go with it, here in MD it's called "Dog at Large". I think the dog owner should at the very least be charged with that. The problem is that they guy had been moving out of his apartment over a few day period prior to the attacks. I assured my sister that the apartment community would have to have his forwarding contact info on record so that they could return any security deposit. She had reported this guy previously (he used to have two boxers, but now just has the one, and the one boxer had tried to get to her dogs before, but she'd been able to keep them safe) more than once to the apartment community, but obviously nothing was done about it. In my anger, I told her she should take the box with Ben and Stitch to the leasing office, tell them thanks for not enforcing their policies and helping keep all the animals safe, and ask what they could do about it. I just think they have some responsibility in all of this. Then I told her she should call the local news because the police obviously could care less, and the same for the apartment complex, and yet, all she can think about right now is their broken bodies, and how lonely she is without them. Someone should be able to do something. Stitch was attacked last year by another dog (german shepherd I believe) and almost died. He was paralyzed for a time and had alot of brain swelling. My sister promised them then that she would protect them and just feels like she failed them. She is blaming herself, but yet, she was doing the responsible thing with walking them on lead. The other dog owner often took his dogs out off lead, and obviously didn't have control of them.

We don't have any other family members in TX, and so they were her family, she treated them as her children. I am so angry for her. If I could go to Dallas right now and fight this battle with the police and apartment community I would. She is devastated. And that dog owner should be ashamed of himself. My sister has said that when the boxer didn't listen the guy would beat him (sounds like a charmer), and so I imagine that he may have had past issues either with attacks or reports against him or his dogs and that's why he took off. I think Animal Control deserves a call as well. She just can't focus on that right now, she's so sad. She hasn't gotten to the angry part yet.

Please pray for my sister as she copes with the loss of her pups, and please pray for my grandmother that she be as comfortable as possible for however long she has left. Thank you in advance.

Friday, September 16, 2011

21 weeks 5 days

It only took one stick (and alot of pain as she fished around) to get my IV on Wednesday. Then it bruised throughout the day. I kept on top of flushing the IV more frequently in an effort to hopefully keep it through today, but I could tell when I flushed it on Thursday morning and it was so sluggish that it wasn't going to last that one more day. So I hung my last bag of IV fluids yesterday, pulled that sucker out when it was done, and called my OB today to ask her to discontinue my IV fluids. She and my urologist were both on board with this plan or I would have been calling to ask for a PICC.

While I had her on the phone, I asked if she'd gotten any official report on the ultrasound we had at 18 weeks. I wanted to know if they had cleared the baby's spine, or if perhaps we should schedule another look. She said that they cleared all three areas of the spine (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar), and that if they didn't have a good look, that they would have suggested further studies. It was read by a real radiologist, not just the tech who did the ultrasound. So this gives me a relief.

In other news, Jack finally got to feel the baby move once on Monday night. Since then, the baby has decided he likes to play games with his big brother, and everytime he's active and Jack puts his hand on my belly, the baby is perfectly still. Take Jack's hand off, and the baby moves. What a booger!

Now, I need to vent. As a NICU nurse at some point you will be the resus/triage nurse responsible for responding to calls in L&D. I'm pregnant, but not handicapped. I have no problem with going up for a resus for a c-section baby who may need help, or a meconium baby or any preemie. I did it throughout my pregnancy with Jack. I ran into a problem then, only because I looked at 30 weeks and thought, that is perfect, might need a little help breathing initially, but should do just fine. I was 29 weeks pregnant when we got a resus call for a 30 weeker. I went up for it like any other resus call, but something wasn't right with this baby. We couldn't get the baby's oxygen levels up, we couldn't get a breathing tube in the baby, anesthesia tried one of their devices and no matter what we did, we couldn't save this baby. One of the nurse practitioners was on this resus with me, and I didn't take it well when all was said and done. I was a week away from being where this baby was. One week. And we couldn't save this baby. Why not? Turns out the baby had a weird anatomy that no one knew about in utero, and there wasn't anything we would have been able to do to change what happened.

Now, come back to present day. I'll be 22 weeks pregnant on Sunday. I KNOW my baby isn't viable at this point. They wouldn't even try to resus my baby if I delivered next week, and I know that, and I'm fine with it because I know what the likelihood of problems would be for my child, and that's not a life. I am the resus nurse tonight. No biggie. It's part of the job. My charge nurse tells me there is a 23 weeker upstairs in active labor. Ok, no biggie. I know that with any 23 weeker, the baby may be too small to resus, or the resus may not go well and may end up in a full code, or the baby may just have the typical resus for that gestation, come down to our unit to be admitted, and go through all the normal stuff a 23 weeker would be expected to go through. The nurse practitioner (different from the one I was with in the above scenario), and the fellow don't think I should go up. They think we need to be realistic about what we're asking people to do. Seriously, I know my baby isn't viable right now, and it wouldn't be my first or tenth 23 week resus I went on. They want someone who isn't so close to the gestational age to go. I asked another nurse in my room who has an easy assignment if she'd mind going up for that one, that I'll handle the rest of them. She doesn't want to go because she MIGHT be pregnant. Are you freaking kidding me? And if you are indeed pregnant, do you think you won't have be resus for the next 36 weeks? That's not how our job works. I would totally get this if it meant being exposed to something that's not safe in pregnancy like varicella, herpes, toxoplasmosis, CMV, etc. I'm just frustrated. This is a person who in general, I usually get along with, but I am really irritated. She could be the nurse admitting this baby and not get a say in it at all, but you can't go up for a fifteen minute resus? Luckily there are a few other nurses who know how the job works who are willing to go up for this baby. At least I can count on most of my coworkers for good teamwork and support.

Monday, September 12, 2011

21 Week Update

Hello there! I know, I haven't been commenting, but I assure you've I've been reading the blogs I follow religiously, it's just not as easy to comment on my phone. I am going to make an effort to get better at this. It's been a long couple of weeks since I last posted.

We found out from my dad's side of the family that my grandmother is eating now which is great. But she has had the biggest decline they've seen in her since she had her stroke a few years ago which landed her in the nursing home to begin with. At this point, they are keeping her comfortable. Our plan was for all of us to drive up this past Saturday to visit her. However, with the threats being made, and the need to drive through tunnels or over bridges in New York, we decided the safest thing was not to risk taking out our entire immediate family (well almost, my sister is in TX, but it was supposed to be me, my dad, my mom, Archie, and Jack going up). So now we have to figure out when we are going to be able to go back up. I work all this weekend, and Jack starts an acting/singing/dancing class called Broadway Babies this Saturday and it's every Saturday for the next 7 weeks. I guess we'll have to plan on going up on a Sunday, or a weekday (less likely for a weekday as my schedule varies, Archie works and so does my dad). At this point, I just continue to pray for my grandmother, and pray that she knows we want to be there with her, and that we're praying for and thinking about her.

On the baby front, things are going better. We felt the baby move from the outside for the first time last night. Well, Archie and I did. Jack fell asleep with his hand on my belly waiting to feel the baby move on Saturday night. So sweet. I've decided not to worry about this little one's spine. Seriously, it's a fetus, they're supposed to be curled up. I think it's probably completely normal, and from what I can feel of this baby, he's got no problem moving around.

I continue to get IV fluids. It's taking more and more sticks to get access, so there has been some talk about a PICC line, but I measured my urine output over the weekend, and I've talked to both my urologist and OB, and they're both happy with my output at present. I'm eating ice chips and popsicles to boost it when I'm not feeling well enough to take in as much as I normally would in water, and it seems to be helping. My plan is at my OB appointment next week to ask to stop the IV fluids unless I develop a stone.

Not sure if I mentioned it on my last post after my OB appointment, but I was back up to my 10 week pregnancy weight at that appointment. Since I'm eating more frequently, and I have to admit I may have increased my intake of milkshakes (strawberry or chocolate, doesn't matter to me!), so I'm thinking my weight will probably have increased by a couple of pounds by next Thursday-yikes!!! I am also eating good things, it's not all junk. This baby seems to really like grapes and baby carrots, so those have been things I've tried to eat since the thought of salad (and texture after throwing it up once a couple of weeks ago at work) makes my stomach turn. The heartburn continues to be an issue, and TUMS continue to be my go-to for that. The heartburn with Jack didn't start until later in pregnancy than it did with this one, so I'm pretty sure this baby will have a good amount of hair too. I'm not throwing up too often, maybe once a week or so, although I have plenty of times I'm right on the edge and not too sure that I won't throw up. I still take the zofran, sometimes it's every 8 hours on the really bad days, and other days I don't need to take it at all.

I'll end this post with a picture of my belly at 20 weeks.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

19 week Baby Update, Hurricane Irene, Grandmom's, and Earthquakes, Oh My!

It's been a few weeks since I posted. Just didn't have much going on really.

I've always wanted to go to California, a friend tried to convince me that San Diego is a great place to live. I could totally deal with the 70 degree temps year round and LOVE it, but they get those pesky wildfires and earthquakes which make me hesitant, not to mention I can only imagine the cost of living out there. I always wondered what it was like to be around when an earthquake strikes. Well, I got a little taste of it the other day. I can't say I was scared since I had no clue at the time that it was an earthquake. The east coast rarely gets them, but this one originated in Virginia (we're in MD), and was felt all the way up into Canada. We had just gone upstairs to take a nap, and had set Jack up at the foot of our bed with his DVD player. The bed started shaking and Archie and I looked at each other and then looked for Chance, our greyhound who had a seizure in the spring, but he wasn't in bed with us, so that couldn't be it. We thought it was our sleep number mattress malfunctioning because we kept hearing "clicking". Archie got out of bed and opened our bedroom door because Chance was crying in the hall. This, the dog who isn't disturbed by ANYTHING. We just kept looking at each other wondering what in the heck was going on. Then my mom called me from work to ask if we'd felt that. Oh! She said there was fire equipment outside of the hospital evacuating other buildings, and that they thought it was an earthquake. I got off the phone with her and found that I couldn't make any calls as cell service was disrupted, but I could get on facebook, and when I did, I saw that everyone else had seemed to feel the earth shake as well. We didn't have any pictures fall off the walls, or anything fall over, it wasn't that big of a deal, just interesting when you've never experienced anything like it. I'll bet our friends in California thought all the hyped up east coast people were pretty funny/ridiculous, but that would be like them getting hit with a tornado. Just not something you experience often.

Then, yesterday we got a little taste of Hurricane Irene. There was alot of damage from fallen trees in our area, and some power outages, but our family and home was unscathed. I had trouble sleeping last night with all of the wind and rain, but I'm happy to say our roof held up, and our sump pump did it's job so we didn't flood out our basement. We were supposed to go to Ocean City overnight last night and head home today, but that was obviously nixed. We got a phone call on Friday from our hotel telling us that they were evacuating everyone. So, no part of a vacation whatsoever this summer, but it is what it is.

Yesterday morning I got a forwarded email from my father, from his cousin who is the power of attorney for my grandmother in CT (he's in MD too). It seems that while we found out a month or so ago that her kidney function is declining (she has a history of kidney disease), and she is continuing to have problems with her blood pressure. Well, in this email, it turns out that on Wednesday when my grandmom went for her hair appointment, during the transfer from her wheelchair she got lightheaded and they helped her to the floor for her safety. Her legs which have been swollen even before her kidney function got worse, are worse yet, and her left leg is red and irritated. They started her on antibiotics. She's refusing to eat, even ice cream (normally a treat for her), and refusing to drink (including her cranberry juice-a favorite). His cousin is going back to check on her, and if she thinks it needs to be done, will ask the doc to reassess and possibly admit her to the hospital. The woman is in her 90's, and I know she won't live forever, but I wish it didn't have to be like this. Isn't a quick and painless death (like in your sleep) better than being sick for a long time, feeling miserable and finally succumbing to the illnesses? I'm just having a hard time even thinking about it.

On Thursday we had our big ultrasound to look at the baby's anatomy and gender. The baby has a 4 chamber heart which I am so happy about, and all of the vessels appear to be where they should be. The brain looked good, as well as the kidneys. Baby appeared to have all of it's fingers and toes, eyes, a nose, and cute little lips. We are having another boy! Jack said, "Oh, I really thought it was going to be a girl!" I explained that I think we all did, but now he'd have someone to play trains and cars with, and he has so much to teach his little brother about all of those things! He seemed ok with it after that.

The only thing that has me concerned about this ultrasound is that the baby wouldn't straighten out so they could make sure his spine wasn't curved. He was balled up and not very cooperative, and while they didn't see any major anomalies like spina bifida or anything like that, I'm worried. I'm worried that he didn't stretch out because he couldn't stretch out physically, maybe his spine won't allow him to do it. Which could lead to problems with his developing lungs. I'm sure everything is fine, but I may ask my OB if we could just take another look for my piece of mind, just of his spine. We'll see what she says. It's not like they could do anything about it in utero anyway, but I'd like to know what we're dealing with either way. The baby measured 19 weeks and 3 days, and my ultrasound was at 18 weeks and 4 days. I'm a little worried he'll be huge. I think Jack at 6 pounds 12 ounces did enough damage, I'd hate to think of what a bigger baby would do to me! I did ask my OB (knowing that my glucose test isn't until late October) if I needed to be worried about anything like gestational diabetes, and she said I'm not spilling glucose or ketones in my urine, so at this point she thinks we're ok for that. She said there can be up to a 10% error on the estimated size of the baby by ultrasound. Then she told me that her first baby was 6 pounds, her second was 8, and that by far, the 8 pound baby was so much easier on her body. That was reassuring. The ultrasound tech had said that they would probably do another ultrasound around 35-36 weeks to check the size of the baby prior to delivery, and that this is pretty standard now. That was news to me. The ultrasound I had with Jack at 19 weeks, was my last, they never checked for size and that was only 4 and a half years ago. I'll take it though.

I'm sure I'm worried over nothing, and I'm just not going to have two really easy, cooperative, flexible babies (my luck just isn't like that, and I got really lucky the first time with the whole easy baby bit), but I can't help but think about my little guy's ultrasound and that darn spine. We'll see what my OB says.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

16 Weeks 2 Days

I wanted to post my belly pic. I don't really see much of a difference when I compare it with my pic from closer to 12 weeks, but I feel the difference. I started to feel this little one move last Wednesday. It's the best feeling, and it was my favorite part of my pregnancy with Jack, and I'm pretty sure it will be one of my favorites with this one as well. I usually only feel it when I'm lying really still, but occassionally it will be moving when I stand up at work, and that is the strangest feeling. I don't remember having it with Jack, but it just feels really heavy and weird really low. It usually stops moving after I've been moving for a minute, probably because it's being sloshed around in there and maybe it makes the baby fall back asleep.

Jack has started talking to the belly, or singing to it. The other night he put his mouth right against my lower belly and sang his ABC's, and I could feel the baby moving around. It was cute. Jack continues to remind me when baby names come up that he doesn't like one of our boy names (he actually really "hates" it), and reminds me of what variation of the girl name he'd want to call the baby. For a 4 year old, he sure is opinionated. I guess he comes by that honestly.

We have narrowed the baby names down. If it is a girl it will be Kate Elise (Jack wants to call her Katie which I told him was fine). If it is a boy, the only option we had that we could agree on but weren't over the moon (like we were with the name Jack) about was Charlie. NOT Charles, but Charlie. I really love that name, but I have conflicting feelings about it because Charlie sounds like a kid's name, but what about when he's an adult. I do not like the name Charles really. I figure there was Charlie Chaplin, Charlie Sheen (which makes me like the name a little less), etc., so it could work. Then a friend overseas in Australia told me that they have kids with the official name Charlie over there, and it's not thought of as a kiddie name. That made me feel a little better. My mom, Archie, Jack and I were in the car a week or so ago, and Jack brought up the name Joey. I like Joey, it's not a bad name. I don't mind the name Joseph, so that would be the official name, but we'd probably call him Joey. Except that Archie doesn't like Joey, so he said he'd call him Joe which I'm not a big fan of. I figure by the time the child can make the decision on what he wants to be called by friends, whatever name we call him by will stick with the family. Archie would like his official name (Archel- pronounced Arch-elle) to be the boy's middle name either way. I don't like it with Charlie, but with Joseph it sounds fine. BTW, Kate will be her official name, not Katherine. Katherine just sounds too formal to me. Kate and Jack are both classic names, and I love them both!

I'm still dealing with nausea and some occassional vomiting, but I've begun to eat every couple of hours (like 2 hours), and I will eat some crackers if I wake up to go to the bathroom just for fear of waking up really nauseous (which does occassionally happen). That coupled up with the zofran seems to be working pretty well. I'm still getting the IV fluids 3 times a week.

My next ultrasound and OB appointment are on August 25th-only 15 more days until we hopefully know what this baby's gender is!!! I'm hoping that by that time, I'll have this nausea under control and maybe we can stop with the IV fluids.

I just continue to pray that this sweet baby is healthy and looks great on my next ultrasound. We'll get to see it's little heart, and hopefully make sure things look normal. I see things that get missed on prenatal ultrasounds be present at birth when I'm at work and know that just because it looks normal doesn't mean it necessaily is, but if it doesn't detect anything major, I will have faith that this baby will be ok.

As a random side question, do any of you watch Big Brother on CBS? I am a total addict!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

15 weeks 0 days

Today I am 15 weeks exactly. I do have a few things to report. As of Friday, if I hadn't thrown up, I would have made it 3 weeks. The fact that I almost made it that far, is great. I was so hopeful however to be able to be done with these IV's. A week and a half ago, I honestly thought I'd go to the OB appointment and be able to say I didn't need them. Then last week the nausea was back with a vengeance, late Wednesday night I started with a sore throat, by Thursday night was starting with a cough, and with the nasty cough, gagging. I've thrown up twice in the last 3 days, but honestly, I think alot of it has to do with the post nasal drip, and the coughing triggering it. I wasn't feeling great earlier in the week with the nausea, but I think I probably could have kept from throwing up, MAYBE. One morning I went to my mom's office to pick up Jack and told her I felt like I was going to throw up, and she told me to go do it in the bathroom before I got on the road. But the point is to NOT throw up, and I was bound and determined to keep it in as long as I could. Can't say I didn't try.

The acid reflux has also kicked up a notch. I remember toward the end of my pregnancy having to sleep sitting up on pillows in my bed because if I didn't I'd wake up choking on my own stomach acid in the middle of the night, not being able to breathe, and then throwing up. I'm not that bad yet. However, if I lay down, I'm in such bad pain it's ridiculous. Two tums (used to be my go-to) only cut it for about 10-15 minutes and then I'm back in pain again. Milk occassionally helps, it's hit or miss. I may try Maalox next. I don't want to be taking anything like zantac on a regular basis, I just want something for when it's really bad and Tums won't cut it.

I went to my OB appointment on Friday. She didn't measure me, or even palpate my abdomen to see what I was talking about, but she tells me that it's certainly not my uterus that I feel at my belly button. She said it's a fluke. I told her I can feel it plain as day. She assures me it's not, that my uterus is only a few inches above my pubic bone at this point, the only way it would be at my belly button at this point is if my dates were wrong (which we know they're written in stone, no mistaking that), or if I was pregnant with multiples which we also know I am not. So I have no idea what it is I can feel, but I will tell you that it stays mostly on my right side (where I felt the pop a few weeks ago with all that pain-she said that was probably ligaments stretching) and if I push on my right side, I can feel something on the inside (not on the outside) bulge over to the left. It also continues to rise in my abdomen, a few weeks ago this non-uterus was below my belly button and now it's not. No idea what it is if it's not my uterus, but I'll just take her word for it. She is the expert after all, not me!

She did doppler the baby's heartbeat which took a little work to find (maybe because she was looking right above my pubic bone and found it about an inch or two down from my belly button), and it was 149. It's getting lower and lower as the baby gets bigger. Not sure what that means for the gender. This baby started off in the high 160's, at our first trimester screen and ultrasound was at 157, and now is at 149. Crud, speaking of the first trimester ultrasound, I forgot to ask if she had my bloodwork back! I will call tomorrow. She told us to schedule our anatomy ultrasound and next OB appointment for 4 weeks. We will know whether this baby is a boy or a girl on August 25th!!!! We cannot wait.

I worked Totswap again this week, and again, I refused to buy anything for the baby. I saw a ton of cute stuff, but I really won't need many boy things if it is a boy because I saved most of the baby stuff and haven't sold it yet. However, if it's a girl, I already have images of cute little dresses, skirts and outfits swirling around in my mushy brain! The next Totswap sale is in October, so I will definitely be able to shop then.

If you haven't already, I have a poll on the right side of the blog for the baby's gender. You have just over 25 days left to vote, so please make sure you do!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So Unhappy...

Last Thursday afternoon, I got a bill from our fertility clinic. It was for a little over $2200. Hello! So on Friday, I called the billing department to find out what these charges were for, and I was informed that $1000 was for our copay for our cycle, and one was for $1250 for the cryopreservation for our embryos. Do you remember this post where they had told me that I wouldn't have the full $1000 copay because our insurance doesn't cover thawing of the embryos and so I would only be responsible for the $530 for that???? Yeah. I also was told before we did our first cycle of the year that cryopreservation was covered which I thought was odd, but I had the financial coordinator double check and she assured me they cover it.

So, I got on the phone with the financial coordinator who had taken over for the one who told me that the insurance covered cryopreservation and asked her to look back in her records for what was actually said. She found that it was covered 80% and we'd be responsible for 20%. This takes that part of the bill down to $250 we should owe. I forgot to ask her about the copay, and called back again yesterday, and finally heard from her today. She was the one who had told me that we wouldn't have the copay and on the phone today she told me that was correct because our insurance doesn't cover thawing. I explained to her that they were telling me that I did in fact owe this money, and they'd already appealed it twice to the insurance company. She called their managed care department and called me back and told me that they consider it to be just like an IVF cycle because one of the billing codes was for embryo transfer. So, I owe this $1000. Shouldn't she have known this before our cycle? We asked specifically for them to double check so that we wouldn't have any surprise bills. And the bill for the cryopreservation, yeah, that happened back on March 2nd, so what's the hold up? Anyway, I guess we're going to be out some money.

Disney is cancelled. It was cancelled before this, but there is no way it could happen now. And I have to call the guy in charge of billing for cryo and embryo storage tomorrow to get him to resolve the other $1000 of the cryo bill. Ugh. Wish people would get their stuff straight the first and second time you ask them to make sure the info is right.

Thanks for letting me vent! I will say that while these bills coming in flat out suck, Archie put a good spin on it. At least we have something to show for these bills coming in, it's not like we're getting these bills unexpectedly and it being a slap in the face when the cycle failed. He's so right. I'm done venting, and will get on it with it now!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I haven't thrown up in almost 2 weeks, how awesome is that?!?! I still have bouts of nausea, although yesterday I thought I was finally over that hump. You see, in the last week I've been taking my zofran once, maybe twice on a bad day. That's a big improvement for me. All of a sudden yesterday it was like a switch was flipped and instead of being nauseated, I was ravenous. No joke, I could have eaten everything I saw (except for the things that repulse me), and still been hungry. Until last night. We had lasagna for dinner, and like I've mentioned before, tomato based things like tomato sauce, just don't sit well with me this pregnancy. I had lasagna a week ago though and it stayed down and I'd even had seconds, so I thought maybe this would be ok. After dinner I debated whether I should have even eaten the lasagna, or if my nausea was because I was still hungry. Then I was dealing with bad heartburn. I didn't eat because until yesterday, small meals stayed down, large meals didn't, and I didn't want to tempt fate. I felt miserable all night, and it took me forever to fall asleep, even after I ate some Tums like they were candy to try and help with the heartburn. I woke up throughout the night with acid reflux that tempted me to throw up, but I didn't. All day today my stomach hasn't been right and I've gagged a few times, threatening to end my NON-THROWING UP streak.

In other news, there is definitely something "there". I can feel it when I try to sit up or bend over. Something popped and hurt like heck the other day when I bent a certain way, and I had cramping and round ligament pain all night that night at work, but that's better thank goodness. But, you can feel how the lower part of my abdomen beneath my belly button is harder, and it definitely doesn't give when I bend over, so there is something growing in there, getting bigger, and I'm noticing the difference. Jack and Archie also notice it and are very affectionate towards the little popsicle. It melted my heart the other night when we were getting ready for bed, and Jack told me he wanted to sing a song to the baby. He seems to be going through a phase where he is getting shy when people watch him, so he told me he didn't want me to "smile, laugh, or look at me" while he did it. I thought to myself, "But you're being so darn cute, that may be impossible" and tried to put on my best poker face and not look at him. He then proceeded to sing in a whisper "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to my lower belly. I cannot convey how incredibly cute this was. I told him I thought the baby might not have been able to hear his whisper, that he should sing it louder, at which point he said, "Yeah, it can't hear me because it's in your belly!!!" I couldn't figure out how to explain that actually when it's bigger and still in my belly it will be able to hear his voice, so I just told him that I was sure the baby heard him and enjoyed his song, and silently wished I'd never told him that I thought he needed to be louder than a whisper.

I'm still not doing too well with my water intake. I knew I needed more last night after dinner but with my stomach being so sour, I was really afraid to attempt it, and it just continued all night last night and today. I tend to do alot better with my water intake at work and in the heat. My theory is that when it's hot, obviously you get thirsty, but at work in the hospital the air is so dry, and so I am constantly thirsty, and I find that when I leave work in the morning even after 48 ounces of water, my throat feels like I need more. So work isn't necessarily a bad thing for me especially when it comes to needing to drink more.

I see my urologist tomorrow and will discuss stopping the IV fluids next week if everything continues on the path it is, and then my next OB appointment is next Friday, July 29th (also my sister's 29th birthday!). I haven't heard anything from the genetics counselors, so I'm hoping it doesn't mean something is wrong (we heard back in a week with Jack, and we are at 2 weeks now with this one) and they are waiting for my doc to tell me. That said, I hope she has some results from the bloodwork that she can share with us. I'm also curious to find out where my uterus should be measuring. I realize that you get bigger quicker with subsequent pregnancies, but I'm just wondering what is normal at this point. With Jack, she told me at 20 weeks, my uterus should be at my belly button level. It is 1cm beneath that now which is where I was at about 19 weeks with Jack. It has me a little worried, but I'm trying not to worry too much until I can ask my OB if it's normal for a second pregnancy to have my uterus measuring that large. I'm also going to talk to my OB about possibly stopping the fluids and hopefully she and my urologist will both be on board and feel that I'm at a good enough place to do this.