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!