Just another mom blog…

For this child, I have prayed. (Samuel 1:27)

Archive for the month “August, 2009”

31 week OB appointment

Today I had my 31 week OB appointment.  Dr. W wants to see me every week from now until Nathan’s birth to monitor his growth and to check for signs of preterm labor. At each appointment I will have a biophysical profile sonogram as well as a cervical length check.  The biophysical profile just measures and checks all of Nathan’s organ development, amount of amniotic fluid surrounding him, and gives an indication of his weight.  The cervical length checks for effacement (shortening/thinning).  If there are any changes in the cervix, it means that my contractions have been strong enough to start preterm labor.

I’ve gained 1 pound this week.  Nathan is supposed to have gained about 1/2 pound this week and every week thereafter.  He’s growing! I have the belly to prove it. 🙂

I asked my OB about delivery day.  It has to be on a Wednesday morning so the colorectal surgeon can attend.  Dr. W said that the tentative date could possibly be October 7th, which is 5 weeks 2 days from now.   Depending on how baby and I are doing between now and then, they may have to take him earlier or push the date back to Oct 14th.  I have my fingers crossed for October 7th.

As for other news, our foster kittens Larry and Leo were both adopted over the weekend! A physician who recently lost her cat adopted them both together.  I miss those sweet, handsome boys but I know that they will be well taken care of.

Leo and Larry

Leo and Larry

We took in a foster kitten on Saturday night. My new couch buddy’s name is Lucy Lu.  She is an itty-bitty 4/5 week old who was scheduled to be put to sleep the day after we got her.  Here’s her picture:

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Lost in thought today

“Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow is just an extension of today with a nice nap in between” (by yours truly).

Today has been a day of contradictions for me.  On one hand, I’m excited that I am in the home stretch of my pregnancy and I’m well on my way to finally meeting my son.  On the other hand, I’m well on my way to meeting my son and I’m just not sure if I’m ready.  I’m surprised at how uncomfortable the third trimester can be and its only just beginning.  I’m worried that I will be too worn out to both recover from a difficult pregnancy/birth and meet the demands of a newborn.  I’m hoping that when the time comes a third wind will pick me up and help me get through it. I’m just eternally grateful that my mom in law will be coming to help after the birth.  I don’t know how I would make it without her. She’s just awesome like that.

As it is, I’m just taking it day by day.

I’ve been worried a little about a preterm delivery, frequent contractions constantly reminded me of the threat.  A new fear that has been developing is one of PPD.

I’ve been following a preggo blog online and the writer is experiencing postpartum depression.  It scares me to think that it is very well possible that I may find myself looking at my son and not feeling a bond with him due to PPD.  Its scary- but lots of things are.

The best thing I can do is just take comfort in knowing that we will get through whatever comes our way.  C and I are strong like that.

Oh dear…he’s a Big Baby

Today we had our 30 week sonogram.  Nathan already weighs 4 pounds!  This means that if I made it all the way to 40 weeks that he could be a 9 pound baby.  I refuse! There’s no way my body can carry a 9-pounder.  It’s just not happening. I put my food down on that one.  I’ll have some choice words for my OB if he tries to make me.

There is a mild amount of relief that my OB said he won’t let me go past 38 weeks.  Still- that’s an 8 pound baby.  Twice as big as I am now. My OB told me earlier that with all my GI issues my baby will not be a big baby- “Perhaps around 5-6 pounds.”  HA HA HA!  He pulled a fast one on me.  I wonder if he knows how much trouble he is in?

I just don’t know if I can make it.  I guess I will if I have to, but I can’t promise that I will be pleasant or lovely to be around.  I’ll probably be more or less sessile and more than a little bit grumpy most of the time. Especially when I have to walk anywhere…or sit up…or breathe! I already tend to feel out of breath.  I have a feeling that having 4 more pounds of baby in there is not going to help the problem.

I’ll have to buy bigger pants- or else live in C’s boxer shorts.  I’ve already stolen all of his soft t-shirts.  I get too grumpy when things are tight on me.  I gave myself a contraction just thinking about it. Since his choices are to finance a (bigger) maternity wardrobe, deal with a grumpy wife in tight-fitting clothes, or go underwear-less- well I guess he chooses the latter.

I think C is privately thankful that we went the IVF route since I can’t exactly blame him for putting me in the predicament.   He has a good point there. He grinned for all the world to see when he found out just how big his son will be knowing full and well that he has immunity from the wrath of this pregnant woman. Lucky guy.

In all honesty, I really am proud that he is growing so well in there despite all that has gone on with this pregnancy.  He is absolutely thriving and I couldn’t be happier.  Even if I do amount to a land-bound, grumpy, sessile beluga whale in stolen boxer shorts by the time he arrives, I know without a doubt that it will be 1000% worth it the minute I look into his eyes.

In the words of his favorite Aunt- Grow Nathan, grow!

Triage Round III

Today I had contractions since around 6am.  After about 6 hours of regular contractions, I began to feel completely worn out from them and was getting quite sore.  I sent a text to Mom/BB about them and she suggested that I call the nurse.  It was during their lunch break so I decided to use the time to time the contractions and take a quick shower.  They were every 5 minutes apart, then 1-3 minutes apart.  I called the nurse and they said to come in immediately.

Chris was at work and so I drove myself to the OBs office.  The contractions made me feel nauseas and out of breath, and so the wait to see my OB seemed like forever.  C came running in to the waiting room. The nurse called us back and assessed my general condition.  She determined that I now weigh 140.  Lots of high fives went around. Finally I saw the OB.

He examined me and determined I had not dilated any more. I joked about being a frequent flier of the stirrups.  He told me I would probably have lots more episodes like this.  Oh joy.  I had several contractions while he looked me over and so he sent me on over to triage.

I waddled like a bat out of hell straight up to labor and delivery.  I almost plowed into a little old lady and practically closed the elevator doors before occupants could make their respective exits.  I was panting through the contractions and had tunnel vision for a bed to lay down on and shots to end this miserable exercise, so needless to say I wasn’t feeling too apologetic at the moment.

At triage they confirmed contractions, determined that Nathan is having a ball in there, checked for possible causes of contractions (found none), and gave me fluids plus 2 brethine shots to stop the contractions.  They decided to give me medicine to take home which I can take whenever I start having contractions again. I was sent home, contraction free, and took the best nap of my life.

Triage Round II

Saturday night I gave in and called our OB about having so many contractions.  He said to go in to the triage to get evaluated.  Once there, the contractions stopped on their own.  While I was very glad that they stopped, I was hoping they could see on the monitor what has been happening so that something could be done about it.  They checked the usual causes of contractions such as dehydration and UTI.  I was well hydrated and did not have a UTI.  I’m not sure why I’ve been having them, neither are they. It’s just an irritable uterus.

They did a digital exam and found that I had some dilation, but not enough to worry them.  So they sent me home.

I didn’t even make it home before the contractions started again.  They were stronger this time and I started vomiting in the car and then continued vomiting every few hours through the night.

C got to see and feel my abdomen while in a contraction.  He said it felt as hard as a bowling ball and said that it make him hurt just looking at it.  I explained that the actual contraction doesn’t hurt me, it’s everything around it (back, cramps, abdominal, ect). Collectively they make me feel like I’ve been punched in the abdomen too many times- it’s sore.

I wish they had caught the contractions on the monitor so that I could be given a shot or something to stop these contractions. I can deal with them just fine but I think that they are using up all of my excess energy.  I’m having trouble eating enough to fuel the energy for the contractions and the 1/2 pound per week that Nathan needs to grow.

I have an OB appointment this week along with a sonogram.  I am hoping that we can figure out if the contractions are hindering his growth and if so, how to stop them.

Daddy, the OB, nurses, grandma, and his mommy have all fussed at this baby telling him to stay put!

More Contractions, 30 weeks

Thursday night was filled with contractions that left me feeling sore today.  I had a couple dozen contractions that I counted and I’m sure they continued while I tried to get some sleep.  I kept waiting for other signs of preterm labor (water breaking, bleeding, worsening contraction pain), but luckily they did not happen. 🙂

I’m especially happy because today marks the 2-week mark since the positive fetal fibronectin test that indicates a risk of preterm labor onset within 2 seeks of the positive result.  As excited as I am about meeting my little boy soon, I am glad that he is going to stay and cook a little longer before joining us in the world.

I still can’t believe I’ll be the mother of a little miracle baby soon!  I find myself often wondering who he looks like, how big he will be, and how it will feel to finally hold him in my arms. I love feeling his little round knee or pointy elbows moving around to find just the right spot.  It brings a smile to my face each and every time.

C and I have a little tradition that we call “Happy Friday.”  I make sure that the house is clean and I cook a nice dinner so that we can celebrate the week and get our weekend off to a good start.  We sit at the table or on the deck and talk about our favorite events of the week and what our weekend plans are. We usually like to use the occasion to try a new recipe or two, cook up our comforting favorites, or indulge in luxuries like shrimp and rib eye steaks on the grill.  Today, since I was on bed rest, he treated me to eel sushi and seaweed salad- yum! Anyhow, we are planning on continuing “Happy Friday” as a family.  I think it will become the source of really happy memories for us as a family in the years to come.

As for other news, the 4 foster kittens are doing so well and they have been a great source of entertainment while I’m on bed rest. I often wake up feeling quite warm from my naps.  Usually it is because there is a kitten on my head, one by my side, and one perched on my hip all sound asleep and purring.  I decided to keep them a little longer.  They seem to be very happy here and they are adorable.  Cute little boogers. Here are pictures of 3 of them:

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The other day I saw a woman about my age from the neighborhood walking her 2 dogs.  I also noticed that she has a noticeable baby bump.  As she walked by, I quickly worked up the courage to ask her when her baby is due.  She beamed and told me that she is due in October.  I got very excited and told her that I, too, am due then.  I asked her what day and it turns out that she is actually due the day before I am!  We were both amazed and excited to meet another mom of a pumpkin baby.

We are quickly building a sizable play-date group consisting of 5 babies around the same age in our neighborhood.  I  am thinking about starting up a weekly stroller/walking group for all of us moms and our babies in the spring.   I think it would be a wonderful opportunity for us moms to connect and share stories.  🙂

I also got a Nikon D40 camera:

I’ve been taking a few pictures here and there trying to learn how to use it.  I hope to be skilled at using it by the time Nathan arrives.  Including the kitten pictures above, here are a few others I tried to take. I still have TONS to learn.  I think it will ultimately end up being a very useful hobby to have 🙂

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: First attempts with D40
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Eating for 2?

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Where is my appetite? Nathan is supposed to be gaining 1/2 pound per week until around week 37.  Since late last week I have not had much of an appetite at all.  I actually lost one of the two pounds that I gained in my 7th month of pregnancy. I’ve only gained 11 pounds and I’m starting my 8th month! The picture above is from right before we left for a cookout with some friends of ours.  At the cookout, I mentioned we’re expecting and several people looked down and said, “You’re pregnant?”  It’s upsetting.

I’ve always had bouts of just not being hungry for as long as I can remember.  It comes with the territory when you’re blessed with a rotten GI system. I just never expected it to happen while expecting.  So I’ve started drinking Ensure plus again to help me meet the nutritional requirements.  I’ve been fighting nausea and making myself eat a bite or two whenever I think of it because every little bit counts.  I think it may just be that Nathan is pushing up on my stomach, making me feel full more quickly than normal.  I have another sonogram next week to check on his growth.  Hopefully it will show that he is gaining weight and growing as he should.

Midnight Soccer and my C-section

Last night Nathan woke me up several times with full-out double whammy kicks to my diaphragm. I have no idea what got into him.  Its the first time he’s ever done that.  I could feel both feet kicking as hard as they could, holding the pressure there for a moment, then feel his knees curl back into the fetal position readying for the next strike.  When he stretched out at the height of his kicks, he stretched from very, very low in my pelvis toward the back to just under my diaphragm right under my ribs.  It was very uncomfortable so I tried to push down on his feet for him to kick off of my hands instead of my diaphragm, but my bladder was at once deeply offended and it’s protests left me running for the bathroom.  So my little guy was left to kick…and kick…and kick…

I’m feeling tons better about my upcoming c-section surgery.  One of the top colorectal surgeons in the country will be attending the c-section to address any issues that may come up.  I feel extremely fortunate to have such a good team for the birth of Nathan.  He’s one lucky little man.

Yesterday at my pre-birth appointment she clarified that they will do everything they can to limit the surgery to delivering Nathan.  They do not want to do much at all to the rest of me.  I am still at risk of developing GI complications post-surgery, but I’ve been through them before and I will get through them again.  At least they are all aware of the risks and will do everything they can to prevent them from occurring.  Before this appointment, I was worried about both GI complications and a hard, painful recovery from GI surgery with a C-section.  Taking the GI surgery out of the question really helps to alleviate some of the anxiety I had about the surgery. I am hoping that it will be a normal C-section delivery and that I will be able to bounce back and jump into being a mommy to my sweet baby boy. 🙂

Mission Feed-A-Baby accomplished! (almost)

It finally sunk in around 12am what my OB said about potential/likely bed rest.  Like any other pregnant woman, my immediate concern was of food.   My husband cannot cook, and I have a growing baby to feed.  I found myself formulating an attack plan to cook and stock my freezer with at least 3 weeks worth of  meals.  My plan quickly grew until I found myself sitting at my kitchen table writing every last detail down.

Two hours later, I smiled down at my work.  First I wrote down every meal, side, and casserole that I know I can cook and that we both like.  I figured that C could easily cook simple veggies and salads to go with them, so I focused on more complicated dishes.  I went through my recipes, modified them so that they’ll freeze better,  and wrote down all the remaining ingredients needed for each dish.  I checked my pantry for what I have and which things I needed to buy. I reorganized a master grocery list according to where they are found in the store.  Then I checked my freezer tupperware to see how many new ones I would need to buy as well so that I can have enough to freeze and label everything I planned on cooking.

Today, after my GI surgeon’s appointment, I headed over to the store and got everything I needed.  I brought coupons and shopped smart so that I ended up saving around $30.  Ever since then, I’ve been cooking up the storm.

So far I’ve cooked deluxe mexican casserole, spaghetti, meat loafs with sauce, squash dressing, italian green bean casserole, sausage and gravy for biscuits,  lasagna, jambalya, bacon-n-beef baked beans, and I’m waiting on my hock-n-black-eye peas to soak. As soon as they have cooled, they will be labeled with serving directions, listed on the fridge, and organized into groups in the deep freezer.

As soon as I can, I am planning on cooking pork-n-potatoes, rump roast with veggies, sloppy joes, green bean casserole, jiffy corn casserole, home-made veggie soup, chicken/wild rice casserole, pulled BBQ pork ribs, pulled beef for sandwiches with dipping sauce, asparagus casserole, and a few others that I haven’t thought of yet. I am planning on resting for 2 days so that I am still following the doctors orders.

I’m also working on a list of easier things that C can prepare as well.  I’m making a weekly grocery list for these meals along with a easy-to-follow recipe list for him so that he can cook with confidence.  So far I have: chicken salad, cured ham, Cincinnati chili spaghetti, mexican/cream cheese dip, ham-n-macaroni casserole, and I’m working on others.  These things do not freeze well so it is win-win.  I just hate the idea of him having to do everything while I am on bed rest.  I figure the least I can do is to take care of the meals, especially since my OB gave me a heads-up about bed rest.  We are both of us huge fans of food at the moment anyways.

I have no idea where all of this energy came from!  Maybe I’m just nesting?  My feet and back are absolutely killing me but I’m so determined to accomplish this goal of mine.  I am of course resting with my feet up while things are baking or cooling- I synchronized the order of prepping/cooking so that I could.  I know that when my freezer is stocked that I will feel so much better and will finally be able to relax…until the next concern anyways. 🙂

28 1/2 week OB appointment

I went to my follow-up OB appointment since being released from the hospital.  Nathan’s heart rate looks great and my belly is looking rather good.  I gained 2 pounds since last month for a total of 12 pounds this pregnancy.  They are very happy with my progress so far.

I asked him if he has narrowed down Nathan’s birthday yet since we are having a planned c-section.  He said if God smiles down on us, getting to 38 weeks would be wonderful and safest for Nathan.  It’s probably not the safest bet for myself, so his birthday really depends on how I’m doing.  So while 36-38 weeks is the ideal goal, he can be taken as early as 34 weeks if I am not doing well.  I have at least 6-10 weeks left in my pregnancy.

He also wants me to go on modified bed rest.  If I have an activity planned for the day, I am supposed to rest before and the day after. If I am sitting down, I should lay down and put my feet up.  The rest of the time I can certainly do things around the house but I basically have to take it easy.

He said that I may still end up having “bumps” in the road that require me to go to the hospital for treatment.  He listed dehydration and contractions as possible concerns that can lead to that.  But overall we are very pleased that things are still going well.

I am scheduled for a sonogram to monitor preterm labor and Nathan’s growth and another OB appointment the week after next.  I will probably have to see my OB every 1-2 weeks from here until Nathan’s birth.

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