Monday, December 27, 2010

Today is the Day!

Today I am 37 weeks 1 day pregnant. Today we also have our amniocentesis scheduled for 9:00 am. If baby boy's lungs are mature I will be induced.

I cannot believe this day has finally arrived. Physically and emotionally I am ready. More than ready. I am excited and yet nervous. I am looking forward to meeting this little one who is squirming all over as I type this. I am terrified however, that something may go wrong. I stay positive for the most part but those thoughts seem to creep in now and then. Its hard for me to even imagine holding this little one in my arms. Alive.  I am looking forward to cuddling up with him and staring at his precious little face, feeling his soft skin, smelling his sweet baby smell. To think that could happen on this very day is surreal for me.

As I lay here typing at 1:00 am, a blizzard is blowing outside. The first real snowfall of this winter and they are predicting about 20 inches. 20 inches! Just our luck that it happens the night before our induction. My doctor called me yesterday afternoon and asked if we would like to reschedule until Tuesday. We decided not to change the date but at any point we can call and cancel. We plan on heading out extremely early in the morning so we can go as slow as needed. Basically there are 3 main roads that lead from here to the hospital and once we are on them we should be fine. Making it to the first one should not be too difficult with our vehicle if the town keeps up with the plowing. I am a little nervous about driving in the snow but I know we can change our mind at any point.

I find it odd to know ahead of time. To know the date that could possibly be this little one's birthday. I am honestly not really sure how I have been handling all of this emotionally. I have numerous times today been knocked over by a overwhelming feeling. A feeling that maybe I am NOT ready to have this baby here. It has been so long,...7 1/2 years since we have had a baby come home with us. I do know that all those worries will melt away the moment I look at his face. I also know how additional emotions will come into play today. Those steming from Janessa's death. I do not know what to expect. I try not to dwell on it. What will be will be. I have noticed that when things become intense emotionally for me I find ways to keep myself preoccupied. Staying busy is an understatement of what has been going on around here. I have made it so I barely have time to think.

I have let the thought occur to me that this may be the last night I am pregnant. Ever. I do not think I could do this over again. I feel so grateful to be able to go in tomorrow and be blessed with this little boy. This has been a very long road. Treacherous at times but I somehow managed to still find joy along the way. I am extremely grateful for that. I thank everyone who has supported me/us along the way. Thank you for walking some of this journey with us.

I look forward to having both my sons together tomorrow. I have daydreamed about JJ meeting his brother so many times. He is so excited.

I only wish there was a way I could have all my children together. I know she will be with me tomorrow as always. She is never far from my heart & mind.

I should be long sleeping by now so I am off to do just that. I will update as soon as I can.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and that those whose hearts are heavy had some peace. I definitely handled this Christmas festivities alot better than last. Having so much to prepare for has kept me distracted from focusing on Christmas itself. I had one gift purchased up until Wednesday when I did most of my shopping. I had to then send my husband out in Christmas Eve madness to finish for me since I spent much of Thursday in labor and delivery triage (read about that here). I definitely avoided shopping as long as I could again this year. I once had that obnoxious Christmas spirit. It still has not returned but I am sure as time passes it will slowly come back. This time of the year you spend alot of time being grateful for all you have in your life. I know how blessed I am in mine. But when you have endured such an enormous loss in your life such as losing a child, it is hard to focus on what you have without feeling the void of your child. Its impossible. I still & will continue to feel her her painful loss each and every day of my life. She will always be remembered.

This year I was late bringing Janessa her Christmas decor. I had not been feeling well & had not made it to the cemetery for some time. It had been the longest gap of time since losing her. My sweet friend Kim recently let me know she had brought her some Christmas butterflies. I finally made it to her plot the beginning of last week and could not believe I had let her special spot become so messy. I was so disappointed in myself. This is one of the only things I can do for her. I felt like I failed her. The pumpkin we had brought her for Halloween had fallen on to her stone leaving a pink residue of paint on it. The seeds were all around frozen to the ground. I scrubbed & scrubbed & eventually got most of it off. When its not so cold I will be able to finish the cleanup. The butterflies Kim brought are gorgeous. My husband returned with me to the cemetery to put up her decorations. We could not put all we wanted as the ground was frozen solid but it turned out beautiful. Thank you Kim for your gift!

After running the risk of possibly not being home for Christmas we were grateful to have been able to spend the holiday at home. Mostly because we knew how disappointed our son would be to have to wait to have Christmas morning.

 Using his MP3 player he wanted so much for Christmas
but still excited for a bag of chocolates!

I was also grateful because we still had a TON of baby prep to do. We spent most of the day putting things together, washing baby clothes and organizing. Today is going to be a repeat.

There has been a HUGE improvement just from when these pics were snapped yesterday.

I am excited to get the furniture delivery which is scheduled on the 31st. Until then I cannot get as organized as I'd like to. My old self would have had this nursery complete by 32 weeks pregnant. I just couldn't do it. I still sometimes worry I'll come home again empty handed and walk into a nursery that will never be used. Until he is safely here I cannot overcome that.

I had a bag of Janessa's clothes I purchased for her on our counter for about two weeks. It was the very last of her items from the nursery still physically in our home. Everything else has been packed away up in our attic. I could not get myself to do anything with them. Finally on Friday my husband asked me what it was and why it had been sitting there for so long. I explained it to him. He asked what I would like to do with them. I told him where to store them upstairs and as he walked away I cried. Some things are just too much for me. That was one of them.

Last night after stopping the "nesting" madness I sat in the nursery in the rocker. I spent a great deal of time just get used to the fact that in less than 2 days this baby will be here. As I type this I cannot believe that tomorrow is the day!

As for now I am off to clean up the Christmas mess & make sure all is set for tomorrow!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What a Week!

The past week has been crazy!

I normally have both my weekly biophysical ultrasound and doctor visit on Tuesdays. At my last doctor visit she decided to break up the next two so I would be seen more than once during the week. On Tuesday 12/21 I had my doctor visit. My blood pressure was elevated a bit at around 140s/80s. She decided to put me on the monitors to check on the baby. He did great. She sent me down to the lab for some more bloodwork to make sure the raised BP was not affecting my kidneys or liver.

I had not planned on being there so long and planned to grab lunch after my appointment. Right as my visit with the doc was ending I could feel my blood sugar had dropped. I do not have blood sugar issues but I am one of those people who need to eat on a regular basis or I get shaky and, well,... bitchy too :) This increases in intensity while pregnant. As I walked down the hallway I began to sweat & feel shaky. I knew I could not have my blood drawn then as I already felt like I was about to pass out. I grabbed some snacks & sat in the lobby for about 30 minutes until I felt better and then headed to the lab.

The doc did not call me on Wednesday so I was relieved my lab results had come back normal.

On Thursday at 11:30 am I had the rescheduled biophysical. All went great. He would not allow us to get a shot of his face but she was able to get a pic of his nose and lips.

I headed home. A couple hours later around 2:20 pm I received a call from a nurse I have never spoken with asking me if I knew the nurse practitioner. I told her "yes..I met her twice". She said the NP would like me to come in for a blood pressure check. I told her I had just left there after having a biophysical done. I knew there had to be a reason for this random request so I asked if they received my lab results from Tuesday. She said "I believe that is why she would like you to come in". I told her I would head right in. I had not checked my BP all day. I really do not obsess over it as so many people seem to think I do. The reading I got was not good. I was reading 154/97. I picked up my son and my husband headed home to take me in.

When I got there I was taken in by an unfamiliar nurse to a different section from my doc's office. She did a protein and BP check. Protein was trace & BP had dropped a little to 140s/80s. She asked about the baby's movements that day. I explained that he did great on his biophysical a couple hours earlier but he was having a very slow day & his movements were not as frequent. My regular nurse stopped in. She explained that they may be sending me up to labor and delivery triage. We were extremely confused. My husband asked why I was called in. She said that I was apparently suppose to stop in the office after the bio for a BP check. I was not made aware of that so I had went home. She said they had instructions to send me up to triage for monitoring if I showed elevated BP. I asked about my labs & when she checked the results they were all normal. We were still slightly confused about the whole situation but were not about to complain or be reluctant to precautionary monitoring. They even made me use wheelchair transport to L&D triage.

Once there they hooked me up to the monitors & we began a 24 hour urine check. She waited about an hour to take my first BP reading which was great at 117/70. I was in triage for about 3 1/2 hours before they discharged me. Baby looked great on the monitors and my BP were all very good. My doc stopped in for a couple minutes and jokingly asked if I missed her. My husband joked back that the nurses had called us in this time and that it wasn't us! I explained that I was unaware about the BP visit that was scheduled after the Bio. She said she was too and was not sure why I had been called. She said she had left instructions for another patient. I guess there was some miscommunication somewhere. I definitely did not mind the extra reassurance from the monitoring but as a patient you do not like to see any mix ups. Once we knew I would definitely be discharged my husband headed out to coach his HS Girls Varsity Bball team. I hated to have him miss the game when we knew for sure I would be heading home soon. My mother came and picked up me and my son & we went and had some dinner since they had failed to feed me!

While we were still there our son said "We should have the baby today!". When we explained that would mean we would still be in the hospital for Christmas morning he quickly stated "ok let's scratch that idea!". He has been counting down to Christmas & the induction date for about a month now. He is so very excited.

Before leaving on Thursday I was instructed to bring back the 24 hour urine catch after 6:00 pm the following day to L&D triage. That would be Christmas Eve. They also wanted to do a BP check while I was there with possible monitoring. I host Christmas Eve each year so we had to change up our plans but it all worked out. We headed to the hospital around 8:30 pm. They did monitor me but we were back home around 11:30 pm. It wasn't looking so promising at first though. Baby boy who usually does so well on all his tests was not as reactive as usual. They gave me some orange juice and the nurse stayed in the room holding the monitor to my stomach for almost 45 minutes making sure she could catch his accelerations. At one point I shifted to my left side which helped alot and he eventually satisfied the doctor. If not they would have brought out the ultrasound machine and those results would have determined if we would be leaving. We waited until the 24 hour results came back and they were also good. Normal reading of protein is under 300 and my result was 234. The last BP she took after she woke me up was 96/66! We were so relieved to be able to go home so we could spend Christmas day with our son!

Who would want to miss waking up to this?

Amnio and induction is scheduled for Monday the 27th. As my Australia blogger ladies would say...only two more sleeps until we meet this new little boy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Maternity Photos

This post is a little late!

On November 7th we had some maternity photos taken by our wedding photographer. I was 30 weeks pregnant. I never had any done while pregnant with my older son or Janessa and I deeply regret that. Having learned many lessons over the past 19 months I knew I needed to take the time to capture these moments. I thought I would share a handful of the images here.

My bump sure has grown since!

Friday, December 17, 2010

10 More Days...Maybe!

On Monday baby boy had a lazy day. He wasn't extremely active but every time I layed down he would move around & he passed the 3 or 4 kick counts I did that day! I was relieved we had a biophysical the next day.

On Tuesday we had our weekly biophysical & monthly growth scan. Baby did great & passed with flying colors. I watched as he moved his diaphragm and practiced his breathing with more force than ever before. He no longer has his feet pressed up against his head which for some reason makes me feel better. I knew this already because he has been using them to push against my right side & move around. He has been head down for well over a month now.
Based on my LMP I was 35 weeks 2 days. Based on the growth scan he was measuring 36 weeks 5 days. They calculated his weight to be 6 pounds 2 oz. That's crazy considering his big brother was 7 pounds even at 40 weeks 3 days when he was born. This little boy is chunky :) He is measuring in the 76th percentile. What scared me is reading his head circumference measured in the 87% percentile. OUCH! His heart rate was his fave number of 143 BPM.
I headed home & then later that evening attended my husband's basketball game. He coaches our local high school's varsity girl's team. I knew sitting on the bleachers would  be uncomfortable. About half way through the game my back began to hurt. I didn't think too much of it and toughed it out until the end. I had a back ache all night & woke up on Wednesday to a few braxton hicks contractions which is not abnormal for me. I have gotten them very early on with all my pregnancies. They usually happen right when I wake up. But that morning my stomach was getting very tight & staying that way much longer than it should have. It also felt slightly sore. This of course reminds me of the abruption and I go into panic mode. Baby was moving and I checked his heart rate and my blood pressure and both were good. I called the doctor's office the minute they opened and changed my appointment that day from 11:00 am to 9:30 am. My husband brought me because I was quite worried. Luckily little man kept moving around so that eased some panic.
The minute they asked if I had pain and I told them what was going on they hooked me up for a non stress test. This was my first one. I have had tons of biophysicals but have never had to have a non stress test. I had a few braxton hicks while on it. One was pretty strong. The baby was squirming around everywhere. When the doc came in she asked if I had felt that contraction and I told her yes. She said I was contracting every 6 minutes. I had only felt 2 or so of them. She said the baby looked great & he was handling the contractions very well. She left me on extra time due the contractions.
My blood pressure was borderline high at 130/80. She checked my cervix & I was 2 cm dilated and soft. I was 2 cm dilated with my older son for about a month before his birth so that did not surprise me. She said if the contractions became more painful and frequent to call. She told us she was on call that night in Labor and Delivery if anything. My husband wasn't expecting to hear that...his face was priceless finding out that this little boy could make his entrance at any point.
We went home and he went to work. The contractions did get stronger & closer but not to the point of making a call to the doctor until about 7:00 pm when I had 8 in one hour. They were not terribly painful. When she called me back she said to monitor for another hour and see if they increase or let up. The next hour I had about 4 or 5. She called back to check in and I was instructed if they got 5-6 mins apart to call back. They never did get that close. I drank a ton of water and they eased up and I was able to get some sleep.
On Thursday I only had a few right as I awoke. I then overdid the preparations later that evening & those contractions returned with a fury. I was breathing through them as they came but they were still not close enough to call. They lasted a few hours & I drank fluids to see if that helped. I eventually drifted off to sleep but was very uncomfortable all last night with a back ache. The heating pad did help some. Today I am achy and slightly sore. I was suppose to volunteer for the last time in my son's class today but had to cancel. He was so disappointed. I've only had a few contractions.
I think this little one wants out. Half of me is ready and half of me is not. I cannot continue on for days feeling the way I do either. I guess we'll wait and see. Only 10 days left until the amnio and possible induction if he hangs on!
Today I am going to pick out his furniture and get it ordered, I just hope I can make it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

6 Hours Later

Latest Belly Shot at 33 1/2 weeks on 12/01/10
Last Tuesday December 7th I had my weekly biophysical ultrasound at around 3:30 pm. I was 34 weeks pregnant. Baby passed :) Amniotic fluid was good, he was practicing his breathing, he was moving & tone checked out. I love watching his little heart beat away on the screen. She was almost able to get a 3D shot of his face before he placed his hand back in front of it. He was completely bent in half head down with his feet pressed up against his head again. He seems to have stayed in the same position from last week. I think now he has moved & I will find out tomorrow at my next biophysical.

After the bio I went next door to my weekly doctor appointment which was scheduled for 4:00 pm. Blood pressure was good at around 126/76. Urine had trace protein as usual. We scheduled the amniocentesis for December 27th 9:00 am! If his lungs come back mature I will be induced that day. I will be 37 weeks 1 day. Today makes it 14 days until we meet this little boy! What a great Christmas present!! I do find it strange to know THE DAY. I have never been nervous for labor before but I can already feel my nerves.

I had noticed some swelling on my hands & ankles early that afternoon while I was showering & desperately trying to shave my legs. I checked my blood pressure when I got out & it was normal. I also noticed my face looked a tad more puffy underneath my chin. I wasn’t sure if it was swelling or the extra weight I have gained showing. I mentioned this to the doctor so she sent me for some more labs to check for any preeclampsia warnings.

I got home around 6:00 pm & carried on with my evening. I was laying on the couch around 10:00 pm when I started having flutters in my chest & what felt like my heart. I decided that I would check my blood pressure next time I got up. I then happened to glance down at my ankles & noticed how swollen they had become. It looked as though they were spilling out over my socks. I immediately got up to check my BP. It was 130ish/upper 80’s which is slightly elevated for me. I waited 5-10 minutes & checked again & it had jumped to 140’s/80’s. When I checked it for a third time another 5 minutes later it was at 162/92. I called the doctor office & had the on call doctor paged. I decided not to wait for the call back to start heading to the hospital. I unfortunately know how every single minute counts in these situations. My husband called my mother to come stay with our son and I asked my neighbor to stay with him until she got here. We have a 20-25 minute drive to the hospital we go to.

I was panicked. I do not know how high my blood pressure got the day I had the abruption with Janessa. We know that most likely it spiked & that was the cause. I was frantic it may happen again. I even took my blood pressure medicine 4 hours early before we left the house to try & control it some. The on call doc had not called me back so I gave the office another call while we were driving. He called us back as we were parking in the hospital garage & told us to come in so they could check me out. We went straight up to labor and delivery triage. I was annoyed we had to wait in the hall for 10 minutes because of how scared I was. Luckily the baby had been moving so it gave me reassurance he was ok.

Once the nurse took me in they did a urine check & hooked me up to the monitors to check the baby’s heart rate & check me for any contractions. They took my blood pressure which was 140/88. Not extremely high and it was a relief to see it had dropped some. Big concern starts around 160/100. I was close to that at home. The protein check came back negative which is nice since I have had trace protein since the start of this pregnancy. I was not contracting at all. They also were able to get the lab results I had done earlier in the day & those were all great as well. The baby’s heart was perfect & each time they took my BP it dropped. The final reading when I was discharged about 1 hour ½ later was 111/66. Amazing. They said the swelling could be normal pregnancy swelling. I would like to think that as well but I find it rather odd that the first day I swell I also get a detected spike in my BP. I would like to think coincidence but considering all we have been through I have been staying on top of my BP readings even more now.

They were mainly concerned that due to my chronic hypertension I could develop preeclampsia. That worries me as well. ALOT. I was lucky to avoid it when I had the abruption and lost Janessa. But what is hard for me to seem to get through to them is how terrified I am of another abruption. I know its probably because there really is nothing anyone can do to prevent it. All we can do is keep this blood pressure in check.

I returned on Friday for a BP check with the nurse and it was good at around 126/74.

I have been trying not to overdo it. The past few days I have been experiencing headaches but none seem to stick for an excessive period & tylenol does seem to help some. My BP readings have been very slightly higher than normal but not of much concern. Baby is getting lazier but he still passes the kick counts I have been doing several times a day. I am glad I have another Biophysical tomorrow. We will also get a growth scan and see how much this little one weighs.

Last Tuesday was up and down in the matter of 6 hours. I left the hospital after my two appointments feeling so reassured only to return hours later panicked. It is scary how quickly things can change.

Fourteen more days. I CAN DO THIS.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Progress Update

I cannot beleive it is December! I feel as though on May 14th, 2009 I stepped into some sort of time warp. Time to me feels as though it is flying past me & standing still at the same time. I have no idea how 18+ months have passed me by. I really mean "passed me by". I feel as though half of me is moving forward & the other half lives that day over & over. Its as though I have only been living half conciously. Grief still has its grip on the other half.

I don't know how we got here so quickly but I am so grateful we are at this point. We are so close to having this little boy in our arms.

I have had two biophysical ultrasounds since last entry & he passed both :) I brought my friend Sharna along to the Nov. 23rd appointment.  She got to have a little peek at him and I was grateful for the company. I went to this past Tuesday's appointment alone for the first time. I was nervous being there alone in case something happend. I ended up being there for about 3 hours between the biophysical, doc appt. & then labwork. Because I had anticipated this to be a long visit I had decided to go by myself since my husband could not make it.

During the biophysical we noticed that the baby was in the strangest position. He was basically bent in half, head down, with one of his feet up against the side of his head. His other foot was off to the side. It did not look comfortable by any means & I kept asking her if that was ok! She also asked me if anyone had told me the baby looks like he has hair yet. She then showed me these lines on the ultrasound coming off of his scalp & she said most likely what we were seeing is his hair. I never knew they could tell this way! It didn't surprise me though. Jayden was born with a full head of hair & so was Janessa & she was only 31 weeks.

After the bio I headed next door for my appointment with the doctor. My blood pressure was not as good as usual with it being about 134/80. I am hoping it is not on the rise. I had been getting some pretty good readings lately. I will now be seen every week by her along with the weekly biophysical ultrasounds we have been doing. She asked me what I decided about delivery. I told her that we have decided to opt for the amnio at 37 weeks with the possible induction. She explained that I would come in & have the amnio done & then be monitored for the following hour while the results came back. If it is determined his lungs are developed I would be induced then. It turns out she is on "service" that week in labor & delivery so she will be the one to deliver. I am grateful for that since I have not met any of the other doctors from this practice. I turn 37 weeks on December 26th. We are looking at possibly December 27th & will know for sure next Tuesday. Thats only 3 1/2 weeks from now! We may be able to bring the new year in with him here with us!

The labwork was an extra add on that day. I had told my doc about some horrible nausea I experienced on Sunday evening that lasted until about 6 am Monday morning. She decided to send me for some lab work to check for early signs of preeclampsia. I did not hear from her on Wednesday so I beleive they came back with good results!

Work on the nursery started about a week and half ago. I handled it much much better than I thought I would. I think it happend to be the right time in the pregnancy for me to feel the urge to start preparations. I think I had worked through some of the emotions to get me to that point. Although I am still scared to let myself go completely into "were bringing this baby home definitely mode", I WANT TO.  I miss being able to feel that excitement fully. It felt good to get some things started for this little one. I even started a hospital bag. I am not sure I ever packed one for Jayden & never had the chance with Janessa. Since each time I go in for a biophysical I run the chance of needing a Non Stress Test & possible induction if they don't like the results, I felt the need to have one ready. I am hoping to have it complete before next Tuesday.

Here is a sneak peek of some of the progress in the room:

More work has been finished since the day those pics were taken but I'll save those pics for when the room is complete. I am hoping to make a decision on furniture in the next few days & get that ordered.

I am also looking forward to my baby shower this Sunday that my Mom has put together. It'll be nice to celebrate this little boy's impending arrival. 

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