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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Closure

If someone who was searching "umbilical vein varix" came across this, they might be concerned at the lacking of an end to this story. For the sake of my son, William, who might read this entire account someday, and for the struggling future mom out there, here is the end of my pregnancy story:

On March 8, I went to the hospital for a planned C-section. At around 2 pm, a 7 lb 2 oz baby was delivered. He was perfectly healthy, but due to being born 4 weeks early and in a C-section, his lungs weren't ready for the outside world. They tried to let him work it out himself, but by the end of the night he was sent to the NICU. The next 13 days were a test of patience and prayer.

I will say this, though. Those NICU nurses helped him and helped us more than I can say. After he was able to breathe normally and eat the right amount, we got to take our healthy baby home.

8 months later, he is a healthy, bouncy, talkative baby. He has an outtie belly button...who knows if that's from the cord. :) Regardless, all is well.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Exhale...hold breath...exhale...hold breath...

And repeat. This is how I feel lately. Every time I go for an ultrasound, I have this fear that they'll say "the turbulence is picking up. It's time," or "the varix is just too large." The other day, the sonogram looked awfully turbulent, and the varix was measuring 1.77 again. I sat there in the room thinking: I have laundry that needs to be put away, I haven't packed, the cats don't have water...how can I do this??

When Dr. N came back in, he said everything looked okay. I didn't realize that I'd been holding my breath, but I did once I exhaled.

I realized also that I've been worrying about...everything. If there is trouble to be borrowed, I have borrowed it. I worry about the baby having mental issues, health issues, body issues. I'm constantly praying for this child to just be healthy and free of problems. I'm wearing myself out.

People keep asking if I'm excited. How could I be? This has been the scariest blind walk I've ever taken. I have lost all control of my seemingly controlled life. I mean, don't get me wrong...I want to meet this baby. But excited? Try apprehensive!

Anyway, I'm 36 weeks today. My belly is still pretty small, but there's a pretty big baby in there. Maybe it's cause the baby is breech? No idea. The baby gets hiccups about 2 or 3 times a day. It feels like a distant drumbeat from within. I get some movement, but not a lot. There is a large bump next to my belly button...it's the baby's head. That kind of freaks me out a little. :)



  • Baby's getting closer and closer to being able to breathe on their own.
  • The skin is getting smooth and soft and the gums are rigid.
  • The liver and kidneys are in working order.
  • Circulation and immune systems are basically good to go, too.







So, I'm still holding my breath. Just waiting for them to say: It's time.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

35 weeks

I would be remiss if I didn't post this :)

Here is the development for 35 weeks.

Butternut Squash!


your baby at 35 weeks
  • Now, the hearing is fully developed, and baby responds best to high-pitched noises. 
  Your little Karate Kid can't quite pack the punch he used to due to the limited space inside the womb these days. You're likely to feel more wiggles, stretches and rolls than kicks and jabs. The extra layer of fat your baby is adding will create those cute dimples on your baby's elbows and knees. Baby's liver has begun processing waste products, so you know which organ to thank when they have their first blowout up the back of their onesie.

Baby's nails are growing so long they may curl over the tips of their tiny fingers and toes before they see a pair of clippers. Baby'll be in serious need of a mani-pedi once born (as will you).

Your baby is now about 5½ pounds and over 18 inches long—about the size of one of those price-club sheet cakes.
This week the final touches are being added to your mini-masterpiece and most of their development is going to packing on the pounds. While baby's movements may be becoming less jerky, they may do their final somersault in the womb soon—to get into the head-down position for birth.


I'm beginning to think that this baby has no intentions of EVER flipping. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

72nd percentile!!!

Yes, that's right...the baby is in the 72nd percentile!! They measured today, and the baby weighs 6 lbs 1 oz, give or take a pound. That's SUCH a huge answer to prayer. That means that the baby is getting all the nutrition and blood flow that they need through the umbilical cord.

Today's appointment went fairly well. When I got there, N (the sonographer who is not my favorite) came to the waiting room to get me and I immediately started praying. She's nice, but she never seems to know what she's doing. She started the ultrasound and asked "So, do they have any surgeries scheduled for when the baby is born?" I immediately panicked and said: NO, why? Why would they do that? The varix disappears once the baby is born and the umbilical cord is no longer needed. Why do you ask?
She said that she hadn't seen me in a while and just wanted to see if anything changed. HELLO! Look at my file, lady! Don't ask me questions like that unless they are justified!!! Fortunately, the doctor said that there wasn't anything to be concerned about...but she freaked me out. And then....N asked if I had a fetal echo-cardiogram. WHAT??? I immediately panicked AGAIN and asked "WHY?? What is that? Why would I need that?" No reason again...she was having difficulty looking at the heart at this stage in the pregnancy and was just asking. She did say that people who get the echo-cardiogram get one because the baby is at risk for heart defects. According to the doctor, though, my baby's heart is fine...it's just hard to see everything since the bones have all hardened. But...don't ASK me stuff like that!
Anyway, Dr.M came in and asked to look for herself. She looked at the varix (which has varied measurements from 1.6 to 1.8), and there was a big black spot in the varix. This would mean that the blood is clotting and there is limited flow. I was really impressed though, because she said: "Let's go to another room and look at it on a higher powered machine." So, we went over to another room, and the black spot was no more. Blood flow was fine. Phew!

So, yes...I'm 35 weeks tomorrow and the baby continually gets 8 out of 8 on BPPs. The baby is measuring bigger, which will be good for an earlier delivery. I'm still holding my breath each time and praying that we make it to 37 weeks. I'm REALLY praying that the baby doesn't have any other issues. The doctors assure me that they haven't seen anything that would justify my worries that anything else is wrong. Personally, I believe deep down that nothing else is wrong, too. I just hate it when a sonographer plants new worries in my head.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers! It's going to be a LONG two weeks!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What on earth is a durian???

A durian. At 34 weeks, my baby is the size of a durian. A durian looks like this:




I bet that cleared it up for you, huh?

Well, though we don't get another measurement until next Wednesday, we can hope and pray that the baby is on the larger scale of that measurement for a...durian.

Pulling from two sites again, here is what happens at 34 weeks:


  • Baby is recognizing and reacting to simple songs, if you're singing them. (If you're not, start! They may find them soothing after birth.)
  • They are also urinating about a pint a day.
Well isn't that special. Urinating a pint a day. Thanks, baby. Sweet of you.

From another site, here's more interesting and disturbing facts for a baby that is 34 gestational weeks

 Your Baby
Your baby kind of looks like they are coated in a layer of cream cheese these days. The thick, white substance that protects her skin from pruning in the amniotic fluid is called vernix. When baby is born you'll probably see some vernix lingering in the "hard-to-reach" places like under her arms, and behind her ears. (Ew..)
The soft fur, lanugo, that covered your baby's body for much of their stay in the womb is now almost completely gone. Your baby begins to develop their own immune system, instead of relying solely on antibodies received through the placenta. This will come in handy when some grubby relative manhandles the baby without washing his hands first.

This week, your baby measures about 17¾ inches, as almost as long as an American Girl Doll (!) and weighs almost 5 pounds, as heavy as a bag of sugar, minus the cup you put in your decaf this morning.

So that's 34 weeks! We now have 3 weeks til I'm 37 weeks. Keep those prayers coming!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dr. Google is not my friend

It's true. Googling something is the worst thing you can do...it is borrowing trouble. Last week, I looked up "Why do babies stay breech?" I got a ton of answers that began to make me anxious. I saw horrible pictures and really panicked. Finally, on Monday I asked Dr.B. He told me that, yes, there are some reasons a baby stays breech that have to do with brain development or pelvic bone size...but there are also breech babies that just don't want to turn. I asked if they would have seen anything in sonograms to prove the worst case scenarios and he said that, yes they could see it. They hadn't seen anything in my sonograms though.

Phew.

Then I googled babies born around the 37 week mark. I began to panic again. My friend told me I was borrowing trouble. Sigh. I was borrowing trouble.

So, I've decided to stop looking at Google. I'm just going to hope and pray that all will be well, that the baby will be healthy, and that I can make it through this. I think I'm starting to go crazy.

The varix IS measuring 1.7 now. That's bigger than the stomach. Dr.N said that the turbulence has lessened, though, so that's really good. I'm still in panic mode...constantly.

I finally got the nerve to start doing baby laundry and setting up some of the nursery. We are still in a small house, though. Part of having a house on the market is that you keep it uncluttered and make it presentable for showing. The swing takes up half the dining room. Argh! I've gotten to where I can't find a place for toys or anything other than clothes and the essentials. I can't wait til we get a bigger house!! :)

Other than my panic and lack of space, all is well! The baby is doing well. I feel like I've aged 10 years though. I just look forward to holding this little one...and praying that in the meantime that varix stops getting bigger!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

231 days pregnant, 4 weeks to go...

The baby is getting bigger and bigger. I can really tell from the rise and fall of my stomach and keeps happening when the baby moves.

And today, I am 33 weeks pregnant. For me, that means I am having a hard time sleeping, but that the baby is still growing and that there are only 4 weeks left of this!

Wondering what happens during 33 weeks? Well, I pulled from two sites. Here are two pictures of the size:

Honeydew Melon
Pearls














your baby at 33 weeks
  • They are keeping their eyes open while awake.
  • They are also starting to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing.
  • The bones are hardening.
  • And they going through (more) major brain development -- that's one smart baby!
Your Baby
The big news this week is lung development—baby's respiratory system is almost completely mature. That means if your baby was born this week, odds are they'd be a healthy bouncing baby with a just a little help from their friends (aka, the NICU). Some of the specifics are:

Your baby can now detect light and tell the difference between night and day (of course that ability will miraculously disappear once they are born and up all night screaming). The pupils will constrict and dilate in response to light. If you shine a flashlight on your belly, your baby may shy away from the light as if to say, "Cut it out, Ma. You're soooo annoying."

The bones in your baby's skull are soft and are not yet fused together. In other words, now is not the time to teach the baby how to do a headspin while breakdancing. This pliability allows the bones to overlap; making that trip down the tight birth canal possible (and resulting in that surprising cone head look your baby will sport for the first few days post-birth. Don't worry, it's totally normal and that's what hats are for.)

Your baby will continue to pack on the pounds gaining around ½ pound a week from here on out.

Your baby weighs about 4½ pounds, as much as a grownup duck, and is approximately 17.5 inches long, about the same as a collarbone-length pearl necklace. (Did somebody say push present?) 



That's all! Keep those prayers coming! :-D

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Highs and Lows

Throughout this process, there have been extreme highs, and extreme lows. However, there are times where the lows are moderate, but bothersome none the less. Last week was one of the lows.

On Monday and Wednesday, the varix measured 1.7. This is VERY large for a vein. To explain again, the vein should measure 9 mm at the time of birth. At the beginning of this, mine measured 8 mm (that was at around 21-22 weeks). Now, at 32 weeks, the vein measured 18 mm. Dr.B came into the room on Wednesday and said: The varix has grown half a centimeter since December. We don't know what this means or what the next step would be with this. We'll look again on Friday.

Of course, I panicked. See, both times it measured 1.7, it was with a whole new sonographer. And, the doctor didn't check for himself. I worried all week. I thought that I just couldn't do this anymore. It's just too exhausting. So, I ate a sleeve of Thin Mints. Don't judge.

On Friday, I had to drag a drugged up Scott with me to the appointment. Poor guy has his wisdom teeth out on Thursday, but he seemed to feel alright, and there are times I just think I can't face another appointment alone. When we got there, I asked the receptionists if M (my favorite sonographer) could do my sonogram. I let them know I was willing to wait. My thought was that if M did the measurement and it ended up measuring 1.7, I'd be able to accept that. I think the key to the measurement is consistency in the operation of the machine.

Alas, they called me back and M was not able to do the sonogram. We had a sonographer who has helped us before on the weekends, so I was okay. She measured 1.4. I sent up a prayer of thanks right then and there. Scott asked about the consistency of the operator, and it was verified that the operator could add a variation in the measurement. She said that a slight tilt of the wrist could change the measurement by a couple of mm. After she left, M came in and told us that she really wanted to do the sonogram but got caught up. She also reassured us of the variations. So, I felt a little better. And a little regretful of the thin mints.

Dr.M came in and asked if I wanted to be admitted into the hospital for the remainder of the stay. She said from a medical standpoint, the three time a week sonograms were adequate. However, if it was going to give me a piece of mind, she would sign off on my being admitted. I told her that, yes, it would make me feel better. But, no, it would not make me feel better.

So, I left feeling alright. The baby has been moving more. Last week, the baby measured 4 lbs 4 oz, so that's really good too.

Today, I met with my OBGYN and he said that all was well. He did, though, walk in the room and say "I think this is the most monitored baby in the history of medicine. I've had people go two times a week, some three times a week, but never for this long." Of course, he said it in a jovial way, but he's most likely right.

The up side to all of this is: 1) I have made the remainder of my sonogram appointments. 2) We are discussing D-Day now.

My OBGYN said that the baby might still flip (ha...), but he would look into when a C-Section would work in his schedule. Soooo...all of that said...should the varix not measure consistently large, and should the turbulence at the entrance to the varix not affect the growth or blood flow, I will make it to 37 weeks. However, should anything change, the baby will be delivered immediately.

I will be 33 weeks on Thursday. I'll give an update then because I'll finally be a new fruit/vegetable size! :-D


Monday, January 30, 2012

Still the same

I haven't updated in a while because things are still very much the same. I'm very excited to say that they are the same, but there isn't a lot to update. The baby is stiiiiiiiilllllllll frank breech. In fact, it's gotten to the point where the sonographers laugh when they see the baby's head up against my rib cage area. Ha. Ha. It's really...funny. Not going to lie, I laugh too.

However, my newest concern comes from my new-found knowledge that when a baby is frank breech for a lengthy period of time, they tend to want to stay in that position after birth for a couple days to a couple weeks. I spoke with Dr.M about that today, and she said that a baby's tendons and muscles are easily manipulated at birth, so should that happen, they'd be able to work to get the legs back down. I, however, am praying that the legs will just stay down on their own and that the position won't stay after birth.

On Friday, I talked with Dr.D, and they are now all on board with a delivery at 37 weeks. Dr.M also said that they are all expecting that things will go well. So, we are still on a day-by-day basis, but it looks like no one is going to push for 34 weeks anymore without a serious just cause. I am praying that they never see such a cause like that, and that the baby is healthily delivered at 37 weeks.

On Thursday, I will be 32 weeks!!! That's seriously 5 weeks til D-day!!!

Even though things are status quo (thank you, God!), I still have days where all the doctor visits get taxing. Driving 30 minutes to the hospital, waiting, etc gets taxing. I see the measurements, and I pray that they don't get bigger. We are currently up to 1 cm 6 mm. But, I think the silver lining is when they are doing a sonogram and I feel the baby kick and actually see the kick on the screen.
I get nervous when I see the cord in front of the baby's face, but no one else seems concerned. I just feel like yelling at the screen saying "don't touch that cord!!"

The biggest problem I'm having lately is the fear that I get when I get baby items. I know I need them, but I'm terrified that in getting the necessities, something will go wrong. I think this just stems from earlier in the pregnancy when the doctors scared me. I still have to take a deep breath when going to buy washcloths. I've been adding items to my registries, but each time I add something, I have to stop and pray for peace.

With all that said, I'm grateful for the "norm". I love hearing the baby's heartbeat and feeling kicks. Like I said, though, I'm still praying for a healthy baby at 37 weeks, and for a peace of mind for myself. Fortunately, Scott is very level headed and helps me take the deep breaths that I need to take so often.

Now, for those of you wondering, I don't feel like I've had a typical, "movie-like" pregnancy. I didn't get morning sickness like you'd see on tv, and I've never craved pickles and ice cream. I have, however, had heartburn and now we've seen hair on the baby through the sonogram. We know from previous posts that I DO have a strong desire to drink massive amounts of milk. But now I've had a HUGE desire to eat every Little Debbie snack ever made. Swiss Cake Rolls in my path do not stand a chance. Thankfully, this craving hit at 31 weeks and not earlier. A couple weeks ago, my doctor asked me to gain weight. Hopefully he won't ask me to lose now that I've discovered Ho-Ho's that have been banned since my childhood. :-D

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Stable" is a lovely word

Dr.D and I had a laugh over the word "stable" today. She happily told me that the baby was stable, and then said that she learned in med school that horses lived in stables, and that it wasn't the best word to use. But we agreed that it was indeed a nice word given the circumstances.

Scott and I had a VERY early morning. He accompanied me to my OBGYN appointment, which was at 7:45 am! Dr.T (my OB) was late, but he said that everyone was in labor this morning. He always makes me laugh and feel better. They checked the heartbeat (155 bpm) and then measured from the fundus, which was normal. That last part means that they measured the belly :). Dr. T said that everything was completely normal right now, minus the varix, so we were good to go. We left, Scott jetted off to work, and I went over to the Center for my Monday sonogram.

I got there and waited. And waited. Not sure why a 9 am  appointment warranted waiting that much, but I never know what's going on and who in the hospital needs sonograms. My favorite sonographer, M, came out to get me and did the sonogram. The varix measured the same as it had, so that was good. And, we did measurement. I'm very happy to say that the baby is measuring 9 days ahead, and in the 59th percentile. They weigh 3 lbs 11 oz. That's awesome!!! Keep growing, little one!!

We are stttttttiiiiiiiillllllllll in the frank breech position, but I'm not supposed to do anything to move the baby. So, we wait to see if they flip. If not, we are still en route to a C section.

Baby hasn't been moving during the day, rather they move from 1 am til about 3 am. A lot. No amount of chocolate, cold drinks, poking, laying on my side seems to make the baby want to move a lot during the day. Thanks for being so stubborn, baby.

Now to clean. I feel like any pregnant person should be exempt from cleaning. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's a...yorkie?

Yes, that's right. Today, we reached 30 weeks...and the size equivalent of the baby is:

A yorkie. I'm not sure HOW that really matches up in size, but it's fun anyway.

For those of you who like the developmental markers and info, here is a 30 week baby, copied from another site. Again, the gender mentioned in this article does not necessarily reflect our baby as we do not know the gender. All info is directly copied and pasted :).

Your Baby
Big news for baby's brain this week: It's starting to wrinkle and fold and looks like something that grew in the back of your fridge. This is due to the rapid growth of your little genius's brain cells. Other highlights this week:

Fingernails and toenails are finally finished—causing his or her parents great fear and anguish the first time they try to cut those little daggers (it gets easier, we promise)! Plus, the bone marrow is completely in charge of red-blood-cell production now. Trust us, this is a good thing.

Baby is starting to shed his lanugo—the downy hair that was covering his skin. Now that he's chubbier and better able to regulate his body temp, he doesn't need to sport a fur coat 24/7.

"I spy an umbilical cord and the inside of my mom's uterus!" When your baby is awake, his eyes are now wide open and he's whittling away the hours looking around, checking out his rather dark, limited environs.

Your baby hasn't gained much weight or height this week, as most of his energy's been channeled to the brain. He weighs about 3 pounds and is approximately 15.5 inches long, about the size of London, not the city, Britney Spears' Yorkie terrier. Of course your baby is less hairy and way cuter!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

51 days

I factored in Leap Year and the fact that I'm not 30 weeks til tomorrow...but it's 51 days til I'm going to be induced. Give or take a few days. But, still, it's 51 days.

When teaching, 51 days goes by fast. When you're not doing anything, it crawls. C-r-a-w-l-s. Seriously.

I don't really have a lot to report other than the fact that everything is stable. The varix measures between 1.1 and 1.5. The baby is moving pretty well, and they are breathing very well. At each BPP, the baby has gotten a 8 out of 8, so that's good.

I've personally reached the point of exhaustion. I just can NOT stay asleep. I can fall asleep in 5 minutes, but then I go to the bathroom every 2 hours. Last night, the baby decided it was time to practice for the circus at about 3 am. Now, I'm grateful for movement...but it's very hard to go to sleep when there's a lot of jumping going on.

Baby is still frank breech...but with all the movement lately, they might flip. We'll see. I'm not totally sure, but I might be pulling for a C-section at this point given all the circumstances.

Baby get's measured next week, so let's pray for a lot of growth!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

29 weeks!!

Yay!! We've reached 29 weeks! Almost in the 30s!! For those who want to know, here is the development for this week:






I have another measurement late next week, I think. So, we'll see what the weight is then for this baby.  Here's more:


your baby at 29 weeks
  • They are getting a little cramped in there, since they are growing so fast. But you probably already realize that, since you're getting all those jabs and kicks.
  • They are growing white fat deposits under their skin, and their energy is surging because of it.
  • Feel a subtle twitch? It might be baby hiccuping.
At this point in a pregnancy, you are supposed to set up a baby room. I, however, am too scared to do that. It isn't that I don't hope and pray that all will be well, I just can't bring myself to do it. A friend, though, mentioned that she had her nursery set up after the baby was born, and had a shower after as well. So, that is what we are going to do. I'm trying to get necessities, put them into the storage unit, and then just wait on the rest. So, my friends, if you were wondering about a baby shower, that's why there hasn't been one.

All said and done, though, this was a pretty good week. The baby was very active and did well on all of the ultrasounds. We even saw the mouth move and the baby swallow. Yesterday, the baby was breathing for the entire ultrasound!!! They are still in the frank breech, and as the bones harden and the baby gets fatter, it's getting slightly harder to see the varix without shadows. THEY know what they are doing, but it's changing my schema for sonograms. The varix is consistently measuring 1.5 now....sigh. Dr. N came in yesterday, though, and said that everything looked stable on their part.

As for my part, the baby is moving lots when I lay on my side. I can usually get my movement chart completed in 45 minutes to an hour. A movement chart is a way of checking off to ensure that that the baby has moved at least 10 times in 10 hours. I saw my OBGYN on Tuesday, and he said that all was well with me. I've just begun my minor swelling, and I had to remove my wedding rings today. It was sad, but I'd rather have that then have them cut the rings off further down the road.

Scott and I have been attending our birth and baby class on Wednesdays. Unfortunately, the class is mostly about labor and how to recognize if you are in labor or not. That will not apply to me in this pregnancy, so I just try to focus on the breathing techniques that they teach and not get freaked out when they demonstrate the baby doll being pulled through the pelvic bones. (I think I have images scarred into my brain now.) In the fifth week, we'll finally learn stuff about feeding, diapering, etc. And, the fifth week is the last week.

In the meantime, we have 8 weeks til 37 weeks! That's 24 more sonograms, and about 5 more OBGYN appointments. Keep going,  baby! Keep growing and letting that umbilical cord flow freely!! :)

By the way, I do have a few 3D ultrasounds that have been taken. (a few...ha. I have hundreds!) I know there are a lot of people who do not like ultrasounds, so I have not posted any. But, I assure you, there is one cute baby in there!!! :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Keeping y'all in the loop :)

So, I went in for my ultrasound this morning. Baby was very active, and once again scored an 8 out of 8 on the BPP. They are still in the frank breech, but they just look oh so happy. We even saw the mouth move today! So, both ankles are crossed in front of the face, and they were holding on to their ear. I actually got to see the ear!!! AND the baby was doing lots of breathing. Feeling movement is still a little difficult, and I have to spend an hour laying on my side to get my kick counts in. But, I tend to get those counts in within an hour, so that's good. I asked the sonographer (yet a new one) if she would measure the baby's foot. I just love that one of them measured it before, so I wanted to know how much it had grown. It is now 5.87 cm. That's almost 6 cm of a foot...and that's about 3 inches!! Keep growing, little one!

Dr.B said that the blood flow looked good, the varix measured within its normal range, and there was no sign of failure anywhere in the body. So, all is well still.

We still need prayers and thoughts.

And I need to stop drinking chocolate milk just to feel the baby move...but I enjoy it so much!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Not every day is sunshine and roses.

Today was one of those rougher days. Sometimes, this high risk, three time a week ultrasound mess starts to get intense. The waiting in the waiting room gets longer. The sonograms are variable. The waiting for the doctor gets painful. Sometimes, it's overwhelming. Today was one of those days.

I went in for my sonogram and found out that M, my favorite sonographer, was going to do the ultrasound. She's awesome. She started the sonogram, and then we found out that the baby was STILL in the frank breech position. That explained a lot, especially as I'm been having a lot of difficulty feeling movement. However, the sonogram showed that baby was moving around a lot, so that was good. She did a BPP and the baby scored an 8 out of 8. It was crazy though, because for the first time, when she was watching the baby practice breathing, there was a shadow of ribs over the lungs. I've never seen that before. I believe this is around the time when the bones begin to harden, so that's exciting.

When M began to measure the varix though, it measured 1.57. I really worked hard to not panic. She explained to me that the baby was oblique, and she normally wants a cross cut measurement. Also, because of the position, the leg was casting a small shadow. That's not to say that she didn't work around it and do her best to get the correct measurement, because she did. But, she did explain that with the position, it's going to vary in measurement. So, that made me feel a little better. When she finished the sonogram, she said that Dr. M would be in soon.

Dr. M??? I haven't seen that doctor in 2 months!!!!!

So I waited.

And waited.

M, the sono, came back in and said that Dr.M was looking over my files and would be in soon.

So I waited again.

Finally, Dr M came in. They are really nice, and they have an excellent way of talking to you. Good bedside manner. Except for the fact that she rehashed the entire possible plan over again. The. Entire. Thing. She began to tell me that around this time or 32 weeks, they might consider admitting me again as an in-patient. I wanted to know why, and if there was something to be concerned about. She said that there wasn't anything to be concerned about at the moment, and that everything was still stable with good blood flow and baby growth. So why an in-patient? She wanted me to keep it in the back of my mind. OH...trust me...it's been there.

So basically, she was saying everything was okay at the moment, but that I needed to consider all of those things that the other three doctors already asked me to consider, and then said I might not need to consider. It was like throwing another cook into the kitchen who throws off the groove.

I'm not sure as to why it all bothered me so much...but it did. I left crying. Maybe it's because I don't want to be admitted again unless it's to have my baby...9 weeks from now. I called Scott, and my amazing husband quickly jumped into the "I need to fully understand this" mode. So he called Dr.M to ask for clarification. She explained to him the situation, and basically, everything is okay. She was just trying to get caught up to date on the situation. In the end, we both felt a little better about it, and the hospitalization is NOT imminent. Thank goodness.

A little piece of my sanity felt like it broke away again today. It just makes it scarier and scarier each time I need to go back. In case anyone wanted to know, that's 27 more times.

But I'm 28 weeks today. That's good. For those who like to know, here is the 28 week update:

(this is copied and pasted from a particular site and gender references do not reflect our baby...and we don't know the gender :))

Your Baby
As the Big Day nears, your baby is getting ready to go towards the light at the end of the tunnel (the tunnel being the birth canal, the light being the one the doctor is shining directly into it so she can see what the heck she's doing). Other highlights this week:

Your baby's eyes are partially open now and can blink. Truly superior babies can actually wink. (OK, there is no way to prove that, but it's fun to imagine, no?) Your baby can also now become a shiny, happy person as she has begun having rapid eye movement (Get it? REM? Shiny, happy person?? We'll be here all week.)

Her eyes have color now, too. It may not be the color she ultimately ends up with, especially if they're light gray or blue. The eyes typically don't settle on a final hue until nine months after baby is born. So when your mother-in-law says that the baby has her eyes, you can politely inform her that they'll most likely change soon. Sorry.

Your babe is downright chubby compared to a few weeks ago. She is about 15 inches long, about the length of an amusement park cinnamon-sugar-coated churro (yum!), and weighs 2 to 3 pounds.


Now I'm going to try to continue calming down by practicing the breathing we learned last night at Birth and Baby.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bienvenue, Bienvenido, Willkommen, Aloha

The Third Trimester!!!!!!! Yes, today is the beginning of the third trimester and tomorrow I'm 28 weeks! 28!! When I was in the hospital, my OBGYN came to talk to me. I asked him what the goal was, and he was quiet for a moment. Then, he told me: We are going to make small goals. The first big one is 28 weeks. The reason? The baby has a better survival rate if they are born at 28 weeks than they would have earlier. And, I'm almost there! It's also 6 to 9 weeks until they induce me.
Today, I went to get my gestational diabetes test. I am very happy to say that after a disgusting orange drink and an hour of boredom, I passed!! :) The above picture was the gift they gave me. It's full of formula. But, I'm smart. I read about these samples. See, the hospital gives you these formula samples, and they are all liquid samples. So, you give this stuff to your baby, and they get hooked on it because they like the texture better. Then, you're stuck buying the expensive stuff forever. Buying liquid formula is the equivalent to buying Starbucks 4 times a day instead of making your own coffee.

Yesterday I had another ultrasound. There isn't much to report other than that things are status quo. I did have a moment of panic when N, the sonographer, measured the varix at 1.47. But, Dr.B came in and said that there is a variability dependent on the movement and flow at the moment, etc. To prove his point, he measured the varix for himself twice and for 1.3, and 1.1. I felt much better. The baby is now 2 lbs 11 oz. Yay baby. Get a little bigger, though, please.

Oh, they finally got out of the frank breech and moved the breech. So, I'm feeling more movement. Not as much as I'd like, but movement none the less.

That's all for now.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well, it's official. I've been pregnant for two years. I'm like an elephant!

We went in this morning to the hospital for our BPP ultrasound. It was NOT crowded, and the admissions guy was even expecting us. He was SO nice. I just love this hospital so far. Everything about it reminds me why we travel 30 minutes to get to it, instead of driving 5 minutes to the one near our home.

So, it was kind of interesting to have a normal ultrasound that wasn't in the Center. The equipment was not nearly as nice, and the picture quality was very grainy. It's sad that I can tell the difference in sonogram equipment now. The lady doing the ultrasound was nice enough, and she explained the qualifications of a BPP to me. So, we looked at fluid (it was good), breathing (yup, they did that. Thank you, baby!), tone (something about fine motor skills??) and movement. Well, currently, the baby is in a frank breech position. For those who don't know what that is, this is what it looks like:

Baby needs to get out of this position. Seriously. It creeps me out, and it makes it difficult for me to feel the movements. I have NO idea how to get them to flip or something. It's not a problem right now, it just frustrates me. They don't really move properly when they are like that.

Anyway, the test lasts 30 minutes, and the baby got an 8 out of 8 in that time. That means that they did just fine, and they passed their test. Good job again :).

The heartbeat was 153, so that's good. Minus the fact that I always eat 3 Hershey Kisses before going for a sonogram. I mean, c'mon, I want them to wake up!! :)

Happy New Year to all of you! Remember to keep us in your thoughts and prayers!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

I think they're on to me..

I think they've figured out that I'm a nervous wreck. After a decent sonogram today (of which I'll go into detail later), I got a call from my OBGYN's nurse asking if I'd like to go to the hospital this weekend for a BPP. At first, I panicked and said "why? is my doctor worried? concerned? what's wrong?" The poor nurse was just the messenger and said that she didn't think anything was wrong...but did I want to go to have a BPP. I was like, well, at this point....UH-HUH. Yeah, thanks...now I'm freaked. Meanwhile, angel and devil perched on my shoulder as I waited for the nurse to call me back with an appointment. Angel said that it was perfectly ok and that my Dr knew I get nervous. Devil said that it was all bad, and I should be worried. Stupid devil. The nurse called back and read my report from the center and said that there wasn't anything to worry about, but that the ultrasound tech would fit me in at 10 am on Sunday. I hung up and still worried a little until the nurse called me back and said that my doctor was not concerned and was just following through as per our conversation on Tuesday. OOOHhh...yeah. I forgot about that. So, yeah, I have a BPP on Sunday. I kinda like that.

Anyway, this morning I went in at 8 for my ultrasound, but the baby hadn't moved a lot as of then. So, when they asked, I was honest. So, they added a BPP on to the normal check of the UVV (Umbilical Vein Varix). When the sonographer started the ultrasound, the baby was making minimal movements, and the heartbeat was 133. I freaked. But, as it turned out, they were pretty much sleeping. Once she started looking at the baby, the baby started moving more. I asked if she'd look at the heartbeat again, and it was 155. Phew. It's always between 150 and 160.

Well, the baby moved around a lot...still in the breech position with feet to the forehead. They practiced breathing a lot, and the blood was still flowing with no change in the turbulence. Dr. B was there, and he said that everything looked good. He said that he was aiming for the 37 week mark of delivery...that was nice to hear. Oh, and the BPP today was an 8 out of 8. Yay for passing your test, baby!

So that's that. All is still stable. I'm just losing my mind.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

27 weeks today

Well, there isn't a lot to report with a different fruit for 27 weeks, but here is what is happening this week for the little one:
  • They are practicing inhaling and exhaling with their rapidly developing lungs.
  • It's official: Baby's showing brain activity! And the brain will keep on getting more complex.
That's all for the official development.

I had my sonogram yesterday, and it went pretty well. I was nervous at first when the sonographer who measured improperly prior to my being admitted to the hospital came through the door to do my sonogram yesterday. She's nice enough, so I didn't want to be rude. Plus, I knew Dr. D was there and that doctor always double checks the sonograms. The sonographer looked at the baby and even measured again (I should have told her that it was already done last week, but I didn't want to :)). Anyway, the baby is now 2 lbs 10 oz!!! That's the 76th percentile! Good job, little one!

The blood was flowing normally, but the varix did measure 1 cm 3 mm at one point. However, the baby was in an odd position with the knee casting a shadow, and they were extremely active. This could really add to inconsistent measurements of the varix.

I have an excellent picture of the baby touching their foot to their forehead. Live it up, kid, cause flexibility like that will never happen again.

Currently, the baby is in a breech position, with the head pressed firmly against my diaphragm. That explains the shortness of breath that I've head. The rump is near my right hip, but the feet are up there at the diaphragm too. How is this comfortable??

That's all for now. I have another sonogram tomorrow at 8 am. Keep us in your prayers.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Every day I'm shufflin...

Between last Friday and today, there hasn't been too much to update pregnancy wise. I've still freaked out about movement, and I think I've eaten 3 boxes of Nerds over the course of the weekend. Christmas was great...I ate so many sweets that the baby was doing jumping jacks. Of course, when I went back to normal eating, movement was minimal. I think I sigh a relief sigh whenever I DO feel movement.
I was actually feeling relatively okay about everything for awhile. Dr. D was great and monitored the varix for 5 minutes to ensure that the flow was steady. It was. I asked if they thought it was okay with the holidays that I'd go 4 days without an ultrasound for 2 weeks in a row. The answer was: No one can really answer that question.

Hope is not something a doctor can give you.

So yesterday I had my first appointment with my OBGYN since the varix was discovered. The first parts of the appointment were great. I've only gained 10 lbs (and I'm 27 weeks tomorrow), the heartbeat was steady and good. But when talking with my doctor (who is awesome, make no mistake of that), I wasn't really given any answers. I'm always told "It's a day by day thing." To me, that means that they aren't sure of the baby's survival rate. That makes me feel like I could just go crazy and I hate that feeling. I want them to say "Oh, I'm sure everything will be okay." Which brings me to my earlier point: Hope is not something a doctor can give you. My OBGYN once again explained the varix and turbulence problem, and how the monitoring ensures that the turbulence does not create a clot. The word "clot" makes my skin crawl. I worry so much...but I pray that I really don't have a reason to worry. The clot theory is just that...a theory. But it's a theory that scares me.

I asked what the plan of action was...and was told...you guessed it. It's a day by day thing. I'm going to be induced between 34 and 37 weeks. 34 weeks means several weeks in the NICU, and 37 weeks is full term. If the varix grows, they are going to push for 34. I'm SO tired of the "I don't know's" and "if's". They get old. I want reassurance. Hope. I want this baby to be healthy when they are born. I want them to survive and thrive.

I have an ultrasound today at 2:30. I'm praying my favorite sonographer will be there to do the ultrasound, and that whatever doctor is there is compassionate and doesn't see a problem. The tension that courses through me gets tiring.

I'm sure I'll have more to update later. I'm going to have a hiatus in ultrasounds again due to the New Year holiday. So, I have an ultrasound today and Friday, but then I won't have one again til Tuesday and Thursday. My OBGYN said I can go to the hospital for a BPP (biophysical profile) on the weekend if they see it as something that's necessary. Going to the hospital without an appointment always feels extreme.

More prayers are needed for stability in the varix (no growth and constant flow). And for my sanity.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

For any future moms out there

Just wanted to put it out there. In the 6th month, maybe sooner, your hips and back might start to hurt, especially because you are supposed to sleep on your side. My sister got the most amazing pregnancy pillow for me for Christmas, and since receiving this, I have slept like a baby. Really :). It's not inexpensive, but it IS an answer to getting blissful sleep.

If you look at the video on this link to the actual site, it apparently is something you can use after the baby is born. 
Snoogle

Here is what the wonderful pillow looks like: (and yes, it will add a third person to the bed...my husband is just very patient and understanding.)


Movement Junkie

So I'm 26 weeks today!! I still have to "take it easy" and rest all the time...but I'm not in the hospital again as of now! For those of you who are curious as to the development of a baby, here you go:
The size of an average baby at 26 weeks  

So, that's the size. Here's what's going on:

  • The eyes are forming, and will soon start to open.
  • Eyelashes are now grown, too.
  • The baby is getting the immune system ready for life on the outside by soaking up your antibodies.
  • They are taking breaths, too. They're of amniotic fluid, not air, but it's still good practice.
Pretty cool, huh?,

They are also moving a lot at this point. Sometimes, though, you don't feel movement for awhile. This is when I become a movement junkie. I'll do anything to get a movement going. I'll eat a piece of candy and then lay on my right side. I KNOW you're supposed to lay on your left side, but I really want to feel movement. Then, I'll feel a hint of a kick and decide I want another kick. I'll poke at my stomach and wait for a response. There is something so reassuring about those kicks. Then again, it's a little strange to feel the kick in the first place. That reminder that there is a human inside is slightly creepy.


That's all for today :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More goodness!

Well today was pretty good!! I'm feeling good about it. I went in today to the Center and was told by the receptionist that Dr.N was there. Okay, I began to feel fear creep up into me. I was prepared for Dr. B...not Dr. N. Dr. N admitted me to the hospital and told me scary stories. I took a deep breath and immediately began praying. I mean, I was really scared!

Well, M (the sonographer) was there again (thank goodness!!!) to do my sonogram, and she began looking at the baby. The baby started kicking as soon as the sonogram started, and she even felt the baby kick. Then she started measuring (they do that once every 2 weeks), and the baby is measuring 2 lbs 3 oz!!! Yay for the little one being in the 66th percentile!! So, as of now, the varix has not affected growth. That is truly amazing. We're going to have to keep hoping and praying that the baby keeps growing and things continue as they are.

Then, I had to wait for the Doctor to come in, and when he did, I think I was holding my breath. He sat down and said that everything looked the same, and that he thought three times a week for ultrasounds was a good idea. I then exhaled and began my verbal diarrhea that is so common for me. Sometimes I wish I could just stop talking. I told him that I did offer to come in every day for ultrasounds. What? Why did I just say that? He completely surprised me and said that he thought that was too much, and he was glad that I was in the hospital for a couple of days so he could get some consistent results, but he thought the plan of action was fine.

Also, I was told that the size of the varix with millimeters is dependent on the angle in which the baby is.

All of that said, I left the ultrasound room feeling good. I haven't felt good like that in a while. I made appointments from now til Feb 1st, and then left the hospital.

So, today I feel good. It's raining and I'm home cuddled with my cats, I'm going to make pizzelles for Scott, and I get to just take it easy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A good day

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Of course, today I am waiting for it to all fall apart. I woke up at about 3 with the same terror that I woke up with in the hospital. I felt lost and scared and just with the same hopelessness. No idea why. I've been working to fight it all morning.

So, yesterday I went back to the hospital. I almost packed a bag just in case I was admitted again. I got to the Center and the receptionists were so nice. They asked me about my weekend and wanted to know if I made it to Scott's graduation. Then, I waited for about 30 minutes. My favorite sonographer, M, came out, and I was really relieved to see her. She began the ultrasound and the baby was very active, practicing breathing, good heartbeat, lots of blood flow, etc.  M even measured the baby's foot for me, and it was an adorable 5+ cm. That's a good sized foot, in my opinion!! Then, I got to wait for the doctor. Thank GOODNESS it was Dr. D, so that was super relieving. They should have checked my heart rate...I'm sure it was less spiked than it was during my hospital stay!

Dr. D came in and told me that the baby was doing wonderfully. She did measure the varix, though, and at one point it measured 1 cm 3 mm again. She said it might be the angle and didn't seem too worried. Of course, I'm worried for the both of us. The flow looked great though and was filling up the varix, so that's a good thing.

Movement yesterday, feeling wise, was minimal. But, I was told that the baby is kicking directly into the placenta, so there's more cushioning. This morning, the movement is minimal again. I really need to just relax. (I've been trying...really, I have...)

When I got to my car I noticed I had a voicemail. It turns out that we finally have an offer on the townhouse. The offer was far too low, so we have counter-offered. Hopefully they'll agree. Then again, the thought of packing up this house is overwhelming. I suppose it won't get any less overwhelming.

This month feels like it's dragging by. January 3 is the beginning of my third trimester...28 weeks. It seems like it isn't far away, but each day feels like it takes forever.  As of today, I have 100 days left til I reach my due date. The due date used to be March 29th, but I won't make it that far. The furthest I'll go is 37 weeks. So, it's about 80 days left. God give me strength, and let this baby keep growing with the vein healthily flowing.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Trying to stay sane

Life was just the same as I left it. Except the laundry hamper was a little fuller, the dishes piled a little higher, and the cats more affectionate. I can't blame Scott....he was there for me in the hospital constantly and provided so much support. But, there was a mess none-the-less.

Yesterday, Scott graduated from NC State with his Masters in Engineering. I'm so proud of him. All day, I didn't worry about the baby. The baby moved from the beginning of the day to the end, constantly kicking and flipping. Scott even felt one of the movements. Why would I worry when there is movement, right? Anyway, we spent the day with Mom and Kelly going to graduation and then out to eat. Then, we packed up to come to Mom's for Christmas (a week early, I know). I felt great.

Then, today happened. It's Christmas with the NC family today. Next week was supposed to be Christmas in Erie for both of us, but I can't go...so Scott has to go on his own. :( Anyway, I woke up and ate a cookie and began my water drinking fest. The kicks were these little, VERY sporadic movements. I wanted to feel movement like I did yesterday.

I know worry doesn't do any good, and any movement is good movement. I have to remind myself that I'm only 25 weeks.

If I lay on my side, I feel a little movement...but it's so frustrating. Trying to turn off the voices of the doctors and trying to not worry. Not that it does a lot of good...because worrying is my specialty.

Anyway, there is a lot to be grateful for. I have been having an excellent Christmas with my family, and the gifts were well thought out and thoughtful. I'm going to miss Scott tremendously next week. Christmas without your husband is terrible. I certainly hope this baby appreciates this.

There's a little kick. But, when they are so little, you wonder...was that one??

I have an appointment tomorrow with the Center. Get to praying...those doctors scare me.