Tuesday, August 15, 2017

30 Weeks

Umm.. a cucumber? That seems smaller than a butternut squash. Oh well
30 weeks is such a great milestone to hit. We got to have an ultrasound on Friday when I hit the 30 week mark. Baby girl was doing well and her estimated weight was 3lbs9oz! She's weighing right on track for her gestation, so that was good news. My cervix was also long and closed, so also good news.

We got to see which part of her is pushing up into my ribs and it was her butt! She sure likes to push her booty up high making it very difficult to get comfortable. I've read she gains about 1/2 pound a week until she comes now, which means she will put on over 4 lbs! I have no idea how I'm supposed to make room for that. I already feel all kinds of huge and uncomfortable and like my belly is stretched to the brim.

Overall sleep and anxiety are better too. Thank goodness and praise God! I guess the whole "nesting" thing is real because I've been de-cluttering and organizing the whole house one room/closet at a time. This also means I've created a mess in unorganized spaces in the meantime, but the goal is to get the house cleaned out in the next week and a half. It's a lofty goal, but I'm guessing I'm going to be too uncomfortable to do much of that after that point.

I also made my first trip to Labor and Delivery through the ER this weekend. I'll start by saying all is fine and baby girl is fine. But, she made me nervous on Sunday. Usually this baby girl is very active all day long. It's often uncomfortable as she wiggles, kicks and apparently adjusts her position all day (and night).  But on Sunday she was really calm and quiet. I didn't feel her nearly as much as usual. I got worried enough that after dinner I called the on-call line and although the nurse practitioner said the movement I was getting after dinner was enough to be encouraging to her, I was still worried. So, she encouraged me to go the ER and have them check me in to Labor and Delivery in if I felt anxious, so I did.

I went in and I'm glad they did. Of course once I arrived and checked in she started getting really active again. But, either way I'm glad I went in and the reassurance was nice! It was also a reminder of why I'm so glad we chose the hospital we did. I arrived there in about 5 minutes and it was so calm. It wasn't at all the crazy and chaotic ER that I was anticipating. Other than one elderly couple I was the only one there! Checking in and getting taken upstairs to the L&D wing was super easy and all was calm the whole time I was there. The nurses were kind and got right to setting me up to the Non-Stress-Test. I had this done in the regular OB office at 25 weeks, so I knew what to expect. They get my belly connected to a monitor so that it measures baby's heart rate for 20-40 minutes. I ended up being connected for about an hour. They want to see the heart rate go up and down to indicate that she's moving around freely, and she was. So they reassured me that all was well, which helped me sleep Sunday night.

Yesterday (Monday), she was back to her regular wiggly self thank goodness. Feeling her move around all day may be uncomfortable, but it's reassuring. I know something going wrong at this point is not common, but of course I'm super in tune, knowing that I'm the only one that will notice if there's an issue, so I take it all seriously. I know a few women who have had late stillbirths and less active babies, so of course I'm paying attention each day and don't want that to be me.

As of today, (Tuesday) we have 58 days to go. Did I already mention that my c-section is scheduled for October 13th? At moments, like when I'm trying to get things cleaned up and the children are making disasters of the entire house, 58 days seems like not enough time, but most of the time it still feels like a long way away and I hope the time passes quickly. Either way I hope the time passes quickly, but that I'm also able to get the house cleaned out and prepared for new no-name baby. :)

This may seem like a weird ultrasound photo, but it's looking right at her face! You can see her face is filling out and her mouth, nose and eyes! 


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

29 weeks


I wish this update said, "I love being pregnant and my sleep issues and anxiety are totally solved! Praise God!"

But instead it will say that I'm simultaneously very grateful to be this far along, that I'm feeling much better than I was several days ago, but that anxiety and brain chemistry imbalance are real and no fun to deal with. But still, praise God, right? :)

My OB said that it's common for women who have previously struggled with clinical anxiety or depression to have a big resurgence in third trimester. Well, that's me! (The anxiety part) I wish I weren't dealing with this and it's hard as I wish I was a totally happy-go-lucky pregnant lady who is enjoying every moment, but I'm not. Which is especially disappointing after the long road of infertility and loss we've been on. I don't want her to come before she is ready to be in the outside world, but I'm also ready for her to be in my arms. 99% because of the anxiety and 1% because pregnancy is hard and uncomfortable. 

Looking at the photo I shared, I feel much larger than I look. I walk like a waddling pregnant lady for sure, especially after a big meal. The good news is that I'm pretty used to the gestational diabetes and my numbers are much better with a new and more accurate monitor so there is no insulin in my near future. I even found some high protein, low sugar ice cream, so I don't feel deprived anymore. 

I'm grateful the weather is not so unbearably hot because I've been able to go on walks again. Usually it's just a mile, but that is no easy feat when waddling and pushing a stroller. It's been really helpful for my mental state to be active and outside regularly again. 

A big milestone.. we are officially registered! We've had a couple of people offer to host showers for us, and while the idea is so lovely and we want to do it I'm not quite emotionally ready to commit to a date yet.  But registering seemed like a good next step. Maybe in the next week or two I'll be feeling well enough emotionally to get that on the calendar. A shower would be fun! And the only ones we ever had the baby was already there (the buddy). 

Thank you all for the support and prayers! And for checking the blog! It's so wonderful to have the support and prayers from so many people who love us and this unnamed baby already.❤️ (Why are girl names so hard to choose?) 
 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

28 weeks


So, today I'm 28w6d. I have been anxious awaiting 28 weeks for so long and was ready to celebrate and start doing baby preparation (because literally none has been done and I want to start preparing and believing this baby will be coming home alive with us). 

But this week was riddled with increasing anxiety about the gestational diabetes, following by intense and scary insomnia, panic attacks and crippling anxiety. So there hasn't been much by way of celebrating. 

I'm grateful for my team of medical experts who knew it was time for intervention and for a God I experienced in a brand new, intimate and healing way this week for the first time ever personally (so this is cause for celebration and hallelujahs!)

It's been a rough week but I'm trusting that God will be faithful and walk me though this phase. I can write more later, but that's 28 weeks in a nutshell. 

Good news is baby is alive and kicking and we get a growth scan in 8 days at 30 weeks. 


 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

27 weeks


Friday I hit 27 weeks and because of my Gestational Diabetes diagnosis I got an extra MFM visit in on Thursday. Everything looked good with baby, fluid and cervix, which was good. We talked about gestational diabetes, the risks, generals of how and why to keep track of blood sugars, etc. He was kind and optimistic and said I definitely have a mild case. BUT, it's very likely I will have to go on insulin. Sigh.

I have to test my blood sugar every morning upon waking up and then 2 hours after each meal. My numbers after meals are fantastic and totally within normal range. However, my morning numbers are a little higher than he would like them to be. And the super annoying thing is that those numbers are almost entirely decided by hormones in the placenta. Whomp, whomp. So, if my numbers are great all day and not first thing in the morning then insulin is the only way to get them where he wants them to be. It seems like we will wait until I hit 30 weeks and get an official growth scan of the baby and have 3 weeks of blood sugar levels to go off of to decide if I'll need to take insulin or not. For now I'm experimenting with bedtime snack since that's the only thing that can really affect those numbers. I've tried a few different things without success, which is a bummer. And also, they say as placenta gets bigger the numbers usually get harder to control as well. Yuck.

If you know me you know I'm a huge researcher and answer gatherer, so you won't be surprised that by the time I met with the dietitian for my appointment yesterday I pretty much knew everything she shared with me. She also said my diet and numbers look great except for morning fasting numbers, which are just a little high. She again explained that those numbers have nothing to do with how I'm eating or anything, just how much the placenta and its hormones are blocking my body's production of insulin. So if there's any consolation it's that I can be confident that it's not MY fault and I'm not doing anything wrong, but it still stinks. I'm not wild about being on nightly insulin, but of course I'll do whatever helps keep baby healthy.

I will admit that the planning that goes into eating for gestational diabetes is annoying, but I don't yet feel deprived or like I'm missing out on all the best foods ever or anything. It's a little bit of a good reminder to eat small meals all throughout the day, which is better for me anyway since I was feeling all yucky and bloated when my meals were too big before. I'm more attentive to when I'm full now. I eat breakfast, take my sugar levels 2 hours later, then have a small snack, followed by lunch 2 hours later, then blood and snack 2 hours later, then dinner 2-3 hours later, and then a bedtime snack (and sometimes 2 snacks before bedtime if there's 4 hours or more between dinner and bedtime).  So basically I'm really attentive to eating every 2-3 hours. I accidentally forgot a morning snack on Sunday and felt yucky and too hungry by the time I was home from church to eat lunch, so I will now try to be more attentive and aware to eating all throughout the day. 



I'm REALLY hoping that I get more optimistic when I hit 28 and then 30 weeks (oh I hope I get there!) After the anxiety of the diabetes I was finally feeling some acceptance on Friday, but then all weekend my anxiety was needlessly high and my brain was convinced something terrible was about to happen. It's sad because after the point where I stopped being terrified of my water breaking (of course I'm still nervous that this could happen, but less so at this point) I started being scared that she would just die at any point. Sigh. Pregnancy after loss is so hard. I wish I could be confident that all will be well, but it's just so hard to believe this could actually have a happy ending of bringing home a baby and my brain is unable to truly believe that yet when I know there are so many things that could still go wrong (not likely, but I know the possibilities now).

So, there you have it. I've made it to 27 weeks, and actually am just 3 days shy of 28 weeks. Oh that these next couple of months would pass quickly!

Thank you all for the support and prayers and comments!! It means so much to know so many people care, are praying and want to stay in the loop of what's going on with us! It's so so appreciated! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

26 Weeks


I will say that this is the first week I officially felt like my belly is definitely larger than my chest, so that's good! And it took awhile since my chest has grown 3 cup sizes from pre-pregnancy (haha). When I go out in public I still try to wear outfits that "hide" my belly as much as possible to avoid people asking me anything I don't want to talk about, but it's getting pretty difficult to do at this point.

It feels like a long time ago since my check in with the MFM on Friday. But, everything looked good. Baby girl measured 25w5d, which freaked me out at first. But, he said that that was totally normal and good and it's normal for babies at this phase to not measure their exact gestation. And that the most important thing to watch is if she's growing symmetrically and she is. Of course I'm still going to worry, but they only check growth every 4 weeks. I just hope she continues to grow well. After my water broke with Miriam and I was already scared out of my mind, an ultrasound indicated she was over a week behind which made things worse, so these 2 days behind did bring up some PTSD. Sigh. It's hard to imagine that this time everything can go ok when I'm just afraid of something terrible happening again.

The biggest news of the week is that I failed my glucose test so I have gestational diabetes. :(  To be honest I spent a lot of time crying the first couple of days. Even though I know I can eat healthfully and let go of sweets and it will be manageable, it's just another thing to add to my already overwhelmed emotions that I was just barely holding together. Despite all of the big emotions of this pregnancy, this was kind of the breaking point of holding it all in and I just let all the tears flow. And of course I can't help but feel like it's my fault and be frustrated with my body for this. :/

Today I had a check in with my OB and she said that gestational diabetes is caused by an "overactive placenta" from the baby, so it's definitely not my fault. The placenta just emits too many hormones that block normal insulin production (or something like that). Ugh. I've been eating healthfully and checking my blood sugar since Monday and so far my numbers have been fine (except when I ate out Monday evening and my numbers were slightly over). I guess my MFM better like me because he's going to see me even more often! I have an apt with him tomorrow to discuss the gestational diabetes, and then I have an apt on Monday with a nutritionist to be sure I know how to eat to keep the blood sugar levels where they should be. It was quite a pain that I had to start taking my blood sugar on Monday without being able to meet with the nutritionist for a full week, but thanks to the internet, and a very kind pharmacist who showed me how to use the glucometer, I think I'm doing ok.

To be honest I don't mind the more restrictive diet. I can handle that even though it's annoying and means not giving in to cravings or sweets. I'm just worried that I spent 25 weeks of this pregnancy without paying attention to my blood sugar and am worried that I negatively impacted her somehow. And of course I'm worried about how this whole thing will affect HER through all this, and I'm fine doing whatever it takes to keep her healthy. My OB told me that the risks are more associated with women whose blood sugar isn't well monitored, but of course that doesn't entirely put my mind at ease.

Just 2 more days to 27 weeks. Hopefully in a week I'll feel more comfortable with the whole diabetes thing and it will feel less overwhelming and stressful. I'm told the fasting level (the first level of the day) is the most important, and that's hard because it seems hard to control. I only have 2 fasting numbers to go off of and they've been "ok" but I would like to see them lower to put my mind at ease. Sigh. Ugh.