Thursday, October 12, 2017

She's here!

You may have been wondering where the 38 week update was and hoping we were doing well. Well, I didn't even get to take my 38 week photo becasue Saturday morning I went into labor! 

In case you're interested in details, I woke up around 4/5am Saturday morning with really uncomfortable back pain and nausea. But my first thought was "oh sheesh. And I just went to the chiropractor on Wednesday." But then when I woke up for the day at 6:30 the back pain was bad enough I had to breathe through it and my uterus was very tight and not letting up. I knew back labor was "a thing" so I immediately called the on-call number and then woke Dave up and told him that I was in pain and waiting for a call back from the OB's office. But he didn't really believe me and by the time I got the call back that they wanted me to go I had convinced Dave that he really needed to get the kids' breakfast ready and the van packed ready to go. (Thank goodness we got the carsest installed in the van the day before!)

My parents hadn't heard the phone ring when I called them to come watch the kids, so while Dave was getting things ready, and I was breathing through back labor and contractions I went next door to get the neighbor to watch the kids until my parents were on their way. My mom finally called back and was totally shocked and surprised when I told her it was baby time! 

When we got to the hospital (thankfully just 10 minutes away) they checked me into a room to monitor contractions. This made me nervous becasue I know the danger of uterine rupture when contracting and being in active labor for too long with a TAC (my permanent cerclage). Since I wasn't having measurable contractions I was nervous that they would try to send me home, but I KNEW this was different becasue I was having to breathe through the pain. But then when I went to the bathroom there was blood and my OB was the doctor on call and she knows about my TAC, so despite only one official contraction showing up on the monitor, since I was already 38 weeks and had bleeding it was going to be baby's birthday! And that I'd be prepped and ready to go back for the c-section within an hour! I'm telling you, going into labor on a Saturday morning after a full nights' sleep when no one is scheduled for an induction or c-section (since it's the weekend) is the ideal time to do it! 

I hadn't done a great job of mentally, emotionally, or even physically preparing for what a c-section would be like since I was so focused on her being ok the whole pregnancy so it immediately got real! 

The started the prep process and dave and I prayed and my mom stopped by to bring some things we forgot to pack. But she was right, and within the hour I was wheeled back to the operating room, with ALL the adrenaline pumping! 

I had to be in there without Dave for about 15 minutes while I got the epidural and spinal (ouch!) and then Dave got to come in with the camera while the actual c-section was done. He couldn't look behind the camera until they actually pulled her out, and the staff gave him a nice warning to get the camera out. So he had the camera ready to shoot while he watched her with his own eyes.

I was crying this whole time, because of all the overwhelming emotions but I will say the moment I heard her cry was a moment I will never forget. It was the biggest sense of relief I had ever felt in my life. The most beautiful sound. 

Dave got to watch them clean her up and then they put her on my chest for several minutes. I couldn't see anything except pink, wrinkly skin but there she was. Breathing on my chest. 

Then while they finished sewing me up Dave went with the nurses to get her weighed and measured. She was 7lbs 1oz and 19.5oz! 

The rest of the day was a whirlwind of activity and emotions, attempts to breastfeed, and the kids coming to meet her. 

We didn't announce right away because we hadn't decided on a name. We had our top 3 but she didn't "speak" to us about which one was her until Monday. And not officially until Tuesday. But here she is, Sonia Jane! 

More to come. We are now home and doing well. Tired, recovering from a c-section, and emotional. (The buddy is sick so that's no fun), but we are here and grateful and adjusting. 



Monday, October 2, 2017

37 weeks

I know I'm in the same dress from last week but I promise I didn't wear the same thing to church 2 weeks in a row. 😀 Last week I wore it to the ballet and this week it was church. 

When I saw my OB last week she asked how I was doing and I said, "uncomfortable, tired, and cranky" and she said that sounded perfect! Haha I had a non-stress-test again and baby girl passed with flying colors. 

Overall I'm doing well considering how large and uncomfortable I am. I'm sleeping decently, I'm still taking care of the kids, making daily meals, and getting all kinds of baby preparations checked off the list. So I can't complain. I do still freak out when there are periods of less or no baby movement and it's SO hard for me to not worry. With just 10 days left until scheduled c-section I know I should be feeling like we are close and be all excited, but I'm still worried something is going to go wrong so I'm on high alert. I wish I was just enjoying every moment, but I am worrying through many moments right now! Sigh. I surely hope she comes home with us and my worries will no longer be as intense!

The nursery is officially finished! I'm really happy how it turned out. We may swap out this pretty glider for the super comfortable, but much uglier, recliner in the buddy's room for a few months, since I imagine I'll spend lots of time in it. 

Dave cleaned out the garage this weekend and it looks awesome! Both vehicles fit in it, which you know is a small miracle if you saw how messy the garage was previously. 

This week I'm hoping to do a couple of freezer meals, but I'm not sure what exactly to do. I may just have a lot of bratwurst and meat for hamburgers frozen and ready to grill for when Dave is in charge of cooking. 

Nothing more to update I guess. Please continue to pray that baby girl stays healthy and comes home healthy, that my anxiety stays down, and that the family stays healthy)! No germs around new baby please!) 😀



Monday, September 25, 2017

Maternity/Family Photos

Here are few favorites from the pictures Dave took right at the 35 week mark.

There's never been a more handsome kid! 

I really wanted a picture of just my belly with these 2 kiddos and this was the best we could get. haha

In front of Miriam's tree

Again in front of Miriam's tree

Saturday, September 23, 2017

36 weeks!


The countdown is on! Less than 3 weeks to go until we meet this little one. I'm still hesitant to really believe it, but I'm tracking baby movements all day and praying all goes well these last few weeks and she makes it home. 

This time Sweet P wanted to join in the picture! 

I had my first Bio-physical profile on Thursday and in my experience/opinion, baby girl was quite sleepy and calm, but she still passed all the markers for baby health so I'm told she's doing great. 

Then yesterday, the day I hit 36 weeks, I was SO uncomfortable to the point of pain. At this point it's pretty common for me to have Braxton Hicks tightening most of the time I'm up and walking around. Which is a lot. And is annoying. I called the on-call OB line right as they were closing and it was recommended I go info the ER to measure the contractions so off I went. Better safe than sorry! But after having to sit in the ER waiting room for 30 minutes (apparently it was a busy afternoon/evening for labor) my uterus had calmed down so I checked in again with a nurse who called the same OB who told me to go in and they said it was fine for me to go home. Glad it wasn't real labor since we aren't quite ready for her yet. 

Busy day today! Went to the buddy's baseball game in 90 degree heat and pretty much sweat through my clothes (being this pregnant is no joke), then took the buddy to the ballet. We were both EXHAUSTED by the end of the day!) I definitely continued to have contractions, but only when I was walking around thank goodness. But I will admit that walking is a pretty big part of my day and trying to be less active is annoying and difficult! (And also a lot of work for Dave). 

At the ballet for our date! 

After some higher fasting blood sugar numbers I have still been able to put off insulin for another week by totally removing dairy from my diet. Can i complain about how I don't know what to eat sometimes when I'm supposed to be eating 6 times a day and avoiding carbs, sugar and now also dairy!? Despite this I've still managed to gain 10 lbs so far in the third trimester, taking my total weight gain to 30 lbs so far. I'd be ok if I stopped gaining at this point. 😀

My to-do list is getting shorter, thank goodness, and I'm hoping to get much of it knocked out by 37 weeks so I can either take it a little bit easier the last 2 weeks, or she can just come early. 😀

Nursery preview! You can't see the pattern we picked in this photo, but you can see the colors and the newly painted walls!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

35 weeks

One week closer! 

The updates 

I had a non-stress test at 34w6d that was all good and OB told me there is only a 1 in 3,000 chance of stillbirth in the week following a good non-stress test. Good news! She has been pretty wiggly since then, which I appreciate. 😀

I told my OB I wasn't wild about Friday the 13th as my c-section day despite not thinking of myself as superstitious, so it has been moved to October 12th! I'm so grateful she obliged! One fewer day to count. 😀

We had a couple of baby showers over the weekend! We felt so so grateful for the generosity, love, encouragement, and support for everyone who came or reached out. It was so so lovely! 

Friday early evening we got (kind of) dressed up and went to the church to take some "maternity photos". Dave just took some pictures with his DSLR. Some turned out really well! We went to the church since Miriam's tree is there and we wanted to take pictures with her tree. Once we go through them and upload them to the computer I will share some. I really wanted some good quality pictures with my belly and the kids. 

As of today the countdown is 23 days (or less)! So I'm now in total to-do list and preparation mode. It's like I'm preparing for the world to stop. Everyone needs eye exams and such before then right? Plus, there is still a lot of set up and getting supplies from the attic, and learning at least the basics of breastfeeding to do. And.... I still haven't made our family's 2016 photo album. I figure that needs to be done before 2018, right? Haha

The to-do list is long, but it's very satisfying to check things off the list. I'm more like 95% sure we are bringing home a baby, so that's an improvement. Still praying she comes home safely! 

And oh! More good news! We are down to 3 names! Hopefully she fits one of them when we see her. ❤️

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

34 Weeks!

34 weeks is another great milestone. This is the point where my OB and MFM said they wouldn't stop labor after this point. I officially feel gigantic and can't believe I have 4-5 weeks of growing larger ahead of me!

I thought I should share this comparison since this is me in the same dress at 30 and 34 weeks, just FOUR weeks apart! Yikes! Am I going to double in size AGAIN?! 

One week ago (so right before I hit 34 weeks) I had my first contractions. Of course I freaked out and called my OB's office and they were so kind and let me come in to monitor them. Nothing showed up on the monitor so they were Braxton Hicks contractions. I've continued to have them on and off, which has been uncomfortable and annoying, but it's normal and definitely not labor, so I'm getting more used to it and trying to take it easier in the evening. I'm told it's just my uterus practicing. I actually feel grateful I haven't had them up until this point.

Over the weekend we got some more stuff cleaned up and set up in the nursery. One corner looks pretty good! And I officially have all the clothes up to 3 months organized and in the dresser or boxes in the storage closet. I'm not joking when I say there is a full dresser of newborn clothes ready for her already (obviously hand me downs from Sweet P), but I have the 0-3 month clothes also organized and in 3 boxes in the storage closet in case she comes home over 8 lbs. How we have so much baby girl clothes in that size shows how much people like to gift cute baby clothes! NONE of that is for this new baby. It's all just stuff that Sweet P wore. 

We had a growth scan on Friday at the MFM's office. Her estimated weight is 5lbs4oz, which is very close to Sweet P's BIRTH weight! No wonder I'm so big... this unnamed girl is practically full size! This weight at this gestation puts her in the 51st percentile, so she's entirely average. :) So far I've been able to put off insulin with my GD numbers, but there is a slight upward trend, so I'm nervous this may be the last week. I'd love to push it off further, but 4 weeks wouldn't be too bad. I'm just not wild about adding anything, especially when her weight is so normal (the biggest concern with GD is a big baby).

I wish I could remember other monumental things about baby this week. I will say I feel like she's attempting to bust out of my uterus. But I don't think that has ever happened before (a baby punching her way out of a uterus through the belly...haha), so Dave tells me not to worry about it. But, I do feel like the inside of my uterus is bruised from all her gymnastics moves. I don't know if this is normal or not. I'm a little too nervous to ask. haha

Overall I'm tired and uncomfortable and really ready to meet this baby. My anxiety is still an issue and I'm definitely not convinced we are bringing home a baby yet. Oh please Lord let her come home alive and healthy. At this point I wouldn't mind if she came early, but I'm not thinking she will and I have the full 30 days left to wait. But, of course I have moments almost every day where I'm worried the worst will happen. I hope and pray that this will subside if/when we bring her home. Thankfully I wasn't worried when we brought our 2 living children home, so I hope I don't this time either.

I have an official countdown on my phone now, so I don't think I'll lose track of how many days we have left. haha We are busy in the meantime. Lots of appointments, little league games, and church responsibilities are helping the time pass quickly! 


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

33 Weeks

All is going well at 33 weeks! Today I'm actually 33 weeks and 4 days. On Friday I get another growth scan and I'm anxious to see how baby girl is growing.

This weekend we got the nursery painted. And by "we" I mean my dad and Dave. It looks great! And I got all the baby clothes washed and organized, so I continue to organize and feel productive. I know most women who are 33 weeks pregnant assume they are bringing a baby home, and if I were to quantify it I would say I'm 90% sure we are bringing home a baby, but I still have worries that something will go wrong. So since I like to plan ahead I am definitely glad to be getting ready for baby girl, but I'm still scared we will do everything to prepare for her and something will go wrong. So please continue to pray she stays healthy and happy! 

My blood sugars have been slowly creeping up. Ugh! I'm right on the line for fasting levels and suspect if they don't come down I'll end up on insulin after seeing my MFM Friday. I know it's not a big deal, but I'd like to avoid it if I can. 

I saw my OB last week at 33 weeks and got a non-stress-test. To ease my anxiety about stillbirth I asked her if I could get weekly biophysical profiles. (Read about them here... an ultrasound that checks for baby's wellbeing and activity level). She said I could get one every other week and get a non-stress test the alternative weeks. This really put my mind at ease. She is very kind to me!

C-section is 38 days from now. I'm so grateful we've made it this far and all looks good but I'm hoping these next 38 days go quickly! Even Sweet P has started looking at my belly and saying "baby get out!"  Haha! 

Here's hoping for good news on Friday at the growth scan. I'm also getting my hair cut for the first time in almost a year. Yay!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

32 Weeks!

Whoops! Super late again! This time it's due to a very busy life at home. I'm the Sunday School Director at church and the fall semester starts Sunday, so I have been BUSY with that. Also, the buddy started pre-school, got a nasty cold that turned into a chest cough and needed steroids (poor guy), and also started his first season of Little League. We may be packing too much into this fall. :) But, I'm glad to be busy. Keeps me from stressing TOO much.

Last Friday, my 32 week appointment with the specialist was the BEST EVER (happy dance)! I think hitting that milestone was so, so big for me. If you remember, a few months back my RE (fertility doctor) said that "anything past 32 weeks is gravy for baby survival, so getting there was a big deal. Baby girl looked bigger and healthy on the ultrasound, and my blood sugar numbers were good, and my anxiety and sleep have been better, so I left that appointment feeling so, so good.

I felt a huge relief when I asked him about going into labor with the TAC (abdominal cerclage). Because it keeps your cervix closed from the top, uterine rupture is a very real concern. And since the cervix can't open at all, it can be hard to tell if labor is real or if someone is having intense Braxton Hicks contractions. Some women in the support groups I'm in have doctors that aren't too familiar with the TAC and want them to get to 39 weeks SO badly that they let them labor and things don't go well. Thank goodness I haven't had any contractions of any kind yet, but I was still worried about this and asked my MFM what he would do if I came in to the ER with contractions. He said that until 34 weeks they would use medication to try to stop the contractions, but that after 34 weeks they wouldn't try to stop labor for me because babies past that gestation do really, really well long term, even if they have a little bit of NICU time. This was a huge relief!

Saturday was Miriam's birthday. I had been very anxious about this date for awhile. I know in the future I will want to do lots to remember and memorialize her on this day, but this year I knew my emotions couldn't handle that. My emotions are already high enough worried about this baby I'm carrying that I knew I couldn't go to the sad place of missing her when I'm worried enough already. So, I told Dave I didn't want to make it a big part of our day and wanted to keep the day busy with our kids to keep myself from re-living how hard and sad the day was last year.

Turns out it's good we didn't have too much on our calendar because it's also the day that Dave was negotiating on the phone with multiple car dealerships and we ended up buying a van. Woa! I guess we must be feeling pretty confident about this baby girl coming home. I didn't want to put 3 carseats in one row, so we had been researching and looking into vans for awhile, and this weekend we were ready to take the plunge. I haven't really been able to drive it since we haven't had the time to get the carseats in there (we have some rearranging of carseats to do since Sweet P has just grown out of hers) so I've been driving the sedan and Dave has had the van without kids. I'm ready to start driving it though!

Monday and Tuesday baby girl had calmer days, which made me anxious. Sigh. She is usually SO active all day long (truly), so on days she's pretty calm I get worried. I thought for sure that by this point since I wouldn't be worried about my water breaking anymore I would stop being worried. But, it turns out instead of being worried about my water breaking I'm not worried about stillbirth. Blah. I know a few women whose babies got still toward the end of their pregnancies and then lost them so it's impossible for me to not worry about this. As long as baby girl is having an active day I feel pretty confident we are bringing her home in the next 6.5 weeks, but on the calm days I get terrified we are going to lose her. I hope she stays active enough to put my mind at ease, but I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up having a few more ER visits for non-stress-tests before she comes.

Thank you all so much for the support and prayers! Keep praying that baby girl stays healthy and this mama stays as calm as possible and that a healthy baby girl enters the outside world on or before October 13th! (Because I wouldn't complain if she came 2-3 weeks before then... haha) 

Monday, August 21, 2017

31 weeks

31 weeks is another great milestone! I'm grateful baby girl is still cooking and super active. I wanted to show a video of my belly moving around but am not sure how to share video here. Can anyone share with me how to do that? 

Anyway, I'm still nesting and cleaning out the house. Biggest task right now is cleaning out the crazy clutter of kids toys we have already accumulated. I'm hoping after this big project I can get started on the actual nursery. 

If I make it to Friday I'll be able to deliver at our local hospital! This would feel nice, to not need to feel like if something goes wrong I would need a transfer to the hospital 30 minutes away. 

Big news of the week was the eclipse. We drove to see totality and it was so cool! Most important thing is eye safety first, right? 

I really want to enjoy pregnancy, but most of all I'm ready for baby girl to arrive safely so I'm always able to check her breathing. I won't truly believe she's coming home until she is home. I'm hoping and praying we will get to use everything that's gathering in her bedroom in piles. ❤️


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.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

25 weeks!

 So, I know I'll be 26 weeks tomorrow, so I'm very late to post this, but better late than never?

We had a wonderful week last week with extended family in town! My sister and her husband and their two girls were in town, and I can say with confidence that Sweet P doted on their baby girl like crazy. She asked about her every single time we got her up from nap or in the morning. She misses her cousins!

We also got to see both sets of my grandparents within a week's time, and my cousin, his wife and my uncle! It was so great! But, needless to say, it was exhausting. We had such a blast and it was so wonderful to see everyone, but I think I realized I'm an introvert in this phase of life, needing some more quiet time to recharge, and there wasn't as much of that as usual. Hence why this post is several days late. I have added napping back into my life too. I hadn't taken a nap since first trimester, but I think I'll be having them more regularly now.

The day I turned 25 weeks baby wasn't quite as active as she had been in the previous week, so of course I freaked out. The OB's office saw me that afternoon and did a Non-Stress-Test. That means they hook up your belly to a heartbeat monitor to measure baby's continuous heartbeat and movement for 20-30 minutes. They want to see variations of heartbeat to show baby is active, and she did wonderfully, reassuring us that she's doing just fine in there. The nurse reassured me that at this gestation, as long as I feel daily movement at some point, that's totally fine. Some days she will rest more and some days she will move more. And that's ok. But, of course, it's practically impossible not to worry.

Monday, when I went to get my progesterone shot, the nurse told me I failed the 1-hr glucose test (to see if I have gestational diabetes). Ugh! I actually cried when she told me. I feel like the emotions and physical demands of pregnancy after loss are similar to walking around carrying a gigantic beach ball that's really hard to hold. By carrying it around I'm just barely hanging in there. But, the thought of adding the additional stress of diabetes seemed like too much. I know in my head that it's usually well managed with diet and regularly taking blood sugar levels throughout the day, but the idea is a bit overwhelming. 

Since Monday I've tried to eat like I already have GD (so no more ice cream and much reduced carbs), just in case I have it. But, tomorrow I go in for the 3-hr test. This means I need to fast after midnight tonight, get my fasting blood sugar level taken at the OB's office, then chug a giant drink of 50-100mg of sugar (WHAT!?) and then stay at the doctor's office for 3-3.5 hours while they check my blood sugar 3 more times. I feel like I'll be lucky if I don't throw up from that! I won't get the results until Monday or Tuesday of next week, but do say some prayers that I pass easily and don't have to add the worry of gestational diabetes to the list of concerns!

And tomorrow is ultrasound day! 2 weeks sure feels like a long time between ultrasounds when I've gotten used to weekly! Hoping all looks good, including cervix and fluid levels. And by tomorrow baby girl will have at least a 80% chance of survival outside the womb. Of course I'd like her to hang out in there for at least 10 more weeks, but it's still a great milestone less than 24 hours away. :) 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

24 Weeks!

Since the day I got the phone call that my pregnancy test was positive back in February, I have been counting down to this point and it finally arrived! I was 24 weeks on Friday and that technically means viability! That's the great news! It seemed like an ETERNITY waiting for almost 5 months (literally 20 weeks) and it finally arrived. Those 20 weeks were just as eternal, if not more eternal, than I anticipated, but, I made it! haha Of course, my mind is not entirely put at east, but it is a reassuring milestone to hit and I'm grateful to be this far (and very ready to fast forward at least one month in the future barring all goes well).

My MFM (high risk OB) told me Friday that this meant that at that point if baby came early she would have at least a 50% chance of survival and that every day that number goes up by 2%. But, he also said that based on the ultrasound Friday there is no reason to think that something will go wrong. I sure hope he's right. My cervix looked closed and measured about 5cm, which is a great length for this gestation (I'm told).

Unfortunately it's impossible for me to totally relax and enjoy this pregnancy entirely, but I'm trying and there are good moments. This is the first week that I have felt her move every day. Yay! My OB said I should feel daily movements for sure by this point, so I'm glad that has been the case. Of course it's another thing to worry about if I haven't felt her for several hours, but I'm guessing that's something almost every pregnant woman worries about, right?

I'm grateful she's been fairly active most mornings when I first wake up and am still lying in bed. That's nice and reassuring that I've started the day with some movement. I hope she keeps it up! I told Dave sometimes when I feel quick movement/kicks from one side of the belly to the other I feel like a pinball machine. hehe

You know the saying "it takes a village"? I feel like with our family building adventure it's already so evident how true that is. With our 2 kids sleeping upstairs, before they even came home to us there was the village of their birthfamilies, our social workers, and even the government fingerprinting offices (plus tons more people that I don't have the time or energy to list)! haha And with this baby there was our fertility doctor and nurses and now my specialist, extra doctor visits, and the nurses that give me a shot, etc. and... our supportive community of family and friends! It means so much to go to church and have people tell me they pray for me and this baby every single day. One particular mom (who lost her daughter to a heart condition at just a few months old and really 'gets' it) cheers me on every Sunday and says she's so happy to see we've made it another week. Last Sunday I had two different priests come up to me and say a quick prayer for the baby and offer words of encouragement. It's really, really nice to hear gentle words of support and prayer without offering empty promises that no one can guarantee. I feel very grateful for our church and the community of kind and wise hearts and spirits.

And last but not least, a precious ultrasound photo. It may look kind of creepy as ultrasound pictures often do, but Dave said on the high resolution screen he could really tell that she was opening and closing her eyes here so it was almost like she was looking right at us! The screen I was looking at wasn't quite so clear, but it's cool he got to see that.

Of course, I'm still praying daily nothing goes wrong for at least 4 more weeks. I told Dave today that if I make it to 28 weeks I think I'll want to finally start planning for a baby to come home. Of course I still also have moments of intense panic where my brain is convinced something has or is about to go wrong. I worry about every little thing that feels different or new or uncomfortable and wonder if it's worth a call to the doctor or not. And some days I just wait anxiously for 9pm, since it's the earliest I can get into bed and end the worries of the day. Every day I'm still pregnant feels like something to be grateful for at this point and closer to a higher survival rate should something go wrong.

And this time I don't have an ultrasound until 26 weeks! Eek! I know it's good since weekly ultrasounds throughout a pregnancy would be unnecessary, but I'm already counting down for 12 days until we see her again and hopefully get confirmation that all is doing well!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

23 Weeks

Last Friday I reached 23 weeks. Everything looked good at the doctor. I'm so glad I switched to Friday appointments! It helps to have reassurance going into the weekend. The MFM (high risk OB) gave me some encouraging statistics. He said of course that the goal is to get to 39 weeks, but that if at 24 weeks (so in a few days now) something goes terribly wrong and baby is born there is a 50% chance of survival. Many of these babies have long term issues, but 50% of them live. He then said that each day after that gives an additional 2% chance of survival, and by 28 weeks there is now a 95% chance of survival! It's amazing what they can now do in the NICU.

Of course we really truly hope we make it into the 30s for sure, and getting to 38/39 weeks would be amazing and the best possible outcome for baby. But, for now these statistics are reassuring.

But, I will also say that it's hard to remain optimistic. I want to be hopeful and plan on having a full-term baby, but after what happened with Miriam, that came out of the blue, it's hard to imagine everything going well this time. I still fear the worst most days and my nerves are totally frayed. June has been the LONGEST month of my life, and there are still 3.5 days left of the month! Aargh! It seems like an eternity until the point where I feel confident that we will bring home a baby! 

It sucks and is totally unfair. I want to enjoy being pregnant and planning to bring home a baby. I want to be filled with joy and be picking out names imagining them for a healthy baby girl. But, it's all tainted with loss and fear. Ugh. You can say what you want about trusting God and that I shouldn't be anxious because it's in the Bible (and yes, people have said this to me), but people said that during my last pregnancy too, including me! When I got worried I would tell myself that most pregnancies have no complications and would push worry out of my mind. And then our baby died. So, no matter your theology it does not make sense to trust God that this baby will come home because that trust didn't work out last time.

Well, sorry for that darker turn. But, the good news is that I have felt more baby movements. Overall that's great, except for the days that I don't feel much and freak out. haha Within the next week I'm told I should feel some movement every day, so she better continue to stay active so that I know she's doing well.

And in other news, the buddy is still super excited about this baby. And somehow he and Sweet P think that since there's a baby growing in my belly that there's one growing in Sweet P's belly as well. Whenever I mention that the baby is kicking they start talking about the baby in her belly too and try to feel her belly for kicks. Obviously a strong understanding of biology is not within the grasp of a 2.5 and 5 year old brain. :) And during prayers the buddy has also requested that this baby come home this time and has mentioned he's sad that Miriam didn't, and regularly asks me if the baby is still in my tummy. So, he's processing as well the events of the past year as we do too. I echo his thoughts and wishes and sure do hope this baby comes home too.

Monday, June 19, 2017

22 Weeks

So, this week and weekend was most definitely better than the previous. Our counselor was so right about switching to Friday appointments. We had a really good appointment Friday and got a few good pictures of baby girl. I also asked if there were ANY indications that I should be worried or concerned or that it looked like I could have pre-term labor and he said no. This was reassuring to hear.

Of course I felt confident for about 24 hours and went back to feeling anxious again. From the beginning I have been counting to 24 weeks. That's the current state of viability where it's said if a baby is born that early he/she has a 50/50 chance of survival (those who live often have long term challenges, but survival is very good!). I've said if I got to that point I would be able to start believing we could actually bring home a baby. But, as I approach that gestation I know it will probably take until 28 weeks until I actually feel significantly more optimistic and less anxious. 

Of course I wish I could be excited and truly believe we will be bringing home a baby, but I am SO not there yet. I had a friend ask a few weeks back how I was managing to balance preparation with my anxiety and I said that there is absolutely no preparation going on, and there wouldn't be until July. Now, I'm thinking we will wait until at least August to prepare anything. Some would say that 2 months isn't enough to prepare for a baby, but we have brought home babies twice with less than 48 hours of preparation, so 2 months would feel like an eternity. :)

Anyway, I would say that the nerves and the milestone weeks are the big things where my focus lies at this point. Even though every doctor visit and ultrasound has been encouraging, I still start counting down to the next one pretty quickly. Even if I was told there was a 99% chance this baby would come home healthy, it would still be impossible for me to believe that until we get to several more weeks in the future. (And no one has said that. I think it's actually like 95%. Which was super reassuring to me last pregnancy, but obviously we fell in the 5%, so how could I not be worried the same would happen again?)

In good news I'm told she's about the size of an ear of corn (woa!) and weighs about a pound and is about a foot tall. She's definitely bigger than Miriam ever was now. I feel sad to compare them to ea but once you've seen and held a baby born too early it's impossible to not think about that size of baby being inside you on the milestone dates. Pregnancy apps say that within about 4 weeks she should double in weight and that feels like that will be a good milestone too. 

One super sweet thing. Thursday afternoon I had a voicemail from the cell phone of our fertility doctor. He was calling because he just wanted to check in and see how I was doing. That man is seriously the sweetest. I swear, if we were having a boy that kid would be named after this doctor! I called him back Friday after our good appointment and he was so happy to hear all was going well and he asked me to keep them posted, especially around milestone weeks because he and others there at the clinic think about us often and are really pulling and hoping for us to get this baby girl home! He assured me (like everyone else) that it will be normal to continue to have anxiety and that reaching 24, and especially 28 weeks will be huge accomplishments. He said if I can get to 32 weeks I will be set. Of course we want this baby girl to "cook" the whole time to be as healthy as possible, but he said that 32 is such a great gestation and that even though babies born that early may have significant NICU time, but that they almost all have fantastic long term health. That seems like forever away, but I will most certainly be doing some significant happy dances if we make it that far!

And in great news, Dave got his doctorate degree yesterday! He started working on it before the buddy came home, back in January 2012, and he is officially DONE with school! He has worked SO hard over the years and it's such a great accomplishment! It's also the perfect degree for him and what he feels called to do- it's a Doctorate of Worship Studies. Go Dave!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

21 weeks

Oh man. This week has been a doozy, and not in the best way. 

Miriam was stillborn at 21w1d, so I was dreading Saturday, the day I would be the same gestation. I was so ready to get past it and was ready to celebrate at 21w2d so that I could be the most pregnant I had ever been. But, Friday night, I had enough extra discharge (TMI I know, but there's no better way to explain the situation) that I was worried. It definitely didn't feel like my water BROKE like last time, but it was different enough that I was worried I was leaking or something.

Of course the worst time to be worried is Friday night since the doctor's office is closed until Monday. Friday-Monday doesn't sound like a long time to be worried until you are right in the thick of it. I called the on-call doctor line at my OB's office Friday night (she's in a practice with 5 other OBs) and the on-call doctor was the same one that insensitively told me I was going to have a miscarriage back in February. So, I was obviously disappointed she was the doctor on call. But, I explained the situation and although she tried to tell me not to be worried, she also spoke in a way that was (again) really insensitive, and also essentially said she didn't want to come in and check me out. It was really dismissive.

I tried not to worry, but how do you make your brain stop worrying when PTSD kicks in? I spent most of the weekend on modified bedrest in case I WAS leaking amniotic fluid, and every trip to the bathroom, sneeze or bathroom urge was compared to those last days of pregnancy with Miriam between water breaking and losing her. It was a ROUGH weekend. I counted down hours until Monday and I'm not exaggerating. I called in a replacement for my church job and stayed home from church on Sunday. I wish that I could have 100% believed the doctor on call when she said she didn't think I should be worried, but I was a wreck. When you've had a loss and something reminds you of the trauma of last time, it's almost impossible to get out of that worried cycle without confirmation that all is ok.

Side note: Dave is amazing and wonderful to me. He is quite literally the best husband. He was so kind and gentle all weekend to me and took care of the kids all weekend. He didn't tell me I was crazy or exaggerating and although he tried to calm me down he completely understood why I was so anxious. And he completely supported me when we had a baby-sitter come Monday morning at 7:45am to watch the kids so we could be at my MFM's office (high risk OB) the moment they opened at 8 (even though I didn't have an appointment until 3).

Every time we leave the parking lot at the doctor's office we say how grateful we are for such a good, compassionate, and knowledgeable doctor less than 10 minutes from our house. Despite not being on the calendar for 7 more hours (although I did cry from the moment I stepped into the office) he saw me right away and had the ultrasound done showing every thing was normal and baby girl had a full fluid sac. Even after having good news I continued to cry as emotions were very high after the weekend for goodness sake! He sat with me and answered all kinds of questions and concerns for at least 20 minutes and never ONCE made me feel like a crazy lady. Actually, he reassured me over and over how normal it is to have high anxiety in a pregnancy after a traumatic loss. He is a good man and I'm so grateful he's my MFM!

But, unfortunately, my anxiety has stayed high this week. My counselor has showed me this chart (or a similar one) a few times and mentioned how it would be ideal to live in the 1-2 range. But, that of course I will be living in the 3-5 range for a lot of this pregnancy and that that that's ok. Of course we talk about strategies for getting closer to the 2, but to be honest, if I'm at a 3 level that would be success. 

But, I was definitely at a 6 all weekend. After being at a 6 all weekend, it's hard to get all the way back down to a 3. Especially if you're already a naturally anxious person. So, I've still been functioning at a 5, even after the good visit on Monday. I would say there are time I'm distracted enough to be at a 4 (hooray!), but I don't know if I've gotten back down to just a 3, and certainly not to a 2. But, I'm working on it.

Have I also mentioned how much I love our counselor? She's is a total gift. She is an infertility survivor and seriously one of the kindest and wisest people I have ever met. Today she gave me more practical tips for helping to manage the anxiety. Like calling my OB's nurse and explaining how I felt Friday night talking to the on-call doctor to discuss possible ways to be sure I feel like I can come in whenever I need. And seeing if I can change my MFM appointment to Fridays instead of Mondays so that I can go into weekends with a (hopefully) good report. Isn't she so smart? Both calls have been made and so I get to go back to the doctor in 2 days! Never in my life have I counted down with such intensity to doctor appointments! ha!

Anyway, the weekend was tough. And I'm super disappointed that my anxiety didn't go away once I hit 21w2d like I had hoped. Sigh. That was an unrealistic expectation. But, it's still a good accomplishment that I have made it this far and so has baby girl! 

And I will end the post on a positive note... despite the weekend being mostly stress, there was a very high moment. Saturday night, so the exact gestation I was when Miriam passed, we felt baby girl kick! Eek! I felt it AND saw it through my belly! I never once felt Miriam move so this was so, so exciting. Dave was sitting right beside me and got to see and feel it too. It's actually quite an odd feeling. Since I've spent most of the pregnancy not wanting to talk about pregnancy or this baby as a real person it's kind of scary and weird to think about there being a little 1lb (ultrasound Monday estimated her weight to be 15oz, about 3-4 days ahead of schedule... go girl!) being inside of me pushing against my insides. It's quite miraculous, and honestly, quite unbelievable. I hope she gives me some good clear kicks more regularly to give some reassurance that she is doing well in there.

So, there you have it. I would LOVE for next week's update to be more optimistic. For now I'm still counting down days and sometimes hours to be closer and closer to when I will hopefully start to feel more optimism than anxiety. Today there's still more anxiety than optimism, and that's ok. But I would sure love for that balance to switch.

Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers! And can you do me a favor and leave a comment if you read this? I would love to know who is reading and it really is like a little virtual hug of support knowing people are caring and checking in on us. <3