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.