Two Years and Counting

Random Tidbits
September 17, 2009, 9:29 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Things are rolling along. I haven’t had anymore issues with too many contractions, and the bad pain hasn’t come back. Kate is kicking like a soccer player though, which is funny to me. Except at night when she starts moving and sometimes hits a certain spot low on my left side that hurts pretty bad. But it’s not excruciating. I’d rather her be kicking than not, of course.

I had our first baby shower last weekend, and it felt so special. My girlfriends really went all out for it. Most special of all, several of them made comments about how excited they were for us, especially since we all prayed for this baby for so long. The girls who gave it are the ones in my community group at church, and they all knew about our struggles to get pregnant. Once of the best parts of getting pregnant was telling them–they were all so much more excited than even I thought they’d be. It’s really sweet. We got a lot of precious little outfits and some practical things–a few packs of diapers, some lotions, our high chair and exersaucer. Fun stuff.

We’re actually headed to Mobile this weekend for another shower given by my mom’s girlfriends. It’ll be for my side of the family and some family friends. I’m slightly nervous about the trip down since the last time we went down, we ended up in L&D. I’m praying it doesn’t happen this time!

On Monday of this week I had another regular OB appt. My mom got to go with me since she was here for the shower. I saw another doctor–they make sure you meet all the doctors in the practice in case it’s someone else who delivers your baby. I told my mom beforehand that I wouldn’t be shocked if they say “She looks a bit small, let’s do an ultrasound.” Which is exactly what happened! Dr F. said it may be that we’re just small people (I’m very petite as I’ve said before, and my lanky mom was sitting there too) and that I may just have a small baby, but just to make sure (and since after feeling my belly, it felt like I may be measuring a bit “short”) she ordered an u/s. It was fine with me, and I wasn’t overly concerned since Dr F didn’t appear to be too concerned. She said if the tech says the baby is measuring in less than the 10th percentile, we’d need to come back to see her after the u/s, but anything above that would be fine. We had the u/s and everything looked great. She measured the abdomen and femur and a few other things, and the average percentile was 38%, which we were pretty happy with. The only thing the tech couldn’t get a good measurement on was her head, which was down very low, keeping her from being able to see it fully. It happened last time we had an u/s too. Because everything else is measuring well, she said she wasn’t concerned about the head measurement, and that she’d just put a note on the photos for Dr F saying she couldn’t get a good look at the head. I fully expect I’ll be sent back for another u/s at my next appt, so we’ll check the head again then.

Oh, we also didn’t get a clear look at her face because both her hands and feet were up in front of her face! She’s quite flexible.

I’m starting to have these flashes of panic every so often–I’m about to go through child birth and then I’ll be a mom and be expected to know how to do everything! The flashes only last a second, but in those flashes, there’s some real fear! I’m so excited about everything, but it’s scary too. I’m nervous about what childbirth will be like (I’m planning on an epidural, no natural childbirth for me)–whether I’ll be able to have a vagi.nal birth or if I’ll need a c-section, if I do need a c-section, what the recovery will be like, whether this heparin I’m taking will pose any kind of problem (which would come in the form of not being able to have the epidural as soon as I want it), and whether I’ll feel confident in my mothering abilities after having Kate or if I’ll be scared and fearful. I’m praying for confidence and strength, knowing that will come from God and not from me! I’m also praying for the ability to roll with the punches–I tend to like all my ducks in a row, like to feel in control of things, like to have things planned out, and I know that having a baby will just continue to disrupt my little ducks! I’m already learning big lessons on letting go of my need for order and control now while I’m pregnant, and I pray that I’ll be able to be at peace and accepting of all the changes that are to come. (Mind you, I know these are GOOD changes and I’m very excited about them, but for someone who likes order and plans, it is a disruption that requires getting used to.)

Our infertility struggle started the ball rolling for me in understanding once and for all that everything is out of my control–when I got pregnant, how this pregnancy will proceed, how Kate will be after I have her, etc. Control has been taken from me (or was never really mine in the first place!) and it’ll be out of my hands from here on out! But, there’s peace in that too. I believe God is in control of my life and of Kate’s, and I should rest in that.


Almost 31 weeks
September 9, 2009, 10:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

After my last post where I said it’s been a mostly easy pregnancy, it seems like things fell apart for a week or so! Thankfully things have settled down mostly, but last week was not fun.

M and I went to visit my parents about 4 hours away for the weekend. Totally normal thing for us to do. We go all the time. That Friday evening in the car, I was having more BH contractions than is typical, but I figured it was just because of the position I was in, and the fact that I wasn’t drinking a lot of water (because I didn’t want to stop at every single gas station to pee!) I’d been feeling Braxton Hicks contractions since before 25 weeks–very irregular, here and there, not a big deal. On Saturday, my mom and I did a good bit of running around, visiting grandparents, etc, and I noticed the contractions that afternoon as coming more than usual. I went home and laid down on the couch for a while to get them to subside, but they kept coming. Not in an amount that was making me really worried, I just knew it was more than usual. Finally that night I decided to start writing down the times so I’d know how far apart they were. Of course, when I pulled out the pen and paper, they stopped. So I went to bed at a normal time.

After one of my trips to the bathroom at 4:30, I noticed them again, enough so that they kept me awake. I ended up not going back to sleep and timed them. I knew my doctor had said if you ever have more than 6 contractions in an hour to call, and there were a couple of hours there where I did have 6. I was getting increasingly worried, but didn’t want to be “that girl” who calls in the middle of the night or freaks out over nothing. I didn’t wake M up, but told him what was going on when he got up to run at 7. I told him to go on and get his run in, and that I’d call the on-call dr. in Bham to see what she has to say. (Again, I’m 4 hours away from my doctor.) I finally got her on the phone around 8. She asked me scary questions like “Have you ever been in for pre-term labor before” and finally said she’d be more comfortable if I were checked by someone to make sure I’m not dilated before we got back in the car to drive 4 hours to Bham.

Thankfully, my dad is a doctor and called an OB friend of his to see who was on call who could see me. We found someone at the hospital where he works, and off M and I go to Labor and Delivery! I was incredibly nervous and shaky, just not knowing what they’d tell me. To make a long story short (too late!) they put me on a fetal monitor and checked my cervix–baby’s heartbeat was strong and I was not dilated at all. He said it was BH like I thought, and to just keep an eye on how many I have.

So we head back to Bham. I’m feeling better, although still timing the contractions. A good bit under 6 an hour, so feeling ok about it. Well, fast forward to about 9pm that night and I start having these super sharp pains way down low in my abdomen. It hurt so bad, I could barely walk and couldn’t get in a comfortable position. I just sat there on the edge of the bed crying (more out of fear than pain) for about 20 minutes until finally, the pain subsided a bit. I figured if it was something serious, it wouldn’t have gone away. I was already planning on going in to see my regular doctor the next morning (Monday) and figured I could wait til then. I was able to get comfortably lying on my left side and had a fine night of sleep. Next morning, the pain was back, but it had localized on my left side, and it hurt. At one point, I had to go down to my knees and couldn’t leave the bathroom for a minute. I started wondering if it was just extreme gas pains becuase it was in my side, which is where I feel gas pain if I have it. (sorry for the TMI). I called the nurse as soon as the office opened and told her what had happened over the weekend and that I wanted to come in and be checked. They squeezed me in that morning and I was there forever! She checked my cervix again and said it was still tightly closed, no problems there. She didn’t seem to be too concerned about the pain, saying it was most likely either some round ligament pain or the baby could have had a growth spurt and my ligaments were just overtaxed. She also mentioned that I could have an “irritable uterus,” which basically means I feel contractions more and I have to take steps to keep them at bay. (I’ve read that it can cause you to go into labor earlier than usual, but I haven’t asked her about it yet.)  They put me on a fetal monitor again, which showed that Kate’s heartbeat was great (Dr G said she had “advanced” and that it sounded really strong for 29 weeks) and also I had an ultrasound, which showed everything to be fine. I asked her to look at see if there was a body part over on the left side where I was feeling so much pain. She said both her head and a foot were sort of crammed into my left side.

So, after finding out everything was normal and I and Kate were fine, I just had to deal with the pain, and keep an eye on the contractions. The pain didn’t let up for several days. I basically stayed on the couch for 3 or 4 days, because moving around was so painful. At one point, I got off the couch to go to the bathroom and literally hit my knees and couldn’t get up. (Also, at this point, the pain had moved to my right side!) I couldn’t straighten up and it hurt to lift my right leg to walk. So I just stayed there on my hands and knees for a minute until I could get to the bathroom. I started noticing that as soon as I would empty my bladder, I could stand up all the way and the pain would be much less.

After much reading, I learned that one way to keep the BJ contractions at bay is to drink a LOT of water, and to keep your bladder empty. So that has translated to drinking all day and peeing ALL day. It’s almost a burden to tell you the truth! But I can tell a big difference in my uterus if I have an empty bladder instead of an even partially full one.

That was all about a week ago. Since then, the pain has gone away entirely, thankfully. I do think my belly is looking much bigger, so I’m convinced Kate grew a bit all of the sudden and my ligaments and muscles just needed time to catch up. Also, the contractions have slowed. That, and I’m not as nervous about them. I’m more used to them now and know when it gets to a point when I need to start paying attention to their timing. I’m drinking water all day to keep myself hydrated, thereby decreasing their occurances.

I was really frustrated and teary last week because as soon as my back pain went away and I was getting excited about being able to get out and walk again, the darn contractions and pain started, keeping me even more stationary than I was before. I was depressed thinking that was what it’d be like for the next 10 weeks. But I really prayed about it it, asked God to give me a better attitude about it, and decided it was just something else to prepare me for the huge sacrifice that parenthood is. I was unable to do what I wanted to do (move around, run errands, exercise, etc) when I wanted to do it, which, hello, won’t get any better after the baby comes! I just tried to accept that my body and my life isn’t my own anymore and that control is something that is now far out of my grasp! I think that was a big lesson for me. This week has been much better and I’ve actually gotten out and walked every day, slowly, but still walking. I know what to avoid that will cause me to have the contractions, and I’m listening to my body and resting when needed. This will probably be what it’s like from here on out, really. I mean, I’ll be at 31 weeks on Friday, and that’s getting pretty close. I even read this morning that women who are on heparin therapy tend to give birth more around 37 weeks than 40–37 weeks only 6 weeks away!

M and I are in baby mode now, working on getting the nursery set up and the guest room upstairs finished so that just in case something happens and I have Kate earlier than expected, we won’t be totally unprepared. That’s sort of a scary thought, but I don’t want to be totally caught off guard. I have many questions to ask my doctor next time I see her, like whether or not she thinks I’m at any increased risk for preterm labor. I know no one ever knows that for sure, but I’d like to know if there’s a risk factor there. And I’m getting more and more nervous about being on heparin, but that’s another story, and this post is long enough!