Thursday, September 29, 2011

27 weeks

Just a quick update today as I've given quite a few recent "updates." I put myself on self imposed bed rest this afternoon since I was cramping again. Even though it's all UTI related, I did notice I cramped less if I just stayed laying down so, I have. See? I'm being good!

Also, if you haven't yet, check out the poll on the left hand side and cast your vote for if Shrimp is a boy or a girl.

And now, Shrimp at 27 weeks.

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

28 weeks is the last week of the 2nd trimester. Hope I get more than 1 week in the third trimester this time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

OB update

Regularly scheduled OB appointment today as well as a follow up to Monday's episode. fFN was negative. And I requested a cervix length check just because of the cramping and contractions that have come with this UTI. Just because I'm closed at the bottom, doesn't mean the same applies to the top.

Good thing I did. I did loose some length, but am still good and long at 3.6. They start getting concerned at 2.5 and below. Only real item that can give you pause is that there is evidence of funneling. Meaning the cervix is starting to open from the top and that there is some productivity occurring with the contractions.

Plan of action? I'm to "take it easy." Stay off my feet as much as possible. Not do much really but work. This doctor went so far as to say that I'm too "intelligent and savvy" to accept any answer of "in-action" so even though evidence does not really support the action, she will put me on tocalytics if I continue to contract, especially if they increase. Funny to me that I've apparently proven my mettle enough to her that she now recognizes I know my stuff and that I am to be taken seriously when I present a concern. Because I am not just a nervous nelly who jumps and over reacts to every tiny thing. She even said she trusts me to bring to their attention anything I find odd and to request that it be checked out. She knows I won't just sit on my butt and wonder what this could be. I'm apparently a person of action. Who is now supposed to take it easy. Lol...for this baby's sake I guess I'll be taking it easy even though it is entirely against my nature to just lounge around. Especially without the confinement of a hospital. I'd still rather be at home.

Monday, September 26, 2011


This is a snapshot of one of the pages from the pregnancy book the OB I chose for this pregnancy gives you at the beginning of every pregnancy.

It's shocking to me, to look at this page. Why? Because I had THREE out of FIVE of those symptoms the week before I left for Arizona pregnant with Elisa. 3 out of 5. And I had to CLAW my way in to just get them to do a test for a UTI. How could all of those medical professionals not put it together? How could they have told me all was ok, it's all normal and to get on that plane? Why did I ignore my instincts saying this wasn't right? This wasn't normal?

Fast forward two years and a new doctor. One, who even at the mention of two of these symptoms jumps so high to get me to get my little rear end in to be looked at. To the point that even I was starting to get a little nervous, even though my instincts were telling me I was probably over reacting. But I called anyway, because I don't mess with any of those symptoms.

Turns out it's most likely a UTI, but very early in the process, and as the day has progressed I've begun to agree with that assessment. They did a fFN (fetal fibronectin) test just in case and I should know the results tomorrow. More accurate as negatives than as positives, but truly, my radar/instincts aren't raised so I truly think this is just a UTI.

It's just odd to me, the different reactions. It just brings it home to me that sometimes, just sometimes, doctors don't always have the answers. That doesn't mean we shouldn't trust them...but it does mean that if your instincts say something more is going on here that the doctor discounts...fight. Maybe if I had fought more. Who knows, really. And I'll never know. But maybe, just maybe, I can help someone else fight and avoid the outcome I had because I didn't know enough to fight back when I truly needed to.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

26 & 3

Just a number, right?

For many, yes. But for me? This marked the beginning of the end of the pregnancy with Elisa. I sat there in church this morning and looked at my baby girls hand as she held mine. And looked at the tiny dimples there. Dimples that I rejoiced over when they first started appearing, telling me that she was gaining weight. And I almost cried. Knowing where we are now, but remembering how unsure we were that this day would even come.

It's only natural that I would approach this day with some apprehension.

And the day is not yet over, but I am still at home, and I did not need to visit the hospital today. So good. The first of many milestones is almost over. In 3 more weeks I hope to enter uncharted territory. That of being further in a pregnancy than I've ever gone.

I'm not sure yet how I really feel about so far "passing" today. Numb? Unsure? Just putting one foot in front of the other really. Sort of like walking a balance beam. Slow and steady, making sure to know where my foot is landing before putting weight on it.

To others...our journey shows the faithfulness of God. Some may ask, well how do you figure? I figure..because my girl is here. And healthy. But above all she is HERE. All those fears and shattered dreams that became my life at this point with her no longer bear any weight with her. To look at her now, you'd never know how scary her beginning was. You'd never know the miracle she is. Small...but looks, acts, and developmentally is like any other almost 2 year old.

Even if this one decides to come early...I can only wish for another outcome just like her.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

26 weeks

And fall is in the air.

I've been struggling a little bit with flashbacks and feelings of deja vu. It's completely normal, really. 26 weeks. I still can't really believe it, deep down inside. I feel different. I feel calm. But I still don't feel "comfortable" with the pregnancy.

It's funny. I have another OB appointment next week (I'll be seen every two weeks now until delivery) and I don't know what questions I should be asking. I've never been to this point in a pregnancy when I wasn't in a hospital. I don't know what to expect. Am I really here?

One look in the mirror reminds me that, yup, I am really here. I'm actually using those maternity clothes I was loaned, and those few I purchased with Elisa's pregnancy. The muscle relaxers the doc gave me to sleep have had the side effect of making my contractions much less frequent, which has greatly improved my anxiety. I won't say it's nothing, but I can handle only feeling a contraction 2 maybe 3 times a day instead of every 2 hours or so.

I could go on about how odd this "milestone" is for me right now. It's so hard to imagine that this was almost the beginning of the end. When right now, the end seems so far off in the distant future.

The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other. He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.

Wow, Elisa had a lb and an inch on this anticipated weight. I know this one is much bigger than what it's saying already thanks to the gestational diabetes. I weigh now as much as I did at the end of Elisa's pregnancy. Most likely thanks to the GD. I just hope I can get through the next 14 weeks and still have all the weight fall off upon delivery like it did with her. Andrew, bless him, tells me it looks like it's all baby weight. He sure knows the right things to say at times. :)

Speaking of Elisa.

(Elisa decided to read my pregnancy book sitting in the infant car carrier.)

She is full on into the development of the "terrible twos." Tantrums left and right. Definitely an independent child for the most part. She wants what she wants and if she doesn't get it, she sure lets us know. She also has been sick for the last two weeks with another ear infection. I think her molars are coming in as well, which doesn't help any. But she is also a talker and has begun to string three words together regularly. Pretty soon we will be able to hold conversations with her. She understands requests and orders and usually will follow. There are times, of course, when she decides she just doesn't want to do that (like pick up her toys before bath time) and she acts like she doesn't hear us. Oh the joys. But every time I hold her and breathe in her hair, I am reminded of what a miracle she is and just how much I love her.

Life is changing. So quickly. It feels like I can't keep up. I'm in limbo. I don't know what to expect. We are entering the "unknown." These next 13 weeks, really, will be a learning experience. This little one will be here anytime in the next 11-13 weeks. A little over 2 months.

2 months.

Are we ready? I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hotel? Or Hospital?

Two different things, right?

Well, I guess it depends on if you are in my head right now. All day today I've had the hardest time writing or even saying the word hotel. It always starts to come out as hospital.

How many times a day do you say the word hotel anyway? That shouldn't be a hard thing, right?

When it's September...a lot in my world. Hotel and the thought of and working with is a BIG part of my life. So it's quite frustrating to be trying to say hotel and instead hospital comes out.

You may be wondering WHY hospital is now hotel in my mind. Let's think about this for a little bit.

I am 25 weeks 5 days. At 26 weeks 3 days, 2 years ago, I took a trip. I intended to go to a hotel. I landed, instead, in a hospital. And I didn't leave. For 3 weeks. I certainly didn't leave after three weeks with my baby.

So needless to say, this frustrating mix up in my brain is nothing more than my subconscious self constantly reminding me just exactly WHERE I am in this pregnancy. Just 7 short days from the beginning of the end, at least that's where it was with my last one. Sunday is milestone #1.

Now, I think I've been doing ok really with the whole thing. I have started to really BELIEVE that I will come home with a termie in December. The contractions have slowed way down since I've gotten past both of these virus' and since I've been sleeping better. What contractions I did have didn't change the cervix. I've not felt the same pain I had at this point with Elisa. I have a MUCH more active baby. I have the nursery done. I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. And neither is this baby. I know I can call my doctor with any concern and she will have me head right in as she's learned I know my body pretty well and when something isn't right.

Doesn't stop the random, and ever more frequent, flashbacks. Coming up in the most random of times. Sometimes I'm convinced I'm really in the hospital in Arizona. And not laying in my own bed in my own home. Sometimes I wake up in the morning, expecting the 4th year med student to be knocking on my door to check my reflexes. Or sometimes I look for the call button for the nurse so I can get my monitoring over with so I can fall asleep.

I'll look around me and I'll be sitting in my house, but I don't see my house. I see my hospital room. I get up to go somewhere and am somewhat surprised that I don't have to disconnect any monitors. I leave the house and wonder am I really allowed to be doing this?

It's odd, this feeling.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The making of a nursery

I kept my promise to myself. It's basically done. Done as much as it can be until we know if this Shrimp is a he or a she. All the final "flourishes" will be done in either "pink" or "blue" depending on what this one turns out to be!

It's been a lot of fun really. I was too afraid to do much preparations for Elisa. After so many losses, I couldn't comprehend that I would actually bring a baby home and couldn't possibly plan ahead in the fear that something happened that even she wouldn't come home. So by 26 weeks all I had was a crib, chest, changing table and some crib sheets. And, as you know if you've followed my story, by 26 weeks I was in the hospital in imminent danger of delivering.

So this time, I promised myself I would finish the nursery BEFORE the baby came. And, well, I did! (Of course it was easier this time since all the components were there, just had to be put back together for a newborn. :) )

The last picture is the blanket I made. Elisa was given a few as gifts, like this one:

And I just HAD to have one for the new baby. I couldn't bear to part with either of the ones made for Elisa, so looked up how to make these and made myself one. It didn't turn out too badly for my first attempt. I'm too much of a perfectionist to be entirely pleased. It's not exactly straight and the ties are a bit "short" and uneven. However, the new kiddo isn't going to know and care.

Now...onto names....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

25 weeks...and still counting

10 more days until the trouble started with Elisa. Still find it sad that the first thing that pops into my head is that simple fact. It's always there, just under the surface. Just far enough under that I don't know it's there until it bubbles up and slaps me in the face.

Overall, it's going ok. Several pre-term labor scares that just turned out to be virus' causing the symptoms. I'm still "locked up tight like Fort Knox" according to the doctor, so that's good. I haven't been sleeping, mostly because I think I am more scared than I realize. But that fear is so far under the surface that I don't think I consciously know it's there. I can say in my head and to others as much as I want that I believe it's all going to be ok and that I'll go term...but if I don't believe it in my heart, my body doesn't get the message I guess. This is resulting in some serious tension in my back causing me to be unable to sleep. I haven't had more than 2-3 hours of broken sleep a night since 20 weeks. I'm EXHAUSTED. Doctor finally gave me some medicine to help me sleep and it was a muscle relaxer. First night was a bust, but last night, I actually only woke up twice (when Elisa fussed) but went right back to sleep. I can tell it was muscle tension causing the back aches because my back is SORE now from finally being relaxed. Maybe only a few more nights and I'll be able to relax entirely on my own?

Diabetes is, well, diabetes. I'm having a hard time finding enough to eat. But I don't have a monitor yet so I don't know if I'm just not having enough carbs. It's such a balance, and it's hard to find if you don't know what is spiking your sugar, or what more I could eat, etc. That help and appointment should come tomorrow morning (finally!). And yesterday, I absolutely gorged myself on some chili, thinking if it had carbs, it was a low carb meal. WRONG. We looked it up when I got home and according to this website we found, said one cup was 45 grams. Oops. I had 3.5 cups. I was HUNGRY and it was the first time I felt FULL in weeks. And it was ohhh so good. I didn't feel any "sugar" effects though either? OH well. Bring on the monitor.

Shrimp at 25 weeks:

Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.

Sometimes I sit in this realm of unreality (is that a word even?!) when I think of this date. I find it so hard to believe that in 4 short weeks, I was looking, feeling, touching Elisa in that incubator. Just 4 weeks! It boggles my mind what we went through with her. I just can't comprehend it at the moment, thinking about it with this baby. One more month.

Little one, I'm looking for 3 more months...please don't be like your sister and listen to me on this one!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Odd random freak out

As I was sitting here lamenting my THIRD virus in this pregnancy, when I had none in Elisa's and ended up with the thought that maybe I'm sicker this time because I'm going to go longer and get that term, take home baby.

And then it hit me. A term, take home baby. What does that mean? I get thrown this little being after 3 days in a hospital and told good luck and don't let the door hit you on the way out. What do I do with a term baby?

Sounds really odd doesn't it? It's not like I'm a first time mom. I mean this IS my second child. But my first child...I had 6 weeks to get to know her and the way she dealt with things and how to care with her before she was handed to me and sent on our merry way. I knew her, her cycle, her indicators. I'd been given a 6 week course on what to look for in order to know what she needed.

I won't get that with a term baby and it's TERRIFYING. Now, this doesn't mean I don't want a term baby, it just suddenly hit me that, in this, it's like I AM a first time mom. I know I'll do fine and my instincts will kick in and I'll learn this baby soon enough. I did get a great education in newborns with Elisa. I figured it out with her. Found my way. I will again. It was just a bit of an odd revelation, that sudden fear of what do I do with such a little one.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I love you even when...

  • you are in a full fledged 2 year old fit
  • you refuse to nap just out of sheer stubbornness
  • you refuse your dinner just because you don't WANT what is offered
  • you continually disturb mommy and daddy's sleep
  • you cling to me like your life depends on being physically connected to me.
  • you lay down on your belly, kick your feet and smack your hands. Only to find out the tile hurts when you smack it with your open palm and immediately run to me for comfort.
  • you toss your lamp on the floor and break it in an angry fit.

You may be growing up way to fast and before my eyes but I will always love you. You will always be my baby, and no matter how frustrated, or annoyed I get with you, that will never change.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


And I swear I look pregnant this time. I wanted to! :) So, glad I am for the most part. Some pictures, like from the front, I'm not so fond of, but seeing the round belly from the side is nice! :)

The most important news this week is this is the all important viability week. Meaning if my body decides to eject this one too, we at least now have a chance. If this one has to come early too I really hope to get to the 28 week mark at least and hopefully get blessed with another feeder/grower. Preferably 37 weeks. But now we have a chance.

Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

Hate that all I can think about is 2 weeks from now I was in the hospital. 5 weeks from now I had Elisa.

Praying, still, for at least 13 more weeks.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This is basically going to a post about random thoughts and happenings over the last few days. Probably won't be all that organized because to be honest, I'm completely and thoroughly exhausted. A months worth of sleep deprivation takes it toll on you eventually.

To start, it's now official. I failed the three hour test. I have officially been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and I'm only 23 weeks. To think they don't test until 27 weeks. Again, my intuition was right. Just glad I have a doctor this time who is listening to my intuition. Just think if they wouldn't have and would have insisted on waiting until 27 weeks to test me. I'd go almost two months undiagnosed. I have my first "nutritionist" appointment the 19th. Hopefully I can get some good advice so I can start eating and feeling full again. And supposedly I'll end up with more energy as well.

I'm still having random contractions. Maybe 6 or 7 in a 24 hour period. Most likely normal, but I'll be asking. I hate contractions of any sort. After delivering prematurely due to undetermined pre-term labor just the idea of these contractions freaks me out. I just wish they would go away. I've also heard rumors, that I haven't verified with medical professionals, that GD can cause pre-term labor. Probably if not managed and not watched closely enough. Makes me wonder if the GD I had with Elisa, seeing as how I got it this time NOT on the terb, was actually there before I landed in the hospital and contributed to the start of the labor.

A friend of mine lent us her daughters winter 18-24 months clothes to help get us through the winter without purchasing a massive wardrobe (although I still bought a little too much..) and in going through it I found the same onesie, in the 24 month version, that Elisa wore on her plane trip home from Arizona!

And here she is in it. It's hard to see it under the blankets

Man that brings me back. Guess it's what I'll be putting her in on Dec 18th of this year.

We've had some beautiful weather here the last few days. Just perfect for sleeping with the windows open and spending hours outside! It's been cool enough to break out some of the winter clothes and I've been loving it! Just makes winter seem like it's just around the corner.

Elisa has two new "loves" recently. Swinging in the big girl swing and coloring. In this picture, she is so intent on swinging, even though it's putting her to sleep. Every time I asked her if she wanted to play something else, she would adamantly say "no" and "swinging!" So I kept swinging her. Finally she decided a snack was more to her liking and we avoided an early bed time.

I've used the love of coloring to my advantage recently also.

Yup, give her a piece of paper, some crayons and sit her at the table and she's ok even with her breathing treatment! Hey, whatever works.

So that's it for today. Another shot in the morning, another appointment next week and then one the week after. Seems I'll be in a lot of doctors offices between now and December. Much prefer that rather than in a NICU.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Another first

And hopefully last until the "official" trip in December.

Yup, got an impromptu tour of the Labor & Delivery ward. Around 2:30 yesterday, started having contractions, random, but would get up to 4 an hour. Finally around 6, after having drank 60 some oz of water, laying down, changing positions all to no avail, called the on call doc who advised to go ahead and come on in. Even though I wasn't at the 6 an hour threshold. So we went, got looked at and sent home.

The cause? Don't know really. I am still high and tightly closed. I had a slight temperature and even more sugar in my urine. Yet another indicator of the gestational diabetes. Love how those keep coming to smack me in the face. With the slight temperature, the nurse theorized I may have an infection and that could be causing the contractions. The contractions were more "irritations" than actual contractions too, meaning they lasted less than 40 seconds. So they sent me home after giving me a medication to calm the uterus and with advice to just keep an eye on it and come back if it got worse. Thankfully the medication did calm everything and I've not had one since I left last night.

Good to know that at least this doctor is paying attention to me and taking me seriously. Now...everything should hopefully stay calm for another 16-17 weeks!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

23 weeks

1 week to viability!

And I made it through the 3 hour test. Although I have lingering nausea and hunger. Can't seem to eat enough to make up for the fasting. Turns out, as well, that my day yesterday did not get any better. Ended up taking Elisa to the doctor for what turned out to be a DOUBLE ear infection this time. *Sigh.* Sometimes I hate that my instincts seem to usually be right. I was almost hoping they were wrong and the doc would think I was some over anxious mom. Well, I was right in so many ways but thankfully this time we caught it before the drainage got to her lungs. Although it's close.

So today was the first time I've been able to see the new baby moving from the outside. It was rather unique watching and feeling the movements. This baby is just growing so fast and it's not even here yet.

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.

One more week and we have a chance should my body decide to prematurely eject this one as well. One more week as well and I will know the results of the 3 hour test. I really hope I pass. I'm not looking forward to trying to maintain this diet for 3 more months.

Anyway, bring it! Whatever comes these next few months...bring it. I'll get through it.