baby #2 – the sequel


Our first baby is now five and a half years old. We had never really decided on how far apart any future children would be, but cancer came along and made that decision for us. Last summer, before our trip to Sweden, we got the okay from my oncologist. She’d have preferred a five year wait time – but at three years the chances of recurrence are incredibly low, and we figured that if the cancer comes back it would likely prevent us having future children. So… better now than never.

 

We started trying before our Swedish/Finnish adventure – back in May of 2016. It took us a year to get pregnant with Ginny. Optimistically I picked up this little family of four Dala horses while on vacation. I’d obviously hoped that we’d be successful earlier, with a goal of being not-pregnant by the summer 2017. I will have to delay my next cancer check up by a few months, but I’m feeling pretty good about this decision.

So Baby number two is due in early October. Ginny is slowly becoming excited for this new adventure, and B-man and I are thrilled to be adding a new member to our adventure team!

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coming up for air

I haven’t had much “spare” time recently. Just time. When I’m not feeding, burping, changing, dressing or holding the baby… I just sit down and try to not do anything. Sometimes I do things around the house, but I try not to push myself too much because I don’t want to get stressed out, and I can tell that I am on the edge of crazy right now.

Last night, at about 3 in the morning, I had spent 5 hours feeding, burping, changing, dressing and holding the baby. I knew she was exhausted, but she was swaddled, fed, clean, and… I had done everything I could think to do! her eyes drifted closed for the 100th time and I tried to set her down in the bassinet. I collapsed into bed, but 30 minutes later she was screaming again.

B-man got up and took her out into the living room, and that is where my memories end… because I was asleep.

At 9 am I woke up and took over. Despite several ounces of formula Ginny still alternated between light sleep and crying. It’s not painful crying, and she stops when we bounce and dance around, but we can only do that for long.

Thank goodness for this tag-teaming, but poor B-man then had to get up for work. At 9 I prescribed a nap and sent him to bed for a few hours.

 

In college I thought I knew what it meant to survive on no sleep. Ha!

 

So, in other news, once I get motivated enough to clean off the dining room table, I bought some fabric two weeks ago to take a stab at making baby clothes.

 

In general, Ginny is a good sleeper – but I think she may be going through a growth spurt… which would explain why she is hungry ALL the time and grumpy/not sleeping.

Oh yah – I had my 6 week post-natal appointment yesterday. It was a really short appointment. They weighed me, took my blood pressure, and then my doctor did a quick vaginal exam. Everything healed up nicely.

We had a conversation about birth control. I had been doing some research on my own. I decided to go with an IUD. The options are kind of limited while breastfeeding. My other option is the mini-pill, but it is very susceptible to human error. If you don’t take the pill at the same time every day, the effectiveness decreases significantly (while this is true for traditional BC pills, the mini-pill is even more exaggerated. If you miss a pill with traditional BC, you are more than likely still covered. If you are off by 6 hours with the mini pill, it won’t work). Since I’ve been known to miss pills before, I don’t think that something so fickle is the best choice for me. Before getting pregnant I used Ocella – a regular two hormone pill.

So are you a pill kind of person? I actually started taking BC to help with cramping, bad skin, and to make sure I could find a pill I was compatible with before getting married. Any one have any experience with Mirena/IUD?

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after thoughts

Some after thoughts:

  • I don’t know if this was true for everyone, but pushing her out was the least painful part of the day. I would’ve preferred to do that for 18 (ish) hours than the contractions.
  • During the birth and right after my husband stayed by my side the entire time. In other birth stories I’ve read the Dad flits back and forth between baby and Mom. He was more aware of what was going on with Ginny, but stayed with me. I’m so thankful for this. I guess I’m just needy, but having his full attention and support was really what I needed. He told me later that he was more worried about me, because there were plenty of people there to take care of Ginny, but only a few people there just for me.
  • I had one small, superficial tear. Nothing serious, and I didn’t even need stitches. After Ginny was born this was really the only thing I could think about. I kept asking “Did I tear???” I think I was worried that I would take a lot of time to recover… and I really didn’t want stitches!
  • Labor and birth feel like a distant memory already. I guess that is the body’s way of tricking people into having more kids, lol. But seriously, a day or two after the birth I could barely remember what the pain was like.
  • And just in case you’re wondering, I am madly in love with little Ginny now, it just took some time. 🙂
  • I’ve read several posts, specifically the ones by Mandy of OMG… I’m a Mom, and That Wife, that left me slightly terrified about the post-partum recovery. But this is where I am thankful that not every pregnancy is the same! Just as I managed to miss the majority of those common, uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, I really didn’t have many problems after Ginny was born. I had two days of “heavy” bleeding (like a normal period for me), and then I have been using regular, thin, panty liners since then.
  • I am going to write about breastfeeding. I have yet to read a blog post that adequately prepared me for what breastfeeding is like. So look forward to that!
In other news… Ginny and I are both doing really well, it’s B-man that people need to be worried about. I guess I have never seen my husband experience sleep deprivation or extreme fatigue – but now I have. I am now the chill, easy going person in this relationship, while B-man is suffering from a short temper and stress. Hopefully this will remedy itself in due time… like when Ginny starts sleeping more. In the mean time I am just thankful for all of the experience I have with babies and sleep deprivation (which makes this a lot easier for me), and I’m remembering all of the times he has put up with me being a crazy person. Honestly, B-man has been the biggest surprise in this life changing experience!
Here’s hoping we get back to sleeping more than 2 hours at a time!
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bringing home ginny: pre-labor

As most of you know, I waited – albeit impatiently – for days hoping against hopes that Ginny would decide to come on her own, before the set induction date on her due date.

After getting my membrane swept on July 6, I anxiously awaited those contractions to pick up, or for my water to break. But it didn’t really happen. After the sweep my contractions were 10 minutes apart for several days, then 7 minutes for 2 days, and then they finally picked up to about 5 minutes apart… but I never got to the point where I couldn’t continue walking or talking. My Mom had taken to picking me up to walk me around different stores. Walking outside really wasn’t an option with how hot the weather is.

Tuesday, July 12th was no different from the other walking days. My Mom picked me up and we went to Wal*mart where I returned a few items, and bought some new shampoo. We walked the entire store. Then we walked all around Best Buy. We had some delicious middle eastern food for dinner (which I would later be very grateful for, since it was the last meal I ate for 24 hours!), and then we walked around Kohls, where I bought a nightgown that I ended up wearing the entire time I was in the hospital!

After Kohl’s my Mom took me home, and she headed home. I had started feeling a slight “leaking” feeling. Much like the feeling you get when you use a tampon, and the tampon is full so something slips past. Slight, difficult to notice, but definitely there. So I called my OB’s nurse line to have my doctor call me back to tell me if I should go to the hospital. My contractions had not really changed, but I was getting scared that my water had been broken all day… or even longer, and I hadn’t really noticed.

While waiting for the doctor to call me back I went to use the restroom, and it became very obvious that my water was indeed broken. It was 10:00 pm Holding toilet paper to that area resulted in quickly soaked TP. Some might find this heavier flow comforting, but the fluid was a bright yellow color – which left me even more worried. I put on a pad and started calmly gathering some things from around the house.  I had my bag “packed” but there were some things I couldn’t get until the last minute.

Once I had collected several things, I walked into the living room and calmly told B-man that my water had broken and that we needed to go to the hospital. I’m glad I waited a few minutes to tell him because he turned into this giant ball of stress. I told him that there was probably meconium in the fluid, so we definitely needed to go to the hospital, but that he needed to relax because he was going to make me freak out.

Thus far I was doing really well in the stress management.

I decided to not wait for the doctor to call, and just head to the hospital. I called the nurse line and let them know what I was doing, so they could call the Dr and let her know. At 10:30 we left for the hospital. I let B-man drive, and I texted my Mom, asking her to wait until I had been admitted.

This is the last picture of me before I became a Mom. Kind of wish I would've brushed my hair or put make-up on or something!

We went in through the emergency room, since it was so late in the evening. Despite pre-registering, we didn’t get up to the maternity ward until 11 pm. Waiting in the ER, I gave in to my fears for a moment. I had really wanted to stay at home for the majority of my labor, but here I was – hardly contracting – in the hospital. I knew I needed to be there because of the meconium, but I was still scared. B-man hugged me and promised that he would be there for me and that he wasn’t going any where. I pushed my tears aside and tried to smile. Our little girl was on her way!

 bringing home ginny
————————–
pre-labor
early labor
active labor
transition & birth

 

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bringing home ginny: plans

My birth experience was nothing like what I expected, but it was what needed to happen.

I had several hopes when it came to giving birth. I say hopes because I knew from the beginning that making plans was setting myself up for disappointment. My hopes included:

  1. Starting labor on my own. I did not want to be induced. I wanted to avoid things that would lead to needing more interventions. In the hope of avoiding being put on pitocin before my body was ready, I did agree to a membrane sweep at 39 weeks.
  2. I wanted to labor at home. I knew that once my water broke that I would need to go to the hospital, but I hoped that I would be able to labor in the comfort of my own home. Despite being told to go to the hospital when contractions were 5 minutes apart, I intended to stay at home as long as possible. Especially considering the hospital is less than 5 minutes away.
  3. Trying for a natural birth. Every one has their own ideals when it comes to pain medication during labor. My goal was to labor naturally, and to deal with the pain by moving, using heat (showers/heating pads) and breathing.
  4. Go with the flow. All of the above goals were based on my need to control things. Birth is stressful enough, so I wanted to try and cut out any additional stressors. I wanted to avoid the hospital for as long as possible, and to feel like I was in control of things. Unfortunately – Ginny had other plans. Being able to pause and remember that every one in that hospital room had the same goal made it easier for me to let go of my own fears, and accept changes as they came made it easier to relax.
I did not write out a birthplan. I wrote one for the class we took, but it was never my intention to hand the piece of paper to my nurses. I made it clear when I was admitted that my goal was to labor naturally, for as long as I could. I trusted my body, and new that things would happen the way they needed to.
PS: My website was hacked this morning, but thankfully the problem was resolved quickly. Sorry if you stopped by and things were a little messy, but everything is up and running now!
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still pregnant

Honestly, I know this is what I wanted – but it’s getting kind of frustrating. The looking deadline of July 14th is starting to make me anxious, which I’m sure is not good for my health.

After the membrane sweep last Wednesday I started getting contractions every ten minutes, and they were lasting 60+ seconds. That last for about 3 days, and then they started getting closer together. I gave up tracking/counting them because it was getting frustrating that nothing was changing. Yesterday I sat down to watch Harry Potter 7.1 and track some more. The contractions were anywhere from 4-6 minutes apart, and progressively getting more painful… but they kind of plateaued. They stayed at that length for… I dunno… 6 hours. lol. The timing is good, and promising, but I don’t know if they are actually being productive or just teasing me. I finally gave up and went to bed last night, and thankfully things didn’t die down while I was sleeping. Today they are just as consistent.

When I say they aren’t painful, that is completely relative. They do hurt, there is pain involved, but I have felt a lot worse pain in my lifetime, so right now they are more of a nuisance than anything. lol. I can still walk around and talk and do stuff.

I would rather be writhing around in pain right this moment, but my uterus has other plans.

If nothing else, the waiting is going to drive me crazy!

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contractions

So I have been having regular contractions, ten minutes apart/lasting 60+ seconds, for two days now. They get stronger if I walk and move around… but umm… two days! lol. Some hurt and make me pause, and some I don’t notice unless I touch my stomach.

For those of you who have never experienced such a thing, the non-painful ones are signified by my stomach turning into a rock. This would be cooler if it magically molded into a six pack, instead it really feels like there is a watermelon directly under my skin. As for the painful ones, I would compare them to a Charley horse which is a type of cramp I’m guessing most people have experienced at some point. If you can’t imagine it… tense up your calf muscle till it hurts. It feels kind of like that (same sensation, varying intensities).

In the pre-birth class we took at the hospital the teacher had us hold crushed ice in our hand for 60 seconds to simulate a contraction. I thought it was silly at the time, but it actually does feel kind of like  that (sometimes).

So… not really in too much pain just yet. I could take some tylanol and knock it out, but I like feeling them. Weird? Maybe. It feels kind of good to know that (hopefully) things are progressing and that I might not have to be induced! Wouldn’t that be great! When a more painful one comes I can’t help smiling, it’s kind of like a “feel the burn” kind of smile.

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welcome to my uterus

I think it is pretty clear that I really want to avoid being induced. When I say “induced” I really mean an induction that involves a 0 to 60 pitocin type induction. I want to give my body a chance to do things on its own. This is important to me because depending on your body’s readiness level, induction may be more likely to result in an emergency c-section, than to an actual baby.

This “readiness” level can be described by the Bishop Score, which takes all of the elements of the cervix and baby’s position to estimate the possible success of any induction efforts.

All very interesting.

Because I want to avoid being induced with pitocin, I am willing to try some other things. I’m not going to be drinking castor oil – no worries. The problem with a lot of the “natural” at-home induction efforts is that your body has to be ready for them to have any influence (like having sex… it will only encourage your cervix to open, it won’t *cause* it to open).

So today, in an effort to avoid having to keep my induction date (scheduled for July 14!) I had the doctor do a membrane sweep today.

Google it if you please.

Basically the OB used his finger and separated part of the amniotic sac from my uterus. This procedure causes a hormonal change in the uterus, that can lead to labor. Regular labor, not intense, crazy, pitocin-like labor.

The reason I decided to do this was that, despite the fact that my doctors are letting me go to 40 weeks, I still have the GD cloud over my head, and that “fetal demise risk” running through my mind. I also figured it would be better to stimulate natural labor a week early, and have her now, than to have the medically induced labor I am scheduled for next week.

So, according to ACOG, there is a 60% chance I will have a baby girl in the next 48 hours. Meaning, this process jump-starts labor for 60% of women, and if it hasn’t started within 48 hours, it probably isn’t going to. Just keep in mind that while it is a form of “induction” it doesn’t involve forcing the body into doing anything, rather it encourages a process that is already in the works.

Before deciding that this was something I wanted to do, I did look it up and read about other peoples’ experiences. Most of it seems pretty sketchy. lol. Like… Yahoo! Answers. So here’s how it went for me:

When you go to the girly-doctor for your yearly appointment (if you don’t do this, you really should. Please do!), they do a cervical swab. They insert a speculum, open things up a little bit, and then poke your crervix with a long q-tip.

Membrane sweeping does not hurt as much as the long q-tip does, and it doesn’t last nearly as long.

The doctor was doing a cervix check (which is pretty painless, just slightly uncomfortable), and he says “oh yah, you wanted the membranes swept”. He moved his fingers around a little bit more than usual, and it was over. Less than 30 seconds.

So did it hurt? No, just uncomfortable. I did take some tylanol ahead of time, just in case it ended up being painful… but that was probably overkill (interwebs had me scared). I am now about 3 centimeters dialted (last Wednesday I was 1), so my body is making some progress on its own, hopefully this will just speed things up a little.

And by the way… I’m scared crazy. Not about giving birth. That part is fine. But there is going to be a baby in my life very soon and despite feeling like I’ve done plenty to prepare… I feel un-prepared. Gah!

 

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bump pictures

I know a lot of moms-to-be take progressive pictures of their growing bump. A lot of my friends asked to see pictures like that through-out my pregnancy. I did take pictures, hoping that over time I would see some kind of change. See, the problem is that I started out with a “bump” so to speak. It didn’t happen often, but before I was pregnant people would some times ask me when I was due. Meh. Mind your own business.

In any case, here to prove that not everyone grows a cute little bump over time… are the four pictures I took. Notice how… most of them look exactly the same. lol.

18 weeks

*

22 weeks

*

26 weeks - this is where I went from feeling fat to actually feeling pregnant.

*

30 weeks

*

These pictures do make sense though – considering I didn’t gain any weight during that time period. Lastly I’ll share one more maternity picture from my photo shoot with my sister-in-law. I don’t know when she is going to finish some of the other shots, but if she does I will be sure to share some more.

37.5 weeks

PS: Thanks for all of the sweet comments on my last picture. I felt kind of silly responding to every comment with “thanks!”… so I didn’t. But I do appreciate them!

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preggo-update # 1

I have two doctor appointments every week. Most of them are… the same crap. lol. So, until this baby is born I am done documenting each appointment individually. Instead I’m just going to write the interesting bits from the appointments.

Also – I have adapted an overall opinion of “I have no questions.” It makes my life easier. I know that the doctors are doing what they think is best, and ultimately we all have the same goal – a healthy baby.

Last Friday I went to the perinatologist. This office frustrates me, they are ALWAYS running behind. I have had four appointments there, and always have to wait at least 20 minutes before I am seen. Grr.

After the tech did the measurements we ended up waiting for almost 45 minutes before the doctor came in. I think he may have been having some kind of family trouble, because he seemed a little down when he came in.

I choose to not complain about the long wait. Every one has a bad day.

So the baby’s fluid is measuring well, and she (supposedly) weighs 7 lbs 10 oz. Mind… the margin of error is over 1 pound… lol. So silly.

I am willing to accept that she is not going to be a tiny baby like I was (weighing in at 5 lbs 2 oz), I mean… both B-man and I are not tiny people, and with the GD – I’m prepared.

Today I had an appointment with my OB, and things went surprisingly well. The appointment was with my least favorite doctor in the practice.

They did the regular stuff, weight, BP, baby’s heart rate – all good.

Then the doctor said I had gained 15 pounds during this pregnancy… and when I called her on it she was like “I can show you the chart numbers.”

lol.

She left the room for a moment, and when she came back she kindly admitted that I was right, and she had misread the numbers. I knew that though… because if she was right it would mean that I started out weighing less than I do now… which just isn’t true. I have actually lost 15 pounds (well… I lost 20, but have since gone back up 5).

THIS IS THE EXCITING PART THOUGH:

I am now, officially, 1 centimeter dilated.

So the doctor said that is promising – and she thinks that I will probably have the baby before my due date.

Woot.

She also said that since all of my numbers are good that there is no reason to induce before my due date.

I’ll take it!

She also said that we should be having sex because once you’re dialated it can… encourage… things. lol.

(Yes, I have read that sex as a way of inducing labor is a myth, but here’s the deal – if your body isn’t ready to have the baby, then it isn’t going to work. In fact, nothing is going to work. Even the medical interventions aren’t going to work. But, if you body is already getting ready to have the baby, then induction efforts are more likely to be successful. Basically, you can’t force your body to do something, but if it is already doing it you can help. Which is why some websites say sex does help with encouraging labor, and some say it doesn’t.)

So overall, this doctor is no longer on my list of disliked doctors. Baby girl is gonna be here some time soon. The doctor must be getting the same vibe I’m getting, because she thinks the baby will come before my due date too!

She asked me if I wanted to schedule (just in case) my induction for my due date. The 14th of July is a Thursday, and they don’t schedule inductions for Friday-Sunday… and she was hesitant to say I could schedule it for the following Monday. I have made an OB appointment for the 13th. I figure, if I am progressing and still doing well the day before my due date (and still pregnant…) then there should be no problem letting me wait until Monday.

I need to take a nap now.

<3

 

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I made it this far…

I have been rather level-headed this entire pregnancy. Sure, there were times when I cried over silly things. Or ya know… all of those doctor appointments that I cried in. But today will go down in history as the day I snapped.

Tonight we are doing maternity pictures with my sister-in-law.

I don’t think I would actively search out some one to take pictures of my fat stomach and stretch marks, but she offered… and I think she is trying to expand her portfolio. I’m always up to helping out a fellow arteest.

So I wanted to do some laundry. But first I wanted to sleep. So I slept until about 10… maybe 11? Who knows. I am trying to take advantage of every chance I have to sleep right now, because I hear I won’t be getting much sleep after the bebe is born. Then I got up, and ate breakfast. I was going to hop in the shower, but since I felt so rested I figured I should go on a walk, and then take a shower.

Gretel (my older dog), and I headed out, and got… I dunno… maybe half way through my regular walk… and the dog just gave up. She started walking in to me and eventually just plopped down on the grass.

lol.

She was tired.

So I coaxed her back to the house, back up the hill, and then up the stairs where she promptly plopped down in the living room. Silly goose.

I don’t know what happened over the next two hours. I think I watched some TV, and ate lunch. B-man got up to take the dogs out, and I went to start a load of laundry. Some of the things I wanted to take to the photo-shoot where dirty.

BUT… there were clothes in the dryer, and in the washer. So I left the clothes in the hallway. (I was nekkid… so I didn’t want to be standing in the hallway when the dogs came back in… they can’t control their tongues, and it can get unpleasant.)

This never happens. So I assumed my husband would see this big ol’ stack of clothes in the hallway, and be a doll while I hopped in the shower.

Shower, check!

Laundry? Nope.

So, towel-clad, I moved the clean clothes from the laundry to our bed, and then went to move the clothes in the washer… but… they smelled funny.

It was at this moment I realized I was holding a pee-soaked towel from two days ago when Gretel had an accident in the house.

And I am sorry to say that I flipped out and started yelling. WHY WOULD SOME ONE PUT DIRTY TOWELS IN THE WASHER AND NOT START IT?!?!?!?!

I threw the towel back in the wash. Now there was not enough time for me to wash and dry the towels, and wash and dry my clothes.

I must have looked pretty scary because B-man looked like he wanted to crawl into a cave and never come out.

Then I went into the bedroom, slammed the door, and cried.

Emotional roller-coaster much?

I did apologize. I admitted that I over-reacted and that it really wasn’t his fault at all. But he still felt bad.

I’m so glad that crazy-pregnant lady hasn’t made too many appearances!

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Let me set the record straight.

I am 37 week and 1 day pregnant.

Full-term. Look at that!

But just because I am full term, and it is June, does not mean I am miserable. People seem to assume that pregnant=miserable. They also seem to assume that I am “so ready for the baby to be born” and that I look like I’m “about to pop”.

Maybe some women feel that way – but I don’t. And I’m kind of sick of strangers implying that, because what am I supposed to say? If I say “oh, actually I feel just fine, just kind of tired.” They probably think I’m lying. But here’s the deal ladies:

I don’t have any swelling.
I weigh 15 pounds less than I did pre-conception.
I’m walking for 30 minutes every day.
I do have to pee all the time, but that is more of an inconvenience than anything else.
I kind of miss sleeping through the night, but I knew I was giving that up.
I have heartburn… every day… almost all the time.

As far as pregnancies go – mine has been relatively easy, for which I am very thankful. So I wish people would focus on the positive instead of the negative. It isn’t the end of my supposed suffering, rather, the beginning of getting to hold my baby!

So, what should you take from this? Don’t assume that every pregnant lady is miserable. The phrase “ready to pop” is rude, and kind of obnoxious. Makes me feel like people think I look like a giant blobby water balloon.

Lastly? Don’t touch my stomach… and especially don’t touch strangers’ stomachs. Pregnant ladies have essentially given up their bodies to this little baby inside of them, and the last thing they need is to feel like they have even less control over their own body because strangers feel entitled to rubbing their belly.

Plus… I just don’t like it when people touch me. Pregnant or not.

/end rant

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gaaaaaaaah

This whole pregnancy has been kind of weird. I don’t have terrible, painful symptoms. Instead I have idiots around me all the time.

This is a rant.

 

On top of feeling frustrated with the doctors, my insurance company has decided to join the “pick-on-Jessica” bandwagon.

I was getting my glucose test strips at a local pharmacy. $30 per 100 strips. Not the best deal, but not terrible. I called my insurance, because they do a through-the-mail refill program. I was told that if I get a 90 day supply, then it would be $50 for three months, instead of $30/month. Sounds good, right?

So I went to my doctor, and asked for a 90 prescription. It goes past my pregnancy, but in the long run it would be cheaper. She didn’t really want to write the prescription that way, but was willing to because it would save us money.

I started getting the strips through the mail… yippee! And I got the bill. $50. Perfect, exactly what I was expecting. But then the next month… another bill… for $50.

So I called. This must be a mistake.

But no. I was informed that the prescription was written as a 30-day prescription. WHICH IS COMPLETE BULL. I had the prescription in my hand. I read it. I mailed it in to them.

But in their computer is says 30-day supply. So instead of being charged $50 for a 90-day supply, I am being charged $50 for each 30-day supply.

When I could’ve been getting it filled at my local pharmacy for $30 a month.

Do you have any idea how pissed off I am? Because I’m really pissed. I had to hang up on the lady I was talking to because I was so mad – and my angry response is to cry, and I become impossible to understand when I’m crying.

It’s almost over – and this baby will be out of my uterus soon – and then I won’t have to deal with any of this crap.

So… how is your day going?

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Appointment # 11 – surprises

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I purposefully made my appointment with the one doctor that had yet to see me cry. The one and only time I had seen her before she seemed really nice, and open to discussion about my treatment.

I got there a few minutes early. Not sure how I managed that, since I was the one who had to take the dogs out this morning, and I showered and blow-dried my hair. Time moves slower with out B-man here.

When the nurse called my name we walked into the normal exam room, and she pulled out one of those paper sheets… ya know… the kind they give you when they do your yearly exam. I wasn’t aware of any procedures that were supposed to be happening.

I feel so out of the loop some times. So I asked why she had just asked me to lose the pants. Apparently 35 weeks is when they do the Group B strep test to see if I will need to take antibiotics during labor. Oooookay.

Before stripping though the nurse took my weight, BP and then went on to the baby’s heart rate. I laid back, pulled my shirt up, and the nurse started using the little wand thingy on my stomach to search for the heart beat.

This, my dear friends, was the scariest minute and a half of my life. THAT’S HOW LONG IT TOOK TO FIND THE HEART RATE. For a few seconds I really thought that the baby might be dead. Then she found it. End freak out.

It was scary though, because usually they find the heart beat really quickly. I guess the baby is laying with her back against my back, facing my belly button, which can make it difficult to find the heartbeat just because of her location. On top of that my placenta is on the front, so that makes things a little fuzzier too.

Breeeeathe. It’s a good thing she took MY heart rate first, because after that my heart was going a mile a minute.

The stats were:

Weight: 234

BP: 136/66

Baby’s <3 rate: 132 (120-160 is normal)

Of course, as soon as the nurse walked out I felt a little butt in my rib cage and some knees on my stomach. Kind of like she was saying ‘Haha, fooled ya Mom!”

Not funny.

I told the nurse about a pain I’ve been experiencing… it’s kind of in a weird place. It’s like a shooting pain that starts at my cervix and then the whole va-jay-jay. I also mentioned that over the last two weeks I’ve lost 10 pounds.

The doctor came in and did the test for Group B Strep and she did a cervical check (at my request, since I have been having those strange pains). She said that the pain is from Bebe’s head coming down and pressing on the cervix (which is a good thing) and that I was about 20% effaced, but not dilated. She said that’s a pretty good start at 35 weeks, and that hopefully it will continue so that I don’t have to be induced.

I agree.

I asked her about the weight loss, and she didn’t seem concerned. My glucose numbers are all good, the fluid is measuring fine, my fundal measurement is good, and the baby is moving regularly.

Cool.

I now weigh 20 pounds less than I did when I got pregnant.

The doctor stepped out while I put my pants back on, and then came back for a little chat.

First I asked about the “standard of care” and she said she would get a print out for me. Yah! I need to call about that tomorrow I guess. lol.

Then I mentioned that all of these appointments are causing me a lot of stress, and that I was frustrated with the way things were being handed. I pointed out that my numbers have been fine the entire time, all of them. I voiced my concerns about the impact that the stress and anxiety is having, and asked why things were being handled the way they are being handled. I wasn’t sure what to expect as a response.

She was really kind, but essentially said that they have to follow the prescribed standard of care guidelines, because if they don’t they could be sued. She didn’t say it like that.

I get that.

It was actually very eloquent. She said she used to work in a community that had a lot of Amish people. The Amish women would not come in for regular appointments, but only when there was something wrong. In that type of community the care was more patient focused, and while they had the standard of care, everything was patient driven. But here, in the city I guess, people are pretty sue happy. So if they don’t follow the rules to a T, and something goes wrong they will be held responsible.

Then she said something I didn’t expect. She suggested that, even at 35 weeks, perhaps I should consider changing to a midwife, or even having a homebirth.

My doctor said that.

She also said that among the practices in this area, they are probably the most lenient. I’m guessing this is because, of all of the doctors in the area, this group is pretty young.

At this point, I’m just going to suck it up. It’s all for the best, even if some of it is blown out of proportion.

 

After all of the talking, I got some blood drawn by the same lady as before. She stuck the needle in and THEN tried to find the vein.

This blood draw was for the standard 35 week Complete Blood Count and to test for Syphilis.

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Perinatology Appointment # 2

Friday June 10, 2011

We spent more time in the waiting room than doing anything else.

The nurse called me back, took my weight and blood pressure, asked if I had any symptoms, and then sent me back to the waiting room.

We saw a different technician today too.

We go to the perinatologist every week. Every third week they do a bio-physical profile, to guestimate the baby’s size. The other weeks they use the ultra sound to measure the fluids, to make sure that baby is still floating. lol.

So we went to the U/S room, and the tech took some pictures. Then she also did a 3-d picture. I’m wondering if we are going to be charged extra for that, since it was really necessary… or if she just did it as a part of the normal ultrasound thing. I guess we’ll find out.

Usually I think the 3-d ones are kind of weird. I have never seen one that did the baby any justice. I guess something seems… off. It doesn’t really help me much in the “who does she look more like” department, but it’s a neat thing to have. So with out further ado, here are the pictures from my first and second ultrasound appointment.

June 6 - Bebe's profile
June 6 - Lean your head to the right... you're looking up her nose.
June 6 - The tech kindly confirmed that Bebe is STILL a girl!
June 10 - Behold, her 3-d glory!

I tried scanning this last one in a bazillion different ways, but because the paper was shiny it just wouldn’t scan the right way, with out the blaring whiteness over her cheek/eye.

I guess because of the way she was laying, my belly button/the umbilical cord were leaving shadows and causing fuzziness… I didn’t expect the 3-d picture to be anything special, so it looks fine to me, but apparently they are usually a little more clear. Oh well!

And there you have it. When she’s born we’ll do a face comparison, see if this ultrasound did her any justice!

 

(Also… I went the quick route this time. When the doctor asked if I had any questions – I said no. Actual face time with the nurse, tech and doctor was less than 15 minutes. Glad we’re paying $40/week for this!)

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