Wednesday, December 26, 2012

37 weeks... aaaaand I'm on bed rest

First of all, I hope all of you out there in blogland have had a wonderful holiday season.

Buster and I had a great Christmas. He really spoiled me. He told me he did so because this is the last Christmas I'll be getting spoiled. Fair enough. But I'll gladly take some extra presents this year!

In preparation of being "full term" at 37 weeks (yes, I realize that for some ladies it's not until 39 weeks, depending on baby's size, growth, etc. But I'm assuming that since Henry has been measuring ahead, it's safe to say I'm full term at 37), I purchased some red raspberry leaf tea and some evening primrose oil. Started both on Christmas Eve (37 weeks exactly), in hopes that they may aid in an easier labor. Probably won't, but I figured it can't hurt to try.

Today I had a doctor's appointment before work. I am currently 37w2d.

Right off the bat, my blood pressure was high (140/90). Not high enough for them to send me to L&D, but high enough to take note.

I peed in a cup, like I do every time, and brought it in the exam room. I noticed the nurse taking a little longer  reading the results (usually they just look and toss), and comparing the stick to a bottle. Red flag, right?! So I ask her what's going on. I had some protein in my urine (+1 on the scale, to be exact). Now I'm not exactly sure what this means, but I can tell you this: I've never had protein register on those dipsticks before. Even when my last 24-hour urine catch came back with 310 protein, it wasn't registering on those little sticks.

So today, it registers on the stick.

The nurse then hooks me up for my scheduled NST. It lasted about 40 minutes, and during that time Henry was one active baby. His heart rate was good, as were his movements. And I was having contractions every 12 minutes.

Maybe that's nothing, and my doctor didn't seem too concerned, but for a soon-to-be first-time mom, that sounds kind of... real. I only felt a couple painful cramps/twinges during the NST, and I'm assuming that's when the contractions were. I'm such a noob, I don't even know when I'm having a contraction.

After the NST, my doctor comes in. He says he wants to check my cervix, but he doesn't expect much to be going on. He leaves, I undress from the waist down, and clumsily amble back up onto the table.

Doctor returns with nurse. I lay back, expecting a speculum. Or some kind of instrument.

Nope.

Doctor jams his hand up in there.

Um, OUCH. Fucking shit that hurt. He told me I might feel some pressure. If by pressure he meant excruciating pain, sure, I felt that. Now I know what it feels like to be fist.ed (yes, I broke that up on purpose. Don't need any pervs here!).

In an amused and surprised voice, he tells me that I'm 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced.

Holy shit!

He then asks me how much I do around the house. How much I do at work. Then says,

"Ok, well you are officially done working now."

So he put me on bed/couch/chair rest. I can get up to pee, get something to eat, etc, but he doesn't want my seat getting cold.

I'm also doing another 24-hour urine catch (my third of this pregnancy). Buster will drive me to the hospital tomorrow so I can drop off my piss, and also have some blood drawn to check my liver and kidneys.

I go back to the doctor on Friday. My doctor said that if he had to induce me at that point, he wouldn't be heartbroken. Apparently I'm a good candidate for induction due to already being dialted/effaced. And that coupled with me being 37+ weeks, I guess that makes me induceable.

So yes, it's been an eventful day!


How far along?
37 weeks and 2 days today.

How big is baby?
No clue! Babycenter says he weighs 6 1/3 lbs and is 19" long. I still think he's bigger, based on me measuring ahead. They did not do a fundal measurement today, so I'm pretty much in the dark here.

Weight gain?
Yes. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Belly photos?
I've decided to take my weekly photo in the same shirt. This way it should be easier to tell if he officially drops, right?

So, here is last week's photo:


And today's photo:


Cravings/Aversions?
Nope. Other than me wanting to eat every single Christmas cookie I can get my swollen, chubby hands on...

Sleep?
Not a great week for sleep. Several nights saw me up, tossing, turning, and restless. On one night in particular, I woke up when Buster came to bed at 1:30 a.m., and could not fall back asleep. I spent some time perusing Facebook on my phone, catching up on blogs, Googling, etc. Finally around 4 a.m. I start to get tired, and drift off. And then Kelsey wakes me up because she has to pee. Lovely. So I struggle out of bed and hobble to the back door and let her out. I crawl back into bed after and promptly fall fast asleep.

Until 5 a.m., that is. When Buster wakes me up because I'm snoring. Which sends me into a rage. My rage in turn sets him in his own rage, and we yell at each other. Then he (pretty much instantly) falls back asleep. I lay there and cry. Then I fall asleep at 5:30 a.m. Only to be woken up one hour later by my alarm. Oh, fun.

Yes, yes I know. Get used to no sleep. This is my body's way of preparing me. Etc, etc. But at least when Henry's here, I can look at his sweet little face and feel like at least there is an excellent reason that I'm awake! Instead I look at Buster's face, and contemplate smothering him with my pillow.

Symptoms [...of impending labor]?
I've had some pretty bad lower back pain the past couple of days. Wasn't sure if this was a labor sign or just a sign that I have bad posture.

Been losing some plug each day, but not much, and none has been blood-tinged. Until today, that is. My cervical check left me bleeding and losing bits of bloody plug (hot, right?!).

Had loose bowels today. I know that can be an impending labor sign... my body trying to clear itself out.

And finally, been having Braxton Hicks that sometimes are accompanied by cramps and painful twinges. Most are not, but some are.

So obviously labor will be happening sometime soon (my due date is 19 days away), but will it be sooner rather than later? Only time will tell at this point...


Monday, December 17, 2012

36 weeks


Spent a little time in L&D this past weekend.

Friday night I noticed some serious swelling and canklage happening (yes, I just made up that word) after an evening of doing nothing overly strenuous. Saturday morning, the swelling was still there. I had already planned to go Christmas shopping, so while I was out and about I decided to have my blood pressure checked at one of those free machines at Sam's Club.

My first reading was 152/90. Hmmm, not so great. So, I decided to do it again. 139/97. And once more for good measure: 148/94. None of these are great and none of these are my "normal". So, I talked to Buster and he told me just to come home and put my feet up. And that's what I was going to do. But after thinking about it, I decided to call my doctor. At this point, I would rather be overly cautious than irresponsible.

After talking to my doctor, he told me to come to L&D to be monitored and just to make sure everything was ok. I go in, and they have to wheel me up in a wheelchair. It's protocol. Ugh. I kept apologizing to the girl, since I was definitely able to walk myself. Oh well.

I get all checked in on the birthing floor, and head to a room. I get to put on a gown and hop in bed. They hooked up the NST monitors to my stomach and a blood pressure cuff to my arm, and monitored me for about an hour and a half. Henry looked great during this time! And apparently I also had three contractions. I only kind of felt one. It felt like really, really dull menstrual cramps. I couldn't feel the other two at all.

My blood pressure readings started out on the higher side, but then dropped down to pretty much normal by the end of the monitoring session. They drew blood for labs to check my kidney and liver function (checking for signs of pre-eclampsia), and thankfully that came back normal. They then released me and sent me home with another jug for collecting my urine for 24 hours.

The next day (Sunday), I brought my urine jug back to the hospital, and they hooked me up for another NST for about 25 minutes. Everything looked great, and I had one contraction during that time (it's just amazing to me that I can't feel them). They sent me home, and told me to follow up with my doctor by Tuesday.

Luckily, I already had my 36-week appointment scheduled for this morning. They were planning on doing an NST, but after hearing about my weekend experience, it wasn't needed. My blood pressure was great today (128/74), and my doctor said he doesn't even know if he would categorize me as having pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (PIH) at this point.

He did get the results back of my 24-hour urine catch, and my protein was 310. 300 is the cutoff for diagnosing mild pre-eclampsia, but my doctor did not seem concerned, considering my blood results were great over the weekend and my blood pressure was normal today.

I go back in for my 37-week appointment the day after Christmas, and they'll hook me up for another NST. I'm also going to request a cervical check, just to quell my own curiosity.

I did talk to my doctor about my birth plan. I told him that my goal is to go natural, and he was supportive. I also told him that I'm not going to rule out the epidural or other pain relief, but I'm just going to try to not have any. I also asked how he felt about the birthing tub, and he was just fine with me using one. And I mentioned delayed cord clamping, and he was fine with that too. So I feel good about my "plan".

How far along?
36 weeks exactly today.

How big is baby?
Not sure! I'm guessing 7 lbs, but that's my uneducated guess, based off of the average weight-gain of a 1/2 lb a week for a baby at this point in the pregnancy. They didn't do a fundal height measurement at my 35-week appointment, nor at my 36-week appointment. So, it's a mystery!

Weight gain?
Yep! Officially broke the 50 lb mark! Yikes! Really hoping that I lose 20 lbs after delivery!

Belly photos?
Here is last week's photo:


Cravings/Aversions?
Nope. Nothing note-worthy.

Sleep?
Early this week, sleep was elusive. I came down with a bad cold, and the first couple nights were just brutal. The cold moved into my chest, so I was coughing a lot, and it hurt. I had major sinus pressure and pain, and was up every 45 minutes blowing my nose, coughing, readjusting, etc. But thankfully the cold is on its way out, and I am feeling closer to normal. I have slept pretty well the past couple of nights, knock on wood.

Symptoms [...of impending labor]?
It's funny how this category changes over the course of a pregnancy. I'm now going to use this category as symptoms of impending labor (hence the change in title).

I'm having some major, major pressure in my lady parts. Getting out of bed is the worst. Such pressure and a bit of pain. I mentioned it to my doctor today, and he said that it's good, and means baby boy is doing what he needs to do (assuming that means sitting nice and low so I can squeeze him out??).

Also, (TMI alert) I think I lost a dime-size amount of mucus plug. Yes, dime-sized. Can you tell I'm a first-timer? I'm excited by the littlest things.

This may not have anything at all to do with impending labor, but I've noticed that Henry is way more active recently. I tell Buster that I think he's ready to come out and play! He really goes to town kicking and moving his butt around. It causes me to wince in pain at times, but I still love every second of it!

And as you know from reading above, I've had some contractions. Last night I had some cramping that I think could have been a contraction as well, but I just don't know. I'm a noob!

____________


Won't be long now! Four weeks exactly until Henry's due date, but I'll be considered full term on Christmas Eve. Buster thinks Henry will arrive by the 31st of December. I really don't have a feeling at all. Maybe I'll make a guess after my cervical check next week.

____________

Monday, December 10, 2012

35 weeks


Before I get into the Q&A portion of this post, an update on my high blood pressure and pre-pre-eclampsia is in order.

When we last spoke, my doctors were convinced that my body was attempting to develop pre-eclampsia. I had several high blood pressure readings, protein in my urine (not the 300 cutoff for pre-e, but a near miss with 274), and pre-eclampsia seemed to be in my future.

Since then, I've had one doctor's appointment, and several blood pressure readings at the nurse's station here at work. And I'm happy to report that things are going really well! I haven't had any higher-than-normal readings, which is great.

At my appointment last week, they did an ultrasound and a biophysical profile on Henry. And Henry passed with flying colors... an 8 out of 8! I was 34 weeks at that appointment, and he was measuring two weeks ahead according to the ultrasound tech. She estimated him to be 5lbs14oz already! My amniotic fluid was aplenty, and no signs of pre-eclampsia.

The tech also gave us this adorable photo:

Baby boy (and a really odd giant-worm-looking piece of placenta) at 34 weeks.

So all in all, it was a great appointment. And a good week. I go in this afternoon for my 35-week appointment. My doctor had mentioned that they may alternate biophysical ultrasounds and NSTs each week, so we'll see what happens today. They may opt to do neither if my blood pressure seems to be ok.

How far along?
35 weeks exactly today.

How big is baby?
One week ago he was 5lbs14oz. If (big if, I know) that was accurate, I'm assuming he's up over 6lbs at this point. It certainly feels like he's that big. But I know guesstimating baby's weight in-utero is tricky business, so I'm not really banking on the estimates.

Weight gain?
The last time I looked at the scale at one of my appointments, I was up 46 pounds. Since that was over a week ago, I'm assuming I've now hit the 50-pound mark.

Belly photos?
Appears I've been slacking in posting some belly pics.



And I didn't take an official 34 week photo, as we had our maternity photos taken last week! Here's a sneak peek that the photographer shared with me:

34 weeks - from my maternity photo shoot!
And I can't not share a couple more from the photo session...


And maybe my favorite:




Cravings/Aversions?
Nope. But I have noticed that if I eat anything other than my Mini Frosted Wheats for breakfast, I have a severe dip in energy. So I don't think it's a real craving, but I make sure to have those damn rectangles of deliciousness every morning.

Sleep?
Sigh.

That's a pretty much sums it up.

No more insomnia, thankfully. But now I just wrestle with getting comfortable. And that wrestling match lasts all night long. I toss and turn constantly. I check my phone clock often, and it ends up being about every two hours. Laying on either side for too long results in a numb/painful hip. Laying propped up on my back results in a painful lower back. Not really sure if I have any other options at this point. So I just roll and flop around and try to salvage any shut-eye possible.

Symptoms?
Not really too many to list. No more BH than usual (at least I don't think so...?). Increased discharge, but that seems to be normal at this stage in the game.

I've noticed I'm a bit more hormonal recently than I have been this entire pregnancy. I guess that was bound to happen at some point.

And I'm getting another cold. Lovely.

Swelling in my feet hasn't been bad since the reallllly bad weekend after Thanksgiving (where my BP was through the roof as well). I've been diligent in propping my feet up when I can, and trying my best not to overdo it. My fingers still swell something fierce overnight. And hurt. After I get up and around, though, they start to feel better.

But speaking of swollen fingers... I made a $10 splurge at Claire's this weekend, and bought myself a pretty sweet ring:

$10 bling!
Since I haven't been able to wear my wedding rings since 28 weeks, it's nice to not feel "naked". My normal ring size is 5.5. That ring you see in the photo is size 9! It's a bit big, but better slightly big than small at this point.

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