Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bump Watch 2010, but Maybe will Go to 2011

Seeing as my mom was in town, she was insistent on coming to the doctor with me.  I don't like people going to the doctor with me.  Not my mom, not my husband, but she doesn't care.

First they hook me up to the non-stress test.  At first he wasn't very active but he finally woke up and I thought everything looked good.  The doctor came in and she said there was one low heart rate and she wanted me to go to the hospital to be monitored after the appointment.  I thought it was overkill.  I told her, even though my blood pressure was 120/80 at the office, it had been higher at home the last couple of days but never more than 133/82, which is still in the safe range.  She said even though I didn't have protein in my urine, this was more reason to send me to the hospital for a full pre-eclamptic work up. 

She did my exam and I was still 2 cm, hadn't dropped, and hadn't dilated more.  I did have my bloody show during the exam.  I have read that labor is usually with 48 hours of the show but she said not necessarily.  She then sent me to get an ultrasound to check my fluid.  It came back at 16, so it dropped to a much more normal level.  I met with her after and she said that basically she was looking for something to induce me today.

On the walk over to the hospital, I ran into my fertility doctor whom I love.  We talked for a couple minutes and am thrilled she was staying in Chicago.  She was a fellow and not sure if she would get the full time gig.  She is so sweet, gave me a hug, and told me she had recently asked my OB about me.  I thought maybe I am having this baby today because it would be full circle seeing her on the day I had him.

We get to the hospital and I get hooked up to the machine in triage.  After 1.5 hours, everything came back normal, he was more active than I have ever felt him.  And I had 5 contractions while I was there.  The nurse said unfortunately they weren't regular and being past due, I should be having contractions.  Again she said they wouldn't induce because it increases the likelihood of a c-section.

I asked the OB about the induction process.  She wants me to start off with pitocin and once it gets going and I am uncomfortable, I can get the epidural.  They will break my water, but they need him to drop before they can break the water because to avoid a prolapsed cord which is very serious.  She said since I am going in at 12:30am, she thinks that I will have the baby late that afternoon or during the evening.

All in all no changes since last time, just a waste of a day, except I did get a really cute 3-D ultrasound pic.

And the bump watch continues...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

At Peace

I have made peace with the fact that I will likely see my 41st week mark come and go this Saturday.  One of my biggest fears of labor was being in excruciating pain and being sent home from the hospital or told I can't come in yet.  If I am induced, I won't have that issue.  I will have all the blood work done ahead of time so when I want the epidural, I can get it.  I won't have to be in the tiny, dingy triage room, there is a nice delivery room waiting for me.

Speaking of epidurals, this has been my birth plan since day one.  I was speaking to a friend of mine whose wife had a baby in May.  She went naturally because they were concerned the epidural would cause Autism, which I had never heard.  He asked if I was going natural and I said, "Oh, no, I want the drugs." And he asked, "Well you aren't even going to try to see if you can do it on your own?"

I was a bit shocked because he isn't a Birkenstock footed, hemp necklace wearing type of guy.  Not to say at all that people that go sans drugs are hippies, it just seemed so out of character for him. And let's not forget he is a guy.  It isn't like his wife who powered through natural labor is saying this to me.

So I said, "All my friends say they are miserable and then they get an epidural and everything changes."  So he pushes, "Don't you think you could be stronger than your friends?"

And I said, "No".  Wouldn't that be a clear example of hubris if I thought I was stronger and braver than my friends?  And everyone knows hubris is a fatal flaw.

So we won't see eye to eye on this one.  I see on the social networking sites that there are tons and tons of people who go without drugs and really look down on people who get epidurals. I even watched the Ricki Lake documentary, "The Business of Being Born" about the process of home birthing naturally with a midwife and that didn't sway me a bit.  My doctor said 98% of the babies they deliver use epidurals.  She said even people who think they will go natural switch during labor.  Personally, I don't want to have to be in pain if I don't have to, especially since you have your mental faculties about you.  To each his own.  I just can't wait to meet the blessed anesthesiologist.

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Out of Hand...Literally

Another fun adventure at the doctor's office.  I want to start with a piece of advice- always try to get the first appointment of the day.  Since I am in my 40th week, I couldn't book my appointment much ahead of time and ended up with an 11:00 ultrasound and an 11:45 doctor's appointment.  I had to wait a lot longer than that because they got backed up.

I started off with the ultrasound.  He looked good, moving well.  My fluid is dropping (a good thing since I had a lot) and was at 19.5.  She did the weight estimate and are you sitting for this?  They think he weighs 9 lbs 1 oz.  That's like a toddler.  If I don't deliver until next week, he could be 9.5 pounds. He put on 1lb 7oz in the last 13 days.

I then when in to see the doctor.  I asked her to sweep my membranes.  She cautioned me that normally it doesn't work unless you are doing several days in a row, but she would try.  Well she begins the exam and says because I haven't dropped at all, she can't reach far enough to do the sweep.  She said I am still 2 cm for the 3rd week in a row and maybe if I am lucky 50% effaced but it is hard to tell because I am so high.

My blood pressure was a bit elevated but she wasn't concerned.  It could have been because I just found out I am going to birth a cute little turkey.  She said she isn't too concerned about the size now, we don't have to talk c-section yet.  She doesn't think he will grow much in the next week until my induction. 

Next steps, I go in Thursday for another NST (non-stress test) and a doctor exam.  They will re-evaluate if they shoud move up my induction.  Right now, I am scheduled to get to the hospital at 12:30am, early Monday morning of next week.

I really feel like it is never going to happen on its own.  I think because the fluid is still pretty high, he is pretty comfortable and happy floating around in there.

She said I could go any time if my water breaks, adding being late and the weather were on my side.  She added if they induced me now, when he clearly isn't ready, my chances of a c-section dramatically goes up.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Taking Matters into my Doctor's Hands

I am officially past my due date.  Yes, I am aware I am the same person that just wanted to make it to at least 28 weeks, then 32, and finally 37.  But now I am the person who spent what seems like forever waiting for the magical day, June 19th to arrive.  It is a strange feeling when your due date comes and goes and you realize it not only wasn't magical, it was pretty much meaningless.

I have to say I am not miserable.  Most people say the last month is awful.  I definitely am sleeping worse and feel huge but I am certainly doing just fine.  I am feeling external pressures though.  First, my parents.  Without my consent they bought tickets to come up to Chicago for June 18th.  I feel guilty that they are stuck up here for another couple weeks.  I do have to say they have been great about it.  Normally when they are here, I see them almost all waking hours and spend my life in the car shuttling them back and forth from activities.  Since they got here, I have seen them for about 4 hours a day.  They have taken more cabs than normal, and are great about saying go home to rest, we will be fine on our own.

The second external force is my husband.  In my 39th week, a switch flipped and all of a sudden he got really nudgy about getting the baby out.  He wants the baby here and yesterday.  He wants me to spend my days running the stairs in our house and keeps trying to make me take even more walks in the oppressive heat.  I am choosing to find it endearing.

And then there are the family members that put in requests.  My mother-in-law was pushing for a specific day because she was scheduled to work with someone she hated on that day and wanted out of work.  My sister-in-law was going out of town and told me I had to wait.  My sister said she didn't want it to happen this past weekend because she wanted to be able to get some quality sleep on her days off.

Tomorrow I will be 2 days late.  I am scheduled to be induced June 28 (a week from tomorrow).  I am considering asking the doctor to sweep my membranes.

I hadn't heard prior to pregnancy.  Essentially when you are close to your due date, the doctor, during an internal exam, sweeps her fingers across you cervix and detaches your membrane that supports the water bag from the uterine wall.  From what I have read, 50% of people will go into labor within 48 hours. 

The procedure is quick, typically under a minute, but reports range from uncomfortable to very painful.  Susposedly, it works much better if you are already dilated.  As of last Tuesday, I was dilated to 2 cms.  Some people are not impacted.  Some lose their mucus plug or have their bloody show (two things I have not experienced), which are signs that labor should happen soon. Many have cramps and contractions, although they don't always lead to labor.

I asked one of the doctor's in the practice two weeks ago if their group did it.  She joked she does it as long as she isn't on call- meaning she doesn't want to be at the hospital that night delivering you.  I think this bodes well for me, because the doctor I am seeing tomorrow is the one scheduled to induce me next week.

I do have apprehension about this.  My plan after the doctor is to meet my parents for lunch.  I fear having bad contractions or worse, my water breaking in public shortly thereafter.  My mom did say, if I am feeling anything, we will all cab back to my place, they will pick up lunch, and stay with me until my husband can get home.  I also am concerned that it will make me very crampy and have bad contractions that don't lead to labor.

Speaking of water breaking, I found out in the last 2 weeks my amniotic fluid level is high.  Normal at this point is 12-14.  Mine has been ranging from 21-25.  So I pretty much have twice as much fluid as a normal person.  I anticipate my water breaking will bring on quite the flood.  I am cool with that, I just don't want my mattress to be ruined if it happens at night.  I love my mattress.  I attribute being so comfortable in pregnancy in part to my amazing mattress.  I am taking proper precautions to ensure the safety of  said  mattress.  At first I was sleeping on a towel, starting about 39.5 weeks.  Then I asked the doctor for those puppy pad looking sheets they sometimes use at the ob/gyn's during procedures.  They gave me a bag full.  I decided it wouldn't be enough.  So now, under my sheet, I have a waterproof crib liner and a towel.  I am not messing around, I love my mattress.  Greg suggested I just sleep in the bath tub.  I think he was kidding.

I will keep you posted as to if I end up getting my membranes swept tomorrow, what it feels like, and if it works.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Case of the Uneventful Pregnancy

Givenmy rocky road to a sticky pregnancy, I freely admit, I felt fully entitled to an uneventful pregnancy.  I have been very lucky and have gotten just that.

Sure there was nature's cruel joke of anterior placenta, which meant I didn't feel the baby nearly as much as a normal person, which puts a paranoid pregnant person like myself in a tizzy every once in a while.  But the upside of this is his kicks and jabs really aren't that uncomfortable and I don't usually have trouble going back to bed after one of my many mid-night bathroom breaks because he can't settle down.

I barely had morning sickness, had good energy allowing me to work out through most of my third trimester, and am still pretty comfortable with only 1.5 weeks to go. At about 33 weeks, the baby situated himself in the most uncomfortable position rendering me miserable and after about a day of pleading with him and much time spent in downward dog, my sweet baby obliged and moved off this horrid spot.  So I truly was the keeper of an uneventful pregnancy.

I guess the kid didn't want to set the precedent of being a momma's boy and decided to stir things up this week.

Monday night, we decided to go out to dinner and while out, he was kicking something fierce.  I was so uncomfortable I actually left the table to get up and walk to try to calm him down.  During my 3 pee breaks of the night, I noticed I didn't feel him at all, which was unusual.  I normally feel him for a minute or two and then we both go back to sleep.  Tuesday morning, I got up around 6:30 and realized I hadn't felt him.  I did some of my tricks to stir him and nothing.  Given the anterior placenta, I didn't freak.  Around 9, while in the car on the way to the doctor, I resorted to my most annoying of tricks.  Essentially I pat my stomach to make a clapping noise and follow up by poking at his feet.  He hates this.  And yet nothing.

Once in the doctor's room, the nurse asked about movement and I told her it had been a long time since I felt him.  They immediately sent me for an NST (non-stress test).  I had had this twice before, once after the car accident, and once just to get a baseline given the anterior placenta.  They put these big bands around your belly with two receptors.  One tracks his heartbeat and one tracks contractions.  I was given a button to press when I felt movement.

As soon as I was hooked up, his heartbeat was detected and strong.  So I felt relief.  The nurse left for about 30 minutes and I hadn't felt him once.  The nurse returned and gave me juice to get things going and I maybe felt him twice after that.  This wasn't good. 

Then the doctor came in.  She said "I don't like what I am seeing.  He isn't being reactive.  His heartbeat is in a normal range so this test alone isn't telling me I need to get him out today, but if I don't see improvement in the next 15 minutes, I am going to send you for a biophysical work up and if those results aren't good, we are going to look at getting the baby out."  She then did my internal exam (2 cm!!) and said maybe that would irritate him and get him going.

Well it didn't.  She had the nurse come back and collect the print-out for the machine.  About 20 minutes later they told me I was going to need the biophysical work up.  You might be thinking I was freaking out.  Shockingly I wasn't.  Since his heartbeat was normal, I figured need be, we could get this baby out within the hour if we had too.  And since I have had the fibroid surgery, I am not afraid of a c-section.

About another 20 minutes go by and they take me in for the biophysical work-up.  This is just a detailed ultrasound.  They measured amniotic fluid, growth, and specific baby movements.  Everything was good and I got such cute 3-D pictures.  He definitely plumped out.  His cheeks are so cute you could eat them.  After this test, I had to wait 45 minutes to meet with the doctor to discuss my results.  She told me since the second test came back normal we didn't have to deliver me that day but they wanted me to come in the following morning for another NST.

I managed to stay really calm the rest of the day which is more than I can say for my husband and my mom, who currently isn't speaking to my dad because he had his cell phone off during the baby drama.  It wasn't until about 9pm that I started worrying what if something happens between tonight and tomorrow morning. Luckily he knew he had to go back to be a docile son and gave me some good kicks before I fell asleep.  This morning he was active too.

The test this morning went fine.  He improved since yesterday so they said I just need to be really vigiliant about movement and they would see me at my appointment next week.

This was a pretty eye-opening experience for both me and my husband.  I am completely prepared in terms of my hospital bag, his room, his things, addresses for birth annoucements, and so forth.  But I have been a bit of a freak when it comes to the brutal reality that he actually has to come out and what that entails.  My husband is quite the opposite.  He isn't worried about the birth process (likely since it isn't his parts squeezing out a baby) but hasn't done anything to prepare like packing for the hospital and turning in his FMLA paperwork.  When I was being tested and told things weren't going well, I just wanted him out that second.  I didn't care if it meant another surgery or a 3 day labor, I just wanted him safe.  Greg on the other hand started freaking out about random things, like the Hep B vaccine and the ointment they put on newborn eyes.  He started worrying about something at work that is due Monday but now might have to get down that day. 

And once his freak out passed, the oddest thing happened.  He wanted this baby here and yesterday.  He ran into our neighbor who swears she went into labor from having to go up and down stairs a lot during a move.  She went like 5 weeks early, so probably something else was up or the fact that she was lifting heavy stuff and going up and down stairs. So now he keeps telling me to start climbing stairs and when I push back, he said, let's get him out.

Even though this scare turned out to be no big deal, I can no longer say I have had a completely uneventful pregnancy.  Hopefully this means I will have an easy, short, 3-push labor.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Room with a View

Here are the pictures of the nursery!

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

I have to admit, I was offended.  At dinner last Saturday, a friend of my husband's asked if I complained a lot and was emotional over nothing being pregnant.  My charming husband basically said yes.  I got pissed.  I rarely complain and I don't think I have had one emotional outburst related to pregnancy.  He admitted I don't complain much but do say I am uncomfortable a lot.  I shield him from about 90% of the weird things that have transpired over the last nine months.  He admitted I could be a lot worse.  I feel like he has no idea, but I let it go.

So not 24 hours after said conversation, I was sitting on my bed putting together an iTunes playlist for while I am laboring at the hospital, I find myself on the verge of tears.  Greg comes in the room and makes small talk, but I feel like if I spoke my tear ducts would betray me.  He asks, "why are you so quiet?"  I said, "I don't know, I just feel emotional."  He asked if it was the song. I laughed said no and then busted out crying.  Both of us were taken aback, since this is really abnormal for me.

On one hand, I felt sad that I wouldn't be pregnant for very long.  I will miss it.  Check back with me in two weeks on this emotion, but for now, I love feeling the baby in my belly.  And he is so easy.  We go everywhere together. Also, being pregnant is all-consuming.  Everything you do or don't do is baby related.  What you eat, what you lift, places you go, invitations you decline.  Then came the fear of child birth.  I know he has to come out and I know centuries of women have done it before me.  That's great for them, but I am apprehensive and don't know what to expect.  Given the agony of my false labor a couple nights prior, I started doubting my threshold for pain. Next I started thinking about how long it has been since I found out I was pregnant.  At conception, he was the size of a pen point and now he is about 7 pounds.  I started thinking how long ago it was the first time I saw him on a ultrasound and the sheer relief I felt to see his little heart flutter, or how it felt like a million years ago, that I went price gun crazy registering at Buy Buy Baby with my mom in Florida.

My better half helped me reel in my craziness, although he is less than sympathetic about being nervous about childbirth.  The rest of my meltdown, he handled like a champ.  And he was smart enough not to have a boastful moment about his declaration the previous night about me being overly emotional.

This week, I continue to focus on nesting, cleaning things that have been sorely ignored.  I also have been spending  a lot of time sitting in his room reading or talking on the phone.

As far as progress, not making much.  Still 1 cm, no change from the last two weeks.  I technically have 2.5 weeks to go.