Archive for March 2013

Full term

Monday, March 25, 2013

Is it really possible??  I am 37 weeks, 3 days today.  It doesn't seem possible.  I had my regular weekly appointment this morning which consisted of a BPP and a growth check due to the gestational diabetes and thyroid issue.  My appointment was at 8 AM for the ultrasound and unfortunately my husband couldn't go so I had to drive myself there (since I am no longer working from the office).

I was early so they got me in for my scan a little earlier.  The baby was very busy as he usually is at that time of the morning.  He usually sleeps most of the night and then is up a lot in the morning.  He was practicing his breathing and karate chops.

He passed his BPP with an 8/8 and his growth checked out to 53%!  Almost right smack in the middle where he should be.  I am not sure how this happened, but I am really happy that he is measuring back to normal.  He still has "hi normal" fluid, but I asked the radiologist when she came in to do her double check and she said it was not a worrisome number at all.

Next I had my appointment with the doctor.  My BP was 110/77.  I was happy about that!  I am up 31 lbs.  Yikes.  I don't feel like I am gaining weight though.  My rings still fit (even though when I mentioned that I was still wearing them to the doctor he told me that have a ring cutter which they use frequently and suggested I start wearing them around my neck just in case) and I am not swelling.

The doctor was very happy with my blood sugar readings and with the BPP/growth scan.  His guess is that the baby will be in the 7 lb range when he is born.  Yay!  I was 7 lb 9 oz when I was born and I was my mom's first.  He asked me if I was familiar with the hospital check in and I told him that I had done a virtual tour.  He said that was good enough.  I was sort of hoping for an internal exam to see if I was dilated at all, but he didn't think it was necessary since I am not having regular contractions (or really any contractions for that matter, except in the middle of the night).  I go back in a week for another BPP.

I am getting so excited to meet this little guy.  The other night I was laying in bed before falling asleep and I started to get really worked up and excited, thinking about him.  I want him to come when he is ready, but I am so anxious to meet him as soon as possible.  Physically I feel ready.  I am tired, moody, and uncomfortable.  I am still nesting, but don't have a ton of energy to keep up with the cleaning.  My furbabies like to keep my house full of "furbunnies" (or tumble-weeds).  I can't keep up anymore!  I usually vacuum at least 1-2 times a week (if not more), but I find that I can't even do that anymore.  Walking just a mile is painful!  I know what I am doing after work today...

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Infertility and pregnancy loss radar

Friday, March 22, 2013

I think I have developed some type of a sixth sense when it comes to sensing others who are going through infertility and loss.  I feel like I can find these people now or maybe they find me.  I am not sure if anyone else feels like this?  Maybe it is because I am pretty reserved when it comes to talking about this pregnancy or being pregnant with others.  I still am worried about jinxing myself at 37 weeks.  For me, nothing is certain.  Until this baby is in my arms, I will worry.  And then I will just have a different, but whole new, set of worries...

There is a guy at work who's wife went though infertility treatments and they conceived twins only to lose one.  They were never able to have more children.  Somehow this came up one day when we were chatting. Totally random, but now I feel a connection with him that I didn't previously have.

In my childbirth class a few weeks ago, we sat next to an older couple (early 40s).  I had a hunch that they had trouble, but obviously I would never ask.  When it came time to share information, I found out that she had gone through IVF after having some trouble and was delivering at another great hospital near mine.  We immediately "got" each other.

So this brings me to my beautician.  I have only been seeing her for a year now and only because the girl who used to cut my hair for almost 5 years moved.  It was really random that I started seeing this other girl because it was not who the girl I was seeing referred me to.  Anyways, she is about my age.  She is married and has a dog.  She does yoga.  She is a vegetarian.  We have a lot in common.  I see her about every 8-10 weeks or so and we have really good conversations.  When I told her I was pregnant, she was very kind and asked lots of questions, but I could tell that something was off.  I was (and am) still feeling worried about my pregnancy so I was reserved with the info that I offered.  I just had a hunch that she was having difficulties.  Again, I would never have said anything to her about it.

Last weekend I had an appointment.  I got 2 inches chopped (my hair is pretty long right now)!  I am not sure how the subject came up, but it was definitely organic.  I think it started with me talking about my GD and thyroid issues while being pregnant.  She mentioned that they had been trying to get pregnant for almost 2 years and had a miscarriage around 10 weeks.  It was at that point that I felt obligated to offer her my information.  It was amazing how the conversation developed at that point.  We had so much more in common than I ever though.  We had been going to the same doctor and both had switched because we hated how they treated our miscarriages.  She had just started on her 3rd round of Clomid and it failed.  She had been pretty upset about it.  I mentioned Femara to her and recommended my RE.  She said that she was in the process of looking for one.  She was a loyal temper and charter and used F.ertility F.riend.  I could feel her pain as she talked to me.  I wanted to give her a hug.

I think that her listening to my trouble and seeing that I was pregnant made her feel better finally where I am sure she once dreaded my visits.  If she is anything like me (which I think she is based on everything we have talked about) knowing that someone didn't have it easy when it came to getting pregnant makes it easier to deal with them when they are pregnant.  It sounds terrible, but it is so true.

It is just so crazy how infertility and pregnancy loss affects so many people.  Before I went through all of this, I never even thought about it.  Now I feel like I am sure tuned into it.  I honestly feel like I am a better more compassionate and understanding person because of it.

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What a difference a year can make

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Yesterday I had my 36 week appointment (36 weeks, 3 days).  From here on out I have weekly biophysical profiles instead of NSTs and bi-weekly growth ultrasounds due to the GD.  I like having them on Monday mornings because it gives me something to look forward to regarding the beginning of the week!

The BPP this week was done by a guy.  I don't think that I have had a guy do an ultrasound for me since during my miscarriage days.  I was sort of disappointed because my experience with the guy wasn't great, but also the circumstances were not great that time either so that probably jaded me.  This guy was really friendly right off the bat.  He asked me the usual questions and after my usual pre-ultrasound bathroom break, he went to work, checking out baby boy.

He passed the BPP with flying colors.  He was practicing breathing and we caught him yawning several times.  He was sucking his thumb most of the time.  Head is still down.  The only thing that was slightly concerning was the measured amniotic fluid level is now on the high side of normal up from the low side of normal.

Without me asking, the tech flipped to 3D and was determined to get a good shot of this little guy's face.  After a little coaxing the baby's hand out of the way, he was able to get a great shot (scroll to the bottom).  My baby looks like a real baby and not a ghost!

I met briefly with the doctor who was happy with the BPP results.  We briefly talked about the amniotic fluid and he said that he was not concerned since it was still in the normal range and it is a subjective measurement that differs from tech to tech.  He said that if they saw an abnormal amount that they would have mentioned it on the report for sure (they are a high risk u/s and see thousands of high risk patients a month).  We talked about my blood sugar readings which have been getting better.  My fastings have been in the 70s/80s for the past week.  He said that this could signal that the placenta is producing less hormones and that labor/delivery might not be that far away.  He said to keep monitoring it and they will check next week.  Based on my blood sugar readings he guessed that I might not make my due date.  I told him I would not be upset about that.  :)

My next appointment is next Monday...37 weeks, 3 days.  I'll be full term!!  It is amazing what can happen in a year.  Last year at this time I was one day away from finding out the baby that I was carrying was not viable.  The heartbeat was only 80 and was small for gestational age.  That time was one of the darkest in my life and I have never been so depressed.  I never thought that a year from that point, I would be carrying this little guy and be almost ready to meet him.  I am so incredibly blessed to be where I am right now.  As hard as it was to get here and how this pregnancy has not been the easiest at times, I know that I am so incredibly lucky.  I honestly thought that I would never be able to carry a baby past 10 weeks.  I thought I was defective.  I don't know what happened and I am not sure that I will ever know.  I do know that I have a beautiful baby boy on the way and I am so thrilled to hold him, kiss him, and be his mommy.

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So much to update on

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I have been a bad blogger lately.  So much going on and so little time to sit and write it all down.  This post is going to be all over the place, as a result.  It also might be a little long and have a lot of pictures, but I labeled everything so you can skip over parts that don't interest you.  I can't believe that I am due 1 month from today!!

Work Baby Shower
My co-workers threw me a baby shower last week and they pooled together to get me the B.aby J.ogger C.ity S.elect stroller!  It converts to a double, if necessary, which was why I registered for it.  It was so nice of them to get me that since it wasn't cheap.  We all met in one of the office conference rooms and they had cake and fruit salad.  Unfortunately I didn't get to have anything after my last shower cake disaster.  My boss got me 2 oatmeal cookies with raisins for later with a meal (that didn't turn out well either, I'll explain later).  Check out the cute cake!  It was half chocolate and half vanilla with butter cream frosting and fondant.  The top part of the cake came off so one of my co-workers wrapped it up nicely and put it in the freezer for me to have when I can eat cake again.  :)

The Nursery
I can finally say that it is coming along nicely and basically done except for the armoire, which we still do not have.  I have no clue when it is going to come in or if they are going to end up refunding us our money.  I guess time will tell.  Until then, baby has no place to hang his clothes or store some of his belongings.  Here are a few pics of the nursery!

 I love this glider!  It was only $499 w/ the ottoman!

My one splurge was the 3 pics from R.estoration H.ardware, which cost almost as much as the chair.   :-o. 

We got the convertible crib, which converts to a full-size bed!

Proud of my storage from C.ontainer S.tore, only $9 each. :)

Maternity Photos
I was really on the fence about these for a number of reasons.  First of all was the cost.  Most of the photographers that I looked into were so expensive and that was just for the actual shoot.  They tacked on a ton for prints and even more for digital copies.  I ended up finding someone through a friend of mine and this photographer ended up being great!  I was also on the fence because I just felt weird to be having my picture taken by someone else.  Ultimately, I decided to have them done because I wish that my mom had them done when she was pregnant with me.  I would love to look back and see photos of her pregnant.  She can't seem to find any.  This little guy will have a bunch.  :)

Gestational Diabetes
I would say that I have been able to keep things under control for the most part.  My fasting blood sugar is still unpredictable.  Some days it is good and some days it is a little higher.  I am currently taking 12 units of H.umulin N at bedtime (or rather 8 hours before my scheduled wake-up time).  I saw my endocrinologist this morning (have I mentioned that I love her??).  She thinks that I am doing well.  My A1C was 5.2.  I told her about my disaster with the 1/2 of an oatmeal cookie with dinner.  Basically, I had a very low carb dinner of baked salmon with sautéed kale w/ sliced almonds.  I added the 1/2 of a cookie as my treat with dinner.  This half a cookie made my 1 hour and 2 hour pp readings high.  I was so upset and annoyed that I thew out the other 1 and 1/2 cookies from my boss.  I told the endocrinologist this and she was so nice.  She gave me a fast-acting insulin pen (N.ovolog) and told me that if I wanted to have a cookie every now and again or go out for dinner that it was ok, since I was so strict.  She told me to take 4 units before eating a higher carb meal and to NOT FEEL GUILTY.  She also said that at this point the baby's organs are developed enough that having a high reading once and again is not going to do much to cause the baby issues.  She told me that I was doing a great job and she expects me to go back to normal after the baby is born.  I hope she is right.  I have a follow-up scheduled with her for 6 weeks post-partum.

Pregnant Co-worker
So she FINALLY told me, on her own, about a week and a half ago that she was pregnant.  I asked her why she waited so long and she said that she hadn't told anyone at work other than my boss and her "supervisor", the co-worker who I had been talking to about about that she hates.  We talked for a while and she mentioned the whole NT scan issues with the down syndrome markers.  She said that even though the results from her tests came back ok, that she was kind of depressed.  I told her that I struggled with some depression issues around the same time along as her.  She was surprised that I did since I had such a tough time staying pregnant, but I think she appreciated my story and felt better about her own situation.  One thing about me is that I don't hold grudges.  I am always open to patching things up.  Even though I was really pissed that she hadn't told me anything, I am over it.  I feel like I have my friend back again, which is nice.  Now when we see each other in the bathroom we can talk about our pregnancies rather than my pregnancy.

I have decided to start working from home, exclusively, the week after next.  I am already working from home 2 days a week, which is nice, but I am getting to the point where walking to and from the train is getting to be very long and very painful.  I have started transitioning my work to others, which is hard for me.  I hate feeling like I can be replaced so easily and I shudder to think about the condition of my "space" when I get back.  I manage a small area of the company, pretty much on my own.  No people, just an application and an audit-controlled process.  I am the only "expert" on the subject.  I am sure things will be ok, but it is tough to let go.

More Jealousy Issues
My husband is still on the C.ross kick and now has entered a competition, which spans five total weeks.  I sort of had a freak-out on Sunday and ended up making him cry.  He spent the morning going to pick up the glider and then installing the baby seat in the car.  He then went off to his X-fit competition, which we said would be fast.  3 1/2 hours later, he comes home, while I had spent the last 3 hours going to the grocery store, cleaning, washing clothes, getting the nursery ready, etc.  I was so pissed that I just barked at him and didn't ask him how he did.  Then I ignored him for several hours while I continued my housework.  The crying came into play when I tried to strike up conversation after cooling down.  The truth is, I am still jealous that he spends so much time at that place with, amongst others, lots of 20-something girls, so I brought that up, again.  He thinks that I don't support him and that I am fixated on making myself believe that he gives a crap about any of the girls that he works out with regularly.  He said that he has always been there to support my races (he has sat through many a 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, 30k and marathon), which is true.  Ugh I felt like a terrible person because he really does support me and I don't support him enough.  My hormones in combination with my physical un-fitness have turned me into a raging bitchy lunatic.  He cried, I cried, but we patched everything up.  This is why we work so well together.  We communicate.  He did awesome at his competition, too.  He got the best score at his gym.  :)

Speaking of Running...
NYC Marathon 2013, here I come!  After 3 consecutive fails in the lottery, I am a part of the last group ever that gets guaranteed entry in the 4th year after failing the lottery 3 times in a row!  They were thinking that they might have to cut my group due to the hurricane disaster last year causing an overflow of 2012 registrants, but apparently my group was lucky enough to get in.  I have my work cut out for me following the birth of this little guy, but I am so excited to have a fitness goal to look forward to.  This will be my 3rd marathon!

The Baby!
Saved the most important for last!  I had an appointment yesterday with MFM (35 weeks, 3 days), which included another growth ultrasound.  I was so nervous since last appointment they had him measuring in the 83 percentile.  Well this time he is measuring in the 64 percentile, so I was thrilled.  This is about a week ahead.  Apparently I had a much better radiologist this time (one of top two high-risk radiologists in the country).  The baby's biophysical profile was 8/8!  His head is down and facing my back and he was very active during the scan.  He had his hands in front of his face and his feet right up near his head.  My fluid level was normal.  I didn't get an internal check this time, but I did get a GBS swab, which I have no doubt will come back positive based on how I seem to fail just about every test.  I am prepared for that.  My no-IV request might not become a reality, but oh well.  My blood pressure was good and my weight was up.  I was up to 146, which is up 26 lbs.  Looks like I am heading for at least 30, gulp.  I asked the doctor about how long they would let me go before inducing me and he said he would like to wait until 40 weeks, unless some other complication arises.  He said that if things haven't progressed by 40 weeks that we'll talk induction dates.  I have a feeling this guy is not going to come early.  I think he really likes it in there.  I posted another pic of him here.  I have no idea what the ultrasound pic from yesterday is looking at.  So help me out if you know!      

Wow that was a lot to write.  I think I am caught up.  Now I have to pack my hospital bag, which will be the subject of a future post.  :)

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To the blog spammers-

Monday, March 4, 2013

Take your stupid nonsensical comments, redirects, and phony links and shove them up your ass!  I am NEVER going to actually publish any of them and I am never going to click on any of the links to view your your stupid sites or potentially expose myself to malware or viruses.  You are wasting your useless time and you suck.  

For actual readers/friends/fellow bloggers-

Sorry for the rant, but I am so annoyed right now.  Not sure if it is just me, but I have seen a crazy rise in the amount of attempted spam posts and spam traffic lately.  Today has been the worst day yet.  I sincerely hate Captcha, but I am thinking that I am going to have to put it back on.  Some of my posts get so many spam comments in a day that I have disabled commenting completely because the notifications are clogging up my email inbox.

Anyone else having this issue??  Any ideas on how to get it to stop?

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Thinking about a birth plan

I haven't really talked much about birth or having that baby, but now that I am about 34 1/2 weeks, I think it is time to start.  None of my close friends have really mentioned having a birth plan to me, so I am not sure if they had one or not, but I have been doing lots of reading (surprise, surprise) and there are a few things that I want to make sure happen when I give birth to this little guy.

Feel to chime in with your experience or ideas/opinions!  I may be missing some key points, so please fill me in, if that is the case.  I obviously have never been through this before so I only know what I have heard and read about.

**Please note: This is assuming that I have an un-induced birth.  If I am induced or have a c-section (obviously), some or much of this list will not apply.

1.  The option to delay pain medication or proceed through birth without pain medication.  I know, I know this is probably crazy, but I have done lots of research.  I know that childbirth is probably the one of the most painful experiences that I will ever go through in my life, but reading about some of the benefits of not having the pain medications make me want to at least give it a try.  My pain threshold is rather high (except when it comes to foot cramps, which I have been getting nightly).  I ran a marathon, got an extremely painful blood blister under my second toe, bled through my sock and my sneaker, and still managed to finish the race in 4 hours and 17 minutes.  Then I ran another marathon the following year in 3 hours and 54 minutes!  I am not afraid of pain.  I want to see how far I can go without assistance because I know that it can make the actual dilation and birthing process faster.  I am not going to refuse the pain meds if I have a crazy long labor and have not slept or if the pain is just so incredibly unbearable.  I am not going to martyr myself.  If I have to be induced with pitocin, then I'd say that it is almost a given that I take advantage of the epidural.

2.  The option to walk around during labor, use a birthing ball, or alternate positions for delivery, if it feels better.  I know that some of these depend on other things working out.  I would rather not be hooked up to monitors 24/7 and have IVs unless it is absolutely necessary for the health of the baby (or me).  I have heard that laboring on your back makes things progress slower and makes giving birth harder.  Maybe walking around won't feel better for me, but I would like the option.

3.  I want my husband with me at all times.  We have been through a lot together and I feel like I want him to be there for everything.  I am not sure if you need to explicitly mention this or not.  He is the only family member that I want in the delivery room!

4.  No mirrors to watch the actual birth.  Call me vain, but I'd rather not see my vagina being ripped apart.

5.  Cameras are allowed before I begin pushing and then right after the baby is born (above the waist, only!)  I guess this only applies to my husband.  Maybe I should just tell him this, since I doubt any of the hospital staff will be wanting to take pictures of me.  Haha.

6.  I want immediate skin-to-skin contact with my baby, as long as he is healthy enough to do so.  I have read and heard that this helps with bonding, baby body temp regulation, and breastfeeding (to name a few benefits).  I don't need him to be cleaned off before they place him on my chest.  If I have a c-section that I would also like to have modified skin-to-skin contact, if it is safe for baby.  I have heard about delayed cord clamping, too.  I am not sure if these go hand-in-hand and if this should be a separate list item, but if it is safe, I would also like to have the 2-3 min delay.  I have read that it helps with iron levels in babies.  Granted I have also read that the bigger the baby, the less they need this, but oh well.  I'd like feedback on this one!!

7.  My husband will cut the cord.  I think this is pretty standard, but I wanted to throw it in just in case!

8.  I would like to bank the cord blood.  Not privately, though.

9.  I'd like to try breastfeeding my baby as soon as possible.  I have read that the sooner that you start breastfeeding the easier it is to get baby used to it.  I will need help from the nurses on this one though.  I took the class, but holding a baby doll and holding your baby are two very different things I am sure!

10.  Our baby will NOT be circumcised.  At first I had a huge problem with this one.  My husband and I fought about it for many weeks.  He is circumcised and so I didn't understand why he would want our son to be different from him.  We also live in an area with a high Jewish population.  I worried about him being looked as as different in the eyes of his peers in the locker room.  My husband is of the camp that he wishes that he had a choice and he feels like he was robbed of part of his manhood.  I guess I can't really relate, but can't really refute what he is saying either.  I did my research and joined a few message boards to get even more info.  I watched informative videos, too.  After doing all of this work, I have come to the conclusion that I am ok with not having him circed.  I thought you would have to clean under it, that it was unhygienic, etc., but I was totally wrong.  You are supposed to clean it like it is a finger, never forcefully pulling back the foreskin.  The foreskin eventually retracts on its own.  We have a meeting with the pediatrician this Friday and I am going to mention this to the doctor and make sure they understand that they will NOT forcefully retract the foreskin.  If they have a problem with this then I will find another doctor.  I have read horror stories related to this topic.

11.  I want the baby in our room, with us, after he is born.  Obviously if he would need some type of treatment then I want him in the NICU, but otherwise I want him with us.  Some people have told me to let him stay in the nursery so let me get some sleep, but I have waited way too long for this baby to put him in the nursery in the care of someone other than my husband and me.

I am not sure if I am forgetting anything here.  Right now I am in the process of reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.  I skipped over the first section and will go back and read it later (it deals with birth stories).  I wanted to read about the actual childbirth portion first.  Yes, this book is a little bit old and yes, she is a little crunchier than I am, but she has some interesting points.  The part about orgasmic birthing really blows my mind.

Have all of you soon-to-be mommies (pregnant or not yet pregnant) come up with a plan or are you just going to wing it?  If you are an experienced mommy, any advice would be MUCH appreciated!!

I still have to slap myself and tell myself that this is really happening.

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