Tuesday, March 26, 2013

36 Week Appointment

Quick post regarding the appointment today:

*Baby scored a 10 out of 10 again on the biophysical (ultrasound) and NST...is she a rockstar or what?!?

*Fluid has dropped a bit. I went from a 9.2 cm last week to 7.3 cm this week. This puts me in the low end again...but at least I'm not scraping the bottom of the barrel while in the low range.

*Will definitely have to be monitored again next week...hoping that the number remains stable. It's at 36 weeks that the amniotic fluid naturally starts to decline. So we'll keep our fingers crossed for good things for next week.

Monday, March 25, 2013

35 Week Appointment

My 35 week appointment will go down in the history books.


Because it actually went well!

(How often does that happen to this pregnant mama??)

Here's the run-down:
I was nervous to head out to the appointment...not knowing what it was going to hold. I debated the night before on packing my hospital bag. I just wasn't sure what kind of news I was going to get and what if they told me that the amniotic fluid had dropped more and I needed to head to the hospital?
I decided to put it to prayer and let God take the burden of this. He is in control of when this little one arrives and I knew I just needed to trust His answer...whatever that might be.

The ultrasound (or biophysical) was scheduled first. They look at baby and give her scores based on lots of different things. Big body movements, hands flexing in and out, practice breathing, and pockets of amniotic fluid to name a few. Although baby was busy napping, the tech was able to rouse her enough to get the movements counted. (She, however, did not want her picture taken...she refused to show her sweet little face...instead insisting on keeping the back of her head towards us.) Once done, I was informed that the fluid had risen...gone up! From a 6.2cm to 9.2 cm! That actually takes me out of the lower end bracket and puts me at "normal"! Barely...but still...to be in "normal" range was very exciting!

Next appointment was the NST (non-stress test). I have to sit with two monitors on my tummy. One measures baby's movements and the other her heartbeat. There is a little button that I have to press each time I feel her move. It spits out a print-out that sort of resembles an EKG looking paper. After 10 minutes, there was a knock at the door and in came Dr. Green. She said she had some great news for me. Baby scored a 10 out of 10 on the biophysical (can't get better than that!) and she had already seen all the movements she needed to on the NST. I was free to go home...home to celebrate a fabulous appointment. Dr. Green did say that I still have to be monitored every week as the fluid level can flucuate...but for this week...I'm good! She did, however, inform me that I managed to lose 1.5 pounds in a week...but that just means I'm gonna enjoy some blueberries with cream this week! Bring it on.

I stopped at Caribou and got a decaf coffee for me and a mocha for Jason. I walked in the house and told him we were celebrating...so blessed to have a great appointment.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is my 36 week appointment...complete with the ultrasound, NST and dr. visit. The first one starts at 8:50am and I will be gone for about 3.5 hours by the time all is said and done. Please keep us in your prayers...that results are great again. I'm just a hair away from being classified as "low" again so I am praying that I will remain stable. I happen to like where I am at. :)

Side note: Only 1 week left until this little one is considered "full term"...meaning that everything that needs to be developed, will be. If I were to go into labor or the fluid was low, the chance of her having any complications would be very slim in regards to development. It's a huge milestone.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Her blanket is finished!

Whew! I did it! I finished her baby blanket!

I can't tell you how happy I am to be done with it...I feel like I have done a million rows back and forth...and this pattern was NOT one of those you could mindlessly work on while watching tv.

Many brain cells later...here it is:

I can't wait to snuggle her up in it.

34 weeks Recap

Another post...a week late in getting published. With 4 kids and constant interruptions, I don't always get the opportunity to get back to the computer to proof and publish it on the blog. But again, more for my own records so you will have to bear with me.


34 Weeks Along...

6 Weeks To Go...

April can't come fast enough!


Headed out to my 34 week appointment today. Hoping for a good one, but not expecting there to be big changes. At my 32 week appt, I was told I was measuring small still and if I continued on that trend, then an ultrasound would be ordered. Got to say, I wasn't expecting an "all-clear" on this one. I could tell that I hadn't really gotten any bigger. I was quite certain that I was going to be told to get another ultrasound on the books.

First stop of the morning, the scale. I had only gained the measily half pound last time over a total of a two week period. (I should be gaining a pound a week at this point). Stepped on the scale and it said I was up 5 pounds. Huh?!? I had changed my diet to include more high-fat foods, but 5 pounds?!? Yes, I dined on lots of berries swimming in heavy whipping cream (which, by the way, is amazing), avocados, almonds, macadamia nuts, full fat sour cream, lots o' butter, full fat cottage cheese, etc. (I have to say that I am fairly certain I will never go back to skim milk again...for anything.) 5 pounds?!? In two weeks?!? Whew...that could make for one heavy mama by the time 40 weeks rolls around. This may have to be tailored back a bit. But I'll take it...a step in the right direction and I do have some ground to make up.

Second stop, bump measurement. Oh dear. Haven't changed. At all. From two weeks ago. Still between 28-29cm. Dr. Green said that I needed to get my ultrasound scheduled to check on baby's growth.

Normally with gestational diabetes, if your blood sugars are not in check, you can end up with a larger baby. BUT since I am of "advanced maternal age" (code for old) along with the diabetes, the opposite can occur. You can deliver a baby with low birth weight. So off to the scheduling desk I went. They just happened to have a cancelation and I could get in within 5 minutes. What a blessing...no need to sit around and wait, no need to come back later that same day, no need to have to wait for days awaiting an answer. They called me back just minutes later and took a look around.

Baby is right on track, right where she should be regarding growth for a 34 week baby. So why am I measuring small? Well, apparently I have low amniotic fluid. As the pregnancy progresses, there will be less and less fluid as the baby takes up more room, but it's not a good thing to be low at this point already. The cut-off point if 5cm of fluid. Read on to find my number. In other words, if you are below 5cm, then it's time to have some conversations about next steps. Depending on how low the fluid is would determine what should happen next...decisions ranging from a trip to the hospital for IV fluids to see if that will bump the fluid up to a possibility of induction because it's just not safe for baby to be in utero anymore.

Dr. Green said that she will be monitoring me closely from here on out. Meaning that I will be starting weekly ultrasounds and NST (non-stress tests) as well as dr. appointments beginning at 36 weeks. I have to say, I was a little deflated. Not that I thought I had grown and this wasn't going to be an issue, but because I never even considered it was due to low amniotic fluid.

Pregnancy isn't easy for me. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I can deal with the hyperemesis for months on end, I can deal with the diabetes, I can deal with the skipped heartbeats and racing. These are things that affect me. I can pull on my big-girl panties each morning and muscle myself through the day. I've always just been so thankful that these are things that I go though...and doesn't necessarily affect my precious baby. But low amniotic fluid?!? *sigh* That's something I have absolutely no control over. And it's something that directly affects her. As a parent, whenever something hard comes along, it's always the plea to be able to shoulder the hard stuff instead of it resting on the shoulders of your little ones. This was throwing me for a loop.

I came home, spent the day processing and researching. I realized that I had forgotten to ask Dr. Green what my exact level was. Just how low was I? The high end of the low range or barely scraping the bottom of the barrel and narrowly missing the cut-off for the danger zone?

I spoke with Dr. Green the very next day, my number: 6cm. (Remember...the red line is 5cm).


I asked her if she would be willing to allow me to come in at 35 weeks for the ultrasound/NST to see where things were at instead of waiting until the 36 week appointment. Goodness, I was a stressed-out basketcase. And two weeks seemed like an eternity. Upon reconsideration, she agreed that with a number that low, it was a good idea to start weekly testing/monitoring at 35 weeks. Whew.

I spent the day drinking lots and lots of water. And will continue to until the next appointment. Over 100 ounces of water today to give you an idea. I have to admit, I pretty much loath water. Wow, it tastes aweful.

Here is a pic of me at 34 weeks...

Sweet baby girl...there's not a lot that is in my control right now...but trust me when I tell you that I will do everything that I can.

So until next post...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

32 Weeks

Had this post done up...just didn't get it published...


Whew...32 weeks and counting! Can't believe I'm in the homestretch. It feels so great to be in the single digits now. The nausea is still my contant companion, but I figure if I've felt this way for 32 weeks, I can hang on for another 8. Guess everything is relative.

Lots of updates for this post (for my own reference...sorry, it will be a long story):

**I've switched doctors and hospitals. This happened just in time for me to start seeing my new doctor, Dr. Green, at my 30 week appointment. Instead of delivering at Mercy Hospital (which is where Ella was born), I will be delivering at Unity Hospital.

Why the switch:
Jason and I toured both hospitals and were very impressed with Unity. They went through a 1.2 billion $$ overhaul of their labor/delivery floor two years ago and let me tell you, it looks nice. The kicker that make me decide that's where I wanted to go was because they have started offering waterbirths as of January 2013. Yes, I am having a waterbirth!

I had contacted the doula line in the information packet given to me when I started seeing my regular ob, these doulas service both hospitals, although you have to pay out of pocket, privately, to have one of them come to Mercy. Unity Hospital actually has an "on-call doula program". Meaning that they will help pay for the doula if you choose to have one, and once you arrive at the hospital to deliver, the on-call doula will arrive and help you through-out your birthing process. After having a doula with my delivery of Ella, I knew that I wanted to go that route again. Well, long story short...I got in touch with the head doula and she informed me that Unity had begun the waterbirths. I was pretty intrigued. Considering how hard my labor was with Ella, I knew that any option offering the opportunity for things to go a little smoother was appealing.

I researched waterbirths, watched lots of videos, and read lots of books. And spent even more time in prayer about it. I wasn't sure what God's plan was for how He wants this little one to enter the world, so I asked for guidance. I have to admit, although the waterbirthing experience seemed interesting, I was a little nervous to switch from my regular doctor. I had been with her for a long time and she even delivered Ella, and now she was the one in charge of my care with the hyperemesis and gestational diabetes. She knew my situation well. She has impeccable bedside manner and I just didn't know if I was willing to give that up. I knew, however, that I needed to start looking at the end game...the delivery. At my 28 week appointment, I asked her what my odds were of getting her again for the delivery. The big city isn't anything like the small towns...you don't get your regular doctor, who just shows up for the delivery when you make your way to the hospital. Instead, there are 15 doctors on rotation and you are stuck with whatever doctor happens to be on-call when you arrive at the hospital. When the question was raised about her being in the middle of a rotation when I needed to come in, she informed me that she no longer did deliveries...just saw patients in clinic. Well, that certainly seemed to make this decision easier. Add that to the helpful staff we talked with when we toured, getting to look at the nice, comfortable rooms, and knowing the option of a waterbirth seemed like just the things to point me in the direction of Unity. To top it off, I had spoken with Dr. Green while I was there for the tour (she just happened to be on rotatation that day) and realized she was the doctor I had heard so many great things about from 3 different people. Within the next few days, I had made the switch. Turns out that Dr. Green reminds me a lot of my old doctor. Who knew?!?

I had also found out that by choosing a waterbirth, the mother gets free doula service. This includes having the doula come out to your house for a visit to talk things over, meet you, and answer any questions you might have. On top of that, once I start having consistent contrations and know it's the real thing, she will come to the house and labor with me and help me decide when it might be the right time to leave for the hopsital. She will be there throughout the entire delivery and even help with some post-partum care. What a deal! I was sold.

SO...back to the 32 week appointment inself:

The 32 week appointment went pretty good. Baby is doing well, although I am measuring small. Amazingly, if you are 32 weeks along, your bump should, in theory, measure around 32 cm. I am however measuring around 28ish. This happened not that long ago too. At my 28 week appt, I was measuring at 26, so an ultrasound was ordered to just check on baby. The ultrasound showed that she was right on target and that everything looked good. We chalked it up to human error in the measuring. Crisis averted. :)

Well, now that I was once again measuring small, Dr. Green told me that if I was still measuring the same at the 34 week appointment, another ultrasound would need to be ordered. So...we wait. Hopefully I will catch up in the next 14 days and things will be right back on track.

Oh, another catch in the otherwise fairly decent appointment. Apparently, I'm not gaining that much weight. (duh) It certainly helps when you are on a diabetic, gluten free diet...not a lot of junk to be munching on in the wee hours of the night. No giving in to pregnancy cravings, no craming extra food/carbs into my face, or stuffing myself with delectable, rich, smooth, creamy chocolate ice cream with almonds and mini marshmallows mixed in from Coldstone (YES, if I could eat that, I think I would just belly-up to a giant pail of the stuff). Apparently, I only gained 1/2 a pound in the past two weeks and she would like me to start eating some higher fat foods. I'm thinking blueberries with heavy whipping cream over the top...at least there's a silver lining somewhere.

In the meantime, here's a pic:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wordy Wednesday

Thought I would share this...just cause it cracked me up.

A conversation with Lily usually does this to me.

Lily: "How did you get the kitty?"
Me: (I've told her this story a few hundred times so I turned the question back to her:
"Lily, how did Mommy get the kitty?"
Lily: "Did he come over on the ark?"
Love the concept of time a 4 year old has. :)