Saturday, September 24, 2011

In the home stretch...

Went for my weekly appointment on Tuesday and another great check-up.  I checked out fine and BM is doing great too.  His heartrate has been very consistent each visit...154-155bpm.  It never gets old hearing it each time either.  :) 

I officially met my 2nd goal of reaching 37 weeks!!!!  I am SO happy to have made it and really feel a sense of relief and 'safety'.  Ever since my false alarm, hospital visit and bedrest, I've been very worried and paranoid that he would try to come too soon.  Thinking of all the possibilities if that should have happened was very nerve racking.  I just prayed and prayed we'd make it to 37 (at least) and then I'd feel I could breathe again.  I truly feel much more relaxed and am getting ridiculously excited to finally meet him. 

My doctor checked my cervix again and still no change, so he scheduled me for my induction.  I will go to the hospital on Monday, October 3rd at 3pm, they will start the cervadil which is used to help ripen my cervix and then at 5am, October 4th, they will start my pitocin.  Baby Martin should make his arrival sometime later that day (just 8 days before his actual due date)!  It's kinda crazy to actually be able to plan and know what day he will be here.  If you've read my previous blogs, the reason for my induction is due to my receiving the steroid shot (betamethasone) when I was in the hospital at 30 weeks.  The shot was to help boost BM's lungs in case I went into labor too soon.  My doctor informed me at the time that this would mean I would need to be induced at 39 weeks and would not be allowed to go to my original due date (BM might be too large and advanced at that point).  I was perfectly fine with that because I knew it was important to boost BM as a precautionary and who wouldn't mind delivering a week early!  I'm SO ready! 

So my sister, Aaron, will arrive next Saturday, Oct 1st at 11am and my parents will arrive Oct 2nd and then we're off to have a baby on the 3rd!  I'm so excited they will all be here for BM's birth.  It's all worked out so far anyway!  They will be such a great support system for me in the hospital and a team effort once we get home! 

Just 8 more days til GO time!  I can't believe it!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

36 week checkup

Our appointment went great yesterday.  It was so good to see our little boy one last time before we finally meet him in person!  Since week 28, Dr. Schlafstein has estimated him to be around 7-7.5 lbs at birth, but looking like he's definitely going to exceed that (assuming I'm able to make it to 39 weeks & my induction date).  His estimated weight yesterday was already 6lbs 10oz and if he continues to gain 1/2 lb each week for the next 3 weeks, he will be close to 8lbs 2-3oz!  Much bigger than we thought!  Obviously Mommy's weight gain and the steroid booster he received in the hospital have plumped him up quite a bit :)  He is measuring 2 days ahead of schedule and in the 74th percentile.  Though I'm a little nervous about him being bigger than I had planned, I'm really happy to hear he's healthy and growing. 

He also has a FULL head of hair!  They told us this at our 28 week ultrasound, but we couldn't really see anything.  However, during this ultrasound we definitely saw all the hair on his head!  I couldn't believe how much he has!  Todd and I were joking with Natalie (u/s tech) that he might need a trim up before we even leave the hospital!  :)

Overall, he checked out great and so did I.  Hemoglobin good, blood pressure great, no swelling, gained a pound since last week (much better than the 6lbs I gained in just 2 weeks at my last appt!!!), and my cervix hasn't changed any.  I was actually really relieved to hear this because it makes me very hopeful that I'll make it another 3 weeks.  Getting my family in town before he arrives is very important to me.  My parents can get here by the end of Sept and my sister will fly in Oct 1st.  Crossing our fingers he doesn't try to come any sooner than that! 

So now we play the waiting game.  We are SO ready for him!  We finally completed his nursery last weekend, bassinet is in our room, Daddy is getting the carseat checked at the Health Dept today, and bags are packed!  I am so, so EXCITED to finally meet him and hold him in my arms! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Getting ready!

Each week we get a little more prepared for this little guy that is about to enter our world, but after this past weekend's childbirth class, we feel much more prepared for the actual labor & delivery.  I've done my share of reading to prepare myself and definitely already knew alot that was taught during the class but still learned alot as well.  What I really enjoyed and took away from it was the practicality of it all.  The L&D nurse who taught it was awesome and told many stories from her 20 years of experience and also showed some videos, though very dated were great resources.  The registration process, the meds that are available, the risks associated with each, dilation and effacement, average time between active labor and transition, breathing patterns, movement & positions to help labor move along, the role of my 'coach' aka Todd, baby positioning and the tools that can be used for extraction.  Lots to learn and lots to know come D day!

I've been considering what birth plan I'd like to have and after taking the class, I'm able to really know what I'd like to happen and what's important to us.  Having a birth plan in place is great so both the doctor and nurses know what you want and hope to happen, but I also can't help but think, "what will be will be" and some things you just can't control.  But nonetheless I will have a birth plan in place.

I plan to have a vaginal birth and really hope I'm able to do so.  Should I go into labor on my own before 39 weeks, I think my chances are great that it will happen.  However, I'm nervous about the idea of having to be induced at 39 weeks and not starting labor naturally on my own.  There is an increased chance of having a c-section when labor is induced.  Obviously, first and foremost I want a healthy baby and I want to keep myself safe as well, so whatever it takes to make sure both of us are okay, then that is what I will do.  But I really hope and plan to do whatever it takes to avoid a c-section.

Doing skin-to-skin with my baby as soon as he arrives is very important to me.  I will be able to do this right away should I deliver vaginally, however, with a c-section I'd have to wait at least 40-50minutes to be stitched up and wheeled to my room to then start skin-to-skin and nursing.  Another reason I prefer not to have a c-section. 

Ultimately, God is in control and has his own plan for the birth of my little boy and whatever that may be is what it will be.  I have complete faith and trust in that but I can't help but think... I sure hope we're on the same page! :)

I have a 35 week OB checkup next Tuesday and then the following Tuesday I'll have my 36-week ultrasound.  As with all other ultrasound appointments, I'm really looking forward to it and excited to see his chubby little cheeks again as well as find out how big he's going to be!  I'm thinking he's still on track to be between 7-7.5 lbs.  He has been vertex and sitting very low for quite some time, so hoping that hasn't changed.  He is still a busy little guy and moves around alot.  He's gotten stronger with his kicks and jabs and not so comfortable when I feel a fast kick to the ribs when lying down or a punch to the bladder that makes me feel as if I'm going to pee on myself right at that very moment with no control!  I hope to catch him moving on video one day soon, but he always seems to sit still whenever I think to go get the camera.  He obviously doesn't work on demand or take requests! :) He also frequently gets hiccups which are always funny to feel and can last for 3-5 minutes.  I'm getting so excited to see this little guy that's been living inside my belly for the past 8 months!  I'm anxious to see who he looks like and am sooo ready to just hold him in my arms!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Doctor, doctor give me some news!

I had my follow-up appointment with my doctor yesterday and the results of the 2nd fetal fibronectin test came back negative!!  My doctor did not anticipate a negative result and was actually quite certain it would remain positive, however, I remained hopeful.  I was so relieved and my paranoia and worrying dropped significantly.  I know the bedrest has been very good for me and I've noticed a difference.  I didn't feel bad before but I definitley feel better now that I'm rested and taking it easy.  I truly think I was trying to do too much because I felt I could, but my body was not able to keep up.  I've finally realized I can't do it all and keeping this baby safe and making it full term is much more important than trying to push myself to get things done at work and at home. 

My doctor did not advise me to go back to work unless I was at risk of losing my job or my house!  She assured me that if I went back to my normal activity before all of this happened that I'd be putting myself at risk to be right back in the hospital and I definitely don't want that to least not for another 7 weeks!  So luckily my job is very understanding and allowing me to work from home, so that's what I'll be doing from now until this baby boy arrives.  I am able to be up and do normal activity, but instructed to take it slow and not overdo it.  If I run errands or go to the grocery one day, then I'm to rest the next day.  If I do any chores or stuff around the house one day, then I rest the next.  And that is to be my routine from here on out.  I do plan to go into work a couple days a week for a few hours to do a few things and pick up/drop off work and to see my coworkers who I miss, but otherwise, I'm following doctor's orders and resting alot and drinking lots of fluids.

I feel very hopeful and am remaining positive that I can make it 7 more weeks (when I'll be 39 weeks and ready to be induced).  That is my goal.  My sister and BM's Auntie Aaron will be flying in that week and I really, really want her to be here for his delivery so that's more motivation for me to make it that far! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Oh what a weekend...

After going to see my doctor on Thursday and being told I'd be on bedrest for the remainder of the weekend, never did I expect I'd actually be spending it in a hospital bed. 

Thursday, while at the doctor, I was tested for fetal fibronectin, which is a protein that acts as a "glue" during pregnancy, attaching the amniotic sac to the lining of my uterus.  My doctor called me Friday morning with the results.  I had actually tested positive.  What?  Are you serious?  Okay, now I'm freaked out and feeling really nervous.  What does all of this mean?  My doctor assured me it did not mean I was actually going into labor, but that I must head to the hospital and check-in with Labor & Delivery right away so that they could hook me up to a monitor and see what all is going on.  A positive fetal fibronectin test is a clue that the "glue" has been disturbed and I'm at increased risk of preterm labor.  So I called Todd at work and told him he needed to come home and we were off to the hospital.

Very concerned and nervous, we arrived at the hospital, got checked in and I was put in a rather large private room.  They immediately hooked me up to the monitor to check for contractions and monitor the baby's heartrate.  This is where I remained for the entire afternoon, showing no signs of contractions or cramping and baby looking great.  My doctor came by around 4pm after his surgeries for the day and gave me the news he was going to admit me and have me stay the night to be monitored 24 hours.  I wasn't very thrilled with this news, but I will sacrifice whatever I have to in order to keep my baby boy safe and in this belly for several more weeks!  He also said he'd like me to get a steroid shot of betamethasone to help advance the development of BM's lungs, in case I should I have him early.  It doesn't pose any harm to him and better to get it now than not.  What this did mean, however, was that I will need to be induced at 39 weeks if I don't actually have him sooner.  I won't be able to go to my due date.  Okay by me, but I'm hoping and praying I can at least make it to 37 weeks, if not, to the 39 weeks.

Todd and I had some dinner and watched a movie together squeezed in like sardines in the hospital bed, and then he left around 10pm to go home to let the dogs out and get some sleep.  It wasn't 45 minutes later that the nurse came in and asked "are you feeling those?  you're having contractions."  What?  I am?  I looked up at the monitor, and sure enough I'd had like 4-5 contractions but only felt the last 2 (barely).  She told me to try going to the bathroom to see if that would help stop them, apparently there is some correlation with contractions and a full bladder.  That of course didn't stop them, so she had to give me a shot of terbutaline to hopefully make them stop.  They eased up some and I was able to fall asleep for about 1.5 hours until I was woken up at 1:30am by more contractions that I could actually feel.  They were very uncomfortable.  Not painful, but uncomfortable.  I had about 3-4 of these in 30 minutes.  Once they stopped (by 2am), I didn't have any others for the remainder of the night. 

The following morning, my doctor came by to check on me.  He said with the combination of me being only 30 weeks, a postive result for fetal fibronectin and having had some cramping and then contractions in the night, he was concerned and advised I stay another night to keep an eye on me.  I, of course, was hoping to go home but I was concerned myself after having contractions in the night and it actually gave me some peace of mind to remain in the hospital where I was in good hands should anything happen. 

So that's where I remained for another 24 hours and luckily, I never showed any more signs of contractions, baby still looked great and I was able to get a full night's rest.  I was so relieved!  Surely I'd be going home!  I got up that morning (Sunday) and had some breakfast, took a shower, packed my bags and anxiously waited with Todd for my doctor to make his rounds.  Here I am, patiently waiting!

He came by around 12:30pm and gave me the good news that he was discharging me!  He gave me a prescription for terbutaline in case I should feel any contractions while at home, this would make them stop, and gave me instruction to remain on bedrest until my appointment with him Tuesday morning.  He will then test me again for the fetal fibronectin and hopefully get those results back sometime Tuesday afternoon.  If I should test negative this time, I will be allowed to go back to work but to take it easy and not overdo it.  However, if I test positive again, I will remain on bedrest and possibly for the remainder of my pregnancy.  Here is some more info on the fetal fibronectin test and positive/negative results:

This has been quite a nerve-racking weekend and one I never expected would happen.  I've had such a smooth pregnancy up until this point and definitely didn't see this coming.  It certainly makes me very concerned for what may or could happen in the next 8 weeks.  And it couldn't have happended at a better time...had friends in town this weekend to stay with us, supposed to host Bunco at my house this Thursday, and baby shower Saturday.  We did however manage to still do our tour of Labor & Delivery at the hospital, that we were signed up for on Sunday.  It just turned out to be our own personal tour rather than with the group!  :o)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Laid up at 30 weeks

So I woke up this morning with menstrual-like cramps and thought, "hmmm this is strange. why am I cramping?"  I went ahead and got ready and went to work but the cramps never faded.  Sitting at work I just felt uncomfortable and thought, "maybe I should call my doctor."  I don't want to be a worry wart but I also don't want to take any chances.  After asking my friend Kindall what she thought I should do, she confirmed that I should definitely call the doctor.  I called and they told me to come in right then so they could check me.  So, at 9:30am I headed to the doctor.  They took me straight back and did my regular labwork (all checked out fine) and then hooked me up to the fetal monitor.  This monitored the baby's heartrate, any signs of contractions and baby movements.  The doctor also came in and checked my cervix, which is completely closed and felt perfect. 

After lying there for over 30 minutes, the monitor showed no sign of contractions and heartrate was great.  However, I was still cramping.  So the doctor decided to put me on bedrest for the remainder of the weekend to be sure I get plenty of rest and I was given strict instruction to drink plenty of water and only get up to shower and eat.  It's possible that I'm just having Braxton Hicks but could also just be my body preparing for labor and the 'real deal' contractions to come :)  She assured me that everything looks okay but she wants to be cautious.  The cramping should go away on its own by tonight or tomorrow, so hopefully that will hold true.

So I'm laid up on the couch with 2 of my baby books, watching a Baby Story, my water/gatorade jug next to me and also my baby scrapbook I started last weekend to work on a little later.  I'm not very thrilled to be told I can't do anything for 3.5 days, especially when I save all my errands for the weekend and had dinner plans with friends tomorrow night, but I'll do whatever the doctor says to keep this little guy baking in the oven for another 10 weeks!  :o)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

What a shower!

It definitely rained on us on Thur, July 21st for our baby shower hosted by my office, Karp, Ronning & Tindol.  It was quite a shower and we felt very fortunate for all the wonderful gifts we received, the generousity expressed and for all my coworkers & bosses that came to celebrate such an exciting time in our lives with us. 

We nibbled on some snacks (fruit & cheese tray, chex mix, petit fours) and had some tasty punch that Todd said looked like "kryptonite" (lime sherbet & ginger ale) and then opened our gifts...(thanks to Krista for taking the photos!)