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Holy cow...I can't believe I'm at 31 weeks already! I am starting to realize with each passing week that I really didn't believe when we started this that I might actually go full term. But now that I'm in the 30's, I'm beginning to face the reality it being the third trimester and me still being pregnant. I'm kind of in shock, actually. I'm still a bit terrified of not having a take-home baby, even though I know the odds of it really happening are getting higher and higher as time goes on.
I'm feeling SO much better than last week--don't get me wrong, I still have insomnia, and heartburn, and ridiculous gas and constipation from the iron, and I'm pregnant-tired. But at least my heart isn't pounding out of my chest, and I can stand up for more than 2 minutes without feeling like I need to lay down for a couple hours. And I'm not living in fear that something is going horribly wrong and I'm going to have to give birth at any minute.
Meanwhile, Jim seems to be pretty excited about Maggie coming. I am noticing he's more clingy lately, which I'd expected to start happening as I got enormous. But he's also now obsessed with buying stuff for Maggie, like clothes and toys, and he's been talking at daycare about what will happen when she's born--how I'll go to the hospital with Daddy, and Nana and Papa will watch him.
My belly is getting ENORMOUS, to the point that some of my maternity clothes don't feel like they cover my belly all the way. I'm starting to feel most comfortable when I'm wearing maternity pants/bottoms that come up over my belly, so I don't have to worry about my stretch marks hanging out underneath my shirt! I'm also starting to have foot swelling at the end of the day and wondering if I should invest in a new pair of shoes...
Just home from my 32 week check-up. Maggie is doing great, moving all over the place and growing a LOT. If you believe ultrasounds as measuring tools (which I generally don't, I think they're not really all that accurate at this point), she weighs 5 lbs and is in the 87th percentile. This would be a HUGE growth from 2 weeks ago when she was supposedly in the 57th percentile. She's still head down with her butt up and to my left. My cervix was shorter but still over 2 CM, and that's the last time they'll look at it until she comes out, unless I have signs of preterm labor. They also don't plan to do any more ultrasounds unless I have issues.
The doc (it was Harding again, the guy who delivered Jim who I really like) gave me the report from the EKG, which was basically that I was having some tachycardia (racing heart) and shortness of breath after that. I explained how much better I feel since drinking gatorade, and he said I should be their spokesperson. I said, "Except I think it tastes TERRIBLE."
He said everything looks great and he sees no signs I won't make it full term and be begging them to just get her out of there at 40 weeks. The only thing I'll be continuing to do that's "special" is having the progesterone shots, which will continue until 36 weeks. He said some women go into labor right away after going off them, which is why he wants to continue them with me, which makes total sense.
The doc also said he's so glad to see me and DH smiling, and that we totally made his day. I think being a high-risk doc could be a real downer, so it probably makes him happy to have a patient who's doing just fine. It makes me happy too!!!
So, all good news today! Feeling really good, and totally amazed that I'm 32 weeks. Honestly, I don't think I really believed when we started this journey that I'd make it this far, so I'm just totally in shock that I have. And, I've got my doc appointments scheduled now out to 38 weeks...38 weeks, I can't believe that's actually in sight!
Still plugging along. This is apparently the part of the pregnancy where I start complaining about the symptoms A LOT. I have terrible heartburn no matter what I eat or drink--thank goodness for Zantac. I don't sleep well at all, mainly because my hips hurt when I lay on either side, so I have to switch back and forth all night. Maggie now frequently sits on my bladder so I'm in the bathroom all the time--I am now calling the restroom at work "My Other Office." My feet swell up every afternoon--I had to buy bigger shoes to wear at work.
That said, ALL of this is WAY better than the NICU. One of my friends from college who was due the same time as me had her baby this week. She's doing well and all, but I am really grateful to be pregnant still, instead of sitting by an incubator like my friend.
Next week, I start my every week doctor appointments, which will last until the baby comes. I can't believe I'm less than 7 weeks now from my due date!
34 weeks! This was one of my goals for this pregnancy, so I am VERY happy to have gotten this far.
Today was my 34 week appointment, and it was by far the shortest and most uneventful appointment I've had. Which is how I like it! Seriously, I checked in for the appointment at 7:45 and was out of there by 8:05--usually that place is like a black hole and I'm there for hours, waiting to be seen and then having ultrasounds and stuff like that, so this was a refreshing change of pace!
It was the doc who delivered Jim again--this is the last time I'll be seeing him this pregnancy, I think, unless he ends being the one on duty when Maggie arrives. Yesterday I had some discharge that looked like it could be a tiny piece of my mucous plug, it came out while I was pooping. No blood in it, just a glob about 1/2 a teaspoon in size that was mostly clear to a teeny bit yellow. I called the triage nurse yesterday to just confirm it was no big deal, since I wasn't contracting or anything, and she said, "No worries, just mention it to the doc tomorrow."
Anyway, I told the doc about my little blob of goo, and he said, "Sounds like it could be a teeny bit of your mucous plug. I mean, I can check your cervix, but it wouldn't really tell us anything. You're not contracting, so, you're not likely to go into labor right away, and even if you did, we'd just let things go, since you're so far along." So I declined the cervix check, figuring the fewer hands on my hoo-hah, the better.
He asked if I was still working in a kind of concerned voice, and I said "Yes, but let me tell you what my job is like: I sit in front a computer with my feet up and chat with my coworkers. Seriously, it's not like I'm out digging ditches. And if I didn't feel up to it, my boss says I could work from home in bed with a laptop, or just not work at all." He said, "Oh, OK, that's great."
Then he said, "Anything else? Any questions for me?" And I said, "No, not really, everything's just going along like I'd expect." And he said, "I love how boringly normal this pregnancy has been for you."
Oh, and he said next week will be my last shot of progesterone. I'm excited about hopefully no longer having my insane mood swings Sunday/Monday/Tuesday of ever week, but hoping I'm not one of the smaller percentage of people who go off the shots and immediately go into labor! I'd really like to make it through the whole month...
Next appointment is next week with a new doc I haven't met yet--I get to meet 3 new docs in the next 4 weeks. Then I'll have met a majority of the docs in their practice, so hopefully it'll be a familiar face at delivery time!
A fairly boring week physically. I've been having a lot more BH contractions the last few days, although, by "a lot more" I mean 2-5 a day, not regular, and not painful. So I brought them up at my 35-week appointment today, and the NP said, "Yep, normal." I'm not having any discharge like last week, just the regular stuff, so, everything seems to be on track. No BP issues, no protein or glucose issues in my urine, baby's heart beat at 140 BPM, so, perfectly normal. So basically, nothing interesting to report.
I finally got around to making up a birth plan (which reminds me, I need to send it to my doula!), and shared that with the NP today. She said it looked great to her and she laughed at the part where I had put in, "If I have to have a c-section, I absolutely DO NOT want them to drop the screen to show me the baby coming out. GROSS." The only thing she said might come up is that they may ask to break my bag of waters to help with labor progression, and I'd rather not do that--but she said it's not required that they do that, so if I say no, it's not a big deal. We also talked about how the hospital's policy is to only have one person (in our case, DH) in the operating room if you need a c-sec, and that we've been told that IF the anesthesiologist agrees, you can have a second person in there (our doula) but don't count on it. So we put that in the plan--that we'd like our doula there for emotional support, but we understand it's totally up to the anesthesiologist. She said that sounded OK to her.
Emotionally, well, today is a rough day for me. Here's what I posted in my DDC:
So I was so happy that DH woke up excited yesterday morning about Maggie coming soon...then last night, things turned south. I asked to him to please for pete's sake could he please finally pack his hospital bag that I've been asking him to pack FOREVER. Only, instead of saying it like that, I explained, "It adds to my stress level that you don't have your bag packed. Could you please just pack it?" So he says, "Fine" and starts packing it in a huff, like, stomping around and being telling me in an angry voice about what he was packing, etc.
After putting up with what was obviously some kind of angry tantrum for about 10 minutes, finally I said, "I don't understand why you're mad. I feel like when I express my needs, you get mad at me." And he said, "I'm not mad at you." And I said, "You look angry to me. You're snapping at me, and tossing things around, and banging your arms on your legs like you do when you're angry." So then he said, "It's not you. I just feel like packing the bag means she's going to come right now, and I don't want her to come right now, because if she comes now, she might be in the NICU. I woke up so excited about her having a normal birth and coming home right away, and now I have to be scared again." And I said, "Well, she MIGHT come tonight. I don't think she will, but honestly, I could go into labor at any time now, and if I did go into labor tonight, they wouldn't try to stop it. Isn't it better to be prepared?" And then he said, "When your water broke with Jim and you went off in the ambulance, and I came home to pack a bag, that was a really rough time for me. Packing a bag now brings it all back up for me."
That would be when my brain snapped, and I began crying hysterically. Finally I calmed down enough to say to him, "Do you even have any clue what it was like for me being in that ambulance alone? Being strapped to a stretcher, not knowing what was going to happen, arriving at the hospital, ALONE? And I was alone in that ambulance because WE DIDN'T HAVE A HOSPITAL BAG PACKED YET." Then he got really quiet. Honestly, I don't think he ever considered what that ambulance ride must have been like for me...and I don't think I'd ever expressed to him just how terrifying it was. Then I told him, "I'm sorry my trauma is ruining your excitement, but I really really need you to have your hospital bag packed now." That seemed to snap him out of it, and he went to pack his bag, minus the 'tude.
Sigh. I thought being so close to full term, we'd finally be past some of this stuff. Stupid freakin' PTSD. Most of the time I just suck it up and find ways to get through the trauma from last time, but sometimes, it's just overwhelming. I knew when we decided to have another baby that pregnancy would be just a really crappy time for us emotionally, but I had hoped that by this point, we'd at least have the fear part behind us...but now I'm seeing that it's not going to be behind us until Maggie comes home. I slept really poorly last night, lots of dreams about not being ready for things (not surprisingly!). DH didn't sleep great either.
**Forgot to add: today was my last progesterone shot! Hopefully that means this coming week will be my last 3-days-a-week-of-PMS!
~Beth in Seattle
Last edited by Seattlite; September 9th, 2011 at 05:34 PM.
I can't believe I've gotten this far. I seriously just can't believe it.
Today I had an appointment with yet another new doc--this one may actually be younger than me, she JUST joined their practice last month. She graduated from med school after I graduated from law school! I now feel old...but she seemed super nice like all the other docs, and totally competent. She came in and introduced herself, and then said, "So I hear your pregnancy is pretty boring! That's how we like it around here!" I laughed and told her that's how I like it too! She did the swipe for my Group B Strep test, and offered to check my cervix if I wanted. I asked if it would tell me anything useful at this point, and she said, "I mean, if you're 6 CM already, then yeah, but I doubt you are since you're not contracting. For most people, it just seems to make them more frustrated when they come in week after week and aren't getting more dilated." So I turned it down, since I'm pretty sure I'd be one of those people who obsesses about whether I'm making progress or not.
Met with our doula again last night, gave her our birth plan, she too giggled at the part about me not wanting to see anything if there's a c-sec. Every time we get together with her, I'm reminded again about how awesome she is. She gave me a sheet on different positions for laboring when you're having an epidural, and tips on perineal massage.
At this point, I'm sleeping extremely poorly, so I'm tired a LOT. I'm also having all sorts of weird twingy pains from Maggie moving around, like when she bonks on my cervix or my pelvic bone. But, I know all of this is totally normal. I'm hoping to make it to 40 weeks still, or at least past October 7, which will be my last day of work, at 39 weeks 1 day. Things seem to be on track so far...
I finally had my first semi-regular contractions yesterday! So exciting, and so glad they waited to arrive until I hit full term. I had a whopping 4 an hour for 2 hours, then they went away. I know, not exactly the most exciting thing every, but it was enough to get DH's blood pumping, even though (a) they weren't that strong, and (b) they went away. Since I'd had a handful of contractions, my doc checked my cervix at my regularly-scheduled appointment today (BTW, I really liked this doc too, so, there's one doc I've seen so far who seemed so-so but certainly not bad, and the rest have been awesome) and surprise surprise, zero dilation. I mean, a dozen contractions certainly weren't going to get things going for real, right? DH was relieved (I think he's just not ready for Maggie to come yet) and I wasn't sad because I didn't think I'd be dilated at all anyway.
Got my Group B Strep results, and it was positive, so I can look forward to some shots during labor. I also got my flu shot today, and the doc recommended a pertussis shot after I give birth, but I told her I'm allergic to the vaccine. So she told DH to get one, and he said he would--we are an uber vaccinating family, since Jim is immune-compromised.
I have to say, I'm TIRED but emotionally I feel a lot better than I did when I was getting the P17 shots. I managed to make it through Sunday/Monday/Tuesday without any crying fits! I did have one on Wednesday, but that was after putting up with Jim being a total snot all evening. This week my parents are watching him (our daycare provider is on a much-deserved cruise to Alaska) and he's been super good for them, which he seems to think means he can just completely refuse to follow directions with his dad and I. Hoping next week when he gets back into the routine of daycare, things will even back out with him.
Saturday morning, I started to feel off--a little nauseous, and achy, and having chills. DH immediately chalked it up to the flu shot I got on Friday, and put me to bed, where I stayed pretty much all weekend. Monday morning I woke up still achy and with chills, and also with a fever--hadn't had one all weekend. So I called into work sick and went back to bed. From 11-2:30 I napped and when I woke up, I was contracting. At 3, DH went to get us some lunch, and while he was gone, the contractions started to HURT. So when he got back, he helped me get up to go pee, and I told him, "Call the doula." She came over about 4:30, and by then, the contractions didn't hurt, but were happening every 3 minutes and felt strong. So at 5, we called the doctor's office, and they sent me down to L&D.
So, L&D monitored me for a while, then checked my cervix, which was only a 2. (Insert let-down music here.) Of course, the doc said he would be discharging me. Then an hour went by, and then the nurse came in and said, "We think we might have seen some decels in baby's heart rate but we're not sure if we're just picking up yours. So we're sending you for an ultrasound." Down to ultrasound we go, where of course Maggie is doing just fine and passes a biophysical profile with flying colors. Then we go back up to L&D, and since it's been a while, the doc checks my cervix, and yep, it's still a 2. And posterior, and only 30% effaced. So, we head on back home.
Tuesday, I'm still contracting, like, a lot. Still not painful, though. So I call my doc's office and they say, "Come in for an NST" during which I have a pretty regular contraction pattern, according to the nurse. The doc then checks my cervix, and says, "Still a 2. 50% effaced. Still posterior. You're not in labor." Home again.
By this time, I'm feeling kind of let down. I'd gotten used to the idea of baby potentially coming out as I contracted and contracted, and now I see it's going to be a long slog. DH is feeling the same. The doula comes over for a pep talk, and I go to bed and have a nice long cry.
Wednesday dawns and I am still contracting, but not as regularly. I get up to go pee at 4AM, and low and behold, there's my mucous plug! Hooray! I spoke to my college BFF on the phone and she gave me a pep talk too, and then I felt better. I put on street clothes instead of lounge wear for the first time since Friday, and I take DH and Jim out for breakfast before we drop Jim at daycare. Then DH and I went to pick up the new rocker-recliner we ordered (which is AWESOME OMG I LOVE IT) and I go for a pedicure. Then I try all the stuff my doula has suggested for moving labor along, including walking sideways up and down our stairs, doing side lunges, turning upside down and then laying on my side, and lots of walking, and even DTD (whcih DH and I haven't done in a while, I am totally not in the mood most of the time).
Thursday at 3AM, I wake up to pee, and I can't get back to sleep. That's when I had a PTSD attack. See, last time around, my body didn't do what I wanted it to do--it spat out a baby at 27 weeks. So, this time around, it's also not doing what I want it to do: move labor along more quickly. Also by this time, I haven't been to work all week, between the fever and the contractions, so I'm getting texts and e-mails from coworkers all the time wondering about whether baby has come out yet. So I feel all this pressure to do something that I really have no control over. So, at 3:30 in the morning I'm crying hysterically, feeling the feelings I did when I was in the antepartum ward with Jim. God I hate PTSD. I really really hate it. I eventually calm down enough to go back to sleep at about 6AM, and end up spending most of the day either in bed or in the new recliner. Very irregular contractions. I also e-mailed my boss and said, "This is it, I just can't come to work anymore, start my FMLA leave now." Luckily she is totally understanding and says, "Just do what you need to do, I want you to be OK."
So, today is Friday and I'm feeling a little better. I had my regularly-scheduled check-up today, and I'm now 3 CM, still 50% effaced, anterior cervix though still high up, and at -2 station. My belly is also measuring big, like, 40 weeks instead of 38. I told the doc we tend to make big babies in our family, so I'm not really that concerned about it. So, for now, I'm just waiting for my water to break, or for the contractions to become painful. I have a feeling we have a ways to go.
I'm feeling a little better today, tired, but definitely better than yesterday. Now that I'm not constantly contracting, I don't feel so stressed out, and I've also been avoiding some of the phone calls and e-mails from well-meaning people who are really just making things worse by constantly asking "is she here yet" over and over again. Just, doing what I can to cut out the stressors in my life so hopefully I don't have another PTSD moment.
I loved reading all of this. Is there a thread that gives us the background information about what all happened with Jim? I realize I'm missing such a huge part of this amazing story. I can't wait for little Maggie to be born and I'm so enthralled that you made it full term like you had hoped. I hope everything finishes as amazing as it's progressed and you get a really uneventful delivery.
You know, I never did a thread with his whole story...but let me see if I can find the thread I did when was born with his birth story. The short version is, I was having a perfectly uneventful pregnancy when suddenly my water broke at 26 weeks 6 days. I was in the hospital on bed rest for 3 days and then out he came, at 2 lbs. 14 oz. He spent 9 weeks in the NICU learning to breathe and eat, and then he came home and has been pretty much a normal kid ever since. Oh, except for the other special thing about him, which is that his organs are backwards. It's called situs inversus, and with him it's just his abdominal organs that are a mirror image of where they are for most people. Because of his situs inversus, he also has no spleen, he just never grew one. The asplenia minimally affects his life in that it compromises his immune system with respect to certain bacterial infections, but otherwise it's just more interesting cocktail party conversation for him. . For his dad and me, it was a tough road getting past the trauma of his birth and the NICU to be able to face having another child, but here we are now!
Still pregnant! Went for my appt today, and decided not to have my cervix checked. I haven't been contracting regularly, so I didn't want to be disappointed if I hadn't progressed. It was the nice young doc again today and she was super nice as usual, now kind of hoping she is on duty when I go into labor. She said that if I am still pregnant next week, she wants them to do a NST and check my fluid level, and that if I am still pregnant the week after that, they can do an induction. I never thought I would think an induction sonded good, but seriously, I am so so sick of being pregnant. I think it's probably a good sign emotionally for me that I am able to get past the trauma and I am experiencing this pregnancy on it's own merits now. I am glad I have gotten this far, since I really didn't want to deliver on my birthday (yesterday). And I have a nasty cough that I would like to shake before having to face labor (thanks to my 4-year-old). But as soon as the cough is gone, seriously, I would like her to come OUT.
Beth, I'm so happy you've made it this far ! ( I posted awhile back when you were crossing your fingers to stay pg longer than 28 weeks.)
My second DS (and only full term baby) had the same due date as my birthday. He arrived four days before his due date. When the pediatrician visited the hospital after DS was born he said, " Ah....four days premature." LOL
I was happy DS arrived a few days early so I could have a big slice of birthday cake. I'd been on a restricted diet because I had high sugar levels during the last weeks of pregnancy.
It was such a wonder experiencing a normal birth. Just wait until you watch your daughter take her first breaths on her own. It's amazing ....
Went to my doc today and there is no sign she is coming out soon. NST went fine, although she was asleep at the beginning and they had to use a noise vibrating thing to wake her up. Then she went nuts, as if to say, "What the hell was THAT?!?!" then went for a fluid check and it was even more than at 37 weeks. Cervix is still pretty high, and kind of sideways, and has not dilated any further, still at 3 cm. And baby is head down but facing sideways and up a little.
So, I am now scheduled for an induction on Thursday. I never in a million years thout I would get to the point where an induction was appealing, but I am TOTALLY there now. Seriously, if they had offered to do it over the weekend, I would have said yes. But the upside to Thursday is that my second favorite doc in the practice will be on duty. The plan for the induction is to start me on pitocin low dose, then break my water using a thing that will make it leak rather than gush, since there is so much fluid in there. The doc I saw today, who I really like too, said that she thinks the induction will go quickly given at my cervix is already soft.
So, if I go into labor before then, great, or of not, at least there is an end in sight! I feel really ready for this pregnancy to end and to get to meet Maggie. This week has been rougher than I expected emotionally. On Wednesday night, I actually peed myself, isn't pregnancy beautiful...anyway, then I thought, "That WAS pee and not my water breaking, right?". Of course it was pee. Again, it was like what happened with Jim, only in reverse. With him, I wanted it to be pee and not my water breaking...and this time, I wanted the opposite. And in neither case did my body do what I wanted. So of course I had a PTSD meltdown that night. The next day, I got 4 phone calls from my parents, and even though I kept telling them I was trying to have a quiet day, they tried to invite themselves over to my house. I finally had to tell them I was having PTSD symptoms and needed to be left alone...and I really don't like talking to them about the PTSD. I love my parents but they are not good at crisis support and especially my mom totally failed at it when Jim was in the NICU. So having to talk to them about it brings up that time for me and just makes things worse.
Anyway, I am better today now that the end is in sight. I have to be honest, after the chaos around Jim's birth was rough, and the idea of having a planned birth for Maggie is appealing to me. There is something about it that makes me feel calm...especially since it is a doc I like and trust who will be there.
So, next week, I will try to update on the day I hit 41 weeks before we head off to the hospital, or possibly while I am waiting for the pitocin to kick in!
How exciting, Beth!! I come check in every day, thinking "Is this going to be the day?" I'll be looking forward to Thursday with you, and can't wait to hear about Miss Maggie's entrance to the world! Good luck, and ELVs to you!!!