Welcome to my pregnancy blog

Posted in Pregnant on May 31, 2012 by Me

These are my uncensored thoughts on being 42 and pregnant. It’s not always going to be happy feel-good, so please understand that this is my outlet. I put the dark things here to get them out, and the happy things are here so that I can keep perspective. You are welcome to come along, but if you feel the need to judge me for my negative thoughts, I reserve the right to moderate your comments, and eventually remove you.

Honesty is important to me here, so that other women can come and see that they are not alone in not being happy all of the time. There is a lot of pressure from society to be happy about being pregnant, and well, it ain’t always a fun time.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 25, 2012 by Me

3 days old

Our 12/12/12 Miracle at only 3 days old.

 

The birth story summary

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2012 by Me

(Placed here for safe keeping until I get around to blogging the longer version)

  • Blood pressure creeping upwards through weeks 36 and 37
  • 12/7–  24-hour urine collection to check fro pre-eclampsia
  • 12/10– OB calls Monday night while we’re shopping in WalMart– I have pre-eclampsia and we are inducing at 4:00 the next morning
  • 12/11– 7:00 AM Pitocin is started. Instructions are given to increase the dosage every hour.
  • 10:30 AM water is broken so that an internal monitor can be placed on the baby. I am dilated to 2.
  • Sometime later (Noonish?) the monitor is dislodged and has to be reinserted. Nurse nicks the placenta with reinsertion.
  • 4pm-ish Epidural is given so that I can be put on a catheter, rather than getting out of bed to potty and potentially causing the monitor to dislodge again.
  • A little later, my left side is VERY numb. Not so much on the right. Dr. says it’s just the way that it went in and that there’s not a lot that can be done. Pushing the pain control button, just makes the left side more numb.
  • 7:30 PM Night nurse comes in and realizes that pitocin has only been increased twice for the entire day shift. The schedule is now to increase it every 30 minutes. I am dilated to 3.
  • Pitocin briefly increases contractions with each raise, but then my body adjusts and contractions level off again.
  • I am given until 10:00pm to begin dilating again, or else I’ll have to have a c-section.
  • At 9:30 I’ve dilated to 5.
  • Temp check at around 10:30 shows a fever of 100.3.
  • By midnight I’ve dilated to 8.
  • Somewhere in here, I start to shiver uncontrolably. For 3 hours. Nurse says it’s a reaction to the pain. Shivering goes away with a blanket.
  • By 2:00AM, I’m a 9.5.
  • 2:30 AM, nurse calls in another nurse to manually push back my cervix from the baby’s head. Baby’s heartbeat starts to be a little irregular.
  • 3:00 AM and I’m ready to push. Another temp check shows my fever has increased. I can’t push until I have two different antibiotics administered.
  • 4:00 AM I can finally start pushing. Temp has continued to rise, and I am burning up. I feel like I can’t breathe and I’m so so so very hot. This will be a theme for the next 3.5 hours.
  • 4:30AM-6:30AM Pushing, pushing, pushing. 3-4 pushes with every contraction. Contractions are about 2 minutes apart. I’m so exhausted that I actually fall asleep and start snoring in between the contractions. Somewhere in here my epidural is cut off so that I can push more effectively.
  • 6:30AM Nurse makes it clear that we need to start making good progress NOW. Baby is showing more distress, and there is concern over my temperature and the fact that my water has been ruptured for so long (infection). More pushing, and baby’s head makes a couple of brief appearances.
  • 7:00AM The day nurse comes in and informs the night nurse that I need to be prepped for my “section”. I am very confused as to why there is talk of a c-section when the baby is already almost delivered. Too tired to voice the concerns. The two nurses argue about whether I need or will be getting a c-section. Day nurse leaves, night nurse pointedly says to Stan, “I will be staying with you until this baby is delivered. I don’t care how long it takes”. Nurse also makes it clear that the baby needs to be crowning before the doctor gets into the delivery room, so we push.
  • 7:10AM Baby is crowning, doctor arrives, sees that the baby is almost here, and calls in her enterage for the delivery. Anisthesiologist turns epidural back on.
  • More pushing. The doctor and I both think of vacuum extraction at the same time– I’m just too tired and the baby needs to come Out Now.
  • 7:25 (or so) vaccuum is hooked to baby, and after two more sets of contractions…
  • 7:31 Seth is born!
  • Baby is grunting, not crying, so he is quickly cleaned up and taken to the nursery for further assessment (to see if he needs oxygen, and whatnot). One fabulous nurse brings him to me to see him before he is whisked away.
  • Placenta doesn’t deliver properly, so doctor has to go in and manual remove it, and then do a partial D&C. This is NOT pleasant. Doctor is visibly concerned.
  • Luckily I don’t hemmorhage. Final tally is one level 2 cut and a long tear all the way up the birth canal. Epidural has kicked in, which makes stitching nearly painless.
  • While I am recovering, Stan comes in to tell me that Seth has low blood sugar and that they are having to give him formula, since I am in no condition to try and feed him. (This would make the birth plan a total loss, LOL, as literally nothing went as we would have preferred).

24 hours of labor, 3.5 hours of hard pushing, internal monitoring, vacuum extraction, placenta won’t deliver, partial D&C… I’m very thankful that I managed to dodge the hemorrhaging complication.

35w 5d

Posted in Incompetent Cervix, Pregnancy Symptoms, Pregnant with tags , , , , on November 29, 2012 by Me

Wow, did the Spawn eat my brain or what!? I had no idea that it had been so long since I updated! My Facebook gets the day-to-day stuff, and apparently I just totally forgot about putting a digest version over here 🙂

Everything is going great! Seth is huge– I expect that he’ll hit the 6 lb. mark at my next measurement appointment on Wed. I’m doing ok. The SPD has gotten progressively worse, but that’s to be expected when you have an ever-growing bowling ball lodged in your pelvis!

Wed 12/5 is going to be a big day– It’s finally time to Ditch the Stitch! Once the stitch is removed, birth is imminent. My OB thinks it will be within five days, and my high-risk doctor says it will be within 10-12 days. Either way, it’s going to be REALLY soon!  Wed will also be my next ultrasound to take measurements of the baby, as well as monitoring the baby.

At my last OB appointment, we learned that Seth’s head is resting directly on the cerclage, and that my cervix has already thinned. His head is literally about 3-4″ from my vaginal opening. The high-risk doctor expects me to dilate straight to 3cm when she takes the stitch out. Put these two things together, and you have the expectation of a VERY short labor. Basically, First Stage labor is the process of the baby moving down, and the cervix thinning out and dilating to 3cm, which will have all already happened before I even have my first contraction. My OB has suggested that I prepare for natural childbirth, since chances are we won’t have time for an epidural. When I started this whole process, I was expecting a mandatory c-section because of my size and my age, and now I’m looking at a natural, vaginal birth. Talk about going in reverse order, LOL!

The only problems so far in this last trimester have been with my blood pressure and HUGE amounts of swelling–I’ve started spiking higher BP readings, but not consistently, and all of my lab work has been perfect, so no one is really worried, but we are all being cautious. As for the swelling… wow! Starting around week 34, my feet started to stay swollen, even after being up for hours. And it’s not just my feet– everything below the waist is swollen (nothing like icing your nether regions, let me tell you!).

I’m going to stop and post this now. I will try to get the rest written up and posted in the next day or two 🙂

29w 3d– Holy Crap, I’m having a baby soon!

Posted in Pregnant with tags , , , on October 16, 2012 by Me

The timeline really hit home this week. If all continues to go well, I will have the stitches removed around the 5th of December, and there is a good chance that the Spawn will arrive within 11 days thereafter. That’s EIGHT WEEKS away (not to mention that he could still come at any time before that). I also realized that I should already have my bags packed, just in case. I’ve looked at a few lists and got so totally overwhelmed that I just had to stop looking. I’ll try it again later. I really need to make a wheely trip to WalMart for baby outfits for pictures and coming home, cheap pjs and robe for me, nipple pads, nipple cream, baby wipes… *insert anxiety here* so much to think about!

Something else that I’m finally starting to process is that I’ll most likely be having a vaginal delivery. At my age and size, it never occurred to me that that would even be an option, and now it’s being treated like a given. Being the information junky that I am, I’m now starting to panic because I don’t know the first thing about having a vaginal birth! I’ve only ever been exposed to c-sections.  I’d feel more comfortable if I could attend a class at the hospital, but being on bed rest makes that pretty well impossible– the class is 7-8 hours and includes lunch. I’ve been thinking, and may look into getting a student doula to help us out. Stan has been absolutely amazing and I know that he will continue to be, but it might be nice to have someone experienced there with us to help lower the freak-out factor. Reading books and articles online just isn’t the same…

Speaking of freaking out– OMG the house is a mess, and Seth’s room isn’t put together yet, and his clothes and bedding need to be washed, and we really want to get the room decorated, and… and… well, you get the idea. This whole bedrest thing is so frustrating at times like this. Stan only has so many hours in the day, and teaching is NOT a 40-hour/week job (more like 50-60). On top of that, he’s trying to do all of the regular housework, and now he wants/needs to do the prep work for the Arrival of the Spawn. Meanwhile, I get to sit in my recliner like a lump. Soooo not fair.

My mom wants to know when she should come out, and I guess I’m going to tell her to plan on getting here the day the stitch comes out, and plan on staying 4-6 weeks, because he might come then, or he might wait until next year. There’s really no way to tell. I really, really want my girlfriend to be in the delivery room with me (even more so than a doula), but she lives 1200 miles away, and with the delivery date being wide open, it makes it near impossible for her to be here, which sucks, since last minute airfare is positively ridiculous.

It’s officially time for me to calm the fuck down and make a plan 🙂

27w 3d– Ugh.

Posted in Pregnancy Symptoms, Pregnant with tags , , , on October 2, 2012 by Me

I’m really coming to dread having to eat at all, much less every 2-3 hours. I have so many food aversions that it’s damn-near impossible and soooo frustrating! If I wait too long, I get super nauseous when the food hits my system, because my blood sugar levels are so low. It is all somewhat less than awesome. And no, I can’t just find a few things that work and stick to them, because I eventually develop an aversion to said items and can’t eat them anymore. Meh. Definitely makes it a challenge to get 3000 calories in in a day… Some days are better than others. Today would not be one of those “better” days.

To make matters worse, I’ve pretty much burned out on most fruits and vegetables (and can only occasionally tolerate V8). Luckily I can still do smoothies (as long as they aren’t at all savory), so that takes care of one meal a day (out of 6-8…).

I really pray this isn’t all indicative that my son will be a picky eater *sigh*

26w 6d

Posted in Emotions, Incompetent Cervix, Pregnant, Pregnant Sex with tags , , , , , on September 28, 2012 by Me

Some good news– I’m not diabetic! Yay!

More good news- At the last check, my cervix is actually longer than before they put the cerclage in! This is a Very Good Thing. It makes it easier to stick to the bed rest plan when I can see that it’s actually working 🙂

Bitchy things–

1. With my constant low blood sugar, the need to eat is pretty well constant. My glucose levels drop significantly within 2-3 hours of eating (mid 60’s to low 70’s, when normal is 80+), and even faster if I don’t eat enough calories with a good carb/protein balance. I have to say I’m soooo sick of eating! While I’m not as finicky as I was earlier in the pregnancy (thank goodness!!), it’s still touch and go some days, and I have a hell of a time getting in enough food in a timely manor. I’ve actually lost 5lbs or so in the last month, which isn’t that big of a deal because Seth is gaining like a champ, but it’s also not ideal. I need to eat about 3000 calories a day, which is not an easy thing to do when you don’t really have a taste for junk food, and really are trying to eat a healthy diet. I have discovered, however, that adding cream cheese to smoothies is really yummy! So that helps.

2. Wow do I miss sex/orgasm! I actually started to orgasm in my sleep the other night and was able to shut it down in my sleep! I’m so worried about triggering pre-term labor… but damn, I can’t wait until I don’t have to walk around pregnant and frustrated anymore, lol!

3. Having to sit/lay around and watch your husband work himself until he’s sick and exhausted is heartbreaking. He has long days at school, then has to do the shopping, the cooking, and the cleaning when he gets home, all while I sit like a bump on a log. I do help out a little with my 10-minute intervals during the day, but there’s only so much you can do in ten minutes, and I can’t lift anything, bend, stretch, walk a lot, etc… so it’s hard to be particularly useful.

4. Daytime TV sucks, and I’m too lazy to download anything else, and I don’t want to watch most of the good shows without Stan, because things just aren’t as fun without him :\

5. I’m really disappointed that the last half of my pregnancy isn’t going as planned. We can’t take that cool birthing class. There’s no tour of the hospital (hell, we don’t even know which hospital we’ll be delivering at, since it depends on whether we make it to term or not…). There’s no first-time parent classes. I can’t take a breastfeeding class. There’s no romantic date nights before the baby comes. I don’t get to work on the nursery, or go out to the store to look for cool baby stuff. There’s no “babymoon“. There’s no before-the-baby-comes-wild-sex. And what hurts the most isn’t that I’m missing out on all of this, but that my husband doesn’t get to do any of it either, and this is his first baby too. I hate disappointing him (and yes, he’s disappointed, although he won’t let me take the blame for it, because he’s awesome). Ugh. Maybe I should have put this at number one, since it’s obviously the most upsetting for me– the tears have been coming since I started writing this paragraph.

Overall though, I am incredibly grateful that the pregnancy is back on track and although I get bitchy, whiny, and sad, I ultimately can handle laying around if it helps this little boy come out healthy and on-time.

24w 5d– Good News and Bad News

Posted in Incompetent Cervix, Pregnant with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2012 by Me

This past Wednesday was my latest appointment– I saw my perinatal and a pediatric cardiologist. After taking a loooong look Seth’s heart, the cardiologist has given him a clean bill of health, but would still like to take one final look after he’s born, before he comes home. The concern for the heart is because of the slightly elevated Nuchal Scan. Once the cardiologist was done, the nurse took Seth’s monthly measurements, and he is still measuring 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule, having reached a whopping 2lbs at 24 weeks! So, in summary, everything is looking awesome for The Spawn.

Unfortunately, that rapid growth is  not sitting well with my incompetent cervix. Last week, my post-surgical measurement was 2.5cm (a gain of .3 cm!), this week it was down to 1.5-1.75 cm, with less than 1 cm between my uterus and the first stitch. This means that the I am still high-risk for delivering WAY too early. Now that we’ve made it past the 24 week mark, there is a much higher rate of survival, but things are still life-and-death. Once we get past 28 weeks, things get a lot less scary. I am also starting to show a small amount of funneling, due to Seth’s position– he likes to press down on my cervix with the top of his head.

One thing that I love about the new perinatal doc is that she is never alarmist about anything. If anything, she is sometimes too neutral for my comfort, lol. So when she suggested that we do the series of two cortisone shots to help mature Seth’s lungs, I wasn’t alarmed. I know that this is a Good Thing, just in case he puts in an early appearance. However, when she was visibly uncomfortable at waiting until next week to do the shots, I realized just how concerned she is. I had the first shot at the appointment on Wednesday (ow!) and then our roommate drove me to get the second shot on Thursday (I have to book my transportation 5 days in advance, and Stan doesn’t get off work early enough to take me to any appointments). I also may be going back on the weekly 17P shots, as I seem to be having a slight allergic reaction to the suppositories (OMG so itchy!! Luckily it only lasts a few hours).

So, the good news out of all of this is that Seth is doing well, and way ahead of schedule in size, if not development. Hopefully the cortisone shots will help him along in the development department. Our next milestone is 28 weeks.

I am still on modified bed rest, and will be getting another cervical check a week from Friday. If things keep going downhill, I will need to either go on strict bed rest, which means my mom will have to come down from WA and take care of me (which could be INCREDIBLY stressful for me, but also very helpful), or I will be put on hospital bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy (less stress for me, but WAY more stress for Stan). Best case scenario, I stay on MBR, and things stabilize until I reach at least 34 weeks.

I think that’s about it! I plan on one more post about the whole bed rest experience, but I’m not sure if that will go up today or not.

Thank you all for your support and prayers– I really do appreciate them. I also hope that by keeping this blog, I can help others who are going through similar circumstances to know that they are not alone.