Friday, August 29, 2008

OB Appointment, Final NST and Belly Pics

Today brought my 26-week OB appointment and the final NST test in the trauma protocol. All went well at both appointments. The OB was first where I had the standard pee in a cup, check my weight, blood pressure, wait, wait, comes my OB "Any problems?" Other than the fall and a few contractions, no. She measured my fundal height today and I'm right on target for 26 weeks. Baby's heart rate was normal and I'm up a grand total of 9lbs this pregnancy.

We discussed what needs to happen between now and my appointment in 2 weeks. I'll go sometime next week (at my convenience) for the 1-hour Gestational Diabetes test. Due to the PCOS, I am at greater risk for GD but since I have remained on Metformin throughout the pregnancy and gained very little weight, we're hoping the levels will be normal. I really don't want to have to deal with insulin shots, too. I'll also have blood work done to check for anemia and the standard CBC counts. Since we know I'm Rh-, I'll also have another antibodies check and then be given a Rhogham shot at my next appointment on September 12th.

The final NST was pretty uneventful. I was given a very quick sonogram to check the amniotic fluid levels around the baby. Fluid levels were normal. Baby Girl looks great from the quick scan that we got. She's still head down with her bottom between my upper left and middle and her legs are on my right. I've been fully aware of the location of her legs as she likes to kick often! I did have one brief contraction while attached to the monitor today. A perinatologist was on duty so she checked everything before they released me since it was my last visit. According to her everything was well in the normal range so we're good to go! I am done with the NSTs, for now at least. As long as no other complications occur or nothing comes up at future appointments, I shouldn't need to return for an NST unless my OB would like to do one right before delivery time.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

End of August Randomness Wrap-up

It seems my posts have just been weekly progress, belly pics, and the latest worries from the fall. Because of this I missed out on a few happenings in August.

First, Y and I celebrated our 4th anniversary. Sadly, with being gone on vacation, delayed a few days on the return trip, and then dealing with the aftermath of my fall we both kind of forgot. Before leaving on vacation I did remember to pick up a card but we hadn't discussed gifts or what, if anything, we were going to do this year. The 14th rolled around very quickly and neither of us were prepared (unless you count my card for Y). The only person who did remember was my Mom. She sent us a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. (Thanks, Mom!) Only later did I find out that we received the flowers because she too forgot until the day of. While we have a ton of things to celebrate this year, it was disappointing to see that such an important date in our lives was given last thought. We're definitely going to work on keeping those important dates important in the future! It's not about the gifts or the cards, it's taking the time to give the day some thought...none of which happened this year.

August 19th brought another tough day. The 19th was my Dad's birthday. This December will be 5 years since he passed. Each year I think the monumental "Dad" days will get easier. They don't. While it's likely a blessing he's not on this earth while we've dealt with some scares during this pregnancy I know he would have been our number 1 supporter. However, he also would have been worried sick. He would have called daily wanting updates, begging me to move back "home" so he can take care of us. While this is all endearing to a certain extent, it would have been more stress on me. I miss him dearly. While I know he's looking down on us and likely protecting us, I'm so sad our daughter will never know what a wonderful Grandpa she would have had in him. He loved and adored his kids and one could ever fault him for that.

August has also brought changes for Y. When we moved from NY almost three years ago, Y was supposed to be transferred to the local branch of his company. For 2 1/2 years, he continued to work remotely for the NY office. This really wasn't an issue since he worked with teams from China, Australia, and western NY so his physical location wasn't ever an issue. There were some recent management changes within the company and someone finally looked at the employee charts and realized that Y, living in AZ, was working for NY while employee K, living in NY, was working for AZ. Can we see where this is going? Management questioned these logistics (which we had been doing for 2+ years) and decided a change needed to be made. So Y is now working for the local office on a whole new project and an entirely new department. Previously, Y wrote documentation for software products. He's now jumped to the other side and is writing for hardware products. So, not only is he preparing for fatherhood but he now has to learn the methods of a new team, project, and manager. This also includes frequent trips into the local office for team meetings and poking and prodding the hardware he documents.

While the end of August brings us that much closer to the Little Miss' arrival and even less time to complete all those tasks we need to complete, we're glad to see it go. This month has been stressful, disappointing, busy, and just all around not a fun month. We're hoping September brings a more calm month...somehow I don't see that happening since September brings my Mom's arrival for a month, birthing classes, and us getting sole responsibility for Y's 96yo grandmother while his parents are away on a 5 week vacation.

September also brings us to our 10-year anniversary. Yes, folks, Y and I have been together for 10 years, married for 4 of those now. It's completely crazy to think we've been together for an entire decade of our lives and this decade is bringing one of the biggest changes life can bring! We can't wait to see what else this next decade brings!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

26 Weeks!

98 Days to Go! Oh my!

The network of nerves in the Little Miss' ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. She may now be able to hear both my and Y's voice as we chat with each other. She's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of her lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when she's born and takes that first gulp of air. And she's continuing to put on baby fat. The Little Miss now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches from head to heel. About the size of an English hothouse cucumber. Seriously. Who picks out these comparisons????

The Little Miss is also beginning to open her eyelids this week and her lungs are beginning to secrete surfactant, a fatty substance that covers the inner lining of the air sacs and allows the lungs to expand normally so breathing can occur. Although it will be approximately 10 more weeks before the lungs are fully operational, the production of surfactant is an essential step in making her viable outside the womb.

In other developments, the NST tests have continued. I did discover that I haven't been getting the full smattering of tests because "official" NSTs can't be given until I'm 26 weeks. Otherwise known as bureaucratic red won't pay for an "official" NST until I'm a full 26 weeks. So while I've been receiving fetal monitoring (checking her heart rate, movement and contractions) I haven't been receiving a sonogram. The sonogram is used to check the amount of amniotic fluid around the Little Miss. Too much or too little could indicate a problem. Friday I will be recieving the sonogram. If all turns out to be okay, Friday should be the last of the NSTs and my frequent trips to the hospital. I've continued to have a few contractions but they have definitely slowed from last week. Last Tuesday was the last time I had numerous contractions not only during the day but within an hour. I've never had enough (in one hour's time) to be of concern but definitely more than I should have been having.

Belly pics to come later in the week along with some possible nursery updates. Nursery progress is at a stand-still until we decide on a paint color and my Mom arrives to make the bedding. Look for many updates toward the end of September and early October.

Friday, August 22, 2008

25 Week Belly Pics!

(25 Weeks and 2 days, technically)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

25 Weeks!

105 Days to Go!!

Has anyone else noticed the number of days to go is getting awfully close to two-digit numbers??!!

The Little Miss has grown to about 13 1/2 inches long from head to heel and is now about a pound and a half. Approximately the size of a rutabaga.

Baby Girl is exchanging her long, lean look for a little baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair - and if we could see it, we'd now be able to discern its color and texture. Although it's likely to change after birth. The Little Miss' lung sacs are also beginning to function this week.

In other developments with the NSTs, contractions have continued. Tuesday's NST revealed a fairly strong contraction and I continued having more at home. My OB and the staff Drs in the Triage department say I shouldn't worry until I begin having 6 contractions in an hour. Easy for them to say...especially when I know the contractions shouldn't even be occurring at this stage! Although there must have been something in the air yesterday as the hospital's labor and delivery rooms were completely full and babies were being born left and right.

I have 3 more NSTs to go. I'm really hoping the next week and a half flies by. I'm anxious to speak with my OB at my next appointment and hopefully get some of my fears relieved. Continue to keep us in your thoughts over the next few weeks. We need the Little Miss to stay put for another 15 weeks!

Belly pics to come later.....

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good:

We're okay. For Now.

Saturday and Sunday's NST tests revealed no contractions, a consistent heart rate for the Little Miss and I was well hydrated. While this is all good news I feel as though I'm constantly on edge just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Is that twinge normal? Am I supposed to be having that pain? When was the last time I felt her move? Have I drank enough fluids today?

Sure I was completely sick with worry after the fall. I didn't care if I had a broken bone or how much pain I may or may not have been in, all I cared about was whether Baby Girl was okay. When she checked out okay in the ER, I felt a relief. I could breathe again. Now that I'm going through these NSTs and have found out that tightness I was feeling were indeed contractions, I'm back to nerves frayed and worried sick.

The Bad:

While I didn't have any contractions when attached to the monitors Saturday and Sunday, I felt more Sunday night and this morning. They're not at a rate that would be of concern yet...just one or two every few hours. They're not occurring all the time, just once in a while. If it were every hour I would be back at the hospital. But this concerns me because they're occurring despite my drinking a gallon plus of fluids a day.

The Ugly:

These thoughts that I can't prevent running through my head. I know my nerves are shot. I'm on the verge of tears thanks to the stress and pregnancy hormones. I KNOW I should think positively and try to keep myself calm at all costs but there are days, much like today, where I just can't and I give in to it all. The ugly reality is, IF I were to go into pre-term labor right now and it couldn't be stopped, my daughter, the one I've been growing and nurturing for 6 months now, wouldn't survive. Sure there are some amazing advances in medicine but the truth of the matter is, it's way too early for her to come into this world and she wouldn't survive beyond a few hours. That's a reality I just can't face but yet I can't ignore the possibility either.

So please, PLEASE, keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming our way. I think I need them more for my sanity than anything.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

NST Tests and Belly Pics

After dealing with some minor freak-outs (okay, possibly major freak-outs) regarding the non-stress tests I finally had a few minutes to capture the 24 week belly. After taking the pics, I realized I've worn this same top for several belly pictures. I promise I have more clothes than that one shirt!

As I posted on Thursday, I was notified I'd have to go through multiple NSTs (non-stress tests) to complete the abdominal trauma protocol to make sure things really were okay with the Little Miss.

The hospital phoned Thursday evening to schedule the testing. Since I was less than 26 weeks, I needed to go in immediately to begin testing. The first of 7 tests began Friday morning. Since I am less than 26 weeks, the testing had to take place in Triage.

I was asked to provide a urine sample and they took my blood pressure as well as temperature. For an hour I had two monitors strapped to my belly. One monitor was basically a doppler used to monitor Baby Girl's heart rate and the second monitor was used to check for contractions. I had a clicker to press each time I felt the Little Miss move. She was VERY active Friday morning. While attached to the monitors, I had two contractions within the hour. The nurse was concerned I may have been going into pre-term labor but after checking my urine and consulting with the Dr. on call it was determined I was severly much so I was off their hydration scale. SO not good. Apparently between vacation, being stuck in airports for two days, and the mess when we returned home, I wasn't drinking enough. Needless to say, that's been corrected.

I returned for round two of NSTs today. I was very well hydrated and had no contractions while attached to the monitors. I return Sunday for round three then have a short break before returning Tuesday and Friday for tests 4 and 5. I'll have my last two NSTs the 26th and 29th. I have my 26-week OB appointment on the 29th so the hospital was kind enough to schedule my last NST right after my appointment.

As long as I continue being complication-free (no cramping or bleeding) and don't have any more contractions, all should be okay. If I continue contracting, they'll need to do a cervix check to be sure I'm not dialating and trying to go into pre-term labor. All a very scary reality, especially with the Little Miss so small. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers until we're given the all-clear at the end of testing.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


That pretty well sums up my current state of mind.

I called my OB's office to notify her of the fall that occurred while we were on vacation. When leaving the message I was just anticipating a call back giving me instructions for what to be on the lookout for should any complications occur. Well, I was wrong.

I have to go through a several week abdominal trauma protocol at the hospital. This will include three consecutive days of NSTs (non-stress tests) to monitor the Little Miss' heart rate, any contractions, and her movements for several hours each day. If those results come back within the normal range, I'll return twice a week for two weeks for more NSTs until I'm given the all-clear that things really are okay.

I had assumed since I was feeling well, the Little Miss checked out okay at the ER out of state, she's been moving like crazy, and I'd had no cramping or bleeding that things were fine. Now I get this information and am scared witless.

While I'm sure this is all precautionary I can't help but be terrified. The thoughts and potential outcomes are too overwhelming to think about because, really, there's no one to blame but myself for the fall.

I'm now just waiting to hear from the hospital to find out when the testing will be scheduled. In the meantime we can use all the prayers, postive thoughts and good energy you can send this way. Just pray that all is okay and the Little Miss is indeed as strong and resilient as she's proven to be so far.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

24 Weeks! 112 Days to go!

Umm, that number is getting awfully close to two-digit numbers! Eek!

Little Miss has gained about 4 ounces since last week and is now over a pound. Since she's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn) she has a pretty lean figure at this point, but her body is filling out proportionally and she'll soon start to plump up.

Baby Girl's brain is also growing quickly now and her taste buds are continuing to develop. Her lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help her air sacs inflate once she hits the outside world. Her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

As for me, my uterus is now about 2 inches above my belly button and about the size of a soccer ball. No wonder I can't bend over anymore! Pretty much everything you see in the belly pictures is all baby since I've only gained a total of two pounds this pregnancy. That number should be increasing in the next several weeks as the Little Miss continues to grow.

24 Week belly pictures haven't been taken yet. We were delayed a few days coming home due to weather in the northeast. When we did make it home, we were without luggage. 95% of my maternity wear was in said luggage so I've been wandering around in crummy clothes until we do get the luggage. I'll post updated pictures as soon as they're taken!

23 Weeks (a week late!)

We were off to the east coast visiting family and friends so the 23 week post was neglected.
Here's what was happening to the Little Miss during week 23:

The Little Miss is now more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound. She's about the size of a large mango.

Baby Girl's sense of movement is well developed now and she can feel me dance or sway. We may now be able to see her squirm underneath my clothes (yep!). Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds her keen ears are picking up are preparing her for entry into the world. Loud noises that become familiar now - such as the dogs barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner - probably won't faze her when she hears them outside of the womb.

The Little Miss is a very active little girl in the womb, some days more than others. She finally cooperated long enough for Y to feel her movements and is becoming quite adept at kicking me in the bladder. Thanks, little one!

In other news, I had a tumble while we were away. The weather in the northeast had been very odd during our visit with torrential downpours almost daily. The Friday before we were supposed to come home, we were stuck in one of those downpours without jackets or umbrellas. The friends we were staying with weren't home at the time so we had to make a dash for the back of their house where we could get some shelter. In the process of making a run for it, gravity won and I fell right on their wet driveway. Yep, landed right on my stomach. I somehow managed to realize I needed to avoid impact with my belly as I was going down and must have turned a bit because I landed mostly on the right side of my body. I didn't care about the fact that I was soaked, scraped, bleeding and bruised I just wanted to be sure the baby was okay. Our friends took me to the local ER where they checked me out first then sent someone from the maternity floor down to check on the baby. Of course, up to this point I hadn't felt her move so I was really getting worried, as they were taking my vitals she gave me a strong kick. Her heart rate was strong at 140bpm and since I had no cramping or bleeding at the time all was deemed okay and I was sent on my way. I need to follow up with my OB but she seems to be doing great and has been moving a ton since then.

Here are the obligatory 23 week belly pics taken the day after the fall at 23 weeks, 3 days.