Thursday, June 28, 2012

OB Appt. (30w5d) and a Mini Pity Party

Today was my 30 week checkup.

Everything seems to be progressing much to the OB's happiness. My BP was 99/74. Milica's heart-rate was in the 140's. I am measuring at 30 weeks.

I've not put on any weight over the last 3 weeks, but the OB did not seem concerned over it. I expected a couple more weeks of gain, but maybe my body has packed on enough. I read that it's common to lose weight towards the end of the 3rd trimester. The only concern I have is that PIH or pre-e can cause IUGR. I hope that isn't why I've not put on weight. But, I'm probably just being a worry wart.

I am doing well enough that I won't be seeing the OB again until mid-July where I will then be 33 weeks. We should be setting up weekly NSTs at that appointment.

Now, a small pity party from the very pregnant, very uncomfortable, Kathryn.

It's been no secret that pregnancy is not easy for my body. My body seems to rebel more and more with each passing day. I mean just look at the bleeding I sustained for weeks, the passing out, or the fact that this pregnancy has enlarged a ventricle in my heart. My body is not happy.

I've done my best to deal, remain as even keeled a pregnant woman can, and just "truck" along. But I must admit, I'm nearing the end of my very frayed rope.

This baby girl is more loved than any baby girl in the world, I can assure you of that. She was more planned for, tried for, hoped for, and wanted than any other pregnancy has ever been (with the exception of Joseph). With that said, I'm exhausted. I mean it. And I mean I'm exhausted by every definition and stretch of the word.

I know I'm reaching a point where most pregnant women are beginning to feel "done" and ready to get the show on the road. I understand. My feelings are compounded by this stupid BP medicine. I keep telling myself that there's only X amount of days until full-term, but then something crossed my mind today. If my BP keeps as stable as it was today the OB might let me get to my EDD before considering inducement. This is something I've hoped for and wished for, but thought would be totally out of the question. Now I feel guilty for wanting her to come sooner (at term) rather than later (at EDD).

The OB has me on an extended release pill for the BP. This means that I can't just cut a pill in half and play around until I find a dosage that works best for me. The dosage seems to come in 30mg increments. The 30mg was not enough for my body. My BP was still through the roof with that nice low dosage. So we doubled it to the next available dosage which is 60mg.

I noticed issues with the double dosage right away. My mood changed in many ways. I experience mood-swings that are not pregnancy related. The mood swings I have would make a lunatic look sane. On top of the mood changes I'm in a drug-induced exhaustion. The medicine is doing its job, lowering my BP. I feel like it's lowering it too much. Today's reading at the OB was 99/74. It's not been uncommon for the last week or so to see numbers on my machine of 90/50, 100/60, etc. My body is having a really difficult time dealing with the forced lowered blood pressure.

But as I'm reassured, it's better to be on the low side than the high side. I know that the really low numbers are what's making me feeling extra crap-tacular. When I start to feel really moody or really terrible I take my BP and it's really low.

I just wish we could find a happy medium. One that would allow my BP to be a little higher and still allow it to be in a safe range for Milica. No matter how much I complain my number one concern is now and will always be her thoughout this pregnancy.

I just feel like having a pity party. I think it's only fair given what's been going on.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Milica's growth info for this week:

Weighing in at three-plus pounds and measuring 18 inches long, your baby is quickly approaching her birth length — though she's got to pack on another three to five pounds before D-day. Also developing at an impressive clip: your baby's brain connections (she's got to make trillions of them!). She's now processing information, tracking light, and perceiving signals from all five senses. She's also putting in longer stretches of sleep, which is why you're probably noticing more defined patterns of wakefulness (and movement) and rest (when she’s pretty still).

First of all, I've passed a milestone. At this point in my pregnancy with Joseph I was already on bedrest. I am so thankful that I'm doing well enough that that is not a necessity. I hope we can keep it that way.

That being said. I'm tired. Absolutely drained and exhausted would be a proper description. I don't know how much is third trimester related, how much is hypertension related, or how much is BP med related. All I know is I have no stamina for anything anymore. Doing something simple like getting dressed or taking a shower zaps any energy I may have.

Eating is also getting to be a little frustrating. My stomach has lost it's capacity due to my expanding uterus and I can't eat as much as I'd like to be eating at meals. This means I'm having to eat much more frequently. I never got this issue with Joseph. I would always read about women talking about how they couldn't fit anything in their belly, but I never experienced it with him.

I'm having Braxton Hicks contractions on a daily basis now. I occasionally have what I would consider a "real" contraction thrown in there too.

We're planning a family vacation to the western part of the state from my 35th to 36th week. I'm a little nervous about how well I'll be feeling. I think I might be spending a lot of time in the hotel room.

I'm so excited to finally be in the 30 week range! According to my pregnancy tracker I am also now in the 8th month of this pregnancy.

Here are the pictures. They were taken today at 30w1d.

Friday, June 22, 2012

OB Appt! (from yesterday at 29w5d)

Yesterday was my OB appt. My BP was 110/64. I don't know how accurate it was though. I had just come from the cardiologist and my BP was much higher there. There's been an issue with having my BP taking manually since upping the BP meds. Apparently the Procardia (BP med) makes my BP very faint to hear when checking it. Therefore, I do not neccessarily trust this perfect BP reading.

Nevertheless, the OB was happy. I told her I wouldn't be able to stay on the Procardia if I need the dosage upped again. If that becomes necessary I will have to switch back to the one I was previously on. The higher dosage of the Procardia has given me mood changes. Yes, I know I'm nearly 8 months pregnant and mood changes are part of the package, but this is different. I'll be so glad to be off this stuff in hopefully two months or so from now.

Milica is doing well. Her heart-rate was in the 140's and I measured at exactly 30 weeks.

The OB would like to see me again in another week. I'm not sure if it's to check that my BP is still stable or because she's concerned about the passing out. I have decided not to take the seizure medication the neurologist wants me on, because I really feel that my passing out is eitther BP or pregnancy related. The syncope is only happening when I'm bending down. No one has seen me having a seizure and we have no diagnostic evidence that shows seizure activity. I will be having some testing next weekend and in July for my brain, and I expect that to all come back normal.

My placenta has also moved and that means that my placenta will not prevent me from delivering vaginally. I hope nothing else presents itself that would make a vaginal delivery impossible.

We will also be starting weekly NSTs in 2 weeks.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Milica's growth info for this week:

Your baby now weighs about 3 lbs (1400g), measures about 10.8 (27cm) inches from crown to rump and measures about 17 inches (38cm) from head to toe. Your baby is probably aware of your Braxton Hicks contractions, which you experience regularly, even when you do not notice them. By this time, your baby is very active and you feel its movements frequently. Your baby is still practicing breathing movements which have now become rhythmic.Sometimes your baby gets the hiccups when she accidentally swallows amniotic fluid the wrong way. She is getting fatter and plumper. On an ultrasound, you can see your baby's activities quite easily. Your baby has periods of rest and periods of activity now. Your baby is probably most active when you are trying to rest.

I've been on the newly increased dosage of BP meds for nearly a week now. They make me feel off. I'm depressed and have a lot of nervousness with them. I'm hoping that it will level out and I'll start to feel like normal. Otherwise I'll have to ask to be switched back to the old BP med.

I've been having a lot of contractions this week. Whether you want to call them Braxton Hicks or real ones, I don't care. Some of them have been extremely painful.

Not too much going on other than the normal fatigue and exhaustion I've been experiencing. She spends a lot of time in my ribs and that makes activity and eating somewhat uncomfortable (to say the least).

I can't believe I'm already 6 weeks and 2 days away from where I was (gestastionally) induced with Joseph. I just hope this baby girl gets to "bake" until 37 weeks.

I'll update after my OB appt. tomorrow.
These photos were taken at 29w2d.

Friday, June 15, 2012

OB Appt! (Yesterday, 28w5d)

Yesterday was our 28 week check-up.

Unfortunately, my BP is not as stable as it once was. My BP meds got switched after some passing out last week. The new med I'm on isn't doing as good of a job maintaining the pressure as the old one. The OB went ahead and doubled the dose I was on. I hope this does the trick. I can apparently go one dose higher with this new med, but I'd like to not do that. My BP was 140/90 yesterday at the OB office and also 140/90 the day before at my PCP.

So, I've been on the new dose for one day and I had another specialist appointment today. My BP was 118/90. So, it looks like maybe it's starting to work, at least on the top number. But, the bottom number is the one of bigger concern.

I just hope and pray my body can get its act together for another 8 weeks so we can get to full-term.

Milica was doing well. Her heart-rate was in the 140's. I was measuring right on schedule for 28 weeks.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Belated 27 week post and 28w1d

Growth info for Milica for the 27th week:
Your baby weighs about 2.5 lbs (1.1kg) and is about 10 inches (25cm) from crown to rump and 15.75 inches (35 cm) long from head to toe. At this time, the baby has taste buds which allow it to distinguish between sweet, sour and bitter tastes. Brain tissue and brain development increases at this time as your baby grows the folds and grooves needed for a developed brain. Eyebrows and eyelashes are probably present and the hair on your baby's head is growing longer. Your baby's body is filling out, getting a bit fatter as fat deposition continues, but it is still somewhat red and wrinkled. Your baby is big enough for her presentation to be determined. That is, your caregiver can probably tell how your baby is oriented in your uterus. She may be breech (bottom down) or head first. If your baby is in a breech position now, there is no need to worry as there is still plenty of room and time for your baby to change positions. Your baby can feel pain and respond to it in the same way as a full term baby.

Milica's growth info for this week:
Your baby now weighs about 2.7 lbs (1.2kg), measures about 10.4 inches (26cm) from crown to rump, and is around 16.7 inches (37cm) long. She is plumper and rounder, and her head and body are beginning to be in proportion. Your baby now uses all of his senses. She can see, taste, recognize touch and the sound of your voice. During the last trimester, your baby will receive antibodies from you through your placenta that will provide immunity from many diseases. Your baby's adrenal glands are producing androgen-like substances. Androgens are normally male sex hormones, but in late pregnancy, when they reach the placenta they are turned into estrogen which in turn stimulates the production of prolactin in your body. Prolactin is the hormone needed for milk production. In this exchange, your baby is beginning to stimulate milk production in your breasts so that when she is born there will be food waiting for her.

I'm sorry I was not able to post an update for last week (week 27). I had two passing out episodes last week and was hospitalized for most of the week.

I'd like to say there is a clear cut answer as to why I was passing out. Firstly, the BP medicine I was on was a beta blocker and could have been blocking my body's signal to pump blood faster or harder if I was faint in any way. So, they have switched me to a medicine that should not block that signal anymore.

Secondly, they found that the left ventricle of my heart is enlarged and there is a small amount of fluid surrounding it. This was making my EKGs abnormal. Fortunately, this could be a pregnancy related change to my heart, and hopefully things will return to normal after Milica is born. The abnormality in my heart could also be the culprit for the syncopal episodes I was experiencing.

The third possibility is that I had seizures. Now, this one is the most difficult to diagnose. Joseph is the only person who witnessed any of the passing out and he is too young to really explain if I was seizing. Apparently I had two fresh bite marks on a place on my tongue that bites commonly occur during seizures. I did experienced localized seizures for a short period of time when I was very young, and it is a possibility that they are resurfacing.

I'm hoping that the cause of all this was the BP meds and with the change we've made there will be no more problems. The cardiologist would like me to be on a 24 hour heart monitor for a day to be sure that the heart issue is minute and not causing any true problems. The neurologist would like me to have an MRI of my brain to ascertain a possible seizure diagnosis.

It's not secret that pregnancy and my body do NOT agree. I'm hoping that everything will return to normal with the birth of our daughter.

Through this all, Milica continues to thrive and grow. She is a strong little girl and I am thankful for that.

I've been feeling okay this week. I'm tired, but that's been the norm. I've been having a headache for what feels like forever, but it's tolerable.

Other than that there really isn't much more going on (thankfully). I'm happy to be home from the hospital. And I'm looking forward to a much less eventful week.

There are two sets of photos below. The first set (red tank top) is from last week. They were taken at 27w6d. The second set (plaid dress) were taken today at 28w1d.