Tuesday, March 27, 2012

17w3d

Here is the baby's growth info for this week:

Your baby weighs about 5.25 ounces (150g) and now measures 5 to 5.6 inches (12.5 to 14cm) from crown to rump. He is practicing breathing by gulping amniotic fluid into its lungs. This helps the lung's development so they will function at birth. Your baby may also be sucking his thumb.
Meconium is present in your baby's bowels. There is hair present on your baby's scalp and sweat glands are developing. Your baby is becoming more sensitive to the outside world and is moving around, kicking and punching. As there is still plenty of space in your uterus, your baby can move around a lot, sitting cross-legged, reclining or even turning somersaults! He can probably hear by now as the ossicles (the bones that pass sound to the inner ear) have hardened and the portion of the brain that receives signals from the brain is under development. Your baby is getting used to the sound of your heartbeat and blood passing through the umbilical cord, but may be startled by loud noises. Your baby is aware of some things in the outside world, including sounds and light. If you let the sun shine on your belly, your baby may be able to perceive a warm red glow.

I'm feeling decent lately. My only real complaints are the swelling that I've been experiencing (mostly in my legs and ankles but sometimes in my hands), and the back pain the baby is causing. This week has also brought my first Braxton Hicks contractions, something that I was not looking forward to. My Braxton Hicks always seem to be pretty painful, which make me wonder if they aren't real contractions. But since they don't come regularly or even every day for that matter I'm not too concerned.

This week also brought me being able to feel little baby's foot when he/she kicked me. It was pretty special.

I have another infection down in the Nether regions. The OB and OB nurse said sometimes pregnancy is like this and I might just have to be on antibiotics during most of the pregnancy to keep everything in check. Apparently if the bacteria gets out of control it can cause pre-term labor along with a bunch of other things. It got bad enough this week to give me some severe cramping. The terrible thing about the antibiotic is my body's inability to keep them down unless I take my nausea medicine. The BP meds make me sleepy enough, pair that with the nausea meds and I might as well just stay in bed all day. That makes being a SAHM to a 3 year old extremely challenging.

We find out baby's gender in 13 days. I'm really ready to know. I have specific ideas for either gender and would like to get this show on the road. Especially since we are looking at an induction at or before term because of the PIH, I want to get prepared as soon as possible. Every day that I get closer to my due date also brings me closer to possible bed rest. So, I need to get prepared.

The pics this week are from 17w1d.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Doctor's Appointment! (16w2d)

Had a great OB appointment today!

My BP was 118/82, which is perfect! That means the BP meds are doing their job. It also means I can go a month before seeing the OB again instead of every two weeks.

The baby's heartrate was in the 150's. The nurse said due to that she thought it was a boy. Speaking of sex, we will find out the gender on April 9th. Just three weeks left to go until we know!

Joseph got to hear the baby's heartbeat today, and he also heard the baby kick while they were checking the heartrate. He was very excited to hear the baby.

I'm glad that the medicine is working. The BP meds didn't affect my BP when I was pregnant with Joseph. This gives me hope that I will be able to deliver naturally, full term, without any induction. I know I still have a while until we get to that point, but I feel more hopeful.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

16w1d

Here is the baby growth info for this week:

My how your baby has grown! She's about the size of your palm, weighs about five ounces, and is developing some body fat (join the club, baby!). Her heart is now regulated by her brain (no more random beats) to beat 140 to 150 times per minute — about twice as fast as yours! What else is up? She’s practicing the survival skills she’ll need at birth — like sucking and swallowing.

Everything is going as well as can be expected at this point. My next OB appointment is tomorrow and we will see how my BP is doing. I think it's still elevated, but I don't think it's like that all the time now. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

I am, however, beginning to really swell. That could be a normal pregnancy symptom or it could be related to the PIH. Either way, it's not out of control at this point.

My morning sickness is officially gone. I'm still battling with heartburn, but that too seems to have improved.

The baby is moving more frequently. I feel movement every day. I was even able to find the baby with my hand last night while laying down. I pushed a little bit and could feel it move away.

I feel stiff and my joint are sore, but I think that's related to the PIH. I'll be sure to blog about my appointment.

Here are the pictures. They were taken today at 16w1d.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

15w1d

Here's the growth info for the baby this week:

Your baby now weighs in at a whopping three to five ounces, and he's four to five inches in length. The bones that are now in place in his ears means he can probably hear your voice as you talk to your partner and pals and sing in the car. While he’s getting used to your voice, the tiny muscles in his body, especially the ones in his back, are gaining strength, so he can straighten out a little more. And thanks to his developing facial muscles, your baby is capable of making a few expressive frowns and squints, even at this early stage. (Don’t worry, those frowns have nothing to do with the sound of your voice!) And his eyes are finally working, making small side-to-side movements and perceiving light (although the eyelids are still sealed). Peekaboo!

I'm pretty sure morning sickness is gone. However, I won't be sure until I get finished taking this antibiotic for my UTI. This is another strong antibiotic that makes me feel pretty crappy and I am forced to take my nausea medication with it if I want to keep it down. I only have two more days left until I'm finished with it, and I truly hope that it is the last time I will need any antibiotics during this pregnancy.

As far as the PIH is concerned I think I'm doing okay. There are days when I feel not great from the hypertension (massive headaches and just crappytacular feeling) but the other days I am drained and exhausted from the medication actually working and keeping my BP low.

I'm experiencing mild amounts of swelling and some joint pain thanks to the hypertension. It's not too bad though and so far it's been manageable.

The movements from the baby have gotten stronger and more persistent. They are still irregular at times but we're getting there. This baby is easily startled and usually does a little "freak out" when I sneeze or blow my nose.

I'm really hoping that even though I've developed PIH already that I will be able to carry this baby to term. We will be fullterm on August 11th. Of course it will be great if my body could handle this well enough and I won't have to be induced at all and can go on to have this baby on my body's own time, but for right now I'll aim for 37 weeks.

But that's about it. I'm exhausted, but I really think that's medication induced and not pregnancy induced. But hopefully that means the medication is doing it's job and won't need to be adjusted. Continued prayers for me and baby would be greatly appreciated. Our next appointment is a week from tomorrow and if everything goes according to plan we should be finding out the gender in about 3 weeks.

These pictures were taken today at 15w1d.



Monday, March 5, 2012

Doctor's Appointment! (14w2d)

Many of you have a bit of the background with my pregnancy with Joseph. For those of you who don't, I will give you a synopsis of what happened.

At about 30 weeks (after not feeling the greatest for several weeks) I was diagnosed with gestational hypertension (PIH) and placed on modified bedrest. I was started on blood pressure medication and began seeing the OB twice a week and then also going to L&D at the hospital twice a week for bloodwork and NST's. I was placed on restrictions from driving. I was also sent to a high risk OB specialist at 32 weeks who wanted me induced that very day. Luckily my doctor was willing to wait things out and allowed me to get closer to full term. I was induced at 36w0d and delivered (after 33 hours of difficult labor with 3 non-functioning epidurals) at 36w1d. Joseph spent 7 days in the NICU. When he was born he was NOT laid on my chest and I was not able to hold him until 2 days later. I was not allowed to attempt to nurse him until he was 5 days old. As a result I never got a full milk supply and Joseph developed nipple confusion and was unable to properly nurse. I pumped for 10 months until my supply completely dried up. My supply was so low on a "good" day the most I would be able to pump would be 6 ounces (that's for the entire day).

As a result of Joseph's complicated pregnancy, labor, birth, and first week of life, I wanted to make things better for any other children we may have. I really thought that losing nearly 60 pounds before conception would put me a better place health-wise and allow the next baby to have a little bit safer and better entrance into this world. Once you have PIH you are at a greater risk of developing it with any additional pregnancies. I knew it was possible, I knew it was probable, but I had faith that with my lifestyle changes things would go much smoother.

Then the carpet got yanked out from underneath me.

My biggest concern when I headed to the OB's this afternoon was to be sure the baby was okay after his/her big brother's kick to the belly this weekend. I was also excited to find out if I could begin to jog again. I was put on physical restrictions during my bleeding (from about 6-10 weeks) and since I'd been blood free I was hoping to get back into a slightly normal routine.

I'm not quite sure if I even posted about it in the last doctor's visit blog I wrote, but my BP was beginning to creep up. It was a little concerning because my BP didn't go wacky with my pregnancy with Joseph until about 30 weeks. The OB decided a wait and see approach would be best, and although I was slightly nervous I really didn't give it too much thought. I really figured if it were to be an issue I'd have until about 30 weeks again. Wrong again.

I've been experiencing some strong headaches for a little while now. I've downgraded them in my mind to make myself feel better. I know these headaches all too well. I spent 6 weeks (30-36 weeks) plagued by them. They are hypertension headaches and they are unlike any headache you've ever experienced. But, I've downplayed them as normal pregnancy headaches. I wasn't ready to admit to myself there could be an issue.

Today at the OB's office was BP was high. Too high. 140/110 to be exact. And to be completely frank I was definitely a mess at the doctor's office. In addition to the BP problem that's popped up yet again, I have a UTI (urinary tract infection), and the OB thinks I have another vaginal infection. It really gives new meaning to the phrase, "When it rains, it pours."

I am now considered high risk (again). I was started on an antibiotic for the UTI (and possibly will get another one once the cultures come back). I am also now starting blood pressure medication (the same meds I had with Joseph). The doctor is trying to be proactive and I'm on a much higher dose than I had with Joseph.

So, what's the big deal you ask? Since I've begun with having problems this early in the pregnancy there is a huge risk that I may become pre-eclamptic. It's a scary condition and if you're curious about it feel free to google it. This could get bad enough where I will need to be hospitalized. And the scariest is the fact that we run a huge risk of having to have the baby delivered pre-term (again). At least with Joseph when things started heading south we were at a place gestationally that he could be born and survive with medical intervention. We are NO where near that with this pregnancy.

I'm having a pity party though. I've feeling bad for myself and this little baby. I feel like a failure as a mother and as a woman. Why can't my body handle this pregnancy stuff? I'm devastated and scared. I have no idea what will happen as things progress. I am definitely regretting my decision to choose a doctor that delivers at a hospital with out a NICU.

What I need from all of you is love and support, prayer and encouragement. I'm at a point where I need to be selfish. I won't be helping anyone move or clean or do anything that is not completely necessary. I need to be keeping myself as stress-free, burden-free, and rested as possible.

This is truly a scary time for me. I want this baby so badly, and I want him/her to be healthy, and I feel like things are spiraling out of control.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

14w1d

Baby growth info for this week:

One way to deal with the havoc of pregnancy hormones: Focus on how much is happening with your baby. She's about the size of an orange this week, her ears have migrated to the sides of her head, and her eyes are moving to the front of her face. Plus, your little smarty-pants can now wiggle her fingers and toes and make breathing movements in preparation for life outside the womb.

I've read a lot of conflicting information about when the average woman can feel her baby. There's a few people that I've mentioned to that I'm feeling movement from the baby and they are in disbelief. They assume I have no idea what I'm talking about.

I felt my first movements with Joseph at 14 weeks. So I'm not at all surprised that I felt them a short time before with this pregnancy. From what I've read, you can expect to feel your baby earlier than your first pregnancy with any subsequent pregnancy. So, believe me or not, I feel it. They are still small movements and I usually only feel them when I'm sitting or lying still. And for the most part I really only feel them in the evening or late at night after Joseph's gone to bed.

I'm still getting sick, if you can believe it. I was sick several times last night. Yes, it's getting much more manageable, but it's getting extremely tiresome at this point. I guess I have this fact to look forward to: The morning sickness should be gone no later than 26 weeks from now.

I'm truly looking forward to finding out the baby's gender. I'm getting an urge to organize and prepare things and I feel like I can't do much until I know what gender to prepare for. My next doctor's appointment is this Thursday and I should be scheduling the big anatomy scan while at there.

The only other thing I've really been experiencing recently is low back pain and also some nagging headaches.

The pictures were taken today at 14w1d.