Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thirty Six

36 weeks ~ some days it’s hard to believe I’m this far into the journey and so close to meeting my child. What do you mean I’m going to be a parent?! I mean, I knew we were having a baby, but it’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that we are bringing a human into the world. A human that is half of me and half of Adam. A human that we will be solely responsible for. A human we are expected to teach right from wrong, prepare for the world and love unconditionally. I know we can do the last part because we already do. I’m going to have a son. Wow! 

And then, on the other hand, I feel so ready. We have the ‘stuff’. We've (I mean Adam) have read books. We are ready to meet our little one. Parenthood...bring it!

It’s strange not knowing which pregnancy post will be my last, so I wanted to talk a little about the symptoms I've experienced throughout pregnancy. This interests me because I always thought everyone felt the same things. Well, they don’t...every woman's experience really is unique to her alone.

I have experienced some of the common symptoms, including headaches, 1st trimester exhaustion, food aversions and even a fun craving or two and even the odd not fun craving. Then there were some symptoms that I never knew came with pregnancy, but evidently they can be common. Some of my weirdest symptoms have been...

  • Nose bleeds - They were never severe, but I’m not the kind of person who gets these so they freaked me out at first. Apparently they are incredibly normal with the increased blood volume you get during pregnancy. Also...super stuffy nose for the last nine months. 
  • Furry belly - No, my tummy doesn't look like an ape, but once I became pregnant I noticed the fine, light hairs I had on my belly turned a little darker and more noticeable.
  • Sensitive tongue - Though it hasn't stopped me from eating whatever I want, I've noticed eating tomatoes, garlic, citrus and a few other strong flavors that my tongue gets irritated. I hope this goes away after I deliver. 
  • Dreams - I expected my dreams to be a bit weird and vivid in the first trimester but now that I'm in my third...they are off the chain. I wake up often just shaking my head at the weirdness of them!

Where are we now?

  • 36 weeks and 2 days pregnant
  • As far as we know...still 2 cm dilated and 90% effaced. My OB didn't check last week, thankfully.
  • Blood pressure...low and hoping it stays that way.
  • Contractions...All. The. Time.
  • Feeling a lot of pressure in my pelvis and sometimes Baby JaAdam feels he's trying to escape. It makes walking very uncomfortable. 
  • Total pounds gained...23. Although none in the last month so I'm now on the Ensure diet...blech!
  • Hours spent of Etsy...too too many!


What weird or unexpected symptoms have you experienced?


Friday, August 22, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Thirty Five Weeks & an Update

Today I am 35 weeks 4 days pregnant. Wow. Still surreal to be here...especially given that I've now been having contractions on and off since July 26th when I was admitted to the hospital (for the first time). When I last updated on the 12th, I had a scheduled ultrasound and appointment the following day.

The ultrasound reassured us that all is well with baby boy! My appointment however, brought some unsettling news. I had been contracting all morning and after checking me, it showed that I was dilated to 2 cm and was 80% effaced. This earned me another trip to Labor & Delivery. It really looked for a few hours that we were going to have the baby that day but once again...despite my uterus being miserable and cranky...my cervix was a rock star and held steady at 2 cm until things calmed down later that night. 

I was once again admitted to the antepartum floor where I stayed until Friday afternoon. I was having some difficultly with the thought of staying in the hospital until delivery so my OB team and I came up with a plan that we were both comfortable with.

The Plan - I was to have an ultrasound before being discharged just to ensure that all was well with baby boy. If he passed the biophysical and my cervix hadn't made any change...I could go home. Baby boy looked great and although he's on the small side, in the 25th percentile at around 5lbs...he passed with flying colors. Cervix was the same...cause she's a rock star! The other part of the plan was sending me home with a prescription for a small amount of pain meds. If I started to contract again, I would take the pain meds and up my fluid intake in the hope that things would settle as this seemed to work in the hospital. I was happy, my OB team was happy. I was discharged Friday afternoon. 

It's now Monday and I'm happy to report that I am still at home and still very much pregnant ☺

My next appointment is Wednesday morning. It's so surreal to be so close to meeting baby boy...I'm thrilled, excited and anxious all rolled into one!

35 week belly






Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rock, Paper, Scissors

I understand that Scissors can beat Paper, and I get how Rock can beat Scissors, but there's no way Paper can beat Rock. Paper is supposed to magically wrap around Rock leaving it immobile? Why the hell can't paper do this to scissors? Screw scissors, why can't paper do this to people? Why aren't sheets of college-ruled notebook paper constantly suffocating students as they attempt to take notes in class? I'll tell you why, because paper can't beat anybody, a rock would tear it up up in 2 seconds. When I play Rock, Paper,  Scissors I always choose rock. Then when somebody claims to have beaten me with their paper I can punch them in the face with my already clenched fist and say "oh I'm sorry I thought paper would protect you.
Rock, Paper, Scissors by Amanda Catherine Designs via Etsy

P.S. 35 week update and drama coming soon!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Thirty Four Weeks

Today I'm 34 weeks 5 days pregnant. It feels great to be here. When I was admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks 2 days...34 weeks felt so far away but here we are...it feels amazing!

34 weeks belly
I was re-admitted Saturday once again with contractions and thankfully, we were able to stop them and I came home yesterday. My uterus may be cranky but my cervix has been a rock star and is doing an amazing job of keeping baby boy right where he belongs!

Tomorrow morning I have an ultrasound to check my cervical length and see how baby is doing. After that, I have my OB appointment. If my cervix has changed, I'll likely be admitted and will stay until I deliver. If not, I'll get to stay at home. My gut is telling me that we will meet this baby sooner rather then later...I can't really explain the feeling. It's odd. The good news...while baby boy will still be premature, we are now into late premature and baby should do very well. Ideally though...we are hoping to make it to 36 weeks. Will we get there? I hope so but I am also preparing for an early arrival. 

Hang in there baby boy...for just a little bit longer!




Monday, August 11, 2014

Surviving

When I had got pregnant with baby JaAdam, I could have never imagined what a “roller coaster ride” would ensue. Things were normal at first, but quickly changed when I was admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks 2 days pregnant with preterm labor. After spending a total of 12 days in the hospital on strict bed rest and then again the past couple of days with perhaps more to come after my appointment this coming Wednesday...I learned how to survive.

I am not saying that it wasn't difficult, because it was (especially spending your 39th birthday in the hospital). But, how you handle any unplanned situation (such as hospital bed rest) during your pregnancy can make all the difference.

Be thankful
- One of the first things that I did upon learning I was to be admitted was to be thankful for the intervention. Unfortunately, many women with compromised pregnancies, don’t get the opportunity go on bed rest and the situation can turn more dire than it began. Mandated bed rest is an opportunity to give your baby the best chance at being totally equipped to face the world ahead.

Keep a routine - Everyone one has a routine. While some routines are more extensive and detailed than others, they are our own. Keeping up with your “normal” routine is pretty simple when you are in your own environment and you can walk around and do things for yourself. But, what happens when your sense of normalcy is shaken? You develop a new sense of normal. When I was on hospital bed rest, it was the first time since coming into adulthood that I had to be totally reliant on someone else. But, you know what? I got over my ego really quickly. I realized that this journey that I was on was so was so much bigger than myself and my ego. So, I developed a routine. My routine involved waking up at a specific time each day, even if my only job at the time was to stay in the hospital bed and provide a warm place for my baby to grow.

Document the memories - Keeping a wall calendar or whiteboard is essential to get though your “temporary” and I stress “temporary stay”. Depending on your situation, your “care team” may not even tell you when you will be going home. When I was admitted, no one would tell me about anything pertaining to going home. Seeing my nurses write how many days pregnant I was, on the whiteboard after each passing day made me feel a sense of victory… a sense of accomplishment. I looked forward to every morning when the nurse would add a 2 and then a 3 and this morning a 4 after 34 weeks.

Make your space your own
- One of the best pieces of advice that I got in the hospital was to think of the hospital as my “my residence, my home away from home”. I initially thought it was a “load of crap”, but that advice from my nurse really went a long way. I had Adam bring me in my favoite pillow from home. I made a conscious effort to only watch TV during a designated one hour period…supposedly preventing my brain from turning to mush. I used the small dresser beside my bed and kept it stocked with my favorite cereals, snacks and fruit. Believe me when I say, “You should not solely depend on the hospital food for your nourishment”. One of the best feel good things...wearing my own clothes! This had a huge impact on my mental well being!

Stop playing the blame game - What if I had done this? If only I would have done that, then maybe I would have not been in this predicament? You know what? I could go on and on but I quickly realized that it wasn't going change my circumstance. While I could speculate all I want, not even the doctors always know why some things end up like they do. So I did myself a favor and stopped blaming myself. Self pity and guilt wasn't/isn't going to get me anywhere.


At the end of the day when things have been tough I remind myself that I am very blessed and fortunate to be where I am.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

10th Anniversary of My 29th Birthday

I'm 39 today and while I'm spending it in the hospital...I have received the best gift...baby boy still safely tucked in my belly! 


Adam, my sister Tina and my brother in law Paul brought me a cake...


The hospital also helped me celebrate...


I have a wonderful life, family and friends that love me and this baby boy...what more could a girl ask for? 


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Still A Kid At Heart

Today I'm 33 weeks pregnant! This is a huge milestone in light of all that has happened in the last few days and while I'm celebrating week 33 in the hospital and not at home...I am so very very grateful to have reached this milestone. 

An update ~ We had an ultrasound yesterday. Biophysical profile and cervix check. The good news...baby looks great. The tech switched over to 3D to give us a view of his sweet little face. The bad news...my cervix in now under 1.5. This was not the news I was hoping to hear but the encouraging part is that I haven't dilated anymore. Yeah for small victories. I'll gladly take what I can get. 

The plan today is to monitor the contractions, which I'm happy to report have spaced out. The OB team will come in later today and see how the day has gone. Depending on that we'll make a decision on going home or not. My OB doesn't think that will happen but I guess we will just have to wait and see. 

As you can imagine...I have a great deal of time on my hands. I'm trying to keep myself distracted (thank you to Netflix for helping with that) and to just relax. There is nothing that I can do to change the situation so I might as well make the best of it! 


With the arrival of my son and the joys of childhood that come along with that, I was laying here reflecting on why I'm still a kid at heart and this is what I've come up with...

- I not-so-secretly want a kids menu at restaurants.
- I never pass up an opportunity to pop bubble wrap.
- or hit a piñata.
- I don't mess with dark basements. They are scary! 
- I sometimes play "the floor is hot lava" when I'm alone.
- I  prefer to drink everything out of a crazy straw and I would probably eat more cereal if they still came with toys.

- I secretly want to jump in puddles.
- Building a pillow fort is something I often think about.
- I love sleeping in and taking naps while wearing footsie pajamas and wrapping myself up in a blanket burrito.

What makes you feel like a kid at heart? 


 
Pretty rainbow outside my hospital room window. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's Too Soon

I'm typing this from my iPhone so please excuse my typos and punctuation...I have a hard time with both on a good day :)

Today is 32 weeks 3 days and I've been admitted with pre term labor. We came in last night and sure enough, the cramping I thought was no big deal actually is a big deal! We are doing everything we can to to try and stop things and have been given the first steroid shot to help mature baby's lungs. Second dose is 9 pm tonight. Ultrasound this morning or afternoon to check things out. 

Please send all the "stop contractions" vibes you can muster my way...this baby boy needs to stay put for a few more weeks. 

I will update when I can. 


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dear WD

Dear WD-40,

Wow. Oh man. I mean, this? This is huge. If my dad knew I was writing you a letter he would FREAK OUT. See, I grew up in a household that ran on WD-40 thanks to my dear old Dad. We practically ate that stuff for breakfast (It keeps you regular) (That’s a lie, it doesn’t) (It might, what do I know). I would be all “Hey Mom I can’t get this desk drawer to open” and she’d be all “Ask your Father” and he’d be all “Put some WD-40 on it” and then I’d be all “Hey Mom I’m hungry, what’s for dinner?” and she’d be all “Ask your Father” and he’d be all “WD-40.”

WD-40 is this strange magical elixir that seems to make everything better but in an even less comprehensible way than Windex. WD-40 is a Modern Marvel! WD-40 is BANANAS! Not literally a banana, but BANANAS, as in the plural and caps lock, as in the way I heard Gwen Stefani use it in that annoying song that one time.

You know what I like about you, WD-40? You’re kind of greasy and have this chemical smell that the kids really dig. And you should know when I say “the kids” I’m referring to myself when I was a kid.

Sometimes I wonder what WD-40 can’t do. According to the website, WD-40 has over 2,000 uses. That’s a two followed by three zeros! That’s a lot of uses that I don’t even know about and maybe some uses that haven’t even been invented yet! What about if I have a pimple? If I grease that bad boy up with some WD-40 it will totally be gone in like five minutes, right?

Look I just can’t comprehend all the amazing and magical things that WD-40 can do! WD-40 is a Wonder of the World. WD-40 belongs in the Hall of Fame! I don’t know which Hall of Fame and I don’t even care – just Hall of Fame that stuff! I mean, I don’t even understand what it is but I know that WD-40 just fixes the heck out of everything.

Now please do excuse me as I have to go brush my teeth with my WD-40-infused toothpaste. Don’t try that at home kids.

Kind Regards,

Janet


Friday, July 25, 2014

Thirty Two Weeks & Bed Rest Continues

Yesterday marked week thirty two...eight months pregnant!

I've had this page open for most of the afternoon...a blank white page staring back at me. I just can't seem to articulate how I'm feeling. I wish I could tell you that life is full of sunshine and lollipops but truth be told...I'm struggling both physically and emotionally. 

I had my growth ultrasound and OB appointment on Wednesday and all did not go the way I was hoping that it would. First up...ultrasound. Baby boy looked great and was doing his usual dance routine but his growth has dropped from the 50th percentile down to the 35th percentile. Two weeks ago, he was 3lbs 3 oz...this time he was 3lbs 10oz (we were hoping to see him at or around 4lbs). This could be a result of my marginal cord insertion and the start of the placenta not doing it's job as well as it should be. My OB assured me that although his growth has slowed...he's still doing very well.

Baby boy ~ 31 weeks 6 days

The other piece of not too good news is that I lost 1 cm of cervical length in the two weeks between appointments. Not what I was expecting. My OB did want to do an exam and my cervix is pretty soft...again, not what we want at 32 weeks but what's encouraging is that it's still very posterior with no dilation or funneling. 

What does all of this mean? It means that my bed rest continues for at least the next week. I go back next Wednesday for a biophysical profile of baby and a cervix check. I've also lost half a pound between appointments so my goal this week is to eat, eat and eat! 

I guess all I can do in the meantime is hang tight and try and maintain my sanity. Turns out...I'm not so good at the laying around all day. I find that it's really starting to affect my mood and Adam sadly, seems to be paying the price for it. I must admit...I have not been my usual easy going self these past couple of weeks and I'm really looking forward to feeling like my old self again!

32 week belly

Any tips on how to maintain my sanity while on bed rest? I'm all ears!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Thirty One Weeks

This week marks a momentous occasion in my pregnancy journey...

I am now in week 31 of being pregnant. Next week I will enter the eighth month of pregnancy. We are down to single figures! In only 9 weeks, *fingers crossed* we should be graced with the arrival of our beautiful blue bundle of joy. The anticipation and excitement is unbearable...I can't want to meet him! When I look at the numbers, I think I should be more anxious and freaked out. I am very surprised that I feel really calm about it all. Even more so now that I am on bed rest and have plenty of time to think...and think...and think...about things.

Why am I so calm? Why do I not feel anxious? I'm not too sure but I do know this...I am actually rather enjoying this moment in my life. 

I think I'm not anxious because I physically feel quite well. 

The reasons that I don’t feel uncomfortable all of the time; I have a very supportive and knowledgeable partner, I am not working full time, and I have not gained a lot of extra weight. It is amazing how much of a burden it takes off of your shoulders to have a competent, helpful, supportive partner. I hear other people talk about their unsuppportive partners and I appreciate Adam even more. Not working full time and being able to sleep in when I've been awakened every 2 hours to pee, or being able to eat small meals all day and being able to lay down and put my feet up whenever I want really helps create an environment of very little discomfort. Up until now I've gained 22 pounds and overall, it feels very manageable. Don’t get me wrong, it is still uncomfortable to get up from laying down or bend over to put on my shoes but overall...not too shabby.

This week also marks 9 days of modified bed rest...how I'm doing mentally/emotionally will have to wait for another day. In the meantime....31 week belly...



Have a wonderful weekend you beautiful people!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Declaring My Love

Dear Snacks,

I would like to formally declare my love for thee! See, I’m on the snacks diet. It’s a pretty good diet.

Wait, who am I kidding? It’s a great diet! There’s a chance it’s even the healthiest of diets because like doctors and scientists and Us Weekly features tell us, people are supposed to eat something along the lines of five small meals a day, and what’s a small meal if not another expression for a snack?

The best part about a snack is that it’s usually portable. This is good if you are one of those people who turns into a scary hangry monster (hungry + angry = hangry) when you haven’t eaten in two or three hours or five minutes or six hours and then you can just keep snacks on you everywhere you go and whenever you go so then you will never be without snacks. One of my greatest fears is being somewhere without snacks. Horrifying! Now, there are two major subgroups within the snack group – savory and sweet, and I think it’s safe to say that savory people will never understand how sweet people operate, and vice versa. For example, I like sweet snacks like pastries and cupcakes – anything that’s deliciously sweet and if it has icing...even better . I want to make out with a box of Lofthouse cookies and then just say “to heck with it all!” and go elope to Vegas and get married and instead of throwing rice we’re just going throw some cookies and maybe from time to time I will have an affair with Lofthouse's distant cousin mini cupcakes, but for the most part I’m faithful to Lofthouse and it’s pretty much the best marriage in the world.


The ideal snack is one that manages to perfectly blend salty and sweet, or somehow manage to satisfy both these cravings. Like applesauce. Okay maybe that’s a bad example because it’s not salty but there’s something about it – it’s not no too sweet and it’s got that nice sour apple tang to it. So it’s refreshing and delicious and satisfying and even better, you can buy “snackpack” sizes of applesauce which is pretty much the crème de la crème of snacks (this also applies to diced fruit and Jello pudding!)

Some other ways to achieve the much-coveted savory/sweet combo are as follows:
  • Peanut Butter on a Banana
  • Peanut Butter on an Oreo
  • Peanut Butter on Celery
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Peanut Butter M&Ms and Popcorn
  • Peanut Butter
  • A little bit of salt on a carrot (weird, but delicious)
  • Pizza (Just go with it)
  • Granola on yogurt (then you get the crunchy-salty-sweet combo!)
  • More things with peanut butter
And I could keep going but I’d much rather go to my kitchen and see what’s in my fridge and find out what other snack combinations I can construct. Something with peanut butter probably.
Holiday Snack Bar by The Johnathan Galleries via Etsy


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