Friday, April 11, 2014

Steph's Visit

After a month on bed rest I wasn't prepared for how HARD everything would be once it was over - my stamina was shot and even my muscle tone had suffered. Add to that the fact that the contractions might leave me alone for a day, but always come back again, and I was feeling quite emotional and overwhelmed when I hit 36 weeks. Fortunately, Steph had a window of time open in her schedule before her next shoot and was able to come out and distract, commiserate, help, motivate, and cheer me on. She had to leave yesterday but I am that much closer to the end of this journey and am so thankful for her help along the way! (Here are some pics from the visit that I stole from her fb page.)






Saturday, April 05, 2014

37 Weeks

Photos by my extremely talented little sister, Steph. You can see more of her work at her blog.





Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nearly 36 Weeks

I am 35 weeks and 5 days into my pregnancy and today was my final growth scan. Beau has measured ahead of schedule for more than half of this pregnancy so I was sort of prepared for what we would hear, but it is still amazing to think about! Still a month out from his due date and Beau is estimated to already weight 8 lbs and 2 oz. That puts him in the 98th percentile! Remy was just 7 lbs and 15 oz when he was born at 40 weeks, so it is hard to imagine that Beau could already be bigger than that with the possibility of weeks yet to go!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Threatened Preterm Labor

Things have gotten interesting with Beau and the pregnancy so I am going to try to update and I apologize in advance for how long this is. :)

A couple of weeks ago, on Tuesday, February 25th I went in for a regular scheduled check up with a nurse practitioner at my regular OB's office. It took her three tries to get a read on Beau's location because every time she touched my belly it would trigger a contraction.  In pregnancy it is common to have Braxton Hicks Contractions which are usually painless, usually short in duration, and don't produce cervical changes. They are like practice contractions.  But since she pointed out the frequency of them I started to pay closer attention and the next day I noticed that I was having even more of them. By Thursday they were almost constant while I was on my feet, and Friday morning I woke up with painful cramping that felt very much like menstrual cramps. They were bad enough that I thought about trying to spend the day in bed, but Remy had an appointment and it wasn't practical, so I rested a little in the morning and then just toughed it out. Saturday the cramping was worse so Ross said I could stay in bed and he would look after Remy. I thought about calling Labor & Delivery about the cramps, but I was afraid they would do that thing where they tell you to come in and then when you get there act like you shouldn't be there. However Sunday, even after spending a second day in bed, the cramps were much worse and were beginning to include my back and make me feel kind of sick, so I finally called and they told me to come in.

We got there around 6pm and they hooked me up to the monitors, one for contractions and one for Beau's heartbeat, and left me for awhile to see what was happening. When they came back a little while later they told me that I was contractions every four minutes and they wanted to do some tests and check my cervix. The first test was for fetal fibronectin (fFN) which is a protein that helps "glue" the amniotic sac to the uterine lining. The presence of fetal fibronectin outside of the uterus may be a sign of impending labor. They sent that down to the lab for results. Then they checked for amniotic fluid, which was negative, meaning my water had not broken, thank goodness. And then they checked my cervix which was "long and closed", indicating that I had not gone into labor.

Their first objective was to slow down the contractions. They gave me a shot of Terbutaline and gradually I noticed the pain easing up. When they came back again it was with the fFN results. Positive. A negative is considered a more helpful result because if you get a negative your chances of delivering in the next two weeks are just 1/125. You are more than 99% likely not to go into labor, which can be hugely reassuring. Positive results however are more ambiguous. From what I have read, women presenting with painful contractions who test positive for fFN have a 1/6 chance of delivering in the next two weeks.

At this point the contractions had petered out so they gave me the first of two doses of a steroid to help Beau's lungs develop just in case labor was in my future and told me I could go home. They called later that night and told me the doctor had called in a prescription for a drug called Procardia that worked liked the Terbutaline to stop contractions. I was grateful for that because before we even got home the contractions had started up again.  After a couple of hours of waiting for the procardia to work (and taking a second dose at the nurses urging) we went back into L&D where they said that the procardia was working by preventing the muscles of my uterus from organizing into real contractions but that my uterus was very irritated and was firing away and causing the pain so they gave me a shot of demerol and told me to go home and sleep and my uterus would probably give up and calm down by morning. The demerol also helped with the insane headache caused by the procardia. And the next morning I was feeling tons better.

Over the next couple of days we made two more visits to L&D, once for the second steroid shot and to check on Beau, who wasn't moving as much, and the second because my OB had checked my cervix and found that it was thinning and starting to dilate, and because Beau still wasn't moving much.  That last visit was the hardest. We had to stay for about six hours and Beau's heart rate kept decelerating. Finally a Perinatolgist from my High Risk office came and did a biophysical on Beau and cleared us to go home but told me to come into the office the next day for another check. By the next day his heart was behaving normally and the doctor instructed me to go on bed rest and keep taking the procardia and we would take things one week at a time.

And that's what we are doing. The first week came and went. Contractions still start up from time to time so I'm sticking with the procardia. I'm going in three times a week, once to the regular OB and twice to the high risk OB. We are a little concerned about my blood pressure, which has gone up despite procardia being known for lowering blood pressure, but so far it is still in the safe zone.

he's feeling much better now!
Mom and Dad have been over watching Remy, who developed an ugly case of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease while all this was going on, and Ross has been doing Mr. Mom duty in addition to work.  Bed rest is incredibly frustrating and has little or no scientific evidence of producing better outcomes for moms and babies, but everyone I have talked to at both my regular OB's office and the perinatologist's office are recommending it.

Yesterday I found this quote regarding bed rest that kind of resonates with me right now: “In many ways, medicine isn’t just about evidence, it’s evidence plus — it’s experience and skill and intuition — not to say those are replacements for evidence. But evidence isn’t all there is.” (Dr. Wolfberg) As for the dangers of bed rest - like blood clots and stress from lost income - I am on modified bed rest so I can get up and move my legs as needed and I don't have a job to worry about. The stress effects Mom, Dad and Ross much more than me but they have been encouraging and supportive. I am 33 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Every day we keep this bun in the oven makes a difference, so we are going to keep following doctor's orders and see if we can make it all the way!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Motherhood

Being a mother of one with another one on the way, I have been thinking a lot lately about what it actually means to me to be a mother, and what I want my focus to be in the coming years. I was reading Ann Voskamp's blog yesterday and I came upon this gem that expresses so well what I want to remember every day of my mothering journey. (If it sounds familiar that is because it is a variation on a sentiment expressed by Mother Theresa.)
You are doing something great with your life - when you're doing all the small things with His great love. You are changing the world - when you are changing one person's world.
-Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience







Friday, February 28, 2014

Rainy Mornings in Vegas

We've woken up to a couple of drippy, overcast mornings. A couple is perfect - a novelty in the ubiquitous dryness of the Southwest. The trees perk up, the dust washes away, and Remy gets to splash in puddles.





In other news, I had an ultrasound yesterday. I hoped that we would find that Beau was done with his extraordinary growth spurt (a four month long "spurt"). Not so. A month ago he was almost two weeks ahead of his projected growth and now he is almost three weeks ahead, and they estimate his weight at over 5 lbs. To weigh 5 lbs at 31 weeks gestational age is pretty remarkable. I have been nervous ever since my OB mentioned that sometimes big babies warrant a c-section but my wonderful online friends have been reassuring me that their big babies were not so hard to deliver. So breathing deep (figuratively speaking - there is no deep breathing with a 5 lb. baby under your ribs) and just giving thanks for my big healthy boy! Just eight weeks to go!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blowing Bubbles

What would I be doing with myself at 8 am on Monday morning if I didn't have this guy to keep things magical?





Monday, February 24, 2014

What's Up





  • I took these pictures Wednesday morning and it was the last normal day. By that night Remy was complaining of a headache and the next evening he had a fever and was throwing up. I am so ready for this brutal cold and flu season to be over - between the three of us we have been sick over a dozen times. Poor Remy is so sweet - he tries to be cheerful even when he is sick, but it is a glassy eyed, frenetic, short lived happiness that usually ends in tears and hugs. We did LOTS of hugging this weekend. Today he heads back to school so fingers crossed that it goes well!
  • I'm 31 weeks and 2 days pregnant. This week I go in on Thursday for another ultrasound. So excited to get to see Beau again and hoping for good news on the growth front (like that he isn't going to be a Hulk baby after all.)  
  • I've become obsessed with Joss & Main. I think it has something to do with my nesting instincts. It is just all so darn purdy. And they are evil geniuses over there, they present their "collections" for a limited time and are always adding new stuff so you feel like you need to buy quickly and come often. Currently I'm awaiting some "Summer Verbena" towel detergent, and new bath towels and bath mats to go with it. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Valentine's Roses

Ross got me a dozen red roses for Valentine's Day. It's so nice having fresh flowers in the house, even if I do have to watch out for Piper's omnivorous tendencies.


Monday, February 17, 2014

What's Up



  • Once again, my butt is being kicked by a cold virus. I'm achy, cranky, snotty, and exhausted. On the bright side, I get to spend a lot of time in bed with the cats, scouring the Roku for interesting shows. 
  • (Warning: If you are thinking of checking out The Americans on Amazon Prime, have the mute button at hand for the frequent and noisy sex scenes! It's kind of like a darker, R-rated version of Alias without all the goofy, mystical stuff.)
  • The weather has been gorgeous. High of 75 forecasted for today. Too bad I am too sick to enjoy it. *grumble, grumble*
  • Valentine's Day at school is not like I remember it. Remy came home with bag STUFFED with candy, a book, cards, cheap toys, pencils, erasers, stickers and 2 plastic drinking cups.  Needless to say, he was thrilled with his booty!  
  • Ross brought me some lovely things for Valentine's day but even sweeter is how he takes care of Remy so well while I am sick. He is a special guy!
  • 30 weeks pregnant as of yesterday. Ten weeks is sounding like a REALLY long time.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Grace upon Grace





...Yellow and gold as the new day dawns 
Like a virgin unveiled who waited so long 
To dance and rejoice and sing her song 
And rest in the arms of a love so strong 
No one comes unless they’re drawn 
By the voice of desire that leads em’ along 
To the redemption of what went wrong 
By the blood that coveres the innocent one 
No more separation 
Between us. 

So lift your voice just one more time 
If there’s any hope may it be a sign 
That everything was made to shine 
Despite what you can see 
So take this bread and drink this wine 
And hide your spirit within the vine 
Where all things will work by a good design 
For those who will believe 

And let go, of all, we cannot hold onto 
For the hope, beyond, the blue 

Said I let go, of all, I could not hold onto 
For the hope, I have, in you
-From "Beyond the Blue" by Josh Garrels