Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Official Guesses and Wishes

The last paragraph of my 33 week post inspired me to make a separate post about my guesses for the stats of Asher's birth.

I was actually thinking about that this morning, when I was online shopping for birth announcements (obviously wouldn't order them until after he's born!) and I was putting fake stats in as filler.

So, we'll start with my "ideal".

Born on Monday, October 10
Labor starts at 1 pm with water breaking
Born around 5:30 pm
8 lbs 3 oz, 21 in

And here's why :

10-10 would be a cool birthday, Lindsey will be back from her vacation, I'll be 38 weeks 5 days, it just seems like a good day overall to be born. He'd be 5 days old when Mom comes, so we'd be home from the hospital and able to enjoy her visit.

I'd like labor to start with water breaking because then it's CLEAR that it's time to go to the hospital. Rather than having to time contractions, possibly being sent home because they're not strong/regular enough, etc. And if it happens after 1 pm, I'll be done with my work and able to leave without it being a burden to my coworkers.

Obviously the 4.5 hour labor is wishful thinking. But I'd love to be done before dinnertime. :)

8 lbs 3 oz seems like a good weight, and I think it's realistic for this baby at almost 39 weeks. Although I really get the vibe that he could be bigger, this is my ideal.

My more realistic guesses / what I'm feeling:

Born Thursday, October 20
Labor starts at 7 am with induction
Born around 2 pm
9 lbs 1 oz, 21 in

Here's why:

I am just feeling that I'm not that lucky. I think I'll have to be induced again. I really don't trust that my body knows how to have a contraction without Pitocin, since it has never happened before. (Logically, I know that I would, eventually, go into labor on my own. I just think that I'll run out of patience first and my doc will agree to induce.) I picked the 20th so that my Mom would still be here for the length of our hospital stay.

Declan was born at 4:38, so I figure I can take off 2.5 hours since 1) I will know what I'm doing re: pain management, and 2) I'm already all stretched out. LOL

I have a gut feeling that this little guy won't be so little. I'm guessing just over 9 lbs if I go full-term.

Anyone reading this, feel free to tell me what you think! I will try and get Aaron to guess when I talk to him later. The only prediction I've gotten out of him so far is that he thinks Asher will look like me. :)

Week Thirty-Three

Week 33 of pregnancy: August 24-31, 2011

Symptoms: Nothing new, just tired. Dealt with a stomach virus and recovering from a cold, but neither are pregnancy related.

I haven't been quite as hungry this week. I think I'm hitting that suck-tastic point in pregnancy when the baby takes up too much room for mama to enjoy a full meal. Could also be related to the tummy bug we all had last weekend.

Worked two very, very short-handed shifts Saturday and Sunday. This may be self-centered, but seriously, if I can come to work eight months pregnant with a cold AND a stomach virus, you can suck it up and come, too.

I started feeling icky Friday night - just kind of "off." I figured I had just eaten too much and blew it off. But when I went to bed, my heartburn was 1,000 times worse than usual. I ended up getting almost no sleep, moving to the recliner at 2 am, and spending most of the wee hours of the morning on the toilet. Sorry for the TMI.

It continued during work in the morning. Cramps, nausea, tummy issues... i was in and out of the bathroom every half hour or so. Finally I sucked it up and had some Sprite and toast. I felt much better by the time I left work. Declan had it around the same time, and Aaron had a very mild version on Friday. We're all over it now, thank goodness.

So, thirty three weeks. Seven weeks left. No appointment this week, but I have one next week (it should be boring). I am going to ask how my platelet count was, and if she can tell how the baby's laying (I *think* he's head down, but he moves all the time). Oh, and I need to ask if I can pre-register at the hospital. Or if it's even necessary. It seems like every time I go, all I have to do is tell them my name and they pull all of my records right up. But my doc is from the big city, too, so hopefully she won't think I'm silly for asking.

I got an email from Priceline today with my mom's flight itinerary for October 15-23! I am so excited for her to come. I am thinking about starting my maternity leave on the 15th, so that I won't be at work most of the time she's here. Or maybe I'll just take a couple extra days off. God knows, at 40 weeks pregnant, I'll need them anyway. Fingers crossed, baby Asher will already be here by then and this is all moot.

Speaking of Asher, Declan can say his name pretty well! I don't think he knows what he's saying, but it comes out like "ASH-oo!" and is super cute. He also started saying Ernie ("uh-nee") and kiiind of saying grandma & grandpa ("bah-ma" and "bah-pa").

I'm so excited that tomorrow is September 1st! That means it will be exactly a month until I start trying to get Asher to come out (I'll be 37 weeks, full term). of course I'm not expecting him to come until at LEAST mid-October, but we shall see. Everyone else seems to think I'll go early this time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Declan at 22 months

It is so funny to be due on Declan's birthday, because while I'm counting down the months/weeks/days until my due date (56 days today!) I'm also counting down to Declan being TWO years old.

It blows my mind that he'll be two so soon. Feels like we just celebrated his first birthday. This year has flown by.

At two months out from his birthday, Declan is an absolute ball of energy, fun, curiosity, stubbornness, joy, and love.

Here are the words that Declan knows, with his pronunciations in parentheses: Mama, Dada, hi, choo-choo, shoe, eye, please ("sees"), outside ("ah-sigh"), Elmo ("oh-wo"), owie ("ah-ee"), what's that? ("ah-sat?")

He can make the sounds for dog, cat, cow, horse, elephant, snake, sheep, and anything that roars. He can identify pretty much all of his body parts on command. Speaking of commands, he follows them really well - when he wants to. Go get a diaper, throw that away, give this to Daddy... he likes being put to work. As long as he's not feeling obstinate, because then he will run the other way. And at almost two, he feels obstinate about 75% of the time. :)

Declan may not be saying much, but he can nod and shake his head like a champ. It is so nice to not have to play the baby guessing game any more.

He's still in diapers. I don't want to push the potty-training thing before he's ready. Aaron does. He wants to buy a pack of underwear and just put him in them. I told him we'd better invest in a carpet shampooer first.

He also still uses his pacifier once in a while to fall asleep. That's mostly out of our own laziness as parents. He goes to sleep faster with it, and stays asleep. And we are tired. So we give it to him. But only at naptime and bedtime! And if he falls asleep without it, awesome. We don't force it on him, we just keep it on the bedside to table to pop in if he starts to stir at some ungodly hour.

Things Declan loves right now: Thomas the train, Blue's Clues, Elmo, reading books, all animals, splashing in the bath, running, eating with a fork, DADA!

Things Declan hates right now: getting his nails clipped, anything being on the TV besides Thomas, Blue, or Elmo, Mama wiping his face after meals, being left alone in a room, any time that he doesn't have Mama or Dada's full attention

Rough schedule at 22 months:

Wakes up between 7 and 8 usually (all depends on bedtime the night before)
Lunch around noon
Down for nap between 2 and 3
Wake up around 4, eat snack
Dinner between 6 and 7
Sometimes another small snack at 8:30 or 9 if he didn't eat much dinner
Bedtime at 10, usually asleep by 10:30

Just wanted to do a quick update. Gotta get my tired big boy to bed.

Week Thirty-Two

Week 32 of pregnancy: August 17-24, 2011

Symptoms: Heartburn. Tired. Lots of baby hiccups.

A pretty normal week, compared to week 31. Thursday was painful, but since then I've had no pain at all. I think he must have turned head-down.

At my appointment today, my doctor noticed that I had low platelets when they took my blood last week. she said normal is above 150,000 per mL, and mine was 124,000. Not anywhere near being "dangerously low," but if they remained below 150k, I wouldn't be allowed to have an epidural.

And that would be tragic.

Apparently, low platelets means your blood is thinner and slower to clot. And somehow, an epidural is dangerous if your blood won't clot. so let's just hope that my platelets go up before October!

Otherwise, we're doing well. I feel like I've been more tired this week, but then again, Declan has been skipping his nap, which means I'm skipping mine, too. :)

Speaking of sleep, I'm going to start getting ready for bed. My favorite time of day!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Week Thirty-One

Week 31 of pregnancy: August 10-17, 2011

Symptoms: Ouuuuuuuchhh.

Well, this week has been exceptionally painful.

I thought when I left the hospital that I was in the clear - that Asher must have turned in such a way the made it very painful for a while, but he had moved, and now we were fine.

I was wrong.

He must have gotten back in the painful position yesterday, because I was, once again, in tears last night. I tried laying down in bed, but that hurt more than anything. So I tried to recreate the hospital bed position by sleeping in the recliner. This worked pretty well - I can imagine many more nights of recliner sleeping in the next 9 weeks. Helped the heartburn, too.

I seriously *hate* calling in to work, because I know how bitchy my coworkers are when someone calls in, especially if they've done it more than once recently. So I sucked it up and walked the most painful 1.5 miles of my life to work this morning. Made it to about 9 am before I just couldn't stand it anymore and had to come home.

This time, the pain is more evenly spread across my whole lower belly, and it feels like every muscle fiber is just being torn apart. Which may well be exactly what is happening. I have no idea how to fix it. And sometimes when he moves a certain way, pressing some baby body part into my hip bone, it's all I can do not to scream.

I really, really, really hope that this doesn't continue for the next 9 weeks.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Recent Adventure

Here's the scoop:

Yesterday morning as I was walking to work, I felt like I had a stitch in my right side. It was weird because I walk a lot, usually much faster than I was going, and I never feel pains like that. But I just blew it off.

The throughout my work day, the pain got worse and worse. By 1 pm, I was in tears and could barely walk, although I was keeping a brave face in front of my coworkers and the residents. I didn't want people to think I was being overly dramatic.

Aaron picked me up early and I laid down in bed. I was miserable. the entire right side of my belly felt like it had been ripped open from the inside, and my entire abdomen was super tender - which was only made worse by a hyper toddler who kept attempting to snuggle and climb on me.

When i got up from bed to pee, I honestly thought I might be dying. It hurt so bad, it took me at least 15 minutes to find a way to get up from our mattress on the floor without collapsing from the pain. After I walked across the house and peed, I felt a little better. It seemed like the pain was worst when I had to move from a position that I had stayed in for a while.

I spent most of the afternoon curled up on the couch, still in pain, but trying to shift my weight every so often. I didn't feel like eating the fabulous casserole that Aaron made for dinner - I was starting to feel chilly and achy, and my eyes were burning. Surefire signs of a fever.

My temp was just a couple tenths of a degree above normal, though. So I relaxed a little bit. I sat back down and did some kick counting. Asher was moving excellently, I wasn't too worried about him. I had no idea what the pain was from, but Asher seemed fine, and that's what counts. But my fever symptoms kept getting worse.

I took my temp again, and this time it was 99.6. I asked Aaron's opinion - should we go the ER, or stick it out til morning and make a Dr's appointment? With the fever (low-grade as it was) in the picture, my mind started jumping to things like uterine infections. Aaron suggested that I call the First Nurse hotline. The nurse who answered encouraged me to go to the ER immediately. She said it could be nothing, but they really need to check for placental abruption whenever there's sharp pain like that. So in we went.

They sent me straight to L&D, which I guess is policy for any woman pregnant with a viable baby. I was hooked up to monitors, an IV, and they took a bunch of blood and a urine sample. I had a gut feeling that everything would come back normal, since I had no symptoms besides pain and fever. And I was right - everything looked great. My temp was higher - 101.7 - and my pulse was high (110s to 130s) as was Asher's (160s-180s) but the rapid heartrates are to be expected with a fever. He was moving plenty and his HR went up when he moved, which indicates a healthy placenta (so they were no longer worried about abruption.) This is when I first started thinking, "So can I go home now?"

Laying in the hospital bed, my pain was practically zilch. When I got up to pee, I felt it, but not nearly as bad as the stabbing, searing pain that had me in tears earlier that day. I wondered if I had just wasted everyone's time.

The doctor on call came to see me. I expected her to send me home, I honestly did. But no. She was worried about appendicitis, given the location and severity of my pain, and my fever. She didn't want me to stay in Grinnell, because if they had to operate and something went wrong, GRMC doesn't have the equipment to take care of a preemie as young as Asher would be. She wanted to transfer me to a bigger hospital in Des Moines.

I thought it was extreme overkill. i didn't feel like I had appendicitis - the pain was along the side of my belly, not down inside where my organs would be. But, as many, many people told me throughout the night, better safe than sorry. They would rather monitor me and have it turn out to be nothing than send me home with undiagnosed appendicitis and have my appendix burst.

The ambulance ride to Des Moines was a long, long hour. Aaron dropped Declan off at Lindsey's and followed right behind us - he said later that he pretty much tailgaited the ambulance. He was pretty distraught. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen my man cry, and last night was one of the most extreme displays of emotion I've seen so far. It was sweet. And a little funny, to me, because although I was the one facing surgery, I wasn't scared at all. I guess I just knew in my heart of hearts that I was fine.

We settled into our room at Mercy - more monitors, more IV fluids (I wasn't allowed to eat or drink, just in case I did need surgery), more blood taken. They brought Aaron a cot and we were both asleep within an hour or so. I couldn't sleep well. I am a restless sleeper these days - I have to move to keep my hips from aching - but I wasn't allowed due to the monitors strapped across my belly. Finally, at 2:30 am, the nurse let me take the monitors off (I had been on for 4 hours and everything looked perfect... I could have told you that would happen) and I was allowed to get comfy and sleep a little. She said that the doctors would start showing up around 5 am to poke and prod.

I woke up at 5, got up to pee, and felt almost no pain. I remember rolling my eyes, because now I was SURE that I was here for nothing. I missed Declan. I was worried about how much this would all cost. I was worried that the doctors and nurses would scoff at me behind my back for coming in for a little ligament pain. But I had to remind myself just how severe it had been on Sunday - that was not normal.

The surgeons felt my belly. The nurses checked my vitals. The bloodwork was back. Nothing was wrong. Fever was gone, pain was lessening (although my belly still felt very achy - the way you might feel the day after a surgery.) I had an ultrasound. Asher is 3 lbs, 13 oz, and perfect in every way. No bleeds in the placenta, nothing. I did notice when she measured his head that it was about 2-3 weeks ahead of the average for his age... But that's to be expected :) I also noticed that he's laying straight across my belly, head on the right, butt on the left, legs tucked.

The head OB came in after reviewing my U/S results, around 10:30. He said that he couldn't see any reason to keep me there. I asked if he had any idea what the pain could have been from. He agreed with me that it sounded like more than just normal pregnancy pain, but that they couldn't find any real cause. A medical mystery. Aaron was (and is) not a happy camper that they couldn't figure it out. I don't really care, as long as the pain is gone.

Anyway, we were going home! Hooray! I started peeling the corners of my IV tape up. I was beyond ready to go home and see my baby. All we needed was word from the surgeon that it was okay to release me, and since they had already decided that I didn't have appendicitis, I thought that process couldn't take long.

I was wrong. We waited. And waited. Finally, a little after noon, my nurse came in and told me I could eat. So apparently the surgeon had cleared me to eat, but not go home? I was confused, but so grateful. I was starving. Aaron went down to the cafeteria and bought us both big, hearty salads, and I got full off maybe half of mine. While Aaron was finishing his food, the nurse came in with the good news that the surgeon had cleared me, so she could take out my IV and have me sign discharge papers. I was so anxious to leave that I literally stood at Aaron's shoulder watching him eat, holding my bags.

We hightailed it home (stopping to get Lindsey a slushie from her favorite truck stop - it was the least we could do after her long night trying to get our stubborn toddler to sleep!) I did notice a bit more pain when I walked, almost like a pulled muscle along my side. But it was still SO much better than the day before.

At home, I was exhausted. My night of interrupted sleep had caught up with me. I laid on the couch and tried to snooze, but Declan kept pushing the Playstation controller in my face and asking for "CHOO CHOO! CHOO CHOO!" (AKA episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine on Netflix.) My pain was significantly worse laying there, but I had faith that when I got up and moving again, it would be back down. Sure enough.

I still have some sharp twinges, mostly when Asher kicks / headbutts me especially hard. But I am going to work tomorrow, just to try, and Aaron will definitely go to work. i am glad the whole episode is over, but it's left me feeling guilty. I just have to keep repeating that if it had been something real, and I hadn't gone in, I would never be able to forgive myself. better safe than sorry. I just wish that the doctors had been a little more conservative and less "OMG lets get you to a hospital with a NICU, you might have surgery tonight AHHH!"

Anyway, this is long enough. I just wanted to get it all documented.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week Thirty

Week 30 of pregnancy: August 3 - 10, 2011

Symptoms: No changes from last week. Lots of heartburn, lots of baby movement, which can be uncomfortable at times.

A pretty calm week around here. We did a big batch of baby clothes shopping on Saturday because it was tax free weekend - both boys made out pretty well at Carter's and The Children's Place, for not that much money. I think we're pretty set for clothes for Asher, although I'm sure we'll pick up a few things here and there after he's born to "fill in the gaps" so to speak.

I can't believe I'm in week thirty already. Only 70 days until my due date! People keep asking me if I think he'll be early or late, and I can't decide. On one hand, I hear that second babies generally come earlier. And with me working so hard, I feel like I'll progress quicker and / or put myself into labor. On the other hand, I walked around at 3 cm dilated for weeks with Declan, and never felt a single contraction until they started the pitocin.

All I ask is that he doesn't come *exactly* on his due date, AKA Declan's second birthday.

I am pumped to be 3o weeks. I'm still feeling great, not whiny at all, just excited. Let's do this. The last 10 weeks of pregnancy are tough. But you get the best prize ever at the end.

Okay, gotta change a stinky diaper. I can't wait for potty training.

Tonight's Conversation

I love that Declan is learning words. It makes life more fun. Especially when he will try a new word, and it comes out all wrong, but we clap and cheer anyway, because he made an effort. A lot of times when we ask him to say a new word, he will just smile at us like "You know full well I can't say that, silly Mama."

So here's what went down tonight. Nothing too exciting, but it was so cute that I wanted to record it. For a few years down the road when he talks non stop, to remind myself that there was once a time when we were overjoyed with each new word and sound.

Declan: (holds up empty cup) Unh!
Me: Is it all gone? Say 'all gone!'
Declan: (smiles at me like I'm crazy and tries to put cup in my hand)
Me: Do you want more? You have to say 'more!'
Declan: Umm?
Me: Yes! More!
Declan: Uh-mah!
Me: Good job! More! Now say 'please!'
Declan: Sees!
Me: (getting up from couch to refill the sippy) More please!
Declan: Mah! Sees! EEEEEES!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weeks Twenty-five Through Twenty-nine

Weeks 25-29 of pregnancy: June 29 - August 3, 2011

Symptoms: Heartburn like crazy, baby movement like crazy

I'll admit it, I'm a slacker. We've had a really busy month, and while I have thought about writing an update, it was never quite the right time, I was never in quite the right mood (or Declan wasn't in the right mood to let me!)

On the bright side, I now have a lot to write about!

The most exciting thing for me is that we've officially decided on a name for Baby Brother: Asher Wesley. Hurrah! It only took 27 long weeks :)

On July 27, I had both my glucose test (longest 3 hours of my life, trying to entertain Declan at the hospital in between blood draws) and my 28 week doctor's appointment. Everything came back perfect. Asher is measuring a week ahead, but that's to be expected. I make big boys. He also gave Dr. Thompson and I a good laugh by kicking the doppler while she was trying to listen to his heartbeat. Like, right on the money.

I am thrilled to be in my third trimester! I will be even more thrilled next Wednesday when I hit 30 weeks. I still have a lot I want to get done before he comes, but selfishly, I want time to go by as fast as possible, so that I can meet my new baby!