36w6d – 3w1d to go! (22 days!)

The last visit to Dr. Fuentes was this morning.

Overall things went really well. Angelica measured approximately 6.6 pounds, so she’s measuring right on target, if not a little bit ahead! She was in a funky position, which made things really difficult on the ultrasound tech, and resulted in a somewhat lower fluid level reading. The doctor was caught up in an emergency, but another tech came in and looked at it, and said that she thought the fluid looked fine, and the reading was probably off due to Angelica being in that funky position. So they sent me on my merry way.

At this point, I’ll be glad for her to come at any time!! They talked a little about induction today, between 38-39 weeks, which anyone who knows me knows I’ll fight to the ground unless they can give me a really good reason to have one. I want her to come on her own terms, naturally – but, if the alternatives are bad, I’ll do whatever is best for her. I just don’t want to be induced because someone “feels” that it’s the right thing to do. Plus, if they’ll let me go to 39 weeks, why NOT 40 weeks? Is 7 days going to make that much of a difference?

The ultrasound picture they gave us today was really good. You could really make out all her little facial features (except part of one of her eyes, because of her weird position there was a shadow over it). If the picture was any indication, she is definitely daddy’s little girl.

Speaking of having the baby, we toured the hospital this past Sunday. It was really a lot of fun…I left afterward feeling like – okay, I know where to go now, let’s have this baby already!! The set-up is really, really nice though – the labor and delivery rooms are absolutely private, and look like little hotel rooms. They apparently try to never separate mom and baby unless there’s an emergency (and this was verified by the fact that they were totally booked in the recovery rooms, but the nursery was totally empty when we walked by!) And the recovery rooms are NICE…there’s a pullout bed for Scott to sleep on, and a flat screen TV (like I’ll be watching a lot of TV, though?) and a really big bathroom with a full shower in it. It looked like a little mini resort. Oh, and they have a concierge service. Crazy.

Last night, I was sure something was happening, too. I’ve been feeling rotten and just hoping this baby would come already…and around 9:30, I started having some pretty bad crampyness. So I watched the clock, and they weren’t regular or anything, but they still hurt pretty bad. I thought maybe they were Braxton Hicks, so I got up and walked around, changed sides on the couch, did all the things that are “supposed” to make BH contractions go away, and they didn’t. So I was getting pretty excited.

By 10:30, they stopped, and I haven’t had another one since. Boo.

Anyway, that’s all the news for now. I’m still feeling rotten and I want to go home and sleep, but there’s work to be done!

36w0d – 4w to go! (27 days!)

Oh my gosh! It’s May 1st!

Angelica is due THIS MONTH! WOW!

I can’t believe it’s here already. It feels like just yesterday that I got my positive pregnancy test and was sitting in our computer room anxiously waiting Scott to get home so I could tell him the good news.

Now, that computer room is a fully stocked nursery (without a changing table, but we’re getting there at least) and our baby has grown from poppyseed sized to a full fledged watermelon.

I can’t wait to meet her, I’m so excited!

We may still have a bit to wait, though – at my appointment on Tuesday, there was no progress made in terms of dilation. I was kind of sad, but not too much – I want her to come when she’s ready, so if she needs more time in the “mommy oven” then she can take it! It’ll be good practice for the patience I’ll need as a parent.

34w6d – 5w1d to go!

Guess what? I’m still pregnant. YAY!

We had our follow-up with Dr. Fuentes this morning at 8:30. I was nervous and sweating and jittery all morning, wondering if we’d have to have the dreaded c-section this afternoon. I literally felt sick to my stomach.

But, the tech did the ultrasound and her AFI was back up over 8! YAY! So they advised me to keep drinking my water and continue with the resting, and they’d see me in two weeks for the “final” check up. SCARY to hear the word “final” – I can’t believe this is almost over! But, believe me, after this week’s drama, those labor pains will be the best pain I will ever feel compared to the dread and fear I’ve had over possibly having a c-section!

Also, in other good news, my blood pressure has been doing SO much better the past two times it’s been checked. It was 130/77 yesterday at Dr. Wilson’s office, and 140/70 (ish) this morning – probably up a little bit because I was so nervous. I think I can attribute that to something I had thought of before, but hadn’t REALLY thought was too bad. Since the baby’s fluid was so low, I cut out caffeine entirely (I was a caffeine junkie pre-pregnancy and hadn’t really cut it out since then, though I had cut back to one cup a day from my 3-4 cup a day habit). Lo and behold, the blood pressure evened out (at least the bottom number, which they were most concerned about).

So, the moral of the story is that I should keep cutting out the caffeine if I want my blood pressure to be stable. I’ll just have to replace my favorite caffeinated drinks with decaf versions.

YAY for today, though! I also did my hospital pre-registration today, and Scott & I are going to meet with the pediatrician this afternoon to get that all squared away.

I’ve got two more appointments lined up – April 29 with Dr. Wilson, where they get to do the fun GBS test (crossing fingers for negative!) and then May 7 again with Dr. Fuentes. (crossing fingers for high fluid!). I’ll be one day shy of 37 weeks by then – FULL TERM! WOW!

As a result of all of this chaos over the past week, we are now ready for Angelica to be born. Her crib is put together, room is cleaned, my hospital bag and Angelica’s diaper bag is packed. My co-workers are trained to cover for me for when the baby actually does come. I had to bail on my labor and delivery classes, but I got a DVD to watch, and I also bought a copy of Happiest Baby on the Block, which my sister said she really liked.

Okay, I should get back to work. I’m the happiest woman alive right now!!

33w6d – 6w1d to go (?)

I have tons to update about, but we’ll start with this – as you can see in the title, there’s a question mark on the number of weeks that I have left.

This morning, I had an appointment with Dr. Fuentes and my AFI was lower than last time – in fact, it was RIGHT on the borderline (5.5, the lowest “normal range” is 5). So, I’ve now been placed on modified bed-rest. He was debating whether or not to put me on full bed rest, but since I work seated 99% of the time, he cleared me to go to work for at least another week. When I’m at home, though, I’m only allowed to shower and go to the bathroom. Anyone who knows me knows that I think that SUCKS, because it means I have to give up my independence. But, it would suck more if the baby weren’t healthy, so I’m happy to do it.

I have a follow up with him next week, on Wednesday morning…if the fluid is any lower…we may be having a baby…NEXT WEEK.

The good news is that Angelica looks perfect. She was over 5 pounds on the ultrasound and was actually measuring slightly ahead, and all her baby parts looked perfect, so if we do have to be induced next week, she’ll be fine. She’ll be a little early and a little small, but fine nevertheless.

It kind of throws a kink in my natural childbirth plans, because you better believe that if they are going to induce me I’m taking the epidural, that way if it winds up being a c-section, I’ll be more prepared. But all the “plans” in the world are nothing compared to having a healthy baby.

I’ll update more about the other fun stuff (baby shower and such) later, I’d better get to work prepping for my maternity leave NOW!

32w0d – 8w to go!

It just dawned on me that I am so used to being huge and pregnant that my non-pregnant body will seem very foreign to me – and I’m only about 8 weeks away from giving birth!

How weird will it be to not have her in there kicking and squirming day in and day out? The little taps and flutters I felt at 16 weeks that stood out so much pale in comparison, and now sometimes she’s in there kicking away and I don’t even think about it or really notice because I’m just so used to it.

I’m just amazed by this…and actually nervous. I feel like things will be very weird once I deliver, kind of like being locked in a very quiet room where the quiet just seems so loud…if that makes sense…

31w6d – 8w1d to go!

I didn’t write about my appointment earlier this week, mainly because it was relatively uneventful.

Angelica is measuring right on target – the tape measure test said 32 weeks on Monday, which puts her only a few days ahead (and makes me a happy mommy – I think she’ll be early…still rooting for Memorial Day weekend, but it occurred to me last night that she could very easily be a Mother’s Day gift, too!)

Her heart rate was perfect…Dr. Cascio said she was being quite active, with a heart rate between 140-150 and it sounded strong. I’m so proud of my little girl!

My blood pressure is back up again, as I suspected – not terribly high (145/83 on Monday) because I haven’t really been able to exercise thanks to the pain – which, by the way, she said that pretty much the only thing I could do for it is lay down to take the pressure off…and in the next breath told me I needed more exercise for my blood pressure. Scott tried to explain the logistics of this but it didn’t seem to be well received – in all honesty I left my appointment feeling kind of ticked off because of this, and the fact that the whole thing turned into a lecture about my weight…again…

Speaking of that, because of the weight lecture, instead of being happy that the baby is doing well, I kind of left the appointment feeling like I should feel lucky that my “defective” body has created a perfect child, and that I should just expect something to go wrong at any time now (for example, I should just expect that I’ll develop pre-eclampsia or need a c-section).

This really ticked me off because I feel like I should be celebrating the fact that I have had a very easy, uncomplicated pregnancy and that the baby is doing so well and is so perfectly developed – and I attribute this to the fact that, since becoming pregnant, I have made lifestyle changes for the better. I’m eating healthier and exercising more than I have in years. But every time I go in to see one of the doctors, they imply that all I do is sit around and eat and don’t get enough activity, which isn’t true. (This isn’t the case with the NP, who has said I should watch my weight but never turns it into a negative lecture.)

Up to this point, I’ve always said I love my doctors but after this last visit, I’ve kind of had it. I’m actually considering a switch, but at this late stage in the pregnancy I wonder if it’s worth the hassle. After all, once we’re in the delivery room, all the doctor really has to do is catch the baby and then I can switch without having to worry about the transfer of medical records and see whoever I want. (If I ever have another baby – which isn’t very likely…but IF I ever do, I would pick a different doctor.) I’m working on my birth plan, and even though I know nothing ever goes exactly as planned, I will be outlining in there that before admission of drugs or jumping right into a c-section, they need to consider all other options first. Last thing I need is a knife-happy doc cutting into my uterus just because I’m overweight.

Next time I go in, if they start in on me, I’ll just tell them – I’m overweight, NOT defective. I haven’t gained that much, and I’ll worry about my weight gain after she comes. For now, as long as she’s healthy, I’m a happy mom.

That’s really it for now. I’m gonna go grab some lunch and plug away at work for awhile longer!

31w1d – 8w6d to go!

Scott shared this (very sad) story with me today, and it somehow resonated with me…perhaps because the way they describe Jami and Joe Kennedy’s marriage mirrors ours, or maybe because I know that I can’t do any of this pregnancy/childbirth/childraising without Scott’s love and support.

Anyway, grab a box of tissues and read: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3313165&type=story

(By the way, still haven’t called the doctor – their office is closed now, but I have an appointment on Monday anyway.)

31w – 9w to go!

Still no ultrasound pictures to update, but I have good reason. I can’t walk the distance I need to in order to get to the scanner.

(Apologies in advance if this comes across as a really ranty post, but I am officially having my first “I want this baby out of me!” moment.)

The past week or so has necessitated a lot of walking, either via baby shopping or work events. This, combined with the fact that the baby is now head down and apparently resting just about as low as she can go, has started to cause me what is probably some of the worst pain I have ever felt.

Since about 12 weeks, I’ve had occasional pain in the region near what my nurse practitioner so cleverly refers to as the “baby chute”. (I figure I can use that term if she can use it, right?) I find it gets worse if I’ve done a lot of walking, and ever since the baby has turned head-down, the pain has been worse than ever.

Well, this evening it turned into a “I can’t walk” kind of pain. As in, I can stand up, but transferring weight from one leg to another pretty much brings me to tears. And it’s not constant – it comes and goes (probably when the baby moves and takes pressure off of certain areas). But when it hurts, it is unbearable.

In fact, last night I was trying to go to sleep, and I sleep with a pillow between my knees to take the pressure off that area…but last night, I couldn’t even lift my leg the inch and a half I needed to in order to move the pillow in there because every time I did, I literally felt like I was going to split in half. (And yes, by literally, I mean, literally…I felt like I was being ripped apart.)

Oh, and forget rolling over at night. Just forget it. I would rather lay there and be a little uncomfortable than move my legs in the way I need to in order to roll over.

So, tonight I did a little research via the Google School of Medical Science (haha) and determined that it must be: symphysis pubis dysfunction. The symptoms describe exactly what I’m feeling, perfectly.

Given that it’s been so much worse the past few days, I’ll be calling the doctor in the morning to find out if there’s anything I can DO for it. I have an appointment on Monday, but I need to do something – anything. This is seriously impacting my exercise routine, which I need to keep my blood pressure down (especially given all the other stressors in my life right now, which are making my blood pressure go back up again).

In addition to that, I am now gaining weight at a rapid pace, despite the fact that I can’t hardly eat a whole meal anymore, so I’m sure I’m going to get another weight-related lecture at the doctor’s office. If I eat as much as I normally would (and sometimes even when I don’t), I get the worst heartburn I’ve ever had. If I don’t eat enough, I’m STARVING within an hour. I should buy stock in Tums at this point. If I don’t get heartburn, I get nausea. But yeah, eating in and of itself is a chore these days.

Oh, and the baby has this lovely new habit of kicking me in the kidney, and I cannot express how painful that is. Every time it feels like I’m getting a kidney stone all over again, but the pain only lasts a minute and then goes away once she moves.

Annnnnndddd I am now reaching a point where none of my MATERNITY clothes fit. I went shopping with Stefanie last weekend and picked up a few shirts/tank tops, but even they’re a little snug. And my maternity pants, which were once baggy on me, are now getting snug.

Actually, I think wearing my normal clothes may be one of the biggest things I’m looking forward to doing post-pregnancy.

Speaking of things that don’t fit, I haven’t been able to wear my engagement/wedding rings since Christmas because my hands are too puffy. And I miss them terribly.

To make matters worse, I am so tired all the time, but I can’t sleep worth a damn anymore. I’m either uncomfortable, in pain, or have to pee…constantly. At least once the baby is here, I’ll be able to squeeze in a couple hours of quality sleep between feedings. I’m not even getting QUALITY sleep at this point. I’m pretty much just dozing in and out of sleep. I must have seen every hour on the clock last night. I’ve tried going to sleep earlier. I’ve pretty much cut out all caffeine at this point (aside from the rare treat of coffee or soda, maybe once a week). At this point, I give up. I’m staying up until I can’t stand it anymore and then maybe I’ll REALLY sleep. (This is also making getting up in the morning a royal pain in the whatever, because between the lack of sleep and the fact that getting out of bed is painful, all I want to do is just lay there.)

Let me just say that with all of this going on, these next 8-9 weeks cannot move fast enough. It will be WEIRD to not feel her moving around in there anymore, but I will take it over all of this pain and discomfort and sleeplessness.

//end rant

I guess I’ll end things on a positive note. I was laying on the sofa the other night, reading a magazine, and the baby started moving around. She’s facing my left side, so I put my hand just below my ribcage, and I totally felt her little foot move across it. It was the first time I felt her move and was actually able to determine which body part I was feeling and it was so cool. I started giggling and couldn’t stop, and she kept doing it for like 10 minutes.

I also felt part of my tummy get harder last night, like she was moving around and pressed up against it and poked it and felt what had to be the outline of a leg or foot…or maybe a spine? It was long and bony. And she did NOT like me poking at it because she quickly squirmed out of the way.

We also had a big meeting at work, with some music and people talking into microphones, and she definitely reacted to the sound, which was really cool. I know she’s in there and can HEAR things now.

So, you take the bad with the good. But all these things really made me want her out so I can interact with her face to face! (But please, little one, stay in there until you’re good and healthy and ready to come out!)

30w – 10w to go!

I got a bit of good news the other day that I wanted to share…I had been holding off on sharing this until a final decision was made, and I had notified my boss of my plans…but…

I NOW QUALIFY FOR SHORT TERM DISABILITY!

I had my annual benefits meeting on Monday. I hadn’t been signed up for short term disability in the past (Actually, I THOUGHT I had been, but shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I learned that somehow my coverage had been canceled…probably accidentally when I canceled my health insurance when Scott & I got married) and I had been told that, being pregnant, I wouldn’t be able to sign up for it and therefore wouldn’t get paid for my maternity leave (beyond my vacation pay).

But, since my last qualifying date, the company changed disability insurance carriers, and since I had never had an opportunity to sign up for this particular plan in the past, they let me sign up for it! Which means I’m covered and will earn 60% of my pay during the time I’m out.

So, hurray! Angelica will have mommy and daddy home with her for almost four months, between my leave and Scott’s!

I feel for my colleagues who have to cover for me while I’m out, though. I’ll have to do my best to get them all adequately trained and then just be available by phone whenever necessary.

In other news, I did a little more research into the low amniotic fluid issue that the doctor mentioned yesterday. I was a little confused about a conversation between him and the nurse…he asked the nurse what the AFI was and she said 8, and he said he wasn’t worried but that I should drink more fluids. According to Babycenter.com, AFI = amniotic fluid index, and is measured in centimeters. In the 3rd trimester, normal is between 5 and 25, and mine was only 8, so like I said before – normal, but low end of normal range.

I’ve been pounding back the water, though, and the baby LOVES that. There have been a couple of kicks today that were unlike anything I experienced. I was reading a magazine on the sofa earlier and the kick knocked the magazine right out of my hands! Crazy for a baby who isn’t really that active!

I forgot to mention yesterday, too – her heart was good and strong at 157 beats per minute!

I still need to get those ultrasound photos scanned in. I forgot to bring my flash drive to work, and Scott wanted to take the photos to work tomorrow, so I’ll have to take care of doing that later on. I can say, though, that there is one profile shot in the bunch that I am in LOVE with. She is so cute!

That’s gonna be it for tonight…I feel another migraine coming on (sigh) so I’m going to go take a warm bath and try to get some rest.

29w6d – 10w1d to go!

We had another fun appointment with Dr. Fuentes today!

Not that it’s fun to have to go see a perinatologist, but, we get an ultrasound at every visit, so I can’t complain! I will have to bring my flash drive to work with me tomorrow so I can scan the new pictures in and upload them to the blog.

Angelica still looks fantastic. We got an excellent straight-on face shot, she’s got these cute chubby cheeks and has really filled out. We got a couple profile shots, too – she is definitely her father’s daughter! Her profile looks just like his. We also got another confirmation that she is, in fact, a girl. No surprises there (though she was much more modest this time than the last time – the tech, Maria, had to really work to get her to open up so we could get a peek!)

More good news – she is head down! This very likely explains why my pelvic bone has felt severely bruised over the past few days. Maria said that she will likely stay head down at this point, so this is good news! She just needs to fatten up a little more, and she’ll be ready to go!

Speaking of fattening up – at our appointment 4 weeks ago, she was 1 pound, 13 ounces. Today she weighed in at 3 pounds, 6 ounces! My baby girl is getting so big! She also got the hiccups while we were looking at her on screen, and you could see her little tummy jump (and I could feel it too!)

Now, for the reason for the appointment – my blood pressure. At my last appointment at Dr. Fuentes office, it was 150/88. Today it was 130/66! He is no longer concerned about my blood pressure and told me to keep up what I’ve been doing.

The only other cause for concern, though ever so slight, is that the amniotic fluid is a tiny bit low. He wasn’t worried about it (apparently it was at the low end of normal) and just told me to make sure I drink more water.

So, there are now two more appointments on the horizon – I see Dr. Cascio (one of the doctors in Dr. Wilson’s practice) on the 31st of this month, and then back to Dr. Fuentes on the 16th of April. Beyond that, I think I’ll be at Dr. Wilson’s office every week to get checked for labor!

I can’t believe she’s almost here! 71 days to go!