39w6d – 1d to go! The LAST pre-baby blog post!

We’re headed in to be induced tonight! I have high expectations for the process. We had our last NST yesterday and the baby looked good (though we caught her at sleepy time…had to wake her up with a big glass of cold lemonade) and we also discovered that the moderate pain/cramping I had been having was contractions…much bigger contractions than the last time the NST picked up on it. And wow did I feel them!

I also asked Diane to do an internal, which she thought was kind of silly since we’re just headed in to be induced today anyway, but I know that if you’ve made “progress”, the induction is less likely to fail and result in c-section, and I needed to know for my own peace of mind. So, she did it and we were both pleasantly surprised…I was a fingertip dilated and 80% effaced. So that means that the contractions were doing their job!

Unfortunately I came home and took a nap and they stopped. Boo for that, I was hoping to wind up in labor!

But, at least I got a good amount of rest last night…slept great between the nap and my regular night’s sleep. I feel totally refreshed right now. Scott reassembled the pack n’ play and set up the basinette part of it last night, so it’s all set for us to bring Angelica home (she’s rooming in with us for at least the first few weeks).

Wish us luck! Next time you hear from me, we’ll be parents!

39w4d – 3 days to go

In good news, Julianna Nichole Marino has entered the world, to proud parents Michelle and Nick Marino, and proud big sister Adrianna! Congrats to my fellow pregnant friend – I will forgive you for giving birth before me even though you were due after me!

In bad news, I’m still pregnant, with no sign of labor. There’s more to this story, but Dr. Wilson bumped up my induction date to May 28th, going in at 7 p.m. to start the induction, so Angelica should be here on her due date. On the one hand, I am so happy because at this point I don’t care HOW she comes out, I just care that she comes out and is healthy. On the other hand, I feel that if I make it that far, I’ll feel cheated out of the whole element of surprise that I’ve been so looking forward to.

Either way, she’ll be here by May 29th and I can’t complain about that. I’m so ready for her.

About two weeks ago, the last of the pregnancy pains kicked in. I now have carpal tunnel syndrome in the same wrist that I had that weird tendinitis back in the 2nd trimester. As I type, my right hand is completely numb, aside from the pins and needles in my fingertips. “They” say it goes away after pregnancy, so here’s hoping.

I broke free of the “bed rest” today to go walk around Waterford Lakes and shake a baby loose, but it was all in vain. She’s still hanging in there, stong and steadfast. Scott & I at least got a good lunch out of it, and we went to Old Navy and Carter’s…exchanged a duplicate thing we got at Carter’s and got a couple more adorable outfits for the kiddo, and then got some new outfits for Scott at Old Navy.

Crossing my fingers for a baby in the next few days. I’ll be really sad if I go to work on Tuesday instead of going to the hospital to have a baby…I always predicted she’d come over the long Memorial Day weekend.

38w5d – 1w2d to go (12 days to induction) – Part 2

Just got back from the doctor.

Sadly, no news to report. The NST went very well…Angelica cooperated better this time than last time (guess she was sleepier last week). Ultrasound looked GREAT again, in fact, AFI was up to almost 9 (it was still around 6-7 last week).

Dr. Wilson scheduled me for another appointment for next Tuesday…crossing my fingers that we won’t make it that far! Also, he’s having me call and officially schedule the induction for June 2nd tomorrow. Hopefully that won’t be necessary either.

That’s really all…I’m gonna go finish up some work now so that I can rest. I’ve had the worst heartburn today, and I’m getting over (yet another) cold. Boo.

38w5d – 1w2d to go (12 days to induction)

I’m taking my wise mother-in-law’s advice, given in the last post, and only counting the days to June 2nd – because otherwise I’ll be agonizing over that due date. So, 12 days to go (and you’re so right, too – girls have such a mind of their own!!)

I have an appointment at 1:30 today, so I don’t have any news just yet. I just wanted to share a sad and touching story coming from the earthquake in China that was posted in one of the pregnancy message boards I go to – I’ve always heard my whole life about the power of a mother’s love, but now that I’m actually a mom (well – almost anyway) I truly understand how something like this could happen.

It was the third day after the quake already.

The rescue workers were still looking for survivors. They knew with each minute passing by, the chance to find someone alive gets slimmer. They were overworked. Since the quake, many of them had been working constantly, without having any good sleep. The roads to these mountainous towns and villages were destroyed by the quake-induced mudslides. They did not have machinery to work with. All they had were shovels and their bare hands.

But they were still looking for survivors.

“Come here, come here! There is a body! ” Shouted a rescue worker. His fellow workers rushed to the spot. Under a big chunk of roof was a woman. She was lying with a strange pose – she kneeled on the ground with her upper body stretch forward. Her head was on the ground as well. As if she was praying for her survival.

The nurse in the rescue team struggled to reach her through the debris. It was difficult. There was no space. The woman was not responsive to any call. However, just to make sure, the nurse still tried to test her breath, to see if she was still breathing.

Not really. She was breathless, and her body was cold. She was dead. Praying or not, it did not help. The team moved on. There were other people buried. They could not afford to spend time in retrieving a dead body.

When the team reached the next collapsed building, the captain suddenly ran back to the woman, as if he realized something. When he reached the spot, he lay down, put his head next to the roof, and stretched his arm to touch the space under her abdomen. Once, twice. His forehead was locked, just like he was solving a mystery.

“There is a baby! And he is alive!!!” He cried out to his team members.

It was a newly-born. He was neatly wrapped in a red blanket decorated by yellow flowers. Miraculously, he did not even have a scratch in his body. When he was taken out from the rubble, he was sleeping, peacefully sleeping.

The nurse took the baby from the rescue worker and started doing routine exams. When she unwrapped the blanket, she found a cell phone tucked between the baby and his diaper. It had a text message written on the screen, read

“My dear baby, if you can survive, please remember mom loves you.”

37w6d – 2w1d to go!

The NST went fine today. The nurse commented that it picked up a few contractions. YAY. I am still feeling them. In fact, I’m feeling one right now, and I’m starting to feel them in my back as well (could be my uncomfortable chair, could be labor!) so now I at least know I’m NOT imagining these contractions.

The amnio check also went well – I didn’t ask numbers, but Dr. Cascio said that it looked better this time than the last time and she could tell I was following orders. Thank goodness for that. She also said that Dr. Fuentes strongly recommended inducing me between 38-39 weeks, but she was still not convinced it was the right thing to do. So we scheduled an induction date – after my due date (June 2nd), with the caveat that if the amniotic fluid levels drop to 5 again, that’s the day we’ll be inducing. So anyone who prays, pray for the level to stay the same!

She was really happy to hear that I was having contractions, because she knows how badly I want to go into labor on my own, and she wants me to also.

Some notes about the NST. Not really much to worry about. They strap a monitor to you and have you lay there and listen to the baby’s heart for 20 minutes. The worst part about it was that they had me lay flat on my back, which is something I haven’t done in about 6 months, nor have I had a desire to, because the baby puts too much weight on my back and it hurts. The only other bad thing about it was when a contraction hit and I couldn’t move into a comfortable position. Otherwise, it was kind of nice…just laying there, feeling the baby move around, hearing her heartbeat.

Also, this was REALLY cool during the ultrasound…Dr. Cascio homed in on her chest, and you could totally see her chest expanding and contracting. She’s practicing breathing!!

Alright, that’s enough of an update. Everyone cross your fingers that these contractions turn into something REAL! And soon! If I’m still having these little annoying contractions in three more weeks, I am gonna be one unhappy mama (they’re already making me even more cranky than I was before!)

37w5d – 2w2d to go!

Nothing major to report, other than the fact that I have been having annoyingly irregular contractions since this morning. Nothing to call L&D about yet, but they sure are annoying.

Trying not to get my hopes up, but hoping for excitement tomorrow afternoon at the doctor’s office.

Man, I need a nap.

37w4d – 2w3d to go! (17 days!)

Mother’s Day has come and gone, and I have no baby yet.

I had an appointment with Dr. Cascio today – Angelica is apparently way down now. She did an internal exam (which, by the way, was nowhere NEAR as pleasant as last week’s – this one actually HURT) and she could feel the her little head! So no wonder I feel like someone kicked me in the crotch really hard. I feel so bruised! But at least I know that, in spite of the fact that there is no dilation yet (boo) that she is still moving toward the exit.

Dr. Fuentes sent over his evaluation of last week’s final growth ultrasound, along with the recommendation to induce labor between 38 and 39 weeks (next week!), but imagine my relief when Dr. Cascio said she wasn’t sure if that was the best idea. I told her I agreed with her, and about my desire for a med-free birth, and she said she would prefer if I go naturally as well. She said she wanted to talk things over with Dr. Wilson and see if he thought I should be induced, and they would get in touch with me.

So, I got a call a little bit ago from their receptionist. They want to hold off on the induction, and scheduled me for another ultrasound to check the fluid, and for a non-stress test – both taking place on Wednesday. They also went ahead and scheduled me for a second amnio check and NST for NEXT Tuesday. I was so concerned about these doctors wanting to push me into an induction or c-section after some things they said at my last couple of visits, so I am really relieved that they are taking this course of action. (Of course, if the ultrasound or the NST give poor results, they’ll do what’s necessary, and I’m completely okay with that – if there is a risk to the baby, I will gladly sacrifice the natural, med-free birth if it means induction or c-section will result in a healthy baby).

I somehow don’t forsee making it to next Tuesday’s appointment though. If the amount of pressure I’ve been feeling is any indication of how soon I’ll go into labor, it’ll be sometime this week. I’ve been feeling a few times like she is just trying to push her way out now, but can’t because everything is still closed up. But we’ll see.

Alright, back to work now!

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!!