Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Baby Cheeks: Good News!

We had the first of our 2 weekly checkups today.  I got there about 15 minutes early in the hopes that they'd get me in earlier.  It was a joke.  My 10:30 appointment turned into an 11:15.  Ugh.  I understand that doctors typically run late, and usually my clinic is really good.  I think that when you're going twice a week, though, patience runs thin.

Anyhow - the nurse took my blood pressure... she and I both know that it's been pretty high (sometimes frighteningly so).  She gave me a funny look.  I immediately thought that I was headed back to the hospital.  NOPE!  It was 136/90.  If my count is right, that's lower than it's been in almost 6 weeks!  Also, there was no trace of protein in my urine!

Baby Cheeks wasn't as responsive as we wanted on the NST, but that's pretty much standard at this point, so I got the go ahead to come back on Friday.  

It's such a relief to finally have a good report!  Now the challenge is to remember that my good report is because I'm doing things correctly and not use it as license to go back to running around doing whatever I want.  Except Halloween.  I want to see the kiddos Trick or Treat!  Anyone have a wheelchair I can borrow for the night? 

Monday, October 27, 2014


You'll have to forgive me.  The next few Mondays are BIG milestones!  Today we are at 35 weeks.  If Cheeks comes now, (s)he is considered late preterm - not a preemie!  (Okay - technically still a preemie, I guess, but you get it...)

I've done a lot of googling "babies born at 33 weeks" and "babies born at 35 weeks" and whatnot.  I noticed that many of the babies born in the 34th week still have feeding tubes, whereas the babies born at 35 weeks seem to be pictured without them.  I know it's not in the least bit scientific, but it does make me feel better.

Last night, I *think* we had some Braxton Hicks contractions.  They were short, but I'm almost sure that's what they are.  Could have been Cheeks pushing against my whole belly at once, but I kinda doubt it.

Doctor visit tomorrow!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Carving!

You know what makes my husband a GREAT daddy?

It's more than the pumpkin carving.

He lets the kids be themselves.

Me?  I want to direct... birthday parties, holidays, clothing, room decor, etc...

Cam?  If Bo says that the eyes go halfway down the pumpkin and should be squares, that's what happens.  No questions asked.


Cheeks: My BIG baby.

Yesterday, we had our follow up with the doctor.  Cam and I arrived at 8:40 for our appointment at 8:50 only to be told that we didn't have an appointment.  It didn't take long to work it out, and they squeezed us in only slightly after our original appointment.

The nurse took my vitals and then hooked me up to the machine for the nonstress test.  Somewhere around the 10 minute mark, the doctor came in.  Not one to mince words, she nodded her hello and then declared, "Your blood pressure sucks."  While some people might not appreciate this delivery, it's actually my preferred method of communication.  As a born optimist, when people don't speak clearly and directly, I have a tendency to gloss it over.

Once again, Baby Cheeks was not responsive enough for the doctor's liking, so we were sent to wait for a biophysical profile ultrasound.  The ultrasound tech was nice enough to flip over to her 4D ultrasound so that we could get a really good view of this cheeky baby.  It was amazing.

Baby was moving and grooving and we passed another BPP with 8 out of 8.  The tech estimated that baby is weighing in at 7 pounds and 9 ounces, though she admitted that her estimates are usually about half a pound high.

We met with the doctor afterwards.  I was just sure that she was going to send me back to the hospital, but she told me that she trusts me and my family to watch for symptoms and get to the hospital if anything changes.  From the beginning, it's been clear that this baby will be another csection baby, and I consoled myself by thinking about how nice it would be to schedule Cheeks' birthday.  It never occurred to me that there is every possibility that I will go into labor naturally before our induction date.  (There I go again... glossing things over.)

The doctor told me that with a baby this big, there is every possibility that I'll just hit maximum uterus capacity and go into labor.  She reminded us that God is in control and with His help, we'll make it to 37 weeks - but if we don't, that's His plan too.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bed Rest: The Glamorous Life.

Today I wore my pajamas all day.  I watched too much television, clipped some coupons, and called to make an appointment with the vet.

The most strenuous part of my day was losing the remote... or maybe it was microwaving a hot dog for lunch.

I took one nap, ate two large cups of ice, and updated Facebook too many times.

I think I'll balance my checkbook.

My life is SO exciting.

One day closer to a full term baby.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Home again. Home again. Jiggety jig.

Since my last update, I've been moved down to the maternity wing.  I had been told fairly clearly that I should just NOT prepare myself to go home.  Based on everything that was going on, I was told that I had 3 options.

  1. Tests come back looking dangerous.  Emergency cesarean section.
  2. Tests come back looking fine.  I go home.
  3. Tests come back borderline.  I stay on the maternity hall until things start looking dangerous or 37 weeks.
As the doctor presented me with these options, he made it very clear that he did NOT expect me to go home and he did NOT expect me to make it to 37 weeks.  According to him, preeclampsia does not get better until delivery.  It only will get worse from here.  In his words, "it could be a matter of hours, days, or weeks."  He didn't believe I'd take a turn for the worse in hours or weeks.  I can't tell you how relieving it is to have a doctor just break it down for you in a realistic sort of way.

I wasn't happy, but I resigned myself to make the best of my next days or (God forbid) weeks on the maternity hall.  All the tests were back and stable.  Baby passed another biophysical profile.  (Ultrasound tech estimates that Cheeks is 7 pounds +/- 1 pound and measuring at 37 weeks.  If she's right, Cheeks is already bigger than Bo at birth!)  Proteinuria had not increased at all.  Blood work all looked normal.  My blood pressure was bouncing around a little, but mostly steady.

I moved out of L&D and down to the M Wing.  I got settled in for who-knows-how-long.  

That's when things changed.  I had had dinner and settled in to watch some TV when the doctor came back.  He told me that my last proteinuria test was not actually correct.  They had simply re-read my last results.  My new results weren't even in yet.  I was terrified.  I've read many many horror stories of people going from levels like mine (low 400's - preeclampsic but barely) to the THOUSANDS (dangerous and ready for emergency cesarean immediately) overnight.  He was done with his rotation, but said that someone would get me the results that night.

I waited.  It wasn't too long before the nurse came back to tell me that my levels were down in the 200's!  Not even preeclampsic levels!  The nurse called the new rotation doctor to tell her of the change.  The doctor came to visit me and told me that based on all the evidence, she couldn't see a good reason for me to stay.  She told me that she'd be comfortable discharging me immediately, but that if I was agreeable (and because it was already 7PM) that she'd like it if I'd stay the night and do a few more blood pressure checks.  I agreed.

I couldn't believe how quickly the news changed!  I was going home!  I AM going home!  Hopefully I'll be heading back through town at the right time to pick up Bo from school!  I'll be back on the couch, but I'll be home.  

Baby Cheeks is coming soon - but not now!

Monday, October 20, 2014

34 weeks: A Trip to L&D

This weekend was the first weekend in 2 weeks that Cameron has had time to spend with us at home.  It was very low impact and very needed.  We spent a lot of time doing stuff like this...

Last night, I woke up with an awful headache.  I had been instructed several times to go directly to the hospital if I got a headache that didn't respond to Tylenol.  Against my wishes, Cameron pushed me into the ER in a wheelchair, but when we got up to triage, it turned out that he probably knew what he was doing.  My blood pressure was 180/106.

Those magic numbers were my winning ticket to a trip to Labor and Delivery for 24 hour monitoring.  I guess the determination now is that if my blood pressure goes down while I'm here, then I stay a little longer, and if it doesn't go down, then we have a baby sooner than later.  Glad we had those steroid shots last week! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cheeks: Week 33 Day 4

I went in for my scheduled non-stress test today.  I arrived late and limping thanks to bad traffic and bed rest.  (I swear that I'm so stiff since going on bed rest that I wonder if it's even worth it.)

My blood pressure was up, but I'm now referring to it as my "walking around BP", so it's nothing much to talk about.  My protein levels were down - YAY!

I had been concerned since last night that Cheeks wasn't moving as much as normal, so I was really looking forward to hearing that heartbeat.  Of course, when the nice lady put the sensor on my belly, she got dead silence.  It took a minute or so for her to find Cheeks - the longest minute or so of my life.

I stayed in the room for about 20 minutes, happily listening to that little heartbeat.  The nurse came back and told me that even though the heartbeat was steady, they really wanted to see some highs and lows on there - Cheeks was not responsive enough.  I drank some ice water and stayed for 10 more minutes before heading to the ultrasound tech for a biophysical profile.

Cheeks was doing well - all the benchmarks were passed very quickly, and we were given a perfect score.

I'm taking off points for being a thumb-sucker!

We go back for another non-stress test on Tuesday.  I'll be on the couch til then! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cheeks Week 33: Paranoia, Heartburn, Insomnia

I checked back in with the hospital yesterday - bedrest is a joke when the hospital and doctor are 20 something miles from home and you're going 2-3 times per week.  I went to turn in my 24 hour urine sample and get my second steroid shot.  They told me that I should hear something about the sample this morning, so of course I was up at 4:30 AM to worry about it.  

At this point, every twinge and cramp is making me nervous.  It's an odd sensation for me - I'm so used to assuming the best and only half-planning for the worst that I don't know how to function at this point.  

I don't want to be negative, and I'm pretty sure that with the second baby, I'm supposed to worry less and not more, but it's just not working for me.  When the nurses started saying things like, "We just need to monitor closely to be sure that you aren't getting sicker," it flipped a switch in my brain.

No appointments today - I'll be home and mostly on my left side.  For once, I almost wish I was driving to Rome just so I could hear some good news, but hopefully the hospital will call in the next few hours with some.  Tomorrow, Cheeks and I have a nonstress test at the doctor's office.  

Every week day matters at this point, so we'll just keep plugging along here.  I don't want to be impatient - I know that Cheeks is developing lung power and immunities now, and I definitely don't want to do NICU time.  Guess we'll keep making the best of the situation.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Baby Cheeks: Week 33 Day 1

Cheeks and I made our first trip to the Labor and Delivery triage yesterday.  I went to my regularly scheduled doctor appointment at 8:30AM.  We started with an ultrasound.  Cheeks is apparently measuring somewhere around 5 pounds and 9 ounces. 

I'm pretty sure it's all in the cheeks.
 My blood pressure (which had been creeping up) was even higher than expected.  Couple that with the fact that the lab lost my last 24 hour urine sample, and it was off to the hospital with me.  I was given a bed and a blood pressure cuff.  After two hours on my left side, my blood pressure was into the healthy range.  My blood work showed that my kidney/liver function was good.  I was given another 24 hour urine bucket and a steroid shot in my hip and sent home.  I'm headed back up there today for my second shot and to turn in my homework.

I'm on edge every time I have to go up there - I was blindsided last time.  A routine visit turned into admission so fast that it made my head spin.  I should never have gone without (at the very least) a phone charger.  Many many thanks to Jessica who bought me a charger and brought it up - even though I was being discharged as she got there.  

When I got home, I did a little research. (Never do this.  Ever.)  I found out that usually when steroid shots are given between 24 and 34 weeks of gestation when doctors believe that they need to strengthen baby's lungs for impending delivery.  I called the doctor's office and was told that this was merely a precaution.  They don't give the shots once you pass the 34 week mark, so I was in at just the right time for it.

I'm now officially on bed rest - except for my 2-3 trips to Rome every week.  Luckily, I have excellent caretakers in Mom and Cameron - even if I'm THE WORST PATIENT EVER.  (Sorry, guys.)

Hands down though, the best treatment that I got yesterday was having my Bo returned to me.  Moma and Bepaw were fantastically understanding, and Cameron met them halfway so that I could spend some time with him one on one just in case this baby comes sooner than later.  We read every book that he wanted to before he crashed out last night.

Snuggles are the best medicine.