Saturday, April 28, 2012

Update to the Week From Hell

First of all, while I haven't been able to respond to individual comments yet, I would like to thank everyone that commented over these past few days that have kept my husband and I in your thoughts and prayers. I also received many private emails as well. It truly meant the world to me and I really don't know what I would do without my fellow bloggers.

As usual things did not go smoothly. Thursday morning my husband had to go in to have his heart mapped out under anesthesia for his surgery on Friday. The nurses asked why I was in a wheelchair so my husband and I shared our story. They immediately started taking care of me. Normally I would have had to return to the waiting area in the main lobby of the hospital while my husband was in the OR, but instead they brought a lounging chair right into his room (where they prepped him for surgery and where he would recover), brought me a pillow and blanket, and even brought me a pitcher of water and some crackers. They told me that they wanted me stay put and to relax. My husband and I were so grateful for this. They even made it a point to let us know that the following day, for his actual surgery, that they were going to do the same thing so that we didn't have to worry. About two hours after they took him to the OR, he was brought back to the room to recover. The doctor said that there were no clots in his heart so he was cleared for surgery. Once we got home I decided to go upstairs and take a nap as I was exhausted. I woke up around 7pm and went to the bathroom to find that I was bleeding. Not spotting, but actually bleeding. It looked like I had gotten my period. I immediately screamed for my husband as I was paralyzed with fear. I called the doctor and they told me to come immediately to L&D. When I got there they brought me into a room, hooked me up to monitor contractions, and had the Resident come in to talk to me. After a VERY painful examination (as they had to remove the pessary) it was determined that the bleeding had nothing to do with the baby and was a benign bleed coming from my cervix. I personally think that it was from the combination of the pessary and all the blood thinners I am on. The Resident then measured my cervix and and checked the baby. The baby was absolutely fine and she got a measurement of 1.5cm for my cervix, which is .2cm shorter than the day before, but she said that the in-room machine that they use isn't as accurate as the one in the MFM office. She then informed me that she wanted me to spend the night just so they could observe me for a while. I immediately started crying my eyes out as my husband had to be at a different hospital for his heart surgery in less than seven hours. I begged her not to keep me if the baby wasn't in any danger. She consulted with the Chief Resident and they decided to let me go home if I promised to take it easy.

After two hours of sleep, my husband and I woke up and got ready for his surgery. Again, once we got there, the nurses put me in the lounging chair and set me up with TV and some snacks. His procedure was going to take 5-7 hours so my best friend came down for a few hours to keep me sane. A little before noon, while I was down in the cafeteria eating lunch with my friend, one of the nurses came down to find me. She told me that my husband was out of surgery and that the surgeon wanted to talk to me. I immediately got scared as I couldn't imagine why his surgery went so quickly. I went to the OR waiting area and out walked his surgeon. He told me that his surgery went better than expected so they were able to complete it in much less time. They were able to fix both problems which was incredible as the surgeon originally said that there was only a 50% chance that they wouldn't be able to fix one of the problems. About an hour after I talked to the surgeon I was able to see my husband. He was a bit sore but happy that things went so well. He was transferred to the CCU and started on a Heparin pump. This morning they were able to discontinue the pump and start him on oral blood thinners. After three blood draws, an Echocardiogram, and an EKG, he was able to come home this evening. He was doing so well that they cleared him to come home but with restrictions. It is going to be a rough week with him being so restricted and me being on bed rest, but I know that we will get through it.

I am emotionally drained. I am so happy that these past few days are behind us. Now that my husband is okay and doing well, we really need to focus all of our attention on this baby. I have a week and a half until we hit viability and can get the steroid shots to mature the baby's lungs. I am trying to stay as positive as I can, but I can't help but cry every now and then about how unfair this is.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Praying For a Positive Outcome

This morning was my weekly cervix check and I was truly hoping for the best. I have been taking it easy on "modified bed rest" and I have been on the 17P for weeks. I never imagined it to go the way that it did today. Last week my cervix measured 2.5cm with I teeny-tiny bit of funneling which they thought could be due to some mucus that was sitting between the placenta and the cervix. This week my cervix is down to 1.7cm and there is much more funneling. The MFM that came in for my ultrasound said that gravity is no longer my friend and that I cannot be up except to go to the bathroom and to move from one resting place to another. After the ultrasound was complete they brought me back for my appointment. The NP came in and I immediately lost it. I am just so scared that I couldn't hold back the tears. The first thing she mentioned was the cervical pessary. This is something the Chief mentioned doing way back at my first appointment. The NP also said that she would like to switch me to nightly vaginal progesterone as she thinks it will work better than the 17P given the pessary will be placed. She called over to the medical center to speak to the Chief to see what type of pessary he wanted to use as there are a few different types. After figuring out which type to use they had to fit me for it and put it in place. While it was not comfortable it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. It is slightly annoying but at this point it is the least of my worries.

Shortly after the pessary was placed, the Chief came over from the medical center to speak with me. He said that he believes that pessary could help as my cervix is shortening and funneling due to the pressure from the baby. The pessary will help to support the weight. I also asked him what his thoughts were on 17P vs. the vaginal progesterone. He has always been an advocate for progesterone use in only those with a previous second trimester loss, and he knows that I respectfully disagree with his thinking. He told me that it really was up to me which to use, and because the NP was advocating for the vaginal suppositories, that is what I decided to go with. I asked him what the plan was and what I should expect. He said that the next 4-5 weeks are crucial as those who make it to 27 weeks or so, are more likely to go even further. He said that the uterus fully lifts out of the pelvis at this point possibly relieving some of the pressure and weight. He said that he wants to remain optimistic but cannot tell me how this is going to go. Just to be on the safe side once I hit 24 weeks they are going to administer steroid shots to help mature the baby's lungs just in case. I need to make it to 24 weeks though. He said that I have a considerable amount of scarring at the base of my cervix from the cone biopsy to remove the cancer. He is hoping that if I continue to funnel and shorten that it will not get passed the scarring, therefore the scar tissue will be what will hold the baby in. That is no guarantee though. The one glimmer of hope is that the base of the cervix is still closed and not dilated at all. If it starts to open they will immediately put me into the hospital. I am out of work and on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. My hope is that I can maintain things on modified bed rest and still make it to my a wheelchair. My shower is 5 weeks from Saturday so I am hoping that my body cooperates. I want to make it to AT LEAST 28 weeks with this baby.

I have so much running through my mind and so much to say but I am so emotionally overwhelmed right now. My husband has his cardiac surgery on Friday and has to go into the hospital tomorrow to have his heart mapped out for the surgery (under anesthesia for that). The one thought that keeps coming to mind is why is this happening to me. Not that I think it should happen to someone else, but after all the IUIs, all the IVFs, all the losses, and all of the complications, I can't get a f-ing break. This is so unfair...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

22 Weeks

How Far Along: 22 Weeks

Size of Baby: This week the baby is measuring in at just about 10.9 inches long crown to heel and is weighing in around one pound!!

Picture of Baby: These were taken last Thursday at 21 weeks 2 days. LC had its legs tucked into its head. At first I though LC was sucking its thumb and I thought it was all cute, then the tech quickly pointed out that LC was sucking on its toes. Wonderful!
(LC sucking on its toes. Can we say flexible??)

(LC's meaty little thigh. Cute hiney shot too!)

Maternity Clothes: Since I have been on bed rest I have been living in sweats and maternity t-shirts. I did, however, score some pretty cute stuff from Gap Maternity. I got a pair of skinny jeans with the full panel (the demi panel cuts in too much now), a couple of sweaters, and a maxi dress. Even though I am on bed rest I still get out for my appointments and my husband is able to bring me out in the wheelchair to the store so I still need decent clothes as there is no way in hell that I would ever leave the house in sweatpants!

Weight Gain:  I am officially up 12 pounds. Apparently by week 24 they like you to gain between 10 and 15 pounds so I am right on track!

Belly: Updated picture next week.

Stretch Marks: None yet but my skin has become quite itchy so I am wondering if they will be appearing soon. Boo!!

Sleep: Not good. I am not napping as much and after about five hours of sleep at night, my body is done. I am up and awake for the day.

Best Moment of the Week:

Movement: A ton! LC kicked me yesterday from morning to night. I honestly don't think LC slept yesterday because I was constantly getting kicked and punched. I read that once you get past 28 weeks you should be able to feel ten kicks in an a two hour period. Well yesterday I was laying there counting them and I had ten kicks within ten minutes! The other cool thing is that I am becoming aware where LC is located. I can tell when LC is breech or vertex.

Symptoms: Round ligament pains galore. There have been a few times when I have thrown myself on the floor out of my chair or bed as the pain is just unbelievable. Being on a soft surface just aggravates it and I feel like the only way to stretch it out is by laying or kneeling on a hard surface.

Food Cravings: I am still loving my fruit and vegetables but I am now interested in banana splits. Although I am not into the chocolate, I usually ask for a tiny bit of hot fudge and lots of strawberry topping.

Gender: Still not telling. Less than 6 weeks until our big reveal!

What I Miss: Working. I never thought that I would say that but I feel so unproductive now that I am out on bed rest. It is also driving me crazy not being able to do stuff around the house. I can get up to make myself something to eat but then I find myself standing at the sink washing a pot. To make me feel important, my husband has been doing the laundry then bringing it to me to fold. He also put a stool in the bathroom for me so I can sit when I am getting ready (yes I still put on makeup and do my hair even though I don't leave the house) so I take that opportunity to clean the sinks and the countertop, sitting of course. My obsessions are not being satisfied by compulsive behaviors anymore so my anxiety has been a bit elevated. I just keep telling myself that this is all for a good (very good) reason.

What I'm Looking Forward to: I can't wait for this week to be over. I have my cervix check tomorrow (I am scared shitless) and my husband is having his cardiac surgery on Friday. I just want this week to be behind me.

Nursery: Painter is coming on May 7th or 8th. I almost ordered the furniture last night but for some reason I can't bring myself to do it. I just have a feeling that as soon as I order it PBK will come out with another 15% of coupon. Just my luck!

Weekly Wisdom: Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.

Milestones: Even though my doctors tell me 28 weeks, I am focusing on 24 right now. Baby steps!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My 10 Must-Have Baby Items

1. Madison Crib and Madison Changing Table System from PBK
This is the furniture that we have decided on. I like the crib because it is simple yet functional. It is a 3-in-1 crib so I am hoping to use it for a while. The wood is pretty hard as a fingernail cannot scratch it (as most cribs in traditional baby stores do) and it comes with the teething guards already installed. The changing table system is my dream piece. I think it is absolutely beautiful and provides ample storage.

2. Wing Back Rocker and Ottoman from PBK
This was actually one of the most difficult pieces to decide on. I am not a fan of the traditional gliders as they do not fit the decor of my house, so I wanted something a bit more "stately". The best thing about this chair, besides how comfortable it is, is that it comes with stationary legs so it can transition to another room once we are done with it in the nursery. We have decided that we will be putting it in our sitting room which is connected to our master bedroom.

3. 4Moms Mamaroo Infant Seat/Bouncer
I decided to go with this instead of a swing or a bouncer seat. The MamaRoo bounces up and down and swags from side to side, just like parents do when comforting their babies. It has five unique motions to choose from: Car Ride - A figure eight on its side, KangaRoo - Lots of up-and-down, less side-to-side, Tree Swing - High on the sides, low in the middle, Rock-A-Bye - Low on the sides, high in the middle, and Ocean View - Around in a big circle. It has five speeds for sleep and play, an integrated white noise machine, and also a port to plug in an iPod. It even has it's own music. Here is a video that highlights its features:

4. Bloom Fresco Loft Black Base Highchair in Henna Brown
I picked this highchair as it is the only one on the market that goes up to counter height. The table in our breakfast nook is counter height so having a traditional highchair would be pointless. The other nice feature is that this can be used from birth (as it reclines) up to 79lbs. as it converts into a booster/play seat. 

5. 2012 Baby Jogger City Mini GT
I was originally in love with the Baby Jogger City Elite but I wasn't fond of how long that chassis was. I was considering the City Mini but the wheels were plastic and not all-terrain. For 2012, Baby Jogger came out with a hybrid of the two called the City Mini GT. Not only does it have the foam filled wheels for all different types of terrain, it also features a handbrake, a large storage basket, an adjustable handlebar, and it even folds with one hand. The chassis is slightly larger than the City Mini but smaller than the City Elite. While this is not a jogging stroller, it will fit our needs just fine. 

6. Diaper Dude Messenger II Diaper Bag
This choice was all on my husband. Since we decided that one diaper bag would work best for us, a girly one would not due for obvious reasons. While this is quite simple, it is also quite functional. It features one large compartment with a mesh pocket for baby's items and an additional compartment with a mesh pocket for the adult's items. Also features a padded shoulder strap, an insulated bottle holder, three large compartments with Velcro closure, dad's checklist screened on the magnetic flap and breathable mesh padding for extra comfort. Includes a padded changing pad, clips for stroller strap, an interior key clip and a removable cell phone holder. The perfect bag for us!

7. Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor with 3.5" Screen and Wireless Camera
I love all the features on this unit. The parent unit is designed with a 3.5" full-color LCD screen for a clear view, and the pan, tilt and zoom functions offer convenient use. Infrared night vision lets you keep an eye on your little one, even in low-light conditions, and the high-sensitivity microphone allows for two-way communication. The monitor features an out-of-range alert, a room temperature display, a sound level indicator and a low-battery alert. Five lullabies are programmed into the monitor. This monitor had great reviews and even claims to have the least amount of interference from other electronic devices.

8. ERGObaby Baby Carrier

I originally thought that I wanted a Baby Bjorn as it seems as though that is what everyone gets, then I read several studies that show that they are bad for hip and spine development because all of the baby's weight just hangs putting undue stress and pressure on the pelvis and spine. My orthopedic doc actually recommended this carrier as the baby is in a natural sitting position which supports the natural rounding of the baby's spine.

9. Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n' Play Sleeper
I wanted something besides a bassinet as I am so afraid my baby will have acid reflux and not be able to lay down. I fell in love with a beautiful bassinet that cost $350 but it would be a shame if we bought it and couldn't use I decided on this. What I like about it is that it is portable so we can bring it with us on the go or just keep it upstairs next to the it is well under $100. The reviews on these are great and I know several moms who swear by them.

10. Fisher-Price Jumperoo - Rainforest

This is another item that my husband picked out...and I actually love it too. I originally wanted the Baby Einstein Musical Jumper but I read some nasty reviews that the bungees would snap and/or pinch the baby's fingers and that the piece that goes between the legs was too wide, making it quite uncomfortable for the baby. This jumper got pretty good reviews and the videos on YouTube were even entertaining to watch!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Total Breakdown

I should have know by the way my day started that it wasn't going to get any better. To start off my day I woke up around 5am in pain so bad that it brought me to tears. It felt as though my uterus was ripping out of my stomach. I wasn't worried as I knew that it was round ligament pain, but I couldn't get it to stop. I paced the bedroom for a while hoping it would help but it didn't. After about 45 minutes worth of crying, pacing, and changing positions in my chair, it finally let up. This happened a couple of weeks ago and within a day or two my belly popped. I am assuming that my belly is going through another growth spurt but I can't understand how it can get much bigger now as I am already huge and I have a long way to go.

After getting a few more hours of sleep I finally woke up and realized that I had an appointment with my endocrinologist. As I was getting ready, the medical supply company delivered my wheelchair (for outings) and this think is a total clunker. There is no way in hell that I can lift it as I am restricted from lifting...and that is when it all hit me. My husband is having his cardiac surgery a week from today. I can't do shit for myself and now he is going to be out of commission for a while. My BFF is graciously sitting at the hospital with me since his surgery takes between 5-7 hours, but what the hell am I going to do later on? I will be in my wheelchair, but how am I going to get it in my car when (if) I go home that night? How the hell are we going to function once he gets home and can't do shit? I seriously don't know what we are going to do. In a panic I called and hired a poop scooping service for my three dogs (used them once over the winter) and I also set us up with a lawn service for a few weeks. I am sure that we will manage, somehow, but I am just very anxious about it. I know that he is restricted the most the first 5 days so those will be the toughest. I am hoping to do some meal prep next week and freeze a bunch of things so we can eat without me violating the rules of bed rest. I will have my husband do all the laundry on Tuesday so that it is washed and put away before his procedure. I guess it is the unknown that scares me. I am also worried about my appointment on Wednesday. If my cervix funneled any further they will be placing me on strict bed rest and even possibly in the hospital to monitor things. What the hell are we going to do if that happens??

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My New Wheels

I'm sure you can guess that by the above picture that things did not go all that favorably at my appointment today. I will say that they were not as bad as I was fearing, but not as good as I had hoped for. As usual, my ultrasound started with an in depth look at the the baby. LC was head down again but this time LC's legs were folded up in front of its face. We got a great shot of the butt and the legs, and all I can say is that this kid has some meaty thighs!! The tech then went and got the MFM to do all of the cervical measurements. While I was waiting in the room with my husband I lost it and started crying. I am just so scared of losing all of this as this is the first time that we have a healthy baby on board and now my body is not cooperating. So frustrating!! The MFM then came and started the measurements. The smallest measurement she got was 2.5cm when last week it was measuring 2.25cm with the average reading being 2.5cm. She said that my cervix has probably remained the same in length from last week but this week I had a slight bit of funneling. At the internal opening of my cervix (OS), where the funneling was seen, there was some type of substance. The tech immediately thought that it was a blood clot but the MFM disagreed and guessed it was mucus. She said the slight amount of funneling could be a result of the mucus as my body may be trying to clear it. When I asked her if she thought the funneling was only a result of the mucus and if she was confident that the funneling wouldn't continue, she told me that she couldn't answer me as nothing is certain. When I asked her if she thought I was going to make it to viability, her response was "that is our goal." Ugh! I know that her responses are vague for liability reasons, and the fact that she cannot predict the future, but it would be nice for someone to say, "Oh yeah, no problem, you will make it to viability!"

 After my ultrasound I had my appointment with the High Risk NP as the doctor was dealing with an emergency. I really like the NP so I don't mind seeing her. I think she is VERY responsive and really understands how fearful and anxious I am. She said that she felt confident in my ultrasound results today but we need to be a little more strict with this bed rest thing. I don't have to lay in bed all day, but she did say that I need to pick a spot and stay there. She suggested setting up camp on my big comfy leather chair and ottoman. She also told me that my activity level last week was a bit much so now I can get up to pee, shower, or to move to another sitting spot. If I leave the house my ass needs to be in a wheelchair. She sent a script over to a local medical supply store for one and I will be getting it tomorrow morning. I am not thrilled about needing a wheelchair but the alternative would be to stay in the house, in a chair, for God knows how long. 

The other piece of not so good news I got, and this was a total shock for me, is that I am Strep B positive. When then swabbed me in L&D last week they discovered it. It is a bacterial infection that doesn't effect me per se, but can effect the baby during birth. The way that they treat it is by giving an antibiotic right before birth and this supposedly protects the baby from effects of this infection. Things such as cardiac and lung complications, meningitis, and stillbirth are all risks. If a women is not treated, she has a 1:200 chance, so a 2% chance, of this effecting her baby. If it is treated with antibiotics the risk drops to 1:4000. I am only concerned if I go into preterm labor as the plan is already a c-section if I make it that far. I am trying not to concern myself too much with this but Dr. Google says some pretty bad things about it. I seriously need to stop reading!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

21 Weeks

How Far Along: 21 Weeks

Size of Baby: This week the baby is about the size of a banana measuring in at just about 10.5 inches long crown to heel and is weighing in around 12.7 ounces.

Picture of Baby: I had an ultrasound last Thursday except the baby was being uncooperative so the pictures are not good at all. I will have more this Thursday.

Maternity Clothes: I hate maternity dresses!!! My ass is already gigantic so if you add in my giant belly I completely look like Shamu's twin. I did find one dress that looks half-way decent on me as it is black, tight, and knee length so it really minimizes my masses...which is not an easy task!

Weight Gain:  I have finally gained back the weight that I had lost from being sick a few weeks ago. According to my MFM I have only put on 10 pounds in the past 21 weeks. However, if I calculate it from the first day of my IVF cycle, I have gained 13 pounds. Not bad for 21 weeks!! I have been trying really hard to keep my weight under control as I know many women go WAY overboard with the weight gain. I am trying to make sure that I am getting the recommended amount of calories, including the additional 300 I need now that I am in the 2nd trimester, but I am making sure that I am doing my best to balance carbs with protein so I don't become unhealthy. The easier the weight comes off postpartum, the happier I will be.

Belly: Here it is. It is a bit blurry as my husband took it with my phone.

Stretch Marks: None yet.

Sleep: Now that I am out on bed rest, I am napping during the day which is keeping me up a bit later at night. I don't mind though as late night TV is great!

Best Moment of the Week: Feeling my Little Cannoli kick my hand.

Movement: I officially have movement...lots of it. It seems that LC's active time is between 6pm and 1 am and that is when I am getting constant jabs midway between my bellybutton and pubic bone. It is the coolest feeling ever! I cannot wait for the movement to become more consistent though as it is such a reassuring feeling when I feel those little jabs!

Symptoms: Still having quite a bit of pelvic pressure. It also seems as though the round ligament pains are getting a tad worse too but I feel that my belly has blown up in the past two weeks so everything is probably stretching...a lot!!!

Food Cravings: Fruits and vegetables. I ended up buying a vegetable platter and a huge fruit salad as I am going through this stuff like crazy. My favorite is sliced cucumber with my homemade celery seed dressing. I still can't stomach cooked vegetables but raw ones taste so good!

Gender: Still not telling. Less than 7 weeks until our big reveal!

What I Miss: Being able to walk up the stairs without having to catch my breath. I know that that is only going to get worse.

What I'm Looking Forward to: Seeing LC again this week on ultrasound. I am so thankful for my weekly ultrasounds!

Nursery: Coming along. I am going to have the painter come after my husband's surgery and I am hoping to order the furniture in the next week or so as it takes four weeks to come in.

Weekly Wisdom: No matter what, you need to keep the faith.

Milestones: Next milestone for me is 24 weeks.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

First Full Day on Bedrest = Epic Fail

Yesterday was my first official full day on bedrest. I was feeling pretty good in the morning as I was able to eat healthier as I wasn't on the road for work, I was able to focus on my hydration, and it was so lovely not having to worry about finding a bathroom in time. I also got a call, not only from my immediate boss, but also from his boss and the director of HR. They were so supportive about everything when I expressed my anxiety about being out of work. I am doing quite well at the moment in my job and I don't want my absence to mess that up. They assured me that everything would be just fine. Having my company's support going into this took a lot of weight off my shoulders.

All was peachy until about four o'clock when I started having contractions again. Also, without going into graphic detail, I was fearful that I was starting to lose my mucus plug...that or I was developing some type of infection. Since it was after business hours I ended up speaking with the doctor on call who, in the end, decided that it was best for me to come to labor and delivery to get checked out. Luckily my best friend had stopped by to visit so she was able to bring me down and stay with me until my husband could get there. I wasn't freaked out at all about this situation, I just wanted to do what the doctor suggested as I could never forgive myself if something happened and I didn't listen. After hours of monitoring, an internal exam, and a very long ultrasound they determined that 1). They baby was fine and was actually trying to stick its foot through my cervix, hence the vaginal pain, 2). The contractions were not having any effect on the baby or my cervix, and 3). I have a yeast infection. Yup, what I saw was not my mucus plug, it was an infection. I felt absolutely stupid having to go there and having all this stuff done, but the doctor that had ordered me to come in actually came to see me and thanked me for listening to his recommendation to get checked out. Hopefully things will stay calm for a while and all will be good on my next ultrasound.

On a completely different note, and a positive one, I have finally completed my doctorate. I got official word that the Provost signed off on everything yesterday and I can now legally put the letters "Dr." before my name. It has been a long time coming but I am very proud that I accomplished what I set out to do. I have not shared the news with anyone yet as I am waiting for a few final things. As part of the completion of this degree, I am required to have my dissertation published. I have to setup the copyright for it (which will be completed on Monday) and then I will get the email from my school's registrars office letting me know that the publication has been finalized. Once that is done I will announce my big news to my family and friends. Due to the timing of this pregnancy I will not be able to participate in the commencement ceremonies, but that really doesn't bother me though as I have something bigger and better on the way...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

No Work For Me!

Today was my weekly appointment with the MFM to check my cervix. I went in for the ultrasound and they surprised me by making this my my "growth" ultrasound. The Little Cannoli is weighing in at 11.81oz. and is just over 10 inches long. I am exactly 20 weeks 2 days today and EVERY measurement was within 3 days of that. Actually, the only measurement that was three days off was the femur length, and they allow that measurement to be off by almost two weeks so that is not bad at all. Considering I am barely 5'5" and my husband is only 5'9", I really don't expect that I will be giving birth to a future NBA star. So, taking into account all of the measurements taken today, collectively we are only measuring behind by one day which is excellent. The Little Cannoli is currently in the 40th percentile (hadlock).

My cervix was unfortunately another story. Last week my cervix measured in at 2.64cm with no funneling or dynamic changes with fundal pressure. This week it is down to 2.25cm but there still isn't any funneling. I was pretty upset to see that it has thinned out even more but the MFM who did my ultrasound was pretty reassuring. He said that out first goal is to make it to 28 weeks. Normally people think 24 weeks is a great goal but he said babies born at 28 weeks have a 90% survival rate and generally don't have any lasting effects from prematurity. I asked him if he thinks we will make it that far and he said that he feels pretty good about it. He said that after we hit 28 weeks we will take things in two week increments. Once I hit 32 weeks, they will not go out of their way to prevent labor as we are in the "safe" zone...that and I don't think that they expect me to make it much past that anyway. I will show them!!

It is very scary to hear all of this as I would like to make it to at least 36 weeks. Given the fact that my cervix has shortened (again) and that I had 10 hours worth of contractions on Monday and more contractions today when I was on my feet for a while, they have taken me out of work. I was not happy about this but I need to do what is best for this baby. They told me that if my cervix lengthens or stabilizes that they will consider letting me return to work after I hit 24 weeks as the risk for incompetent cervix lessens as the weight of the baby is lifted of the cervix around that time. For now they want me off of my feet and to stay generally close to the medical center. I will stay on weekly appointments as they want to keep a close eye on things. If my cervix shortens to 2cm or less I will have a cervical pessary placed and be placed on strict bedrest. Right now they have me on modified bedrest which means that I don't have to stay in bed, but they don't want me on my feet for more than 10 minutes at a time. If I go out to the store I have to use a wheelchair or one of the electric carts. I am happy that I am not confined to my house but things will still be difficult. I have a shower to go to on Sunday and I asked if I could go to that. They said it was fine if my husband drove me, I sat immediately upon arriving, and I agreed to stay off of my feet for the rest of the day. If I am having contractions I cannot go. I am hoping to make an appearance as it is for family, but I will not put this baby at risk.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Half Way There...20 Weeks!!

How Far Along: 20 Weeks

Size of Baby: This week the baby is about the size of a cantaloupe measuring in at just about 7 inches long crown to rump and weighing in around 10.5 ounces.

Picture of Baby: This was taken last Thursday at 19 weeks 2 days.

Maternity Clothes: I have officially developed a love-hate relationship with maternity clothes. I have absolutely no choice but to wear them as nothing pre-pregnancy, even if I sized up, will fit me. I hate the fact, however, that I feel like a beached whale in everything. I naturally have broad shoulders so having my belly stick out so much makes me look like a barrel. I, in no way, can where flowy maternity tops as I look too much like a hippo in them. I prefer the fitted ones as at least you can see that I once had a figure.

Weight Gain:  At my appointment last week I had lost 3 pounds. We all know it is because I was so sick the previous week so my doctor isn't concerned.

Belly: No picture this week.

Stretch Marks: None yet.

Sleep: Still wishy-washy. Some nights I will sleep just fine, others I wake up constantly or cannot fall asleep to save my life.

Best Moment of the Week: Seeing how excited my husband is about this whole pregnancy. He is constantly rubbing, touching, and kissing my belly. He even went out and bought "gender specific" peeps for me and said that they were from the baby. He is going to be an amazing father!! I am so lucky that he is so involved in this pregnancy.

Movement: I might have felt something but I am not sure. Friday I was laying in my chair and I experienced something that felt like a fish flipping in water. It happened three times in about 15 minutes. The same thing happened on Saturday. Sunday morning I was laying in bed and I felt three distinct sensations that felt like someone or something was nudging me from the inside. Nothing since then though. My husband is convinced that this was the baby but I am still wondering if it just the effects of my IBS.

Symptoms: Lots of pressure. I am experiencing a lot of pelvic pressure which is causing quite a bit of back pain. I also had contractions all day yesterday. My MFM seems to think that they are being caused by an "irritable uterus" and doing too much. 

Food Cravings: Nothing in particular. While I am eating better, my appetite still isn't where it was.

Gender: Still not telling. Less than 8 weeks until our big reveal!

What I Miss: Being able to where high heels. I have officially reached that point in pregnancy where I can no longer where my tall heels anymore. I ended up having to buy new shoes. I bought heels but they are 3 inch heels, not 4 1/2 like I am used to wearing. I still absolutely refuse to wear flats...unless I am wearing leggings or something.

What I'm Looking Forward to: Going in for my appointment on Thursday as I just want to be sure that everything is okay. I talked to the MFM on Friday after my disappointing appointment on Thursday and got the full report about my cervix. My cervix is measuring at 2.64cm which is just above the 10th percentile...not good. The good news is that there was absolutely no funneling and there were no dynamic changes in my cervix when fundal pressure was applied. I am hoping that the 17P improves things!

Nursery: Crown molding is up and the wood floor was installed yesterday. Pictures coming soon.

Weekly Wisdom: Nothing wise to say this week...

Milestones: Making it to the half-way point. Now I can't wait for 24 weeks to get here!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Not A Good Day

First off, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure yesterday, and today they decided that she had a heart attack as well so they sent her to a hospital that specializes in cardiac issues for a catheterization so they could see how much damage was done to her heart. It was decided last minute (after she was transferred) that she could not go through a catheterization today as she just had too much fluid on her lungs. Instead they admitted her to the ICU and will reassess her in the morning for the cardiac catheterization. They were able to get some fluid off of her lungs with Lasix but she has a long way to go.

On top of all this, my appointment with my MFM for a cervix check didn't go so well today. My cervix has shortened from 4.1 to approximately 2.5. The MFM said that is where they would expect my cervix to be at 30 weeks, not 19. He said that normally I would have gone in for emergency surgery this afternoon to have a cerclage placed but since we know that my cervix is flush with my vaginal wall, there is nothing to stitch. They have restarted the 17P and have me on "rest". I am still allowed to work (for now) since I am in my car for most of the day. They have me restricted to lifting no more than 10 pounds and when I am home, my feet are up. He does not want me walking around a mall or doing anything that isn't absolute necessary until my next appointment. They have now changed my appointments to weekly ones instead of bi-weekly. They said that if my cervix is any shorter next week, I am done with work. I am really hoping that the 17P shots do the trick and I am able to work for a while longer. It was reiterated to me that I should plan, no matter how good my cervix is, to be done with work by 28 weeks. The one issue that they are having with work is how far I travel away from the medical center and the fact that most of the locations that I work in have no hospitals or ones that are ran by mid-level practitioners, not doctors. I am really upset after this appointment and can't stop crying. After all of the shit that I have been through already, why does this have to happen? Why can't things just go smoothly? I am praying that the 17P improves or at least stabilizes my cervix. I didn't like when I asked about making it to at least 30 weeks and I was told that I have to take things one week at a time and that their first goal is to get me to 24 weeks. I am so scared right now...  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

19 Weeks

How Far Along: 19 Weeks

Size of Baby: This week the baby is just over 6 inches long crown to rump and weighs around 8.5 ounces.

Picture of Baby: Next ultrasound is this Thursday. I am really hoping for a 3D picture!

Maternity Clothes: I have come to the conclusion that I do not have enough maternity clothes. I am still convinced that I can wear pre-pregnancy t-shirts but I just need to accept that I can't. The other day I was getting dressed without thinking so I threw on my favorite gray Gap t-shirt and my Land's End fleece pullover only to find my belly completely hanging out. I was so aggravated that I had to change again.

Weight Gain:  I actually lost about 5 pounds from being sick all last week. I am sure by the time my appointment rolls around on Thursday that some of it will be back on though.

Belly: I am still in denial!!

Stretch Marks: None yet.

Sleep: There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to my sleep patterns. Some nights I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and other nights I lay awake until 3 in the morning watching TV. The one thing that I am happy about is that I don't have the need to nap as much anymore.

Best Moment of the Week: Not feeling sick anymore. I was so worried about my Little Cannoli when I was sick...especially with the fever. I normally only listen to the heartbeat every other day or so, but I was, and still am, listening to it two or three times a day. My anxiety is a bit elevated!

Movement: Still nothing!! I am getting quite aggravated by this. Since I have a posterior placenta I should feel movement a bit on the earlier side but I have felt nothing. It makes it worse when I go in to see my doctor every two weeks and the nurse asks me every time if I have felt movement. I want to feel it so bad!

Symptoms: The sciatica issue continues. I have fallen a few times because of it and I plan on asking my MFM if there is anything that I can do to help it. I understand that it is part of the pregnancy process, but I don't think that it is good that I keep falling.

Food Cravings: None. I have had no appetite over the past week, hence the weight loss. I am hoping to get my appetite back soon.

Gender: Still not telling. Less than 9 weeks until our big reveal!

What I Miss: Being able to bend over without getting winded or feeling like my circulation is being cutoff.

What I'm Looking Forward to: Everything! I am so excited about decorating the nursery. I am also looking forward to my shower which is coming up the first weekend in June.

Nursery: Crown molding is going up on Friday and the wood floor is getting installed on Monday.

Weekly Wisdom: Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all.

Milestones: I have finally reached the point where I am no longer hiding my bump. It may seem petty, but that is a huge step for me!