Sunday, August 26, 2012

Introducing...

Giovanni Luca!
Giovanni arrived on August 22nd at exactly 11am. He weighed 6lbs. 12oz. and was 19 inches long. I am absolutely in love!!

I was planning on posting an update as soon as he arrived but unfortunately there were many complications with his birth and things didn't go as planned. We were discharged on Friday from the hospital but were readmitted yesterday (to a different hospital) due to some issues that were missed/ignored by the hospital where I gave birth (don't get me started!). We should be leaving the hospital today or tomorrow so as soon as I get a spare moment I will write a post about his birth story...or should I say nightmare.

Friday, August 10, 2012

11 Days and Counting...

In exactly 11 days I am being admitted to the hospital and the induction process will start. As much as I love being pregnant, I am ready for this to be over. I have reached the point where I am so uncomfortable that I can hardly function and all I do is cry. The SPD is now causing my hip to pop out to the point where I stand up and my left leg is completely rotated inward. I have also started getting horrible cramps in my calves while sleeping that leave me limping for days. The one new thing that I am really struggling with is the swelling. I haven't developed full-blown cankles like Hillary Clinton but I do have pitting edema from my ankle bones all the way up to my hips. With how awful I feel right now, I can't believe that I complained of being uncomfortable at 30 weeks. That was nothing and I would give my left kidney to be "that uncomfortable" again!

I am starting to become quite anxious about the induction. At his point it looks like it is going to be a closed induction, which means an induction with no dilation of the cervix. I have been taking Evening Primrose Oil for a couple of weeks now to soften my cervix but it isn't doing anything. Today my cervix was completely closed and still high. Even the doctors who were skeptical about my cervical stenosis being an issue are now starting to believe that my cervix isn't going to dilate...even with heroic measure. They told me that the induction process can take up to 72 hours. When I arrive in the morning they are going to use Cervidil to see if that helps to dilate me and that process takes 12 hours. If I dilate a bit, they will insert a balloon catheter to further dilate my cervix and that takes another 12 hours. If the Cervidil doesn't work I may have to use Cytotec and that can take up to 24 hours and that could possibly be followed by the balloon catheter. When I dilate enough they will start Pitocin and hopefully my body will do what it supposed to do. If not, they will section me. From everything that I have read, and have been told, more than 75% of closed inductions end in a c-section. This doesn't sit well with me at all! I have no problem with having a c-section, but I don't want to be in agony for 72 hours (with no food) just to end up in the OR anyway. I obviously want to do the right thing but I think that if my body makes no progress within 24 hours that I am going to ask my MFM just to do the section. I am worried about being off of my blood thinners for so long; I am worried about my gestational diabetes after not eating for days; and I am worried about the effect all of this is going to have on my CVID. I don't need any problems. I am praying to God that within the next week that my cervix will show some progress so that I don't have to worry so much about all of this. It is almost over...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

37 Weeks


How Far Along: 37 Weeks

Size of Baby: This week the "average" baby is measuring approximately 19.13 inches crown to heel and is weighing in around 6.3 pounds. We just had a growth scan yesterday at 36+6 and the baby weighs 7lbs 1oz. and is in the 70th percentile. I asked how accurate they thought these measurements were as I know that ultrasounds can be off, but they said due to the fact that the measurements stay proportional based on my growth scans every 3-4 weeks, that they feel that this is pretty accurate. His head is still measuring 3 weeks ahead (40 weeks) so I am a bit nervous if I do end up going into labor naturally.


Weight Gain: Not happy about this! At my 33 week appointment I had gained exactly 30 pounds. Apparently they forgot to warn me that my weight was going to skyrocket these last few weeks. I am now up 38 pounds and I still have two weeks to go!! They told me that I should only gain another 3-4 pounds and this would put me just over the 40 pound mark but it is about 10 pounds more than I should have gained. I am very thankful that I controlled my weight gain in the 2nd trimester. I can't even imagine how bad my stretch marks would be if I hadn't!  

Belly: New picture next week.
  
Stretch Marks: Again, I will say that I am thankful that I didn't put on a ton of weight in the 2nd trimester. My first stretch mark didn't appear until 32+1 and they are now progressively getting worse and I can't even imagine how bad they would be if I gained even more weight than this! I have about 5-6 on each side of my belly and they a few inches long. The ones on my hips (from being overweight as a teenager) are also extending a bit. While I don't like them I know that they are a sign of a big healthy baby. 

Sleep: Thank God for Ambien! I wasn't sleeping at all and I started having major anxiety attacks from my lack of sleep. My MFM said that Ambien is safe to take every night since I had less than 3 weeks to go. While I don't take it every single night, I can see how my psychological well-being is affected by lack of sleep when I don't take it. Although I want my sleep now, I am ready to have sleepless nights once Giovanni is here...that is worth it!

Best Moment of the Week:  Getting my letter verifying induction. I am being admitted the morning of the 21st to start the process. They said it could take up to 72 hours as they want to try Cervidil and the cervical balloon to see if they can get me to dilate. Each of those interventions take 12 hours each. They said that if I dilate at all that they want to try Pitocin. If that works than I will deliver vaginally. If it doesn't they are going to section me. I am trying not to stress about what is going to happen. All I know is that Giovanni will be here sometime between the 21st and 24th.

Symptoms: I can't take the ligament pain anymore! While I am free of the wheelchair as of today from a cervical standpoint, I still have to keep it as I just can't walk much. Short distances are iffy, but long distances, forget it!

Food Cravings: All I want is fruit. Better than cupcakes or cookies I guess.

Gender: Still a boy.

What I'm Looking Forward to: These next two weeks to fly by. While I don't want to deliver him early, I really want these last two weeks to hurry up. I am ready to not be pregnant anymore and to finally hold him in my arms! 

Milestones: Making it to "full term".

Friday, August 3, 2012

More Pertussis Drama...

First off, I just want to thank everyone that responded to my last post. It is really nice to have some support so I don't lose my mind. Something else that really helped me today was some information that my BFF shared with me. She is currently 8 weeks behind me (28 weeks) so we talk a lot about pregnancy and I recently shared my frustrations with her regarding the slack that we are getting regarding the pertussis vaccination. Today she was informed by her OB that due to pertussis becoming an epidemic in the recent months, she was told that she had to get the vaccine (she is getting it on Monday) and she was also told that any caregiver for her baby must also have it. She was told this and she doesn't immunological issues like I do. She also forwarded me a news story from ABC News where the CDC is reporting that the recent outbreak of pertussis is the worst it has been in over 50 years. There have already been over 18,000 cases reported this year and also nine infant deaths were reported. The CDC also reported that "Our biggest work is to get adults immunized. This is particularly relevant to pregnant women and new grandparents, who will have contact with infants."

Due to this recent increase in pertussis, the CDC is now recommending that all pregnant women get vaccinated in the third trimester. It used to be that the shot was offered after birth but now they don't want to wait. I spoke with my immunologist this afternoon and he isn't sure what to do. With my immunodeficiency he is worried about giving me the vaccine without checking my antibody levels first as he doesn't want to give me a live virus and have it be disastrous to the baby. Tomorrow he is sending me for blood work to check my titer levels for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. If I have any antibodies to these he wants to hold off until after birth just in case I have a negative effect from them. If there are no antibodies he will consider having me get it but might order a special formula where the pertussis isn't combined with tetanus and diphtheria. I also have to go see him within a week or two after birth as he wants to keep a close eye on things to see if I need to restart the IvIg transfusions. I am very grateful to have the chief immunologist in charge of my case as I know that I am in good hands. He is very concerned with my case and takes my calls no matter when I call. He apparently has also given instructions to his staff that if I call and he is out of the office for whatever reason, that they are to contact him immediately. It is so nice to have that kind of care!

While I am grateful that I have a team of doctors who understand what is going on, it is frustrating that no one else understands this. While I don't expect friends or family to take an interest and educate themselves on CVID, I don't believe that they have the right to judge or question decisions that are being made without having the facts in front of them by taking the time to understand fully what is going on. One thing that my husband pointed out is that older people (your 50+ population) aren't going to understand all of this. For them pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period was much different. I hear all the time "well, I did that back when I was pregnant and my child turned out just fine" or "back then they didn't do half of what they do now and I had no problems". While those comments are very irritating, and quite degrading, I get why people say those things. Back in the "old days" that is how things were and people just ASSume that what worked for them should work for everyone else.

My husband and I have been talking so much about all of this as it is a great source of anxiety for me. Since we don't want any problems or any drama when Giovanni is born we have decided that we are just going to ask everyone to refrain from having direct contact with him. My husband seems to think that this will be easier than asking everyone as they come to visit if they have had the vaccination. Just too much to deal with. His other idea, and I really love him for this one, is to have the nurses take Giovanni to the nursery if and when large groups of people come to visit and things start to get crazy. The only other potential barrier that we may have to deal with is if I can't get the pertussis vaccine. If my immunologist decides that I can't get it right now, I am also going to have to limit direct contact with those not vaccinated as well. If I have to wait until after birth to get it there will be a 2 week incubation period for me for the vaccine to take effect. Ugh, why do things need to be so complicated?!