Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Head still down! Woo hoo!

As you can tell from the title, we are very excited! After the version last week, and turning our tadpole upside down so she's ready to be born, we couldn't help but wonder all week - has she flipped back? Every now and then this past week, I thought she may have flipped. I'd feel a large hard spot in my belly and be convinced she was sideways. And then some doctors at my work (who are ob/gyns themselves) thought that by sight (since I'm still so high) that she had flipped too. While I love all of the docs at work, and highly value their opinions, I wasn't quite ready for them to start feeling up my belly to really tell if she was head down. There is only so far you should go in the workplace :) But sure enough at our doctor's appointment today, we have confirmation by ultrasound - the tadpole is still head down and ready to go. Phew!!!

Of course, this also means that for the time being I don't have to worry about having a C-section. Another phew! We can just wait for her to arrive whenever she wants to arrive, and deliver her the old-fashioned way.

Also at my doc appt, I found out that we're progressing towards labor. Baby steps, but at least at 38.5 weeks, we are progressing. I'm 1 cm dilated and about 70% effaced. While those are great numbers to know, they really can't tell you too much about when we'll actually go into labor, just that we're starting the progression. The doc said it could be anywhere from tomorrow to next week, or later. So at least that's good. My body has at least figured out what to do, even though our baby needed a little help figuring it out :)

So tonight, I continued my 'nesting', and am running the last load of baby clothes and sheets through the wash. Waiting for everything to dry as we speak. I also started to organize decorative items in the nursery and plan where shelves and pictures will go. And my bag is halfway packed for the hospital. I know that we should probably be more ready than we are, but we have the major stuff taken care of. You have to understand - Matt and I are horrible procrastinators - I think that's why I'm convinced the tadpole is going to be late, since we are generally late 90% of the time for everything!

Oh, and I've attached my most recent belly shot - this was at 38 weeks, last weekend. I don't look much different - still high. And as of today, my weight gain is good - 22 pounds. So I'm a little on the small side, but still on track :)

We'll keep you updated with how things go! Next doc appt is on Wednesday - we'll see if we make it :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Early, late or right-on-time???

Hi all,
I just posted a new poll on the right hand side of the blog. We'd love to hear everyone's ideas as to when our tadpole will arrive! Early? Late? On her due date (Nov 7th)? Your guess is as good as mine :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A baby without a map or GPS system...

We're at 37.5 weeks right now and so far, we've had 9 months of smooth sailing... no sickness, no cramping, just your ordinary, normal pregnancy. That is, until yesterday (Tuesday)....

I went for my routine 37 week doc appt on Tues night, and anticipated a normal appt as always - questions, heartbeat check, belly measurement, you're good to go, since you next week, call if you have contractions. But it was not to be so. Turns out that after an internal exam, and a quick sonogram to confirm (though it WAS nice to see the baby again!) - our child is "directionally-challenged". In English, she's at 37 weeks and she's not in position with her head down like she's supposed to be. Evidently, babies position themselves on their own between 32-36 weeks to be head down, upside down, and getting ready to descend into the pelvis for birth. Ours decided to be unique - head up and diagonal - in other words, breeched. I wasn't so concerned, I thought "She'll just turn on her own". That is until the doctor told me to get dressed and meet him in his office to discuss our "options". Everyone knows that in a doctor's office, the word "options" is not a good one. So off I went, praying all the while that "options" wasn't going to be that bad.

Dr. T proceeded to tell me that although the baby was healthy and had good measurements and heart rate, she was indeed breeched ('directionally challenged'), and at this point being so close to delivery, the likelihood of her turning on her own in such a confined space was 5%, with less of a chance in remaining weeks. If she didn't turn to face head down, we were looking at a C-section at 39 weeks since a breeched vaginal delivery isn't optimal. His recommendation - to do an external version, which means that he would manually, by hand and with force, turn the baby to be head down, on the outside of my belly. Ouch. And we'd need to do it soon - as in the next day. Of course, there are risks with this procedure - it's only 50% successful, it is very painful, and there's a 1% chance that the baby will become so distressed and the heart rate will drop that we'll need an emergency C-section. Yikes. But after a quick call to Matt where we put him on speakerphone and the doc explained everything, we decided to go with the version, and try to avoid a C-section delivery. 1% is low, and he told us he'd never had an emergency section with this procedure, so we decided to trust the pro.

Of course, the rest of the night, we were a mess. After many phone calls to our parents, an ob-gyn friend of mine from work, Matt's best friend and his wife who's a nurse, we couldn't help but worry if we'd made the right decision. Actually, I think I worried more - Matt was so good at keeping me calm with all of my 'what-ifs' and worst case scenarios, but all I could think of was what would happen to the baby if she needed an emergency section. Would any heartrate reduction and lack of oxygen affect her brain, would the turning break something? It was honestly my first moment of mommy-hood panic. I hadn't packed my bag yet for delivery, so I hurriedly threw some semblance of a bag together just in case, and tried to go to sleep. When sleep didn't come easily, Matt and I prayed together. I even tried talking to the baby to convince her to turn on her own, and used my brother-in-law's words of "Head towards the light!". We may have even promised her a car if she turned on her own, I don't know. At any rate, it was a rough night.

We got to the hospital at 7am, and I finally pulled it together so I didn't walk in all teary-eyed (still worrying at this point!). I tried to joke with Matt - we'd procrastinated on scheduling our hospital tour, but now we'd certainly get one today! They took me back to triage, took 3 tries to put an IV in (my veins get scared of needles), hooked me up to the baby's heartrate monitor, and my contraction monitor, and then confirmed by another ultrasound, yes, she's still head up. During that hour of waiting she did end up turning a little, but in the wrong direction - this child needs a map! They finally took me down to labor/delivery and we were in a room directly across from the operating room - just in case of the emergency C-section. I even met the anesthesiologist, who I jokingly told "while you seem to be a nice man, I hope that I don't see you again today :)" I had to keep my sense of humor, even though it's so lame... it was one of the few things holding me together.

Finally it was time for the turning. A resident doctor came in to assist (she actually ended up doing the brute force work), and my doctor worked the sonogram wand to monitor the position and heartrate during the turning. I honestly thought it would be 20-30 min of absolute brute force manhandling of my belly to get her to turn. The doc even told me ahead of time that they sometimes have to stop because the mom is in so much pain. But I was determined to be strong and get through this, and it was harder b/c Matt had to make room for the docs and stand away, so he couldn't even hold my hand. So, they began - and oh my goodness, do they manhandle you! And it was uncomfortable and painful, no doubt. I swear the doc's hands were forced into my belly and around the baby's head pushing her and torquing her around to rotate her. My eyes were closed the whole time though. But I kept breathing, groaning occasionally when it got really bad, and then he said we were done! (I think I even said "That's it?", since mind you, I was thinking it was going to be 20 minutes of this). Now I sound like a wimp when I say that it took all of 2 minutes, but that's 2 minutes of constant brute force/twisting/turning/pressure and contortion by the doctor on my stomach. The doctor confirmed she was head down, and they monitored me for another hour to make sure I didn't have any contractions, and that the baby's heartrate was good. All was good, so they sent us home! Overall, I was so very thankful that the baby was cooperative and turned quickly - my doc did say that this was one of the faster ones he's done (yay! we're above average!). And also that everything went successfully, and that we didn't need the emergency C-section. Lots of prayers of thanks went up when it was all over :) Thank you God!

So, that was our last 24 hours. I'm praying that the next couple of weeks that we have will be smooth sailing, and that we'll have a nice smooth delivery whenever that time comes. Plus, I just hope that she doesn't decide to turn back around (which she could decide to do). I'd like to avoid a c-section if possible, but in the end, I'll do whatever is best for her. We'll be checking her position at our next doc appt next Wednesday. We certainly have a stubborn baby, who doesn't have a good sense of direction - I hope that this is no indication of her personality after she's born, or we're in real trouble :)

Oh, and as an extra note - Matt was a huge trooper and literally kept me together. I have a wonderful husband! I know that he was as worried as I was, but he was great at keeping me calm despite my excessive worrying and "what-ifs". And even though he couldn't hold my hand and keep me calm, he said that he was able to stand and watch the whole thing - and he didn't pass out :) He's going to be great with labor and delivery when the time comes, I'm sure of it :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Updated belly pictures...

I haven't posted in a while, but wanted to attach some of my more recent belly pictures. I'm certainly getting bigger! However, I'm pretty much all belly and still fairly high - baby has not dropped yet, so no impending delivery...

Photo 1: 35 weeks
Photo 2: self portrait 36 weeks
Photo 3: self portrait from the front 36 weeks -you can still see that I have somewhat of a waist - but only from the front. I honestly look like I've got a soccer ball tucked under my shirt :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My TOPS lists...

I thought I'd make a few lists of my TOP things about pregnancy. I'm sure that there are more things that could go on these lists, but here's a start...

Top things I enjoy about being pregnant:

1. MY BELLY - I love my belly. I hold on to it, rub lotion on it every morning, and even like to stare lovingly at it. Baby girl is in there! Even though it's big and gets in the way, I don't know how I'm going to react to it not being there when this is over :) I think I'll be very sad.
2. Chocolate milkshake cravings
3. My fingernails have grown! (A huge deal since I've been a nail biter ever since I've had teeth.)
4. Having a really good excuse to eat weird food combinations (e.g. PB&J sandwich with a side of sweet pickles; Blueberry Eggo waffles followed by Egg Drop Soup; chicken noodle soup and a chocolate chip bagel at Panera)
5. Having nice people hold doors open for me, or offer me their chairs in a packed conference room. While it's still not the southern hospitality I remember from TX, it's close :)

Things I don't enjoy about being pregnant (in no particular order):

1. Being out of breath going up one flight of steps.
2. Heartburn
3. Being so uncomfortable while sleeping.
4. Having to politely smile and nod when strangers give me their opinion on my pregnancy.
5. Mood swings (I'm sure Matt will love when those are gone too!)

Things I look forward to when I'm not pregnant anymore:

1. Sleeping on my back!!!!
2. Italian cold cut subs - I want one as my first meal post-delivery.
3. White wine, margaritas, a Corona with lime, Guinness on draft...
4. Vanilla lattes (non-decaf)
5. Maternity leave