/ The RE's Muse: January 2007

The RE's Muse

After 4 years of infertility, 2 surgeries, 1 miscarriage, and 19 months of high risk pregnancies, hubby and I now have two little women in our lives--one a toddler, the other not far behind. Buckle your seatbelts, it's gonna be a wild ride.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

On the cusp

This morning's OB appt found my cervix uncooperative. Still only 1 cm and 50% effaced with baby at a -3 station, or--according to the doctor--she's in Port St. Lucie (a reference to a city a good 40 or so minutes north of here). Good news that. It looks like another long "laboring down" process may be in my cards.

To add to the fun, yesterday's last u/s showed her to be face up ("sunny side up," or occiput posterior)...just like her big sister was. Let's hear it for back labor--yeah!! the very best labor of all :-( Who knows? Perhaps we'll even see a return of the forceps for 2.o's arrival (oh how I hope not).

I check into the hospital tonight at 7:30. I'm nervous yet excited and looking forward to meeting her. I'm viewing it in terms of point A (pregnant) and point C (baby here), happily omitting the point B (L&D) that will bridge the other two.

That's the not-so-productive cervical news from sunny south Florida. I look forward to seeing y'all on the flip side in a few days.

And I won't mention that I spent a good portion of my evening last night crying every time I looked at J and/or thought about the fact that she will no longer be "the only one" and thinking that I hope she knows just how much we love her, that 2.0 is not meant to replace her in any way and wanting her to understand that we can love and make time for both of them just as well as we could when it was just her.

Soon, we 3 will be 4.

Terror. Love. Excitement. Love. Nervous. Love. Joy. Hope...and yes, love.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Status quo

Yep, I'm still hanging in there. 2.0 did not "pass" yesterday's NST but once she got on the follow-up ultrasound, she looked great, as did my amniotic fluid. So I'm apparently doing okay on that front and my BP was a healthy 118/80 with no protein in my urine. 2.0 currently weighs an estimated 5 lbs., 13 oz. (the same weight J was born at; apparently--and thankfully--I grow 'em small). All very good news for a Thursday.

Tuesday I have my next and probably final NST. Let's hope it goes well. Then I have what should be my final OB appointment on Wednsday morning. I check in to the hospital that night around 7 or so for "all systems go" time. Hopefully, we'll be welcoming 2.0 the following day (mama would like some uninterrupted sleep that night after check in--oh haha, I'm so funny, more like I'd like some quality time to lie there awake, unable to sleep, nervously imagining what's to come).

In light of the fact that, holy crap, 2.0 should be here in 5 ! more ! days! , tomorrow I've got a hair appointment, as well as date night, Tuesday morning I've got a pedicure and Wednesday afternoon I'm scheduled for a prenatal massage. I'll be buffed, shined and polished for the big day--then again, it's not like anyone will really be looking at the rest of me then, now will they?

Speaking of what they will be looking at, I'd better make sure A helps me out with the undercarriage trimming that afternoon ('cause you know I'll be taking one hell of a shower before heading to the hospital). Sometimes when I stop and think of the lengths this man goes to for me, I realize yet again how truly lucky I am (most days). I can think of no one else I'd rather share this crazy ride with...and to see him with J is absolutely amazing. I can't wait to see him with numero dos.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Heading for home

What's that you ask? Why it's the first belly shot (taken earlier this week at 36w1d in the master bath that's under rough construction) I've dared to share here :-)

Yesterday's OB visit found me still at 1 cm and 50% effaced so no change there. Alas, the original plan was to induce me this weekend, but the local hospital denied my OB's request since I'd be a day shy of their 37w requirement.

I'm now on the induction schedule for February 1st (37w5d). I'll check in the night before for Cervadil as was the case with J's birth. Now that we have a concrete plan (though it's subject to change if my BP and/or amniotic fluid don't cooperate between now and then), the pieces are falling into place. Arrangements have been made for family to come watch J while I'm in the hospital, a big sister present has been purchased, and so on. Alas, the word "bedrest" was spoken at yesterday's visit. So that's what I'm doing now--laying on the couch, enjoying the 'rest,' and dozing periodically (what a luxury).

There's still a possibility that I could go before my scheduled date. Yesterday's amniotic fluid dropped significantly from Friday's level (15.3 to 8.8). If things change, well, it's back to the big hospital for me and out for 2.0.

Basically, I've got 8 more days to go to induction. A and I are trying to set up a date night for this coming weekend (dinner followed by a show at the impr0v)...after all, we may not get to do that again for another couple of months once 2.0 is here.

I'm starting to get excited and less fearful. When I think about the fact that 2.0 will be here soon, I get a smile on my face. I can't wait to meet this little one and see what she looks like, what her personality is, how J will be as a big sister (she's taken to kissing my belly lately which goes beyond adorable--she walks up, lifts the shirt off my belly and plants one on it).

I'm in the homestretch now and looking forward to the reward at the end.

Please keep sending good thoughts my way for 8 more days of bake time. I can use all the good karma the universe has for me--and thank you for all of your support, concern, and love. They've meant more to me than you can know.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A smile

Back when A and I were in the deepest trenches of our IF struggle, visiting the RE several times a week, mixing injections, and so forth, I was never able to picture us with children in the future. Four years of trials and tribulations (and while I know that many others have struggled for far longer and perhaps are still struggling), it was time that seemed to go on forever with no end in sight. For me, the cup was always empty and what hope was there that it would ever get filled?

But then, somehow we got a "golden ticket" and she's now 19 months old. It has been the most incredible time of my life. I said it once before, and I'll say it again now...each day, there are images burned into my memory of days I never dreamed I'd have.

Today was one of those days. We took her to meet her tia's horse and have her first horseback ride...the smile on her face while riding? Well, let's just say it made me realize how very much I enjoy watching her see, learn, and experience new things. It's just an incredible feeling, and one I can't really put into words. Today's "first"--I'll remember and treasure it always. Burned into memory indeed. Nowadays my cup is always full, always running over. Six years after we first started TTC, I've got more than I ever dreamed possible. Someone pinch me.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Buying more time

Well, knock my happy ass over!

Today's NST saw a few variables of 2.0's heartrate (though not as many as in weeks prior), enough to warrant another biophysical profile. If you recall, on Wednesday my amniotic fluid was at 7.7 when I was discharged from the hospital, today's amniotic fluid is a mind-blowing 15.3! Yes, I guess there is something to be said for sitting around on one's ass and drinking water as much as possible :-)

My BP was a respectable 122/86 and urine was negative for protein. I see the OB on Monday for a standard office visit (and yep, I've now reached the internal exam at every visit portion of the ride; good times I tell you) and NST. Hoping like hell that all my (and baby's) vitals are good at that visit as well. We've got a growth u/s for Thursday with an NST Friday and a tentative induction that night or Saturday morning. There is a some speculation that if I and the baby are doing as well then as we are today, we could be allowed to go a little longer. We'll see.

As an aside, in today's local paper I saw that on Wednesday while I was in the hospital, there was one set of twins, one set of triplets and one set of quadruplets born there that same day. No wonder the nurses all kept saying how 'crazy' things were around there.

Today, for the first time in a while, there is no "crazy" in my world. Just me and 2.0, healthy and growing...and that has put a smile on my face and some relief in my heart. Today, she and I are having an excellent day. May it continue for the near foreseeable future.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Don't speak too soon

That's my lesson for today. I mean, after all, life is what happens when you make plans.

Yesterday's NST at the peri saw 2.0 having a ton of heartrate variables. One biophysical profile later, we learn that my amniotic fluid has gone from 9.5 on Friday to 6.2 yet I don't seem to be leaking (that I can feel, at least). A quick call to my OB on call to update her on the latest info...do not pass go, do not collect $200. Get thee to the big level III hospital down the road, do not eat or drink, you're gonna have this baby.

The family emergency alert goes up so that someone can pick up/take care of J, while A is dispatched home from work asap (a biggie considering he works almost 100 miles from our home). I drive to the hospital, am admitted, blood is drawn, an IV started, etc. A arrives about 2 hours after I'm admitted.

But then...what's that? The OB on call at the hospital (who is affiliated with my practice, though somewhat indirectly--my practice has five branches in our county and I'm seen by the north county group while the hospital OB was from the central county group) doesn't seem to think there are enough reasons to induce me. And the biggest reason not to induce me? The baby is still too young in his opinion and she looks fine on the NSTs they're running round-the-clock on her.

According to the nurse (one of three who will care for me during my time there), the doctors on call all took a consensus and decide that both the baby and I will be monitored closely while I'll be given IV fluids and a repeat u/s done the next day (today) to see if the AFI had improved.

Fast forward to this morning...the u/s tech comes to my hospital room and does the scan. AFI shows 6.0 (can I please get a break?)...but wait, what's that? As she's doing the scan, 2.0 moves, opening up a larger pocket and the tech remeasures--AFI is at 7.7. Acceptable to the M.D. consensus as well as to my peri (who knows about my practice's OB on call, her name is not mentioned in what I'm told).

My peri is on call at the hospital today and tells the nurse that she will personally come by to see me around lunchtime and make a decision but that, ultimately, it looks as though she'll be sending me home so long as she's happy with my appearance, i.e, no swelling, etc.

The peri comes, is very pleased with my appearance, very pleased with baby's overnight NSTs, very pleased with my overnight BPs, and labs. I'm discharged around 1:30 this afternoon (and I won't complain about the speeding ticket I got a mere 3 miles from home, rushing to get home and see J, who I miss so dearly--and no, the hospital bracelets and IV bandages did not get me any sympathy from the cop).

Home I am now and where I remain for now. While not on complete bedrest, I've got orders to lay down as much as possible with my feet up and drink lots of fluids. I'm to attend my regularly scheduled NSTs this week and next...and the peri is comfortable with my OB's tentative plan to deliver me next weekend (on the 27th or later) at 37+ weeks.

Now, please, just let my AFI cooperate to get me there. As the cliche goes, if it's not one thing, it's another.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A lightbulb goes off...

in the doctor's head.

At today's OB visit, I think he finally realized that I've got a ripping case of "white coat syndrome" when I go to his office. He admitted that I'm baffling him. He said he's reviewed all of my normal BP readings from the peri's office, seen that all of my labs have been normal, and that I have no other symptoms.

Considering these things, he agreed to let me keep coasting on for a few more weeks, asking me to have the nurse at the peri's office call him personally at each of my remaining NSTs to report my BP.

He then mentioned that he's on call this weekend at the big hospital and asked if I wanted to come down and "dance," i.e., be induced. I said I wasn't entirely comfortable with that since I think she stills needs a few more weeks to cook, but I did reiterate that the mister and I really wanted him to deliver me again.

Doc reconfirmed when I'd be 37 weeks (Jan. 27th) and said he was on call at my local hospital that weekend so he could admit me at 36w6d saying I was having high BP readings (he then said he hoped I could pull that off as he didn't want to end up looking like a horse's ass if I showed up there with normal BP) and I'd be induced the following day.

A came with me to the dr's appt and later told me he didn't think I'd have trouble pulling off the high BP readings the day before induction--just knowing I'd be going into the hospital the next day to deliver should put enough fear into me to elevate my BP nicely without any extra effort. Plus, I'm wound pretty tight as it is, regardless of being pg.

Oh, and today I was the lucky recipient of A) the strep swab, and B) a surpise internal check (1 cm dilated, 50% effaced). Luckily, I actually showered before this morning's visit (and had A 'trim my undercarriage' this past weekend); thank goodness for small miracles.

So it looks like, if all continues along as it currently is, we'll be welcoming 2.0 sometime around Jan. 27th or so. Crossing everything I can at such a bold proclamation.

Gulp. Despite the fact that I've gone through L&D before, I'm terrified of what's to come...a certain fear of the unknown in the known.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Another day, another update

BP today was 137/84, completely normal for me. Urine was clean, no protein. All labwork from Monday came back completely normal as well (yeah, the peri had to call the OB's office 4 x to get the info as they hadn't yet entered it into the computer system). I guess if the OB didn't call the peri, I certainly shouldn't have expected them to call me to advise all was okay with the results. I'm glad the nurse pushed the issue though and got the info for me. Made me rather relieved.

BG 2.0 currently weighs an estimated 5 lbs., 3 oz. and has a head full of hair (amazing that this can be seen on u/s). She's in the 35th percentile and a good size according to the tech. She even went a long way in reassuring me that should 2.0 need to come early, she should be fine. She's practicing breathing in there, measurements are good, and all signs are that she's healthy. Again, relief...

Until Monday's OB visit, I'm sure.

NST tomorrow and I expect normal findings then too, par for the course.

Enjoy the coming weekend :-)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

No news is good news

Today was a quiet day thanks to the fact that I had no medical appointments scheduled. Tomorrow I'll see the peri for a regular office visit (my BP and urine are checked at these, just like at the OB's) as well as a growth u/s to see how big 2.0 now is. I have a feeling that my peri appointments have bought me some time (according to the nurse there, my BP has been fine by their standards and a non-issue to date, unlike the issue it has become for my OB). Mind you, the OB and peri practices are affiliated with one another (same parent company) and they share the same computer system so my OB can easily look up all of my peri visits and see my vitals from each one.

My bloodwork and 24-hour urine results were scheduled to be given to my OB yesterday. So far, no phone call to tell me if anything is amiss...and usually, their radio silence means all is well so I'm flying on that assumption until I'm told otherwise.

My BP checks at home on my cuff have typically been in the 130/80 or 135/85 range, which are actually pretty normal for me. I'm a borderline hypertensive when I'm not pregnant and actually spent several years (back when I was 65 lbs. heavier) on N0rvasc to manage my BP. Losing all that weight meant I didn't need the meds anymore and I've been off them ever since. Part of me wonders why the OB can't just put me on an anti-hypertensive that's pg-friendly and allow me a little bit more time for baby-growing. Instead, he seems very focused on getting her out of me and into the world; straight from point A to point C. Where's my B? Or do I not get a B because I'm a few weeks shy of "term?"

Friday I have an NST at the peri's and I'm not scheduled to go back to the OB until Monday. That day, I'll be 35w2d and will feel a tad bit better should he decide that I need to deliver asap. I'm crossing all crossables that he won't.

I'm flummoxed as to how I can go in for that visit and stay relaxed in an effort to keep my BP down...repeating some sort of mantra in my head? deep breathing? going to my "happy place?" something else? Any suggestions? I was thinking of bringing A and J with me to keep my mind on them but then I wonder if J misbehaves in the waiting room, will that just make me more tense and stressed out? Hmmm, probably.

Yeah, as you can tell, I overthink things...A LOT.

P.S. If you're playing along at home, I was originally scheduled to be induced a month from today if I don't go into labor on my own by then. Sounds like a good plan to me--let's all hope for it :-)

Monday, January 08, 2007

The hits keep coming

Yeah, so today's BP reading started out at a lovely 160/100...the follow up mere minutes later was 160/90. At least there was no protein in my urine and I had/continue to have no swelling, headache, vomiting, nausea, visual disturbances, etc.

With such a rocking BP reading, I was sent down to the hospital (the big one with the level III NICU) for monitoring--with the admonition from my OB that if my BP didn't come down with bed rest there, they'd induce me tomorrow (34w3d). And by the way--I'm not sure why he thought that the timing was right for telling me that just as he started to take my second BP reading. Uh huh, that's the way to help me bring it down--tell me things that make me panic and then do the reading. Brilliant.

With two solid hours of monitoring at the hospital (while lying on my side) under my belt, I'm happy to report that my blood pressure was declared 'good' and 2.0's NST was 'great.' So I'm back home now, having had the ever lovin' crap scared out of me. Let's just say that this afternoon saw many tears and worry on my part.

I appreciate all of your kind words about the situation (and my jug o'pee had the pleasure of sharing our spare fridge in the garage with A's imported beer, only the finest company for my whiz).

Tomorrow is NST Tuesday, as is Friday and my BP will be read at both appointments. Thursday is the growth u/s (all three of these appts are with my peri and, for the record, my BP has been consistently good while there for months now, even at last week's visit). I'm back at the OB next Monday. For some reason--hmm, wonder why--something tells me I'll probably be sent to the hospital that day too. Because now when I walk in the OB's office, my hackles are up, I'm scared, and that, my friends, simply cannot be helping my BP one iota. Why don't they understand that aspect of it? White coat syndrome at its finest.

With that, I'll bid you adieu for tonight--the BCS game is on and I've got to go watch my alma mater whup up on some Buckeyes. Go Gators!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Save the drama for your mama

Wow, two posts in one day.

For many years now, my life has been virtually drama-free and I prefer it that way. I'm past the age when drama was exciting; now it is trying, a general pain, and more...so I generally just avoid it at all costs.

But now? Not so much.

The good news is that 2.0 passed today's OB visit and subsequent NST. Mama, however, did not pass today's office visit. My initial BP was 150/80...a remeasurement a few minutes later was 164/86. I've got some minor swelling in my feet (and I have had no swelling to date, and had absolutely none at all during J's pregnancy). Of course, once they tell you your BP's up, you (if you're me) start to worry 'cause you know what that potentially means, which of course doesn't help with making the BP go down. Vicious cycle that.

My urine was clear, to my knowledge, but I was sent home with orders to slow down, take it easy, and to do a 24-hour urine test Sunday with a visit to the lab for a PIH (pregnancy-induced hypertension) screen and complete metabolic panel on Monday. With J, I did develop true PIH at 37 weeks which is why they induced me the following day.

As of now, I'm at 34 weeks. The nurse suggested I get down to the level III NICU hospital sooner rather than later to pre-register so I'll be doing that tomorrow. Apparently, having gestational diabetes ups the chance of developing toxemia (aka pre-e) so that's the fear now.

The good news in all this is that 2.0 appears to be a good size, or so the doc thinks. While I'm presently at 34 weeks, the belly is measuring 36 weeks (I knew I was dealing with a big kid here--again, thanks GD!). The growth u/s is a little less than a week away when we'll get an estimated weight. Knocking on everything wood that I get there. At this rate, every day is a blessing (and I say that though I'm not in the least "religious"). And though being "a good size" doesn't guarantee healthy, I'm thinking positively.

Four doctor visits next week, my only "free" day is Wednesday...and no, I'm not complaining in the least. If you've got any good thoughts, please feel free to send them my way. And if anything goes down on this end, I'll post asap. Thanks for your concern :-)

P.S. There may be hope for me with my name choice after all...A had apparently been telling his entire family that we were going to go with my #1 name for some time now. So it may be that J picked/picks the middle name. We'll see. For now, it's not such a priority when there's a bigger potential drama afoot.

A rose by any other name

Finally...as of this evening, baby girl 2.0 has a name (though, my apologies, I'll be keeping it to myself until after she makes her arrival--nothing personal, just a little superstition on my part).

Tonight A and I picked 4 first name options and 4 middle name options, wrote them on slips of paper, folded them up and placed them in one of his hats. We then let J have it in picking the slips. She picked two first name slips first (A's #1 choice and an 'alternate' choice) followed by a middle name slip. So we went with his first name choice and the middle name.

I have to admit I was a bit put out when I saw that it was his name choice that came up. I had my heart set on my choice--which J picked out on her fourth dip into the hat, after the middle name slip came out, but by then we were officially done with the picking process.

I think A could see I was a little miffed because he said, 'ask my sister what I've been telling her the baby's name is going to be,' i.e., my name of choice (which prompted me to lightly smack him on the shoulder and remind him that we're not telling anyone until she's here so he shouldn't have done that). He then said, 'let's just name her what you wanted.' I felt bad and told him that I didn't want him to acquiesce like that and let the name combo from a hat stand. We had earlier agreed to let J pick and let that pick stand, no matter what.

After all, that way, years from now, when 2.0 complains that every fourth girl in her classroom has her name, I can point the finger at J, saying 'blame your sister--she's the one who picked out your name.' (Okay, I won't really do that--the blame will be placed squarely on A's shoulders.)

But damn, I really wanted my pick to be the one that came out of that hat first **said while stomping my foot petulantly and scowling**

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Down and up

Happy belated new year :-) I hope your start to 2007 has been a smashing one so far.

Smashing was not exactly how I would describe my start to 2007 in terms of this pregnancy. Baby girl 2.0 failed last Friday's NST courtesy of numerous heartrate variables. The followup u/s (aka Biophysical Profile) found that my amniotic fluid had decreased even further from Tuesday's u/s (from 10 to 9.3--with 5 being the number that gets you admitted to the hospital).
Much fluid drinking commenced at that point and I'm happy to report that yesterday's NST (which was failed in grand style thanks to even more heartrate variables on 2.0's part) led to another u/s that showed my fluid was back up to 11.1. So I've gotten a bit of a reprieve for the time being. *UPDATE: The good ultrasounds negate the bad NSTs to indicate that all is, apparently, well with 2.0 and her heartrate/amniotic fluid.

2.0 was practicing breathing during yesterday's u/s. Oh, and I was mistaken, I thought my growth u/s was last week but it's actually next week so I have no idea how big this girl is right now. Given the fact that she was almost four pounds roughly a month ago, I'd reason to say she's probably 5+ pounds by now. Especially since she's taking up a lot of room these days and doesn't seem to have much space to move around in. This one is not much of a mover these days, unlike J was at this stage in pg (although, I have to say that since J was so small, I think she had more room to manuever around in--this girl being so much bigger than J was, not so much).

While I was on the NST machine yesterday, I had a huge contraction--but the funny thing is I never felt a thing. I was reading a magazine when I glanced at the tape and saw a giant spike in the uterine contraction section which had taken place minutes before apparently. So that made me feel a little better about the upcoming L&D thing--perhaps I won't have as much discomfort as I did with J. I have a friend who's a L&D nurse and she talked me down from the ledge at my shower, telling me that #1 paves the way for #2 so it's never quite as difficult as the first time. Good to know--hope it's true. Thinking optimistically that it is.

2.0's room is almost done (we just need to put the closet doors back on) but she still does not have a name. Hmm, perhaps we should get going on that...only 5 to 6 weeks, tops, to go--which still makes me say 'holy crap' every time I think about it.

free hit counter