Category Archives: Pregnancy

The Day is Finally Here

My alarm is set to go off in 3 hours. We head into the hospital for our baby’s induction soon. I’m not off to a very good start, because (again) I haven’t slept.  I’m excited– but I’m also already exhausted. It’s been a long week of not sleeping much. I sure hope my body returns to normal after our baby girl is born!

My friends threw a beautiful baby shower for me yesterday and it was so good to pray together at the end. To ask God for a shorter induction than last time (34 hours) and that our daughter would be delivered safely. To thank God for giving us children, when we had previously thought we would have none. As much as this last month has been a big challenge, I still get choked up thinking about God’s kindness to our family.

Josh still has no clue that his world is about to be drastically changed. Even when he’s sitting on my lap and little girl is kicking away at him, he never seems to notice. I’m not sure what to expect out of him but I know he’ll be a good big brother.

Thanks for praying for all of us today. This chronic lack of sleep has me feeling like I’m about to run a marathon after a week of fasting. At the moment I don’t have any idea of how I will handle it well. But I know the Lord will get me through it.

Hopefully I’ll have pictures of our baby girl to share very soon!

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35 Weeks Pregnant – 9 More Days to Go!

Just 9 more days until we get to meet this little girl. I can’t even wrap my head around it. My belly doesn’t feel big enough to be having a baby yet. My house may be look mostly ready for a new family member to join in, but my body doesn’t feel anywhere near ready to have a baby.

I’m busy chasing a toddler around all day and I’m trying to imagine what it’s going to be like to do that while also caring for a newborn. I know this is something families do all the time — that is, having another baby. I’m sure it’s hard and wonderful and well, rather commonplace! But the reality that our family of 3 will soon become 4 is still bewildering to me. Maybe it’s from the combination of struggling with infertility for so many years (i.e. not expecting to ever have children) to then having 2 children rather close together?

As for this week, it’s been a busy one. Honorable mentions for the week include:

— After saving up for almost a year, we finally saved enough to replace our yucky tile & grout counter tops with quartz counter tops. They we installed yesterday and I learned quite a bit about having a toddler in the same house as a construction zone. All I can say is: one day of that was plenty. We also got a new sink and faucet and are touching up the cabinets a bit with new hardware and hinges, and paint where needed. I’ll show some before/after pictures once it’s all finished (the hubs is working on the sink plumbing as I type).

—  Josh managed to get a direct karate chop kick in at my poor nose. It was one of those ‘throwing a tantrum while being placed on the changing table’ moments by Josh and somehow my nose was in the direct line of fire. It hurt pretty badly but thankfully it’s not broken. (As a side note, my husband is also relieved it’s not broken because he said no one would believe that a 17 month old had broken my nose. But I feel like 17 month olds are plenty dangerous in their own way and I’m sure there are lots of parents who have been accidentally hurt by their small children. One lady’s blog I used to read reported that over the years she had inadvertently gotten FIVE corneal abrasions from flying objects about her household from any one of her five active young sons. So I say it’s very possible!)

— NST’s have been going well. The nurses keep commenting (unsolicited) that they think I’ll be having a little baby, though. This is not based on anything scientific, so I hope they’re wrong. They have also been commenting on how low her position is. I hope they’re right about that.

— Speaking on NST’s, only 3 more to go! My mom and mother in law have been saving my bacon with their faithful offerings to watch Josh while I’m gone for that.

— Josh had his 18 month check up early (because I’m paranoid of the pediatrician office germs and didn’t want us all to be sick around the time little girl is born) and all is well there. It was kind of strange when our pediatrician left the room while saying “See you in two weeks! Can’t wait to meet your little girl!” I just can’t believe how fast it is all happening.

— Sleep has been elusive. Two nights ago I had two friends specifically pray for me to sleep and I slept for an amazing 7 hours straight (but then I got kicked in the nose by Josh right after I woke up so that put a damper on things — ha!). The night before that I had only slept 2 hours, so I was in desperate need of rest. It has been a challenge to say the least but it hasn’t been the end of the world. I remember barely sleeping while pregnant with Josh because of constant contractions keeping me up. This time it’s hot feet and itchy skin. So it seems to always been something. Thankfully taking naps is not an issue for me.

Thank you again for your prayers — for rest and for the safety of our unborn baby girl. Please pray that she will tolerate labor well and do awesome once she’s born, even though she’ll be a little premature. And please pray that I’ll hold onto Jesus no matter what happens as He is the unmovable Rock.

The verse on my chalkboard right now says:

“I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

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A Late Night Update & Some Photos

I gotta say — the newness of being diagnosed with ICP and the need for an early induction has worn off and I’m left with, well, itching. Lots and lots of itching. Thankfully it’s mainly just at night. The itching is unmistakable — sometimes it feels like bugs crawling under my skin, and other times it feels like I just got bitten by a fire ant (so I guess that would be bugs crawling above my skin). Usually it’s the later. I often do a double take to see if there’s an insect on my skin. It’s a very strong sensation, and it gets annoying very quickly!

So I am averaging 3-5.5 hours of sleep a night (please no one tell me that this is good preparation for those sleepless nights when the baby comes, because there are days that hearing that will only discourage me). I took a Benadryl last night and a cold shower and I was so happy to fall asleep rather early and get more sleep. But I don’t want to get in the habit of taking Benadryl every night (even if it is category B) so I will just have to live with the itching and save the Benadryl for when I’m in desperate need of sleep. I’m surviving, but it’s hard not to be frustrated at being up and awake, feeling recklessly itchy every night. It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve fallen asleep before midnight.

Thankfully, our little baby girl has looked awesome on every single NST so far. And I’m thankful (even though I’m scared) that she’ll be coming early. I have read in several places that the stillbirth rate of undiagnosed, untreated ICP is 15%. A scary-high statistic. Breathing a sigh of relief that I am both diagnosed AND being treated (with Ursodiol). From everything I’ve read, my OB is treating me appropriately and taking every precaution.

There are many things coming up that are out of my control. The induction is just 3 weeks away. I have no control over whether my body will be even slightly ready or not for labor (I’m guessing not). I have no control over my GBS status (to be determined at 35 weeks). I have no control over whether the induction will be another horror story, or whether (if I choose to get one) my epidural will actually be intact and working this time.

Surmounting all other unknowns, I have no control over how our baby will do. Will she latch on and nurse well? Will she breathe okay? Will she be jaundiced?

(This control freak doesn’t like uncertainty, apparently.)

The nurse setting up my NST the other day asked how long kick counts were taking, on average. “About 20 minutes, probably,” I replied. “Great” she said, “But if they take up to two hours, you go straight into L&D, okay? And even if you have to go into L&D every single day, no one will fault you for it. Cholestasis is no joke.” Gee, I thought, thanks for freaking me out, lady. When I got home from my appointment that day, I retold the conversation to my mom (who had been babysitting) and found myself suddenly holding back tears. I realized that I still felt scared for our baby, even though I was on medication that was supposed to decrease the risks and even though I had an early induction scheduled. Childbirth is already scary without complications, but the reality of having a high-risk pregnancy was hitting me that day like a ton of bricks. Thankfully, since then I’ve had time to process, to adjust my thinking and also my expectations for the next three weeks (as well as for our baby’s birth). Also, seeing as I’m up most nights, I’ve also had a lot of time to research and to know with more certainty what the risks truly are and what to expect.

I’ve also spent some time memorizing the following verses to meditate on during the next 3 weeks. I cannot tell you what peace Scripture and prayer have brought me:

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Isaiah 26:33 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

I know I’m not immune to struggles, fears, or life scenarios worse than I ever imagined. Being a Christian doesn’t mean life is easy in any way. But I do know this: No matter what happens, the Lord will be with me. He will give me grace to endure and a faith greater than an easy life could ever produce. So tonight as I stop typing intermittently because of this itchy skin, I have peace about our situation, and I have hope. I’ve gone from incredibly surprised (at being diagnosed with ICP) to incredibly scared to now just incredibly excited to meet our little girl. Peace in the midst of any trial is truly a gift from the Lord.

{Thanks for praying for our baby girl whom we are set to meet in just three weeks!}

And here’s some pictures from the past week…

The things that fascinate toddlers... it makes me laugh.

The things that fascinate toddlers. It makes me laugh.

Fruit snacks are the most amazing thing on the planet to this kid. I think he’s deciding which one to eat first  (big decision!).

Who says an 8 month pregnant mama won't get down on the kitchen floor and play with her toddler?

Who says an 8 month pregnant mama won’t get down on the kitchen floor and play with her toddler? (Now can someone please help me back up?)

Helping Daddy put together sister's new diaper pail.

Helping Daddy put together sister’s new diaper pail.

“What ELSE is in the box, Daddy?”

My creepy looking hand on an ice pack, which was keeping my palm from itching so much.

My creepy looking hand on an ice pack, which was keeping my palm from itching so much.

33 weeks pregnant. My mom has said twice now that my belly size has plateaued. Of course now that baby is coming early, I want to gain more weight and my belly to grow as much as possible. Oh, the irony,

33 weeks pregnant. My mom has said twice now that my belly size has plateaued. Of course now that baby is coming early, I really hope to gain more weight and want my belly to grow as much as possible. (Oh, the irony.)

My little guy. Love this kid to pieces, and trying to wrap my head around the fact that he's going to be a big brother in less than a month.

My little guy. Love this kid to pieces, and trying to wrap my head around the fact that he’s going to be a big brother in less than a month.

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Newborn Weight Predictor Equation

Seeing as our baby girl will be delivered early (36 weeks +2 day) for maternal cholestasis, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much she might weigh. I would love it if she she at least passes the 6 pound mark. I found this newborn weight predictor equation on W.ebMD from Duke University Medical Center. They claim that it is about as accurate as an estimated fetal weight via ultrasound (which, I hate to say, usually isn’t too accurate — although they say ultrasounds are within 8-15% of the actual newborn weight). There is an 8% error rate with this equation. All you have to do for this equation is convert some of your info if needed (such as height from inches to centimeters, and weight from pounds to kilograms, etc). and plug it in!

Here’s the equation they posted with some helpful info below (taken from W.ebMD’s website — link below):

Birth weight (g) = gestational age (days) x (9.38 + 0.264 x fetal sex + 0.000233 x maternal height [cm] x maternal weight at 26.0 weeks [kg] + 4.62 x 3rd-trimester maternal weight gain rate [kg/d]] x [number of previous births + 1]).

Pointers for performing the calculations:

  • Perform all multiplications before the additions.
  • Gestational age is the stage of your pregnancy in days, or days since the onset of your last normal menstrual period plus 14.
  • For fetal sex, use 1 for a boy, -1 for a girl, or 0 if sex is unknown.
  • For mother’s height, inches multiplied by 2.54 gives you centimeters.
  • For the mother’s weight, pounds divided by 2.2 gives you kilograms.
  • For the baby’s birth weight, take the number from your calculation and divide by 453 to get your baby’s estimated weight in pounds.

(Find the link to the article here.)

It’s kind of a long formula, but if you’re not a math lover don’t worry. You can actually plug in all your numbers and copy and paste it into google’s search bar and it will calculate for you.

The equation predicted that our baby would weigh 6.7 pounds, or just over 6 1/2 pounds. But then I plugged in all the info for our son Josh to see what it predicted his weight to be (which was 6 pounds 13 oz) and it came up with 7 1/2 pounds. So definitely not accurate in our case. But still fun to compute!

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Only a Month to Go! {Inducement Date Scheduled}

I had my 32 week appointment today with my OB as well as antenatal testing.

I found out that Kaiser doesn’t mess around when it comes to intrahepatic cholestasis in pregnancy. I’m being induced on 9/13, when I will be only 36 weeks and 2 days. I sort of expected my OB to say “This isn’t really a big deal, but as a precaution I guess we’ll induce you at 38 weeks.” Nope. They want this baby out before 37 weeks. At 37+ weeks, apparently, my bile acids could spike dangerously high at any given time and harm or even kill the baby. Scary.

While I feel relieved to not be worrying that my baby will die in utero, I’m fighting some fears today that she will be little. Really little (Josh was 6 pounds 13 oz at 39 weeks). And that maybe she might not nurse so hot right off the bat. That she might have some respiratory complications. Of course, there are many 36 weekers out there that eat and breathe like champs and act like grown up term babies. I’m praying that our little girl will be one of them!

The NST went really well and baby passed with flying colors. She had good movement and good heart rate. I have an anterior placenta so her movement is muffled a bit — I have to be paying attention most times to notice her movements. Baby was already in vertex cephalic position, which was awesome! (Now please stay that way, little girl!) The ultrasound showed excellent fluid levels and lots of fluid around her umbilical cord. The nurse was great and she felt like an old friend by the time I left. Another nurse came in and wanted to discuss my ultra-hot feet at night time and came up with 3 or 4 solutions for me to keep them cool. They took good care of me, and I’m grateful for that! I’m going to be spending lots of time with them before this baby comes.

The nurse then gave me a TdAp and I didn’t even feel it. Not even a pinch – nothing (I admit to looking for an injection site). I’m so thankful for this vaccine which will protect my baby from pertussis until her 2 month vaccines– given that she’ll be little and it will be the winter months by the time she gets her first round of vaccines.

In the exam room, my OB answered a lot of my questions today (I brought in a long list). Information she passed along to me:

  1. The medicine I’m on (Ursodiol) may or may not help decrease bile acid levels, but it should decrease the amount of itching I have.
  2. She will not be checking my bile acid levels again unless I have a major change of symptoms (i.e. I become jaundiced, etc). Since baby is being delivered early I am fine with that. Currently my liver enzymes are normal and the bile acids are just slightly elevated.
  3. She said that diet changes won’t help– but that it would be a different story if I had gall stones (which I don’t).
  4. They don’t know what causes Cholestasis in pregnancy, but they do know that there is a genetic component and that it’s related to hormones. Patient with twins and triplets are more likely to get it, as well as patients who went through IVF (increase in hormones = higher risk of cholestasis). Since no one else in my family has had this, I’m guessing that the IVF/embryo transfer is the culprit in our case.

I can’t believe our baby will be here in a month. I’m not even to that really uncomfortable pregnancy stage yet or feeling like it’s time for this baby to come out. As I process her early inducement date, I’m definitely feeling a mix of excitement and fear. I will be praying much over this next month for our little girl’s safety. Please pray with me!

Now off to get this toddler of mine to sleep for his nap. Teething has ruined his happy napping schedule!

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Baby #2 is Coming Early: Cholestasis of Pregnancy

As it turns out, this nesting craze wasn’t a fluke. Apparently my body knew I would need to be prepared to meet our little girl sooner than expected.

I found out today (at 31 weeks, 5 days along) that our little girl will be coming early. I have Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP). It’s basically a liver disorder in pregnancy that affects the bile flow from the liver. Instead of the bile flowing as it should, the bile acids back up into the mother’s blood steam. The condition can cause preterm labor, fetal distress, maternal hemorrhage, and stillbirth– so it’s considered a big deal. You can read more about it here. It should resolve on it’s own after the baby is delivered.

I had read about this disorder when I was pregnant with Josh, and even got tested for it at the time because I was dealing with majorly itchy skin. The labs they tested at the time were liver enzymes (AST/ALT) and bile acids. My lab results came back with normal results though, and I chalked it up to be a normal pregnancy ailment.

However, with this pregnancy my symptoms have been a little different. As I have written before, my hot feet at night time have been plaguing me for at least a month now. Last week I called the OB nurse and ran it by her, and, assuming that it was normal, I asked for ideas for home remedies. She said she had never heard of feet so hot in pregnancy that it prevented sleep, and neither had the other two OB’s she ran it by. They suggested that maybe it was some sort of neuropathy (that just occurred at nighttime?) in my feet and to follow up with my OB at my 32 week appt (I was not convinced at all that I had neuropathy in my feet, but since I felt dumb for calling in the first place I just basically put the thought out of my head immediately).

Two days after that phone call, the palms of my hands became incredibly itchy and kept me up for three nights in a row. I knew this was a symptom of ICP (itchy palms and soles of the feet — usually at nighttime — are the classic symptoms) and I had actually never had this symptom with my pregnancy with Josh. I debated (once again) calling to ask for labs to make sure I didn’t have ICP. I felt like a total hypochondriac (“Um, hi, it’s me again… yeah– still have hot feet and NOW I have itchy palms!” No thanks.) But the more I researched, the more I realized what a serious condition this was and I read one too many stories about how it caused stillbirth. So I decided to call, and since my OB was on vacation I left a message with the OB nurse specifically asking for an AST/ALT, and bile acid labs. They called me back and said that it was no problem and that the labs were ordered. I went and got labs drawn that day (yesterday).

Today, my liver enzymes came back normal but my bile acids came back elevated. I assumed I would just follow up with my OB at my appt on Friday but instead the OB nurse called me this afternoon and this is what she told me:

1. I have ICP, and it won’t be going away on it’s own until I have the baby. In fact, it will continue to get worse.

2. I need to start on medication (Actigall) right away to help the bile acids to flow better and not back up into my bloodstream. This doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk to the baby but it will make me less itchy.

3. I will need to start NST’s twice a week starting this Friday until the baby comes.

4. I will be induced early, probably 36-37 weeks (she wasn’t sure, but said my OB would clarify at my appt).

I have to admit, I was rather shocked. I was mentally prepared to see normal lab results posted to my chart and to go until 41+ weeks (itching like crazy) to have this baby. But now she will be coming in 4-5 weeks! Overall I have had a very comfortable pregnancy (as opposed to last time) and so it feels really strange to think about being induced early. Last time I was in so much pain that I would have given my right arm to be induced early!

The day was spent in a flurry of phone calls. Things like baby showers and out of town trips may need rescheduling. Hubby will need to be off work sooner than we thought. All I can say is, I’m glad that everything  is practically done in her nursery (thanks to my nesting instincts!).

In the meantime, please pray for our little girl– that the ICP will not harm her in any way. Please also pray she will do well respiratory-wise when she comes (I’m not anticipating any problems, but you never know). I’ll update again after my OB and NST appt on Friday.

This was from a few days ago. 31 weeks 3 days.

This was from a few days ago. 31 weeks 3 days.

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Nesting… It’s a Real Thing

The nesting has gotten out of control.

Just ask my husband. It’s not just setting up the nursery; it’s the whole house. “Hey,” I asked him, “Would you mind cleaning out all 4 filters in the vacuum cleaner to make sure that it’s working well? I need to vacuum the entire house, and soon.” He lovingly obliged (did I mention he got completely covered with dust doing that chore?) and I went on my merry vacuuming way.

Before that I asked for the ladder, so that I could clean the fans and light fixtures. It had been on my mental “to do” list for months, but some reason it needed to happen today. Right now. The house must be clean right now.

(Patient husbands are a gift from the Lord.)

Honestly though, who has their nursery all set up with clothes washed and folded in the dresser drawers by 31 1/2 weeks along? Okay, so maybe with a first child, but what about with their second?

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My cousin and my friend have definitely squared away all our baby girl clothes needs, that’s for sure. Thanks for the hand-me-downs! (That happen to all look brand new). And these are just the newborn size. I think there’s something like 50 pairs of socks and 21 sleepers. Didn’t count the onesies but I’m guessing there’s at least 25+. Insane. There will be less laundry happening this time, that’s for sure.

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I had hubby raise the crib and I made it up, even though I’ll have to wash the sheets again before she comes in two months. Also crazy. I must like creating more work for myself (*cough cough* … and for my husband).

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The ultrasound pics are attached and info is already filled out in her memory book.

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Car seat cover is washed and all ready to go ( it’s sitting in the closet, which is why the picture is from a strange angle). I even scrubbed the straps to make sure they’re crystal clean.

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Sheets and blankets ready to go. All of the pink linens were bought used for super cheap (the more gender neutral ones are left over from Josh).

Also got two freezer meals done today for after she comes. I have barely enjoyed cooking this pregnancy but (have I mentioned that) the nesting urge is strong! And somehow knowing what to expect helps motivate me as well. Last time I was in pretty good pain for 2-3 weeks after delivery and standing for longer than 5 minutes was a bit of a problem.

By this point in my pregnancy with Josh barely anything had been done. I was in too much pain to tackle projects. So I am thankful and excited to be able to get this kind of stuff done. Of course I don’t want her to come early, but if she does — at least we’ll be prepared!

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If I Only Had A Brain

In my opinion, there are two major categories that coincide with pregnancy. One is insomnia. The other is forgetfulness (affectionately termed “prego brain.”) This week, I’ve been dealing with both and instead of sleeping I’m up eating a bowl of cereal and putting these rambling thoughts down on paper. (And to spare you the nuisance I’m also avoiding making a dumb forgetful memory joke, because, come on — that would just be a little too unoriginal right now.)

I worked last night at the hospital and it’s becoming apparent to me that my memory has become quite bad. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure if it’s because I haven’t worked much over the past year or if it’s pregnancy affecting this noggin’ of mine, or what? My husband claims it’s pregnancy, but it’s getting kind of pathetic at work. Someone will ask me a question: “Hey, where do we keep _____?” (fill in the blank with some random medical item), or, “How do I change out this drainage chamber?” or {insert pretty much any nursing/work related question}. I find myself standing there, scratching my head, saying “Gee, I used to know the answer to that, but I totally forgot!” I feel like a complete moron most of the time! And it’s just not happening at work, either. In fact, I made a list of all the things I need to accomplish in the next ten weeks (before the baby comes) because from day to day I completely forget what those things are. My husband has always lamented that he has a terrible memory but announced that he’s happy that the playing field is finally leveled while I’m pregnant–ha! All I can say is that I sure hope my memory decides to reinhabit my body after the baby comes!

As for sleep, when I got off last night I managed to sleep for 3.5 broken up hours. I can’t even blame Josh, who has been sleeping 12-13 hours through the night uninterrupted for weeks now (we’re soaking it in before the baby comes!). Last week, I had probably 4 nights in a row where I averaged 3-4 hours of sleep a night. But the week before that I slept pretty well. Pregnancy insomnia comes in waves for me and thankfully it comes and goes (well, it’s mostly just comes toward the end of the third trimester). I don’t tend to stress about the lack of sleep, but this morning I really wanted to make it to church and wasn’t sure how that would happen on such little sleep. Thanks be to God, (and to my husband who pulled most of the pieces together to get our toddler and the 59 other toddler items we needed like snacks, water bottle, extra diapers/wipes, toys, etc, out the door) we actually made it on time (for once) and I downed my daily allotment of coffee on the way which helped. So, not much sleep happening here, but thankfully we’re still getting on with life fairly well.

Aside from poor memory and sleep, another issue I’ve been battling these days has been feeling poorly about my appearance. Being pregnant this time around has revealed to me my issues with vanity. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I am way bigger this time around. I have found myself not wanting to even go out in public as I feel like a spectacle to watch and also dread people’s questions and comments. Another coworker last night saw my belly and basically asked if I was due any day (I have ten weeks to go). I’ve never had to work hard to maintain (or really even to lose) weight. I eat moderately but have never dieted. For my entire life, my figure has pretty much been on auto-pilot. But now the pounds are adding up and it freaks me out a little more than I care to admit. The comments about my size bother me more than I’d like to share, also. Someone the other day lightheartedly joked that I had a serious “eating problem” and even though I know he was joking and that it was just his way of saying “you’re pregnant!” I just couldn’t seem to get the comment out of my head. The result is that the Lord has revealed pride and fear in me — which I have at times allowed to suck away my joy in preparing for this baby girl. It’s awful and I have repented of it. But I still struggle, and I think I will continue to do so until I deem that my ‘size’ appropriately fits whatever gestational ‘week’ I am in (which is silly and not helpful at all).

Lastly, I am struggling in knowing how to reach out to friends who are currently walking through infertility. This may seem crazy, given the years of infertility we went through, or it may seem very plausible given that we have a 16 month old son and are expecting baby #2 soon. I want to reach out, to bless if I can … but I don’t want to be the cause of more tears (pregnant women, pregnancy announcements, and baby showers are almost always a trigger for women going through infertility). In some ways our ‘story’ is encouraging and offers hope to those who are facing infertility. But it depends on one’s perspective and, ultimately, one’s trust in the Lord — that He is sufficient whether one has several children or none. In the meantime, I’m asking the Lord for wisdom and planning for now to reach out. We’ll see how it goes.

Thanks for reading my sleep deprived thoughts. I plan to update again next week at 32 weeks!

 

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30 Week Pregnancy Update, July Events

I will be 30 weeks on Friday. Hooray!
Not much to report other than a growing belly and some trouble sleeping at night (again– due to hot feet and also feeling like I’m suffocating when I lie down). I’ve also felt worn out a lot but have noticed that eating helps me to come back to life a bit. All in all, pretty darn good for pregnancy.
It’s been a busy month. My husband had two weeks off and returned back to work on Monday. My 3 nephews came for a sleepover on Sunday night (which was a blast) and when I took them home I dropped off Josh with them at my parent’s house for his first night away from home. We got to go out to a nice restaurant for dinner and do some maternity clothes shopping afterward at Old Navy (big belly + 100F weather = very small clothing selection). Then we returned home for a very romantic evening of cleaning bathrooms, floors, and the kitchen. 😉

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We also went to the State Fair which was horribly hot but still a lot of fun. Sadly, we didn’t get to see my parents or my disabled sister much at all because my sister was pretty wound up that day and did much better in a smaller group. Josh tolerated being in the stroller for a few hours and then made it very clear that he was done! He desperately needed a nap and wouldn’t stop crying in the stroller or ergo front pack so we decided to head home. Oh well, at least we got in 3-3.5 hours at the fair!

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Still tolerating the stroller at this point.

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Not too excited about the carousel.

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At the fair.

We’ve also been busy just doing random things with my nephews. Haircuts, playing chess outdoors and the merry-go-round. Swimming daily. I treasure every minute with those kids and love how much they pour into Josh.

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My youngest nephew looking pretty unsure about this haircutting business.

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And let’s not forget all the wildfires. Between triple-digit degree weather and wind, fires seem to be popping up every couple of days here in Northern California (mainly near my parent’s home where we have been spending lots of time at this month). Thankfully, they are taken care of by our competent firefighters right away. So far I’ve made one call to 911 to report fires, and my sister has called three times. We never assume that someone else has already called.

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Fire from today.

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Fire from last week.

Lastly here’s my 29 and 3 day prego pic. My belly has grown big time. Someone commented at work last week that I was working “until the bitter end” and he seemed to choke a little when I told him I was only 29 weeks. And then a lady I was chatting with while the kids were getting haircuts almost had her eyes leave their sockets when I told her I had 11 weeks to go. Gosh, not looking forward to the comments by the time I am term. I just have to remember that a precious little girl is growing in there and that our lives will be forever changed when she comes!

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29 weeks 3 days.

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Parvo and the Blubbering Mess

I can’t believe I’m already to 28 weeks. I told my OB yesterday “This pregnancy so far has been a dream compared to my pregnancy with Josh!” Even if the next 12 weeks are completely miserable, it would still overall be better than last time! So thankful for pain free days! Every time I see my sister and mom they marvel over how well I’m feeling this time around. I must have moaned and groaned and cried a lot last time!

I passed my glucose screening test yesterday. Glad to have that behind me. But I have gained 21 pounds so far. 21 pounds!!!! I know, I know, I’m supposed to gain weight; it’s hard work growing a baby, etc, (I’ve heard all your reassuring statements) but it’s a little scary feeling like you have such little control over how much weight you gain. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t gained this much weight with Josh until around 35 weeks. I shudder to think what the scale will say when I get to that point! I would love to have a bigger baby this time around but I also don’t want it to take 9 months to shed the pounds after the baby comes.

Probably a big reason I’m packing on the pounds so well is because I started taking Prilosec for the ridiculous heartburn I was having. I was spending a good portion of the night (every night) sitting up waiting for the fire to die down in my throat, and even a sip of water would keep me up at least two hours. It was getting out of control, despite taking Zantac (I never even bothered with Tums since last time they just made the heartburn worse). So I started the Prilosec and I am doing great on it! I can even drink coffee if I want to! I don’t know how long it will keep working (with Josh it worked for a limited amount of time), but I can say that I’m enjoying not having heartburn very much these day (and also better sleep).

One of my nephews came down with Parvovirus a few weeks ago (aka “Fifth’s Disease” — in children it leaves a classic rash on the cheeks and then the trunk of the body following a mild cold and fever…  it’s also not to be confused with the Parvovirus that dogs get, which is an entirely different virus). Anyhow, of course I have been around my nephews almost daily since they arrived in early July, and it wouldn’t really matter if one of them had the bubonic plague — I would be there because I don’t get to see them much (they normally live in Papua New Guinea) and they’re great kids and I love them to pieces. So, I didn’t think anything about the Parvovirus (following a quick google search of it’s effect on pregnant women) and to be honest I had already been unknowingly exposed to it since we didn’t know my nephew had it until he got the rash.

The problem with the virus is that the cold and rash do not follow each other quickly. The rash can follow weeks after the cold. And by the time the rash hits, most are not contagious anymore. So most people think they just have a mild cold and never suspect Parvovirus until the rash shows up (which was quite bad on my nephew and caused a bit of discomfort for many days, poor kiddo).

I found that most adults are already immune to the virus, as it’s easily spread through children, so most get it in their childhood. But when I came down with a fever, chills, joint aches, and a massive headache about a week and a half ago and was sick for 2 days (not long), I suspected that I had caught Parvovirus from my nephew (no one else I knew was or had been sick). After further research (i.e. by reading medical journals — this wasn’t info I found easily) I discovered that this was something I needed to let my OB know about after all. She responded by saying that it was likely I was already immune to the virus, but that if I wasn’t immune there was a potential for the baby to get an infection from it which could cause severe anemia to the baby– which would buy me extra ultrasounds and monitoring to make sure baby was okay. So she had me go to the lab that day and get labs drawn — a CBC, and a Parvo IgG and IgM to check for prior immunity and current immune response to Parvo. My labs came back saying I had old immunity to Parvo (yay!) and a tiny bit of new immune response to the virus (which was confusing, considering I had prior immunity – but I guess it could either be nothing or it could mean my body didn’t fight off a new infection). In any case, I have to get the same labs drawn again on Wednesday because my OB said it could take a while for the current immune response to show up. But neither of us are feeling worried about it and I’m heavily suspecting that the fact that I had been exposed to the virus in the past will mean that my labs will show no new current infection next week.

Even though I’m not worried about the Parvo ordeal, my emotions have been all over the place lately. Pregnancy hormones are driving me crazy! I find myself crying over the dumbest stuff. For instance, our routine most nights is that my husband will give Josh his milk while reading stories, and when Josh has finished his milk, my husband will call for me and I’ll take Josh to brush his teeth and then put him to bed. Well, I wasn’t within earshot when Josh finished his milk, and my husband kept calling for me but I was obviously not responding because I couldn’t hear him. Josh started to cry when I didn’t come and was practically besides himself in tears by the time I realized that it was “teeth brushing time.” A little later after brushing teeth, as Josh had his head on my shoulder and I rocked him in his dark, quiet room for a few minutes, I couldn’t help but tear up thinking about how much this little boy needs me and depends on me, and how much it had affected him when I wasn’t there at a time when I usually was. It’s something I normally would have been merely surprised at, but being seven months pregnant it happened to bring some tears to my eyes and still makes me sad just thinking about it.

And while we’re on the subject, let’s not forget to mention me having to give Josh back blows last night at my parents house because he choked on something while he was in the high chair. His lips turned blue, which got me up and moving quickly. Yes, it ended up not being a big deal and he was fine (praise God), but I was fighting back tears after that, too (mainly at the thought of what would have happened if I couldn’t have gotten the lodged food out of his trachea). I obviously can’t think about scenarios like that right now! I’m so annoyed that I’m an emotional wreck these days. (And don’t even get me started about how I cried like a baby while watching the movie “Inside Out.” I think my cry-fest was more entertaining to my husband than the movie…) I could go on with more examples like these but I’ll just leave it at that for now. 😉

So there you have it. A potentially Parvo-infected-cry-baby pregnant lady in her 7th month… but who is overall having a great pregnancy so far! 

28 weeks. Check out my super glamorous $30 ring from Walmart, which is the only ring that fits these days.

28 weeks with baby#2. Check out my super glamorous $30 ring from Walmart, which is the only ring that fits these days.

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Filed under Pregnancy