Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Last Day...

One day left

One day before our lives change radically, once again. Tomorrow morning we will be heading to the hospital to have our baby girl. She will share a birthday with one of our favorite fictional characters: Harry Potter. Unless she feels like making life really fun and I have a super long labor. Fingers crossed for a nice short labor. "They" say second labors are usually half the time. 12 hours sounds long but I'll take it as a vast improvement over Roxas's 26 hours. 

So, this is my last day to just relax and enjoy savoring the last of this pregnancy. It's a bittersweet thing really. I'm very much ready to meet our little girl and not feel like I'm being punched in the gut a couple times an hour. Yet, I'm absolutely terrified. Usually during the times when a certain toddler around here is pushing my patience I realize I'm going to have this to deal with on top of a little baby. Cue the feelings of dread. I know I will adapt without even realizing it but the thought is still pretty unsettling. 

I'm also pretty afraid of labor. I've done it before so you would think I would be nice and relaxed about it. Not so much. Actually I'm just the opposite. I know what's coming and I know how little fun it's going to be. I mean really, would YOU look forward to hours of pain? If you answered yes I suggest you see a therapist of some kind. I've got a serious bone to pick with Eve about that apple. What I do look forward to is the magical moment when all that pain just goes away and you forget everything. It's wonderful, the best natural high on Earth. I'm also not thrilled that I will be getting an IV catheter. I can put them in other people just fine, but try to put one in my hand and there is a really good chance I will faint. Fainting isn't much fun either but I know the catheter is a good idea to have just in case.

Today I've been relaxing as much as I can because I know tomorrow is going to be exhausting. Lucy has been rolling, and wiggling all day. I've been trying to enjoy the last of these times because as much as I want to be done I know once she is here I will miss being pregnant. Hey, I never claimed to be rational or sane. I've been generally uncomfortable with a few contractions each hour and a nice leg cramp thrown in every once in awhile just for some variety I guess. Maybe Lucy will decide she wants to change the plans and come tonight but I'm not going to get my hopes up. At any rate I know it is very likely I will be holding our newborn daughter tomorrow evening. 

I still haven't really wrapped my head around the idea that we will have another baby tomorrow. It still seems like it's some made up story and none of this is real. I just can't wait to count ten little fingers and ten little toes. 

So, next post will most definitely feature some pictures of our little Lucy. If you're the praying type we always appreciate prayers for a safe (and quick) delivery.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Go Get the Humble Pie...

     Well, I'll grab my fork and start choking down my big ol' slice of humble pie with a heaping helping side dish of my own words. I went to my appointment on Friday and the doctor informed me that I had made pretty much no progress...actually she demoted me a half centimeter. Now I think the nurse at the hospital was just trying to make me feel better by telling me I was at 3 1/2. So we discussed some things and we now have an official induction date set.Well, technically it's an induction. I would much rather call it an "augmentation of labor" but that would really just make me feel better and I might as well just call it what it is. This induction will be via amniotomy (where the doctor breaks the bag of water) and with a lot of prayer I will hopefully be able to avoid seeing any pitocin. There is still risk with an amniotomy but it's nothing like pitocin's risks. The doctor seems pretty optimistic about this method being successful for me. Since my body is giving it a great try on it's own she thinks breaking my water might just give it the shove it needs to keep things going.

    I know, I know. You're thinking "but I thought you were all anti-induction? What happened to that steely resolve to wait it out? Hmmmmmmmm???" Yes...I know. I can hear the thoughts you're having "Don't you know the risks of induction? It's so much better to wait until they come naturally! Just be patient!" Believe me, these exact thoughts swirl around my head and poke into my brain like little daggers. I should just dig down deep and find some dang patience right? You know what though? I'm fresh out. I have plenty of guilt though!

     The on again, off again, runs of contractions coupled with crippling hip/leg pains have sapped all of my patience. They aren't just the little braxton hicks tightening type contractions either, no they are awful and painful real contractions and those leg pains have brought me to my knees on several occasions. I am physically, emotionally and mentally drained from it and I just don't have the resolve to put up with it for two more weeks.You may begin judging me.

     I feel like a failure that I caved to something I thought I was so strongly against. It's easy to say "just wait" when you aren't the one who is heavily pregnant and let's face it...a little desperate to not be so uncomfortable anymore. It's easy to say those things when you aren't the one being made miserable. So now I vow to shut my trap and not judge any woman who is induced ever again.

     Now, to be fair there is a small amount of justification around our choice besides my personal discomfort. My feet/ankles and legs began swelling suddenly and excessively in the past day or two and my blood pressure has gone from the 110/75 ish range to the 125/85 ish range. Usually 120/80 is "perfect" but a jump from usually low BP to high BP coupled with my swelling has the doctor a little concerned about the start of pre-eclampsia. It's by no means life threatening at this point but it deserves some careful monitoring for sure. There is also the little fact that this child's head has been consistently measuring a week ahead of her gestational age. Part of the reason I had a hard time with Roxas was due to his gigantic noggin and I'm not overly eager for her head to get any bigger than it already is. They may be flimsy little excuses but for the sake of my own sanity I will cling to them for dear life, lest the guilt swallow me entirely.

     So, there you have it. I'm a selfish, hypocritical, weakling who can't just stick it out another two weeks and I admit it. There is still the chance she could come on her own before and that would be wonderful but I'm not counting on it. The doctor is out of town this weekend so maybe Murphy's law will get things going! I won't say exactly what day we are being induced for now but Lucy will be a full 40 weeks by the time it happens. That's all I will say for now.

Hopefully she comes on her own but if not at least I have a really good idea of just how much longer I will have to wait. There is some comfort in that knowledge, and I've been able to relax and de-stress a little bit knowing that date which may help natural labor, who knows.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

39 Weeks- Just One More To Go!

     We have just 7 days left until the due date. Just one more week left and I'm ready to meet our little girl. It's been quite an exciting week and I'm hoping we get to meet Lucy sooner rather than later with all the positive labor signs. Since I was induced with Roxas I never got to experience any spontaneous labor signs. My pregnancy with Roxas was pretty free of any labor signs really. This pregnancy is a drastically different story. I've been having on and off contractions for a good two weeks but on Saturday we had a very nice dress rehearsal of sorts for the big day.
     It was 8:00pm and I was just minding my own business working on knitting a hat and I noticed some pains but nothing concrete and I continued my work. Then by 10:00 the pains had not gone away, and had sorted themselves into something regular and rather painful. I paced around the house with pretty intense contractions debating whether or not they were "the real thing" and by 10:30 I was beginning to think it might actually be real. The contractions were coming about 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute and a half to two minutes or more by 11:30. We called my parents so my dad could watch Roxas and then we headed off to the hospital.
     They hooked me up to the monitor and saw I was indeed having regular contractions.
     I mean look at those nice contractions. The nurse said I was 3cm dilated but still at 50% and she wanted me to try and make some progress before calling the doctor at 2am. If I was able to progress to 4cm in that time I would be admitted and we would be having a baby. So we were sent off to walk for an hour. We walked...and walked...and walked. I was just praying for that extra 1cm. We returned from our walk and I hadn't changed at all. The doctor still wanted me to stay on an outpatient basis and be monitored all night. Throughout the night I still had regular contractions but I made the mistake of falling asleep. I'm convinced sleeping contributed to labor stalling out. It happened with Roxas too. Lucy had some variables in her heart rate, and some decreases but she seemed to be doing fine. At 6:30am the nurse checked me again and I had made a whole whopping half centimeter progress. Not promising.
     The doctor came in and confirmed my glaring lack of progress and since I was only 38 weeks she had no valid medical reason to intervene (I was hoping she would break my water and get labor back on track). I was sent home disappointed and very tired.

     The last few weeks of pregnancy are by far the absolute worst. You're ready to go and just want to meet this little wiggleworm already. The days stretch on for what seems like weeks though. Everybody and their uncle is telling you surefire ways to start labor, as if you haven't tried every single one of them. The waiting is bad enough but what really makes it hard is the teasing. Knowing my body went into labor once but stalled is unbelievably frustrating, if I'm going to have a spontaneous labor then let's get this thing going already. Then there are the contractions. I am still having annoyingly irregular and painful contractions which are making me physically exhausted. I will get runs of 5-10 contractions 5-10 minutes apart but they never continue and just leave me feeling as if I've been doing ab exercises all day. It's a painful and tired existence for sure.

     I'm really hoping to have made some progress by our appointment this Friday but I don't have high hopes. I've kind of resigned myself to just being induced again. As much as I'm not a fan of Pitocin I think it's inevitable we will meet again. When the doctor went over the consent for Pitocin (she has you go over this well before labor so you actually listen) I asked her about induction and she said the plan would be similar to that with Roxas. If we don't have Lucy by our last appointment on the 2nd then we will be induced on the 3rd. I've made my feelings very clear about wanting to avoid another induction and at every appointment I get the same answer: "We will see". It doesn't sound like I'm going to change her mind.

So until next time, I can hope maybe the next post will involve a birth story...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

38 Weeks- The Longest Two Weeks Ever

    Thirty-Eight weeks, I can't believe we are so close to meeting Lucy. It still doesn't seem all that real. The bags are fully packed, the bassinet is set up, the pack'n'play is in the living room, nursery is set, diaper changing stations are set up and all we're missing is the baby. Yet, I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of a second baby coming home.
     The last two weeks of pregnancy are the absolute worst because you're all set to go for the most part and then you just have to wait. Waiting is agonizingly slow and boring. I just keep telling myself at least every day that passes brings with it a higher chance she'll come the next day. I have two more doctors appointments before I know the doc will want to do an induction so I'd really like to get Lucy moving before then if at all possible. Have I mentioned how much I don't want an induction again? Yes? Several times? Ok. I tell the same thing to the doctor every time too.
     Right now Lucy is just awaiting launch day. She is still putting on weight and continuing to grow but it's at a much slower pace now. At our last appointment I was happy to hear I had made darn good progress. When the doctor checked she said I was most definitely a two, close to to three and 50% effaced. As much as I keep drilling it into my head that it means nothing, the little voice in my head gets excited hoping that it means labor is very near.
     Speaking of labor. I've never gone into labor on my own so this is still a whole new experience for me. I have no idea what spontaneous labor is but I now know what false labor is. Yesterday was full of on again off again contractions that weren't really regular enough to be of concern then around 5:00 yesterday they got really intense, painful and became pretty darn regular. For two hours I had regular, strong, contractions every 15 minutes or so. It was hard to get a grasp on timing because it still hurt in between (something that happened with my induced labor as well). After two hours though they started getting farther and farther apart, eventually fizzling into nothing but some little cramps. It's very annoying to be teased like that, also painful, but still very annoying. I just want to get this thing going already and move on to the sleepless nights already. Not that I'm getting much sleep now anyways.
     I've come down with my apparently traditional end of pregnancy cold. I got a sinus cold around this time with Roxas and it's back. I feel better today so I'm hoping it will be completely gone by Friday. Sleeping was already uncomfortable and now it's just down right miserable. I think last night was the first night in awhile when I actually slept the whole time. I know once Lucy is here I'll be thankful for one hour of sleep at a time but she isn't here now so would it be so much to ask for a few nights full of sleep while I can get them?
     Anyways, my awesome photog friend, Jenna, finished up editing our maternity photos earlier this week and I am so happy with how they turned out. She even managed several sweet shots of our little man too, no easy feat. You can see some of the pictures at her blog: http://blog.jennaebertphotography.com/ I can't wait until Lucy is here and we can get some super adorable newborn pictures too.
    Not much else is going on besides waiting around. I'm teaching myself to knit in an attempt to pass the time and so far I've knitted something that kind of looks like a pot holder for an elf. Hopefully I won't get a chance to make much else since I'll be so occupied with both kiddos.

Until Next Time....

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

37 Weeks- Dun Dun Duuuuun....

      Woo-HOOOOOO! We have hit the last big milestone in pregnancy besides birth! Lucy is now considered full-term and free to safely leave her wet nest whenever she would like now. I know it's best for babes to cook as long as they need but there is a certain amount of anxiety that feels like it was lifted now that we've hit this milestone. I no longer worry about those contractions, I say bring it on. I no longer worry what if she is born too early. I'm free to labor symptom spot as much as I want. She is for the most part just practicing for her debut as a newborn now. Things like sucking, swallowing, sleeping, and rolling are her main hobbies. She is gaining weight at around half an ounce A DAY! Her head is also still growing...great...

     I can't believe the due date is just three weeks away. The end of this pregnancy has just really snuck up on me. Having Roxas to run around after has absolutely made it easier to forget about the fact that we are going to have another baby VERY soon. I'm usually very much aware of her but honestly I have forgotten a few times. Then there are the moments of startling clarity too where my brain starts freaking out completely. I have no idea how I'm going to deal with all the newborn stuff again plus a 16 month old toddler who has an amazing talent for getting into trouble. Lord help me. Seriously. I need all the help God can give me now.

     I'm a bit of an over-preparer. I like to have everything planned and ready to go. I like knowing exactly what the plan is. With Roxas I think I had the hospital bag packed at least 3 weeks ago. Now I've finally gotten our bag packed and Roxas's bag packed. They sit at the ready by the door. It dawned on me today I kind of forgot to pack Lucy's bag. Whoops. It's on my to-do list for today. Normally I would find myself all prepped and ready to go by this point and honestly...I feel SO not ready. I'm not in any huge hurry this time. She can just stay in there for a few more weeks and give me a bit more time to prepare.

     At my doctor's appointment on the 5th I was a whole whopping centimeter dilated and while it's a good positive step in the right direction I'm not reading much into it. I think that was part of my problem last time. As soon as I started dilating it put me in the mindset of "ok, labor should be starting any second right?" Then I waited...and waited...weeks went by and then I found us wandering the halls of our hospital after some cervadil and getting much too close with a bag of pitocin. I drove myself insane last time trying to get labor going and I think I just might have learned from the past. [pause for stunned gasp] Sure I'm not going to retire my exercise ball and I'll be doing a little extra waddling in hopes of making progress but I don't expect labor to happen miraculously because I bounced on a ball for 30 minutes. Just little things that may help, but aren't in the least bit harmful. I'm taking a very relaxed approach this time and I think it's paying off.

     Well, that's pretty much all that is going on for now. As my doc said "just hurry up and wait".

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

36 Weeks- It's finally our month!

     Happy July! I can now finally say I'm due this month! Lucy is probably around 6 pounds and is filling up pretty much all of my tummy now. She still finds ways to stretch out and push my skin to it's upper most limits though, and it's protesting in the form of stretch marks that make me look like I may have been mauled. I was hoping maybe the skin would have been so stretched from Roxas that I wouldn't end up with too many extra this time. I was very, very wrong.

     We had our baby shower this past Sunday and it was a lot of fun but I'm still trying to recuperate from it! Lucy has everything she could possibly need now and I'm sure I will be spending the next four weeks organizing, and re-organizing her room and closet. She is one spoiled girl already. Once I get her room in order I will put of some pictures of the finished nursery. Here are a couple of pictures from the shower.

     Speaking of pictures we had our maternity photo shoot on Monday and I'm SO stoked to see the finished images. Just what I got to peek at on Jenna's camera looked wonderful and I know once she's done with them they'll be fantabulous. I wish Roxas would have cooperated a little better but then again...asking a 16 month old toddler to cooperate is asking quite a lot.

     The only things left to do now are just get things put away and organized and then try to relax until the big day. We are now at the point where we have weekly OB visits, every Friday from now on! At our last appointment I actually saw the nurse practitioner and she told me there was change going on but nothing too significant for now. I'm hoping the doctor will tell me I'm getting closer. I think a nice 38 weeks sounds good, HA. Now if I can just convince Lucy of this. So hopefully I will have a positive update next week.

Until next time...