Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I think I'm paranoid

I admit it; full-on crazy lady mode has set in. I’m chalking it up to this being my first pregnancy and not knowing what to expect at this stage. It’s not about actually giving birth; it’s about knowing whether I’m experiencing preterm labor. I’m finding it difficult to walk the line between worrying about everything I’m feeling and passing it all off as normal; the whole thing is messing with my mind a bit...okay, a lot. Some of this is just my nature so it was unavoidable to a point, but that little trip to the hospital a couple of weeks ago has only heightened it.

I have read and heard conflicting stories of those who say you’ll have no doubt when you’re having real contractions and those who had no idea at first. That makes me nervous because I was a bit surprised to find out how many contractions I was having when I was being monitored at the hospital. I can honestly say I can’t distinguish them between all the other intense sensations I am having in my belly lately, and it does feel like there is some kind of activity almost constantly. I figure that can’t always be the baby.

The baby’s movements are no longer little bumps and jabs and have become much more uncomfortable in general. I have strong pelvic pressure/pain and my lower back is starting to hurt. However, I know for sure that some of the other signs of labor (water breaking, bloody show – ew – who came up with that name?!, etc.) haven’t occurred so I’m airing on the side of normal for now. I’m actually looking forward to the weekly doctor appointments that start next Thursday to give me peace of mind on a more regular basis.

Speaking of peace of mind, just like I thought Rosebud was a girl from day one, I have also felt in my gut that she will come early. Therefore, I feel no peace at the fact that J has an unfortunate travel schedule coming up. He will be in Vancouver (dude, that’s in a whole other country!) on Oct. 15-18 and Orlando on Oct. 21-25. I suggested he tell his supervisor he can’t travel that close to my due date but he insists he has to go and can’t cancel just on the off-chance I may give birth. Depending on what the doctor says at my appointment the week before, this could become less of a suggestion and more of a request.

I’m also hoping the doctor can start to give me an estimate of how big she is next week. Up until now I have relied strictly on various sites and books, none of which seem to agree. I’d just like to have an idea if she’s leaning more toward being on the small or large scheme of things. Given that I’m not planning on a c-section, I’m personally rooting for no more than 8 pounds – closer to 7 would be even better!

p.s. Please tell me I'm not the only pregnant woman who has felt this way.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

7 weeks to go

I had a regularly-scheduled biweekly doctor's appointment this morning - one of those real quick ones. Turns out I lost the 4 pounds I gained at the last appointment. I was a little concerned but the doctor assured me that Rosebud is still measuring well and has a strong heartbeat so there is no reason to worry.

He also added that losing weight can be common among those of us who started out a bit heavier. As long as my little girl is OK, I certainly have no issues with having only gained 3 pounds this entire pregnancy so far. I was given the green light to up  my calorie intake but I still don't have a huge appetite. No nausea or aversions, just not all that hungry!

Given my trip to the hospital on Friday, he also talked a bunch about preterm labor signs. There is still a 10% chance I could give birth in the next two weeks despite that swab test being negative. However, I think this is the kind of stuff they discuss with every woman at this stage and not because I'm at a higher risk. Until I have 8 noticeable contractions in an hour, I'm good to go. And honestly, I don't think I'm even aware of every contraction I have right now. The ones I do feel are just a bit uncomfortable, not painful or anything I have to breathe through, which is all normal and fine.

We're working on putting the finishing touches on the nursery this week and plan on getting any outstanding items that are necessary (i.e., breast pump, car seat, etc.) soon. I hope to have everything in place by October so that if anything WERE to happen, we'd be all set. Preterm or not, we're getting closer!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Freaky Friday

So, yesterday was a bit of an adventure. I woke up feeling fine, just really of those days where it's hard to put one foot in front of the other. However, sitting at my desk at work around 9 a.m., I realized I was feeling very short of breath, a bit dizzy, experiencing some blurred vision and all the lights seemed incredibly bright.

I sat with those symptoms for a good 30 minutes before they concerned me enough to put a message into my doctor. I had dealt with some of them in the past, but never all together and not that intensely. I assumed the doc would tell me everything was fine and not to worry, so I was surprised when I was asked to come in and be evaluated.

J was about to hop on a plane home from California. The last he knew was that I wasn't feeling great and going to see the doctor. I was fortunate that my cousin, Johnny, was able to pick me up from work and take me to the doctor.

After a quick chat, my doctor didn't seem overly concerned, but said I didn't look great and wanted to run some tests that she couldn't do in the office so she was sending me over to Labor and Delivery at the hospital. That's when I began to get a little nervous.

Johnny took me to the hospital and I told him to go home. By now it was 12:45 and J would be landing in a few hours. I figured I was fine on my own. It took another hour before I even got into a room and then almost another hour before the nurse had finished asking all the standard questions.

Funniest part of the day was since J was concerned, he got wifi on the plane and sent a message to a friend to call me and find out what was going on. Thanks to the miracle of smart phones, J and I connected so I could keep him updated. I felt horrible that he was hearing all this while on a cross-country flight!

They finally took some blood but mostly I just waited. I was hooked up to a fetal monitor so I could hear Rosebud's heartbeat, which was strong and soothing to me. I was feeling a little better by this time but still having some symptoms.

J made it to the hospital by 4:10 while we waited for the results of the blood work. Everything checked out fine, but my doctor noticed I was having some contractions so she decided to perform a swab test that can detect if you will go into labor within 2 weeks. I also got a cervical exam, which was by far the most uncomfortable part of the whole day. The wait for this part was hard because I was not ready for the news that I could be giving birth before 35 weeks.

Luckily, everything came back negative. Despite the fact that I had felt badly, there was nothing to show that anything bad was happening or that we should be concerned. While we were definitely relieved, it also felt like a bit of a waste. However, better be safe than sorry, right?

We got home around 7 p.m. and I was exhausted. J needed a drink. It was an unexpected and stressful day. I am feeling much better today and just taking it easy for a few days. I have to say, I'm ready to speed through these next few weeks and get to 37 weeks where I would feel better if anything happened!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The return of Hop Along and Hank

You may remember that last October when we were camping, our 4-legged baby, Savannah, tore her ACL. This resulted in a pricey surgery and several months of recovery. The vet had warned us that she now had a 70% chance of tearing the other ACL and while we didn’t protect her to the point of ridiculousness, we have been careful to not put her in an abundance of situations that could lead to that happening.

Well, on Friday night we were headed out to dinner and were going to bring her in the car with us. Riding in the car is her most favorite thing in the world so she got real excited and ran down the stairs ahead of us. Suddenly, we heard the most pitiful “YELP!” and both instantly knew what happened. There were definitely some f-bombs floating around the Lowman household that evening. While there is never good timing for an accident like this to occur, when one of you is 8 weeks from giving birth and can’t help getting an invalid pup up and down your millions of stairs, it’s a particularly bad time.

J is about to start some marathon business travel before the baby comes, leaving me to care for an injured Savannah. I obviously can’t pick her up like J can and move her from level to level so until we can have the surgery in a few weeks, she’s either going to have to hop around (hence the maybe-not-very-sensitive nickname Hop Along) or be content down on the bottom floor by herself, which is highly unlikely. When she doesn’t feel good she actually wants attention from her mama! Poor puppy; and poor us – literally – we feel like we’re already hemorrhaging money to prepare for the baby.

However, some good news: my supervisor was awesomely generous and agreed to let me begin a regular work from home schedule (2.5 days a week) to help accommodate some of the discomfort of being in the office all day, every day between now and giving birth. I am so thankful because this will be a huge help to my mental and physical well-being. Even better, this is set to continue after I am back from maternity leave, allowing me more time to spend with Rosebud and prolong the period until we put her in full-time daycare. The relief I feel is almost immeasurable.

Also, I feel like I should admit that Hank, my sweet tooth (as in…I have a hankering for some chocolate), whom had been dormant for a good chunk of this pregnancy, is back with a vengeance. This may or may not have contributed to my slightly over-zealous weight gain at the last appointment. I write this as I pop a mini-Hershey’s bar into my mouth sooo next week’s weight calculation may not be looking good either.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sugar Baby

Totally got this for our little turkey
The results are in and…I passed my glucose test, meaning no gestational diabetes for this girl! This is, of course, after failing the initial screening so I did have to endure the 3-hour test, but that was boring more than anything else; the waiting room of a doctor’s office just isn’t comfortable, no matter what. Anyway, I’m relieved because it’s one less thing to worry about as this pregnancy comes ever close to an end. I still remain relatively calm about the impending birth. I’m wondering when/if that’s going to change.

The only concern my doctors have right now is that I developed anemia – severe anemia to be exact. This would help explain my recent bouts with shortness of breath and intense fatigue. Well, simply being 31 weeks pregnant can explain both of those, too, but the anemia isn’t helping the cause. I was put on a daily iron supplement and have to try to get iron through my diet as well. It’s a good thing I like red meat – bring on a steak!

You’ll notice I’m not expounding much on the size of my belly or my weight. There’s a reason for that. I was none-too-pleased with the scale at my appointment this morning and most days I feel huge, though I don't think I'm overly big for how far along I am. I can’t even imagine what’s to come the next few weeks as far as that goes! My total weight gain is still on track, but the number of pounds put on during the last two weeks can’t become a habit, for my body or my sanity. Yikes.

Other than that, Rosebud and I are doing fine. She’s measuring just as she should and her little heartbeat is nice and strong. As long as I can make it through the next nine weeks, I think we’ll both be good to go come time for her arrival!

I had my first baby shower a couple of weeks ago and it was lovely. It is nice to start getting some of the essentials, however less glamorous, we need (read: burp cloths). I like checking them off the list, feeling more prepared. My mom and I also thoroughly enjoyed a trip to Carter’s for some cute outfits. Rosebud now has a decent little wardrobe going for her first few weeks.

The other news is that we got a new car. We were only going to look to get an idea of what was out there and truly had no intention of buying anything yet. Whoops! The plan had been to eventually trade in my 2006 VW Jetta and get a smaller SUV for me, with J staying in his Nissan Murano. However, as we test drove a few, it started to make more sense for me to take over the Murano and to get J a new sedan. There were no good deals on any of the models we liked, and really, no need for us to have two SUVs. Plus, J missed having an actual car as his daily driver. We ended up getting a sweet deal on a fully-loaded Passat (J getting a VW was also totally unexpected) and I’m now learning to maneuver the Murano, which is so much bigger than my little Jetta! If you’re on the road in East Cobb, look out! And if you're a cop, please let J off with a warning as he remembers how not to drive a car with some real power too fast.