Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Week 33

Week 33 has been pretty eventful, probably more than I would like!  Friday I went to my weekly doctor appointment, and I had my first non-stress test.  I think the name "non-stress" test is very fitting, because for me it was very relaxing!  The nurses took me back to a private room with a comfy recliner, and hooked me up to a monitor.  It is just like the monitors in the hospital, one sensor tracks baby's heart rate and the other sensor measures if you happen to have any contractions.  I didn't have any contractions, but that is normal for a non-stress test, they are basically measuring how the baby does under normal circumstances.  They measured his heart rate for 15-20 minutes (I'm not sure how long I was in there!) and they look for heart rate accelerations.  That is when the baby's heart rate shows an increase of at least 15 beats per minute for at least 15 seconds.  They also give you a little button to push every time the baby moves, so they can see if the accelerations coincide with activity.  The first part of the test baby was asleep, so I figured I would be there forever. (If they monitor you for 20 minutes and there aren't any accelerations or movements, you just get to sit there longer!)  He did have one acceleration but it was a little one, and for some reason the monitor wasn't working when I pushed the activity button.  About 10-15 minutes later, baby woke up and showed how he likes to go wild in mommy's tummy!  Let's put it this way - the first half of the test he moved about 5 times, the second half of the test he moved 30 times!  He had a really good acceleration at the end, so the NP said I could come off the monitor.  So this is what I have to look forward to every week! 

Next they took me for my biophysical profile, which is another part of my weekly visit.  The non-stress test is actually part of the biophysical profile, but I did that part first today.  The rest of the profile involves an ultrasound that measures amniotic fluid, heart rate, breathing movements, and activity.  Since baby was awake, it took less than 5 minutes to get what we needed.  And then the sonographer was nice enough to snap some pictures of baby!
33 weeks 1 day, and yes that is a hand and a foot in front of his face!

33 weeks 1 day, looks like he is ready to go back to sleep!
As you can see, he was striking his usual "hands in the face" pose, but today he decided to add a foot in there!  In fact, before she was able to get a picture he was trying to get his foot in his mouth, apparently sucking his thumb is getting boring! 

Anyway, he passed the biophysical profile with flying colors so we were taken back to see the NP.  She measured my belly and everything looked good so we were on our way to enjoy the wonderful weekend weather!  The weekend was wonderful, not only because the weather was beautiful, but because we had hardly anything planned!  I cannot remember the last time we had a weekend all to ourselves without work, traveling, or having someone visit.  Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about traveling and having visitors, it is just nice to have a nice quiet lazy weekend once in awhile. Especially with a baby on the way!  Friday night we did go out with some friends to a fish fry though.  I have always wanted to go to a fish fry during Lent, but I figured it was a lost cause since Tim hates to eat fish.  Luckily for me a friend at work invited him to one and he decided we would try it out!  Granted he didn't eat while we were there, he just partook of the vast amounts of beer.  I think fish fries are one of the smartest fundraisers ever, they had to be raking in money!  As you wait in the tremendously long line, there are beer stations conveniently placed down the hallway.  Just as your pitcher is empty, gee there's another beer station!  And once you get your food there are raffles and dessert tables and all sorts of places to throw money.  And no one minds because it all goes to charitable causes!  So smart!  So even though Tim was a party pooper and didn't have any fish, we still had a good time. I'm glad I finally got to go!

Saturday I pretty much relaxed all day, I did a little housework and enjoyed the 87 degrees by sitting on the front porch swing and reading a book.  And if I remember right, I was falling asleep on the couch by 830.  Good times!  Sunday I finished up the housework while Tim slaved in the yard, and then we vegged on the couch watching golf.  I normally don't like to watch golf, but due to the fact we don't have cable (we just use a digital antenna) that was all that was on!  Once I watched for awhile I actually started to get into it and it was somewhat entertaining!  All I have to say is poor Rory!  While watching golf my abdomen started to hurt.  I couldn't put my finger on what it was, but my stomach felt really tight and I was getting very uncomfortable.  I wondered if I was having contractions, or if baby was just really pushing against my abdominal wall.  It lasted all night, and eventually started to make my back hurt.  I thought about calling the doctor, but I really didn't think it was anything too serious.  Plus I had an appointment the next morning with my specialist, so I figured if I still didn't feel well in the morning I would bring it up to him.  So around 830 I grabbed a heating pad for my back and headed to bed.

I tossed and turned all night and woke up with the same contractions/cramps/back pain.  I figured it was probably Braxton-Hicks contractions if anything, but I didn't think they were supposed to be constant like this.  So I went to my doctor's appointment to see what was up.  So why two doctors?  I see my normal OB doctor every week now, but I have also been seeing a Maternal-Fetal Specialist every 6 weeks or so since I was 18 weeks pregnant.  He does a diagnostic ultrasound to make sure the baby is growing and developing properly.  One potential problem with Factor V Leiden is fetal growth suppression, and other problems can include blood clots in the placenta.  So far the baby is growing fine and they estimate his weight to be 4 lbs 5 oz!  If he grows about a half a pound a week (which is the average)  then he will be about 7 lbs when he is born. I think I could handle that!  The rest of the ultrasound looked great and when the doctor came in he told me I would switch to heparin injections in 3 weeks.  Right now I am on lovenox, which is a form of heparin, the reason I have to switch to regular heparin is because we are nearing delivery. (yay!) Heparin has a shorter half-life than lovenox, which means after injecting it is out of your system in about 12 hours.  This is important when it comes to delivery so that you can get an epidural and not bleed to death!  The downside is instead of one injection a day, you need to do two since it only lasts 12 hours.  Blah.  Oh well, whatever it takes right?  I mentioned the contractions/cramps I had been having and he didn't seem to be concerned about it.  That didn't really surprise me because as a high risk specialist he gets more concerned about the "big things" than the small things.  So when I got home I called my regular OB because things just didn't seem "right".  Of course she had me come into get checked out.  She didn't think I was having pre-term labor or anything, but she was concerned that if these contractions/cramps continued I may go into labor.  So she ran some tests and everything was fine, and finally determined I had a small infection she believed was irritating my uterus.  So she gave me a prescription and told me she would see me on friday.  If I wasn't better by then the infection must not be the issue.  I thought, it better be gone by then I can't deal with this all week!  I continued to have contractions/cramps all night but this morning I feel much better.  Now I just have to figure out how to sleep comfortably at night but I think that will be a hard fought battle!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Catching up

Two years?  In two years I couldn't post anything?  Honestly I have thought about it many times, including when my friend Rachel said "You are pregnant? You should blog about this!"  I guess in my mind I thought "is my life really that interesting that people want to read about it?"  The simple answer is that it's not! However, sometimes I get the paranoid feeling that my friends on facebook are probably tired of hearing about my pregnancy all the time.  And on the flip side not all of my friends and family are on facebook, and they are unintentionally left out of the loop.

So here we are! Shortly after I last posted I married my best friend Tim, and we have jumped blissfully into married life.  To be honest I don't feel like it is really any different than when we were just living together, aside from the legal part.  We are still boring homebodies that love each other's company and love to make each other laugh.  Occasionally we peer out our front door and enter the social life, only to get tired and dreaming of bed by 10 pm.  Exciting huh?

We were fortunate enough to be able to buy a house last year, and we are slowly making it our home.  Of course our views of making it a "home" were very different!  I think once we moved all our stuff in, Tim felt like things were done.  It has our stuff in it, it's where we live, it's home!  I on the other hand, felt like the bare walls/bare windows/blue EVERYWHERE had to be remedied before I could call it "our" home.  So we frantically painted the week before move in, and that helped a lot.  Over the past year we have slowly been adding furniture, putting pictures on the walls, and hanging curtains.  I feel like we are almost there!  It's not that I feel like you have to have a house full of "stuff" for it to be a home, but the house just needed a dose of "Tim and Kristin".

How could I leave out Vader?
Vader, 7.5 weeks
Two months to the day of closing on our house, we decided it was way too quiet and bought a Doberman Pinscher puppy!  We trekked over to Eastern Iowa to a little place called Bear Creek and picked up our adorable little trouble maker.  He quickly claimed Tim by climbing up on his neck in the car and peeing on his shoulder!  Apparently this is how puppies like to claim their new parents!   The best part was, my lap was outfitted with a puppy pad and towel for just such an accident, but Vader was way too clever for that.  In any case, I am glad he grew out of that phase because look at him now:
Vader on his 1st birthday
He is really turning into a great dog, Tim trains him every day and he is incredibly smart!  Too smart sometimes, which is why he gets into trouble.  Our ultimate goal would be for Vader to be a certified therapy dog.  He loves people and would be a great breed ambassador, to show how great Dobermans can be.

So gee what next, oh yes I mentioned that I was pregnant?  Tim and I aren't getting any younger and we both knew that we wanted kids, so we figured we better get started before too many grays started to show!  I was lucky enough to get pregnant in September, which puts my due date at May 26th, 2011.  Even though we were trying to get pregnant, the little plus sign on the pregnancy test still took me by surprise!  I have longer cycles than normal, so when it came time to take the pregnancy test, it originally showed up negative.  I was pretty bummed, but there's always next month right?  Well two more weeks passed without my period, which didn't strike me as odd at the time.  I was taking a medication to force my period (since my cycles are too long) but it takes a couple of weeks to work.  Well as I was waiting for the medication to "kick in" I started to feel a little dizzy and sick. Nothing I couldn't handle, no vomiting or anything, I just felt like crap.  "Great I'm getting sick" I said, but one of my friends at work said "you sound pregnant to me".  I thought, surely there is no way I'm pregnant, but what the heck tomorrow morning I will take a pregnancy test.  Well the next morning I forgot, and they say that "morning pee" gives the best results so I waited until the following morning.  And what do I see? Thirty seconds into the 2 minute pee-on-a-stick test it comes up positive!  Well I have had false positives before so of course I didn't believe it.  So I ran to Walmart and bought not one but two different brands of pregnancy tests.  I came home and peed some more and bam! Almost as soon as the pee hit the stick they were positive too!  A very exciting morning to say the least.  And since then things have been great.  The worst morning sickness I got was a little nausea if I didn't eat anything.  Not a big deal for me, eating is my favorite thing!  It was a little hard at first to break the "forever dieting" mentality but I've embraced pregnancy with open arms.

Now that I am 8 months pregnant I am entering a whole new world of back pain, sciatic nerve pain, and leg cramps.  I try not to complain too much though, because really I have it pretty great.  I am considered a high-risk pregnancy, but everything has gone perfect so far thanks to the great care from my doctors.  My family has a blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden which makes your blood clot too much if you are not careful.  Easily managed in regular life, but make pregnancy risky if you don't know you have it.  Fortunately I knew about this before I got pregnant, so my doctors could take the proper precautions.  Some women are not as fortunate and find about their Factor V after many heartbreaking miscarriages.  So what precautions are involved?  Well for me I have a subcutaneous injection every day called lovenox that keeps my blood from forming unnecessary clots which could harm the baby.  I have been doing these injections since March of 2010, way before we started trying to get pregnant.  I also have frequent ultrasounds to make sure baby is growing the way he is supposed to.  (oh yeah did I mention, it's a BOY!)  So for those of you that are friends with me on facebook, that is why you get the monthly ultrasound pics.  Not only are they fun but they serve a purpose!  Here are a couple of my favorites so far:
28 weeks, what a sweetheart!

28 weeks, loves his thumb!

Well I guess that is as good a place as any to wrap up this post.  Sorry it's so long but hey if I wrote everything that's happened I would be writing a small novel!  More to come!