Pregnancy Journal 

 

March 13, 2007  

Today is the last day of my first trimester, if I use the 13-week-per-trimester definition. Other definitions would have me wait a few more days to a week, but I've never been into waiting.

I'd have to say I had a pretty easy first trimester, considering I had no morning sickness (unless you count the nausea I experienced upon waking up before I had my mandatory 3 crackers), and I didn't look like I was pregnant until last Tuesday. The only symptoms I had were fatigue, a frequent need to urinate, a few bouts of constipation, and a growing chest. Things could have been much worse.

There's a bit of stress being pregnant and not wanting to tell anyone for the first trimester. When you're exhausted at 8:00pm, or even 2:00pm, you can't play the pregnancy card. You just have to suck it up and be tough, then sneak in naps whenever possible.

Tomorrow we start the public announcements, but I would rather not get on the loud speaker for it. I'd rather allow it to fit into the conversation (e.g. "though I've been sick I can't take any of that great medication you just mentioned, since I'm pregnant.") instead of just blurting it out, as if I'm expecting a huge reaction. I don't want a huge reaction, I just want to get the information out there.

Perhaps that isn't fair, considering that people who have known me for a while will probably react considerably to the news. I've never wanted children before, and late September of 2006 the idea struck me and for the first time wasn't unappealing. It was quite appealing, and now, a year later I am expecting a new baby, and very excited about it.

Today I weigh 138 pounds, 2 lbs more than my pre-pregnancy weight.
 

May 24, 2007  

I think I may be waddling. I didn't make a conscious decision to change my walk, but I noticed recently that it's different. It's hard to define how it's different, but it is.  Webster defines waddling as "to walk with short steps swinging the forepart of the body from side to side."  Hm. I think my hips are doing the swinging, but it may result in the belly or "forepart of the body" swinging.  Why am I walking differently? My tummy's bigger, but I'm not off-balance at all from what I can tell.  And, my legs aren't impeded. Something to look into, research.

This week I am in Austin and I went to an Archiver's store Monday evening to pick out baby scrapbooking material. I created 1 1/2 pages for an 8" x 8" pregnancy scrapbook while there, and have some good ideas for where to go later.

This entire week I've been eating like a pig.  I track all the food I eat, and my daily calories have been higher than my maximum recommended for 3 days in a row. Fortunately I won't be near my scale until Saturday morning, and that will tell the real tale.

I'm feeling a great urge to set up the nursery, but the furniture doesn't arrive until July.  I have to wait over a month!?! In the mean time, I've been searching for nursery rhyme books and fairy tales, etc.  I've been reading Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul out loud, but I'm not sure that's as beneficial as reading the same story made for children over and over so that the little one recognizes it later, and gains comfort from it. Plus, some of the stories are sad, then happy, and evoke tears in the reader.  I'm pretty sure the baby is picking up on those vibes, and I'm not sure that's a good thing. We may be shopping for a few baby books this weekend.

 

May 25, 2007  

At least a month ago I realized that I was no longer one of the fastest moving people in the airport.  I had always been a fast walker, but something about pregnancy had slowed me down.  I doubt it was something physical, since I donít feel impaired in any way.  Perhaps Iím just being more careful, or Iím taking life a little slower, easier, less stressed.  Iím not sure.

Now, Iím passed  by not just the rushed business travelers (a group I used to be a part of), but also by women in heels, families, and people pushing wheelchairs. At first, I started walking faster, to get back to my formerly first-place position. But soon I was back to strolling versus rushing, and now Iíve come to accept that.  There are certain advantages to this, including that when I trip, which I always do, either on my wide or long pant legs or because Iím shuffling my feet, I can recover more easily with less torso-effort.  Another advantage is that I have more of an opportunity to note whatís being sold in the shops, what kind of food is being offered at the restaurants, and whoís doing what in the airport.  I also feel less stressed, oddly enough. Iím getting there slower, in more time, yet allís well.

 

May 30, 2007  

My surprise this week was gaining chipmunk cheeks.  I know, you're thinking, "no, you're exaggerating", but no, I'm not. My dear, darling husband even commented on it yesterday after taking my 24-week photos.  One, where I was smiling especially broadly, clearly says "chipmunk" all over it.  And I fear this condition will only get worse as the weeks progress.  Maybe the hairstyle worsened the effect, so I'll experiment in that area.

So, I waddle, have chipmunk cheeks, a large and expanding belly - sounds like a children's riddle.  What am I?

To follow up on the last entry, that "eating like a pig" paid off big on the scale. A couple of 2600 calorie days and I gained 5 pounds in one week.  Now, two of those pounds are gone today, probably because I was retaining water from all the sodium in that massive amount of food.  But still, I wonder if the other three went to my face.

 

May 31, 2007  

Some time between two days ago and today it became difficult to do things like pick up something from the floor and change positions from sitting to standing, or really any other position to another. I'm making those sounds that I associate with sore joints, but my joints aren't sore. And, I don't get up from a chair in a normal way anymore - it's more like arching my back, pushing up with my arms, and then pushing the tummy area forward.  Oddly similar to the way I imagine a pregnant person behaving.

 

June 5, 2007  

I did baby movement tests for the first time today. I counted 10 movements in 23 minutes the first time, and 10 movements in 13 minutes the second time. He fits well within the standard of 30 minutes, and I think that's supposed to be after the third trimester starts, which is in a week.

I can't believe how lucky I am to be pregnant.  All my life I've known that I didn't want children, and certainly didn't want to bear any of my own, yet under the wire, I decided that it would be an experience I'd like, I'd relish, and appreciate for the rest of my life. I feel so fortunate that when I had this thought or feeling, it wasn't already too late, that I wasn't beyond the point of being able to physically conceive and bear a child.  It's already been the most amazing experience I've ever had - having this baby, this little person inside me, traveling along with me wherever I go, tapping at me to tell me he's still there.  Bringing a person into this world, someone who shares some of my traits and some of his father's, is a concept that is almost inconceivable, too amazing to believe, though he will be born in only three months.

I want the best for this child.  I want him to have every opportunity to do well in life, be happy, and contribute at a high level to society and a family of his own.

 

June 11, 2007  

Today I went to the airport to take my usual 7:00am flight to Austin.  I checked in, went through security and ended up in the McDonald's line to get a bit more breakfast than the two banana-cranberry muffins I had at 5:00am before leaving the house. I felt out of breath, and a little dizzy and I was very frustrated when my OJ didn't come with a straw.  I sat down with my food and started feeling overheated, sweaty, and the dizziness and shortness of breath continued.  Not long after this, I figured it was probably not a good idea to get on that airplane after all. I tried calling Frontier to cancel the flight and figure out a way to get my bag off the plane, but I was on hold for way too long and my flight was now only 15 minutes from departure. So, I grabbed my stuff, lugged it to the "Courtesy Phone" and got them to communicate the situation to Frontier.

When the courtesy phone operator said I could just walk down to gate 28 (or whatever it was) to contact Frontier, I told him that I wasn't walking anywhere and in fact I'd like him to get me a wheelchair. Leaning against the metal flight information display rack with the phone on the end, my feel started hurting and while on hold, I started crying.  Tears were just streaming down my face. When I asked for the wheelchair again, the operator asked if I needed a paramedic, and since there were all sorts of things happening at once and I felt horrible, I agreed.

The paramedic, Alan, was very nice, and noted that though he didn't know me, he could tell that I was flushed, swollen, and generally not feeling good.  He took my blood pressure and it was 140 over 90.  All that info, topped with my age (which he asked nicely) told him I was a high risk pregnancy, and that he was concerned about toxemia/preeclampsia. I started feeling better after sitting there and speaking calmly with him.  He gave me three options: 1) He could call an ambulance for me and they could take blood tests, etc. 2) I could go to the nearest emergency room, or 3) I could go to my doctor.  I decided it would be best to call my doctor and ask what she'd recommend. She said that if I felt up to driving, or if James could pick me up (he'd offered several times during this situation) I should go to her office.  So, that's what I did.

At the doctor's I had blood pressure of 130 over 96, so I had to lie on my left side to allow it to go down. That's happened all three of my last visits. The doctor listened to the baby's heart beat and even got a kick during the process, and all seemed well.  She had blood drawn, and all the tests turned out fine. Even so, she'd like to see me in a week to follow-up, and recommended that I not travel anymore, or at least after the end of the month. She also said I needed to take it easy for the rest of the day, eat more protein, and less salt.  James went to the doctor's office from his work office and got to participate in about the last half of the visit. 

I went home and slept for about 3 hours, which was wonderful. Since then I've been doing a bit of work, but mainly hanging out in bed with my laptop propped on a pillow.  I won't be traveling to Austin any time soon.

I weigh 157 pounds, 21 lbs more than my pre-pregnancy weight.

June 12, 2007  

Today is the first day of the third trimester, again, using the 13-week trimester method. The second trimester was characterized by much more energy than the first, a growing belly, a few abdominal pains (from baby and uterus growth), heartburn, achy hips from sleeping on my side, less sleep, and swelling of the ankles, face, feet and hands.  The baby became much more active and I feel him moving around seemingly all the time.  Occasionally he'll surprise me with a kick to the bladder, or something that in turn affects the bladder.  I prefer the tummy kicks, myself.

 

June 15, 2007  

I usually get up in the mornings, and am starving, so I eat breakfast. Then, I seem to not feel so good so I take a nap of about an hour or so, getting up around 7:30 to shower and get ready for the day. Working from home means I have more flexibility with respect to nap time, though I always seem to get tired right before a conference call. Go figure.

Another advantage of working from home is that my breaks can be so nice.  I can go on the porch or the deck, whichever one is shady at the time, and look out over nice landscape and pretty flowers. If I'm on the deck, the dogs will often want on my lap, or I can let them into the backyard to play.  James recently got a gardenia tree that is on the deck and started blooming - mmmmm.

The dogs are definitely appreciating my time at home, and I believe James and Jake are too.  The dogs have company all day, and James and Jake get home-cooked meals, and someone else to help with the household errands and driving chores.

 

July 2, 2007  

Today was the last ultrasound that we should have.  It was much less satisfying than others when he was smaller and you could see whole parts on the screen.  This time we could see the spine, the heart, the head, a bone here and there, but nothing whole like a face (he was looking away), or even a hand or foot that was recognizable.  He's growing very nicely.  The average/standard is for the uterus (or something around there) to measure a cm per week old at this point, and today he measured 30 cms, which is one more than the 29 I'd expect since tomorrow is the end of the 29th week.  The doctor says he's growing well, and I'm thinking, ah ha, a big boy already.

We did find out that during the ultrasound he was positioned with his head down, and back to the left.  The doctor said that could change and that they don't select their birth position until about week 36.  Interestingly enough, by the time I got home, there was a huge bulge on the right side of my body.  I guess he figured he'd better listen to the doctor's orders.  It's the first time that my tummy has been so asymmetrical.  It was huge, but just on one side.  Now's it's back to symmetrical, but that's a good idea of what's to come, I suspect.

  I weigh 160 pounds, 24 lbs more than my pre-pregnancy weight.

July 16, 2007  

The nursery was painted today and it looks very good.  There's a nice scene with grass, flowers, all the Pooh characters, some even multiple times. 

  

The uterus measured 31 cm at the appointment today, which is right on schedule.

We're going to have our basement finished over the next few months, which will help in the baby area in several ways:  I'll have an office again (my former office I gave up to create the nursery), we'll have a play room downstairs out of the way, and an opportunity to have one upstairs on the main floor as well when James moves his office to the basement.

There are lots of things on my list to do for this baby/birth that I need to hurry up and take care of: Get a baby nurse, get a doula, arrange for a nanny (perhaps it's still too early though), arrange for baby-proofing service after basement is complete, sign up for nursing and child safety (CPR) classes, purchase nursing bras (I hate buying bras), finish registering for the baby shower, read the "Baby Wise" books I just ordered and the others regarding newborns, work on my pregnancy scrapbook, and I'm sure there's more that I'm not remembering.  I forget where my glass of water is many times throughout the day - it's a comical though frustrating experience.

About a week ago in the prepared childbirth class, almost all the pregnant ladies were complaining about backaches, and I really haven't had one until a few days ago.  That whole day my back was sore, but the pain went away the next day and now I'm fine.  I do get winded and tired very easily now.  James has been working hard in the basement, bringing the stuff upstairs so there's room for the workers, and I feel like I've been doing all that work. At least we can sympathize with each other, kind of.

 

July 23, 2007  

I'm exhausted.  I haven't been able to take a nap today because of all the work and the couple of errands I needed to run (bank and gasoline).  I have huge feet, ankles, and hands as well, such that now I can't fit into my new wedding band that's 1.5 sizes larger than my original one.  I'm not sure if I should have it resized or just see if the swelling will go down.  I really don't like being a pregnant lady without a wedding ring on - call me old-fashioned.

Here are some more pictures of the nursery characters.  The last piece of furniture will be delivered on Thursday (in 3 days), so I'll take some in-context photos then.

 

 

July 27, 2007  

My feet and ankles are so pudgy now.  James took the picture on the right because he thought my work attire was so humorous. "Old lady gear" I think he called it.  The socks have aloe vera in them (so their marketing literature says) and should help my heels from getting to dry as they've been, and it's too dangerous to walk around on hardwood flooring in socks, so the crocks had to be used as well (they are the only shoes I have that fit, I believe). We cut the elastic at the top of the socks so my circulation wouldn't be cut off, as my ankles are too large to fit without causing disturbing lines in my skin.

 

The UPS guy came by today and finally delivered the massage ball that I ordered soon after the childbirth preparation class.  He said, "I think I've been here every day this week." to which I had to agree. Yesterday was a shower gift, and so was another day, then there were some office supplies, some books from Amazon, and I don't remember what else. 

 

July 30, 2007  
I just got a call from the doctor.
 
She said that my blood tests indicated that I'm showing signs of early pregnancy-induced hypertension (platelet and uric acid counts were off), and since I'm working from home, she won't make me stop working.  However, I need to stay off feet my, and the feet need to be elevated. I need to take periods when I'm lying on my left side every few hours. No big shopping trips, no traveling, no standing for too long.  I need to go back and see her again on Friday (4 days from now) so they can check on me again, and do a "non-stress" test, baby monitor to see how this affects the little guy, and do more blood work.  She doesn't think I'll make it to 40 weeks (this makes me very sad).
 
When the dogs interrupted because of the basement noise, I asked if having the basement finished could contribute to the problem and she said yes.  The good news was that it's "early" pregnancy-induced hypertension, and much better if we can keep it in the early stage.

Here's the best site I've found on pregnancy-induced hypertension: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/pih.htm

 

August 6, 2007  
On Friday (August 3rd) around 4:30pm the doctor called and asked me to check into the hospital because the baby test and other tests I had taken earlier in the day had much better results than my blood test. The blood showed that the platelets were down and the uric acid was up, which meant that I was getting worse. Her plan was to give me 2 steroid shots 24 hours apart to 1) help develop the baby's lungs in the case that we needed to deliver early, and 2) increase my platelet level.  I asked about dinner (that's what pregnant ladies do) and she said I could check in within 2 hours and it'd be fine.

After getting situated in the labor and delivery area, I got my first shot, had blood pressure readings taken, got on a baby heartbeat and contraction monitor, and gave various samples.  13 nurses, techs, and phlebotomists later, on Sunday afternoon I was checking out as the tests showed improvement probably from the steroid shots and the bed rest.  I'm home now on bed rest, and already miss the DINE button on the hospital phone for room service. The Fettucine Alfredo with chicken and mixed veggies was wonderful, and the dessert menu was voluminous.

I felt my first contractions while in the hospital, and though some were painful, they were confirmed to be Braxton Hicks (practice) ones.  We also had to change the location of the final meeting with the doula candidate to the hospital, and we ended up liking her (Michaela) and signing up.  Lilia called on Friday night, my mom and Sandy flew in Saturday morning, and Kirsten and Scott visited Saturday afternoon. Katherine and Dave brought dinner by last night, so I'm feeling a lot of support.  James has been the best - he got me a wireless router for the hospital room so I didn't have to string a long cable across the floor potentially causing others or myself to trip, he made several trips home for things forgotten, and was just always there for whatever I needed. He fielded phone calls and passed on good wishes and kept a bunch of people informed of our progress.

The doctor says that I'll come in for a doctor's visit every 2-3 days to be monitored, and if all goes well, I'll go home again, and if not, we'll be checking into the hospital and delivering our little bundle of joy.  The ultrasound she did before we left the hospital showed that he is weighing approximately 4.7 lbs which is good news.  The longer we can wait for him to be delivered, the better off he should be in the health department, or at least the more likely he'll be able to go home with us after being born.  I really hope he doesn't have to stay in the hospital longer than I can, but we'll have to see.  He still has a high chance of good health, even if he were born today.

 

August 9, 2007
 

Bed rest sucks. How am I supposed to do any nesting when I'm stuck in a lying down, and occasionally sitting up position?  We were told yesterday that all's well, and the next ob/gyn appointment isn't until Monday, so to me that means there will be no Ethan delivery this weekend.  So, it's another week or two (we're shooting for the 21st now) of hanging out on my side, exhausted, though not doing anything.  It's so hard to have a lot to do and not be able to do it, and it's hard to sleep all the time too.  I know I'm growing a baby, but in the mean time my muscles are probably atrophying and it's easy to get frustrated.  I'm trying to maintain a good attitude, but at times it's very difficult.

I've been able to work some while on bed rest, but not even close to the 8 hours a day I should be doing. This is mainly because I'm so tired, and have to lie on my side so often, which usually leads to sleep.  The dogs are appreciating having someone to curl up against, so it's a positive in their minds.

My mom and Sandy are visiting, providing a lot of support, so I really can sit/lie down most of the time, sticking to the doctor's orders.  I can't drive or get food, or pick up that toy that Foster keeps leaving in the middle of the floor (I understand this affliction to have an orderly household may diminish after having a baby, but it's in tact for now), but they can and they've been so helpful. I even created an errand and phone call list that I don't ever seem to get the time or energy to complete, and they're whittling that down as well.

Tomorrow we should get ultrasound photos that I can post, though I'm not sure whether it will be just unidentifiable parts, or anything distinguishable. The testing should tell us how big the baby is, and also whether the placenta is moving blood sufficiently to support and continue to allow the proper level of growth of the baby.

 

August 13, 2007

 

All of a sudden I seem to be having a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions, which isn't a big deal, except that when I have one, I can't use my tummy muscles at all, or it really hurts.

I decided to start leave today, since I've been too tired to work a full day for the most part anyway.  Doesn't it figure that I had more energy today than any day last week?

We didn't get any ultrasound photos on the 10th, but the ultrasound results were very good. Baby seems very healthy and a good size.