Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Non-Stress" Tests

I have ONE more week of appointments until the induction on July 5th and I am so burned out. It doesn't help that my last two NSTs results were less than stellar. One resulting in a failure and ended up in the hospital for a few hours waiting to be discharged when baby boy finally decided to perk up enough. The next NST, the following week, while a pass (Hallelujah!!) still took a lot longer to get the desired results and accels in order to get the thumbs up to go home.

Let me share the details on my first NST the one that got me sent to labor and delivery at the hospital because it's quite the story. So I had already been having twice monthly BPP (bio physical profile) ultrasounds (now I have them once a week), so I knew that so far everything had been going great with the pregnancy thus far, baby is growing great- 50th percentile all around (truly a miracle due to his cord- we all thought he would be way on the smaller side) he's moving great, practicing breathing like a champ, motor skills are good so I went into my first NST appointment thinking it would be a breeze and take no longer than 30-45 minutes... oh boy, was I wrong. Not only did I under estimate the length of time of the appointment, but for the first time this entire pregnancy with what feels like hundreds of pre-natal/pregnancy appointments I decided to bring the girls to that one. Why, oh why, did I bring the girls to that one!? What was supposed to be a quick, usually only taking 20 minutes, hooked up, in a private room turned into my own personal version of hades.

Not only did my girls decide that this would be the perfect opportunity to be the most rambunctious, defiant, worst minders ever, but what should have been 30 minutes tops, turned into 2.5 hours! My stress level was already through the roof simply by having my evil spawn children there, but I was panicking because the OB or nurse didn't know why in the world the baby wasn't being reactive to the test. For all they knew he wasn't getting enough oxygen. So there I was trapped 45 minutes from home, meaning I couldn't even drop the girls off at a friend's house or have someone come and get them and I had to go to hospital for extended testing WITH them (not without getting a Frozen Lemonade from Chick-Fil-A on the way first because the Doctors were hoping some cold sugary drink would help baby boy pass his test quicker and because they're delicious of course).

I now know there truly is a hell and it is not made of fire and brimstone, but it is being strapped to a bed, worried sick about your unborn child, while your two other children run around a hospital room not listening to any of your bribes, threats or pleas to behave. I cried hot angry tears while unable to move to make my children listen to me. I felt like a failure as a mother "don't my children respect me?" The friendly nurse tried to diffuse my what was now tangible tension in the room by commenting that my girls were the cutest children she has ever seen "Their beautiful blue eyes! Her curly hair! Her glasses!" while I cried worried and angry tears simultaneously. I wanted Austin. I needed him, but I was alone. Austin was in charge of admistering the LSAT and it was impossible for him to leave mid test or he would have been there in a heart beat. Also, I didn't know how long I was going to be at the hospital and I really didn't want him to head over even if he could have because  1) I didn't know how long I was going to be there. I didn't want him to drive there and then half way turn around because I was discharged and 2) our other car (Wolfie) isn't registered or even insured and I didn't want him to risk getting pulled over. He was willing to drive over after the test, but I was finishing up and I would have been leaving as he was getting there. Austin hates that the day this all happened was on a day where it was impossible for him to leave, but I know he would have been there if he could have. He normally doesn't miss an appointment- he's really good about that.

Finally after a few hours baby boy decided to show off and pass the extended test. My head rang from a tension migraine,  I silently put the girls in the car and told them to not make a peep the entire ride home. I didn't yell, but the way I said it the girls immediately understood the errors of their ways. They didn't make a single sound the entire 45 minute drive home. I unbuckled them from the car took them inside, all without any words, and let Austin take over. The minute I opened my mouth to speak I uncontrollably shook with rage and cried intense sobs. Austin took the girls to their room, had a very stern and serious talk with them and put them to bed with a piece of bread each for their dinner and that was it. It took me a couple hours to stop crying, the floodgates had been opened and there was no stopping it until that river was dry.

Alls well that ends well, but that day was one of the worst days of my life. I actually have a mental list of my worst days and this ranks at number 3 (I have a good memory haha!). I was so overcome by so many conflicting emotions by days end, steam coming out of my ears anger, stomach turning worry, head and heart pounding stress and breath of fresh air relief. That my body needed to physically recover. I turned into bed way early and in the spirit of Scarlett O'Hara reminded myself that "tomorrow is another day!"

Moral of the story: Never take your children to a "Non-stress" test. It's the most ill described test I have ever heard of.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Savoring Pregnancy

I have two more weeks of appointments until the induction on July 5th and I am so burned out. I truly am trying to savor what could be my last pregnancy, but I am exhausted in all the ways the word could be applied- physically/mentally/emotionally...  that I feel as though I am at my ropes end. Yes, it has been stressful/nerve wracking/tormenting/exhausting, but along with those things, this pregnancy has had some truly sweet moments.

Things I want to remember:

-Maisie's not-a-second thought to kiss my belly every day when I drop her off at school (she's out of school for summer now, but any time we are saying bye for any reason as well) or when putting her down for bed. To her he's already apart of the family who deserves a kiss goodbye/goodnight as well.

-Ellie insisting on cuddling her baby brother... usually by sprawling across him or nuzzling her face into my tummy.

-Ellie claiming she can hear her baby brother talking to her. She will shush me and shove her ear onto my bump and claim "he says he loves me!" with the biggest smile on her face and giggling. Sometimes she claims to hear him cry and she tries to gently coax him down- usually by singing twinkle, twinkle or baby beluga.

-The way both of my daughters unconsciously rub my belly or the way their heads (especially Maisie's because she's taller) cradles my tummy when we are hugging. It's usually followed up with "Mommy! Your tummy is so HUGE! Look how big he is!!" haha

-The super kicks this boy gives me that let's Austin feel them from across the bed. Sidenote: even after 3 pregnancies Austin still gets weirded out by baby's movement in utero. While I know without a doubt that Austin adores this little boy and is so excited to finally meet him, I think he feels some slight disconnect until he actually comes face to face. It's hard for him to imagine what is now a 6.5 pound, fully formed baby rolling around in my tummy- I mean it is sort of weird right?

-Baby boy's predictable movement patterns. He usually sleeps while I do (hopefully a good sign for what's to come, I am hoping!) apart from an early wake up call around 5 am where he has a 20 minute kicking party and then settles back down until I am up and making/eating breakfast where he goes nuts for a good while. Then mid day he's pretty mellow, but around an hour or so after dinner he's up and wild for a couple hours rolling side to side in his now very tight quarters.

-The hickups. So many hickups!

-Doing my first load of all boy clothes and smiling while folding them, knowing soon he will be here wearing them. Maisie is especially sweet when she sees the clothes. She picks them up and oohs and aws at all the teeny tiny outfits and tries to imagine what he's actually going to look like. Ellie on the other hand tries to steal the tiny onesies and puts them on her baby doll haha!

-While we went through a slight phase of the name game, it wasn't nearly as painful as the fiasco of naming Ellie... This time it seemed natural and we all liked this name and it instantly felt right. As for the middle name, I am hoping to pull of a miracle to get my way, but Austin is pulling the "family name" trump card as of right now.

-The baby shower my friends threw for me a couple weeks ago was so fun and really gave me a boost of support to finish this pregnancy. There's something about getting together with friends and losing track of time in conversation that allowed my brain to stop worrying.  It was thoughtful, sweet and simple and I truly loved everyone who came. I received a few homemade gifts that I know we will cherish for a long time.

-The way my belly looks like I have a basketball under my shirt. It's very symmetrically round. I carried the girls longer and more oval, so it's been fun to experience a different shape of pregnancy.

While the pregnancy has been challenging, it would be remiss of me not to express what a blessing it is to be able to grow our family once more. This little boy, while giving us quite the excitement this pregnancy, has been healthy and has made it to 36 weeks without any complications and that right there is a miracle. We are both strong and healthy- we only have a bit to go and although that "bit" is akin to the final summit of a tall mountain (labor/birth), we are ready. I can't wait to kiss his sweet face and know we have made it safely.

Friday, June 9, 2017

26 days

A date has been set! It feels official and eerily close now- our baby will be earth side in T-minus 26 days!  I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that fact, but it almost feels set in stone now. There's a part of me that still feels like I might go into labor naturally just because that's all I have ever known labor wise, but both girls were 4 days late, soooo the odds of me going before that point naturally are slim (though not impossible- this pregnancy has been a whirlwind of unpredictability and so unlike any of my others). Austin is relieved to have a date- he's much better suited to a plan and each pregnancy a part of him dies waiting for me to go into labor. It doesn't help that I usually have days of pre-labor to conquer before the real deal happens so that not knowing phase is a killer. I think he's looking forward to a calm drive to the hospital with hopefully a full nights rest behind us and taking comfort in knowing once we walk into the hospital we won't be leaving until we have our baby. I mean I see the appeal of induction, I do. But I'm scared. I don't fully know what to expect other than that pitocin is the devil. I don't like the idea of so many interventions, but going into labor naturally could be dangerous and there needs to be constant monitoring of the baby to make sure he's enduring the labor safely. It's strange to have such a different mentality this go around. A part of me feels a tad disappointed to not have the labor and delivery that I had envisioned since becoming pregnant with this little boy, but I do feel peace with our choices.

We had two options when it came to choosing a date- July 3rd or 5th. I selfishly chose the 5th because I REALLY don't want to spend my favorite holiday in the hospital or worse recovering from a potential c-section. I would really like to spend that day and evening with my girls and celebrate baby brother's impending arrival. I am a smidge nervous that I might not be able to enjoy the holiday as much as I normally would because of the nerves, but there's nothing like a BBQ and fireworks to help take your mind off of things- am I right? Hopefully I will tire myself out enough to where I will be able to sleep great sans-nerves and anticipation because it's going to be an early wake up call the next morning! It's all feeling so real now! July 5th... 26 days... ah!

Monday, June 5, 2017

35 weeks

The induction date hasn't been set yet, we are hoping to get on the hospital's schedule and set the date at my next appointment this coming Thursday. But we are officially in countdown mode! Only 4 weeks left- barring any complications or unexpected turn of events. Right now there's a slight possibility that baby is growing too well in his bedwomb (hah see what i did there?) that if he continues having growth spurts the rate he has been between the last few appointments (he's currently in the 80th percentile) he MAY have to come early. The doctor said if he hits the 90th percentile that's when we would discuss a possible earlier induction just to hopefully help prevent unnecessary pressure or weight on his cord (which is working like a champ- whoo hoo!). So baby is growing perfectly which is really exciting and relieves a lot of worry we had going forward from our 21 week ultrasound.

Even though there are only 4 weeks left at this point I still feel that there is still so much to do. From here on out I will have 3 appointments a week (thankfully 2 of them are on the same day back to back) so when I look at the long list of appointments it still feels like I have FOREVER to go. Have a look for yourself...


Then there's the fact that we are still SO unprepared (#thirdchildproblems). We still don't have a carseat ordered mostly due to the fact that our stroller system only works with a certain type of carseat that just happens to be one of the more expensive styles and I am hoping and holding out to hopefully find one on sale for a decent price. That's another thing I am finding funny/conflicting about this pregnancy is that we are so sure this little guy is our last that I feel this insane urge to splurge because I won't be able to buy these things again, but then the very real feeling to skimp and save on everything because only one baby will use it. It's messing with my head!

So other than the lack of carseat situation I think we are ready to go. I have a handful (or 2 hah!) of wishlist items that I would love to get before his arrival, but honestly we could do without them or at least could get by without them initially. Nothing as dire as a carseat because we need that to get him home haha!

At 35 weeks physically: I am feeling huge and overheated. I am running a few degrees hotter than normal, but that's to be expected when there's a bun in the oven am I right? We haven't had any unbearable days heat wise, but I am already turning the AC on to sleep at night... Austin hasn't complained too much because with our bedroom upstairs it gets pretty warm up there. My tailbone I am pretty sure is broken or dislocated (I know I am being dramatic, but with how much it hurts it HAS to be broken right?!) because it hurts 24/7 if I stand too long or sit too long or stay in any position too long I just about die. I don't know if its just a matter of the little guy's positioning or what, but sheesh I will not miss this part of pregnancy that's for sure. The girls both lived under my ribs which caused different and probably just as painful symptoms (herniated intercostal muscles- ouch!) but at least I didn't have to sit on my ribs haha! So I feel much more acutely aware of this pain and it's harder to ignore.

At 35 weeks mentally/emotionally: I feel my anxiety peaked a few weeks ago and that I am turning a corner with coming to peace/terms with the potential problems/complications that could arise during labor. I am glad I am educated about them, but there is nothing I can do at this point. It will go how it goes and I need to just trust everything will work out the way it's supposed to. I don't know why it took me so long to finally come to this point, but I am glad I'm here now. I am feeling a little stress about the impending induction just because I have only gone into labor naturally so that's a little nerve wracking, but the thought of having all my ducks in a row and knowing exactly when I will be in the hospital will be extremely helpful especially with making sure the girls are taken care of. With both of the girls we went to the hospital within the 3am-4am time frame, which makes finding someone to come last minute not very fun. So it's exciting to avoid that part. Plus that last week of pregnancy where it's a waiting game to go into labor and not knowing when is the worst. Where the only question any one texts or calls is "baby here yet?" "are you still pregnant?" trust me people, you will know when this baby is born. Both Austin and I will be so relieved to have come out the other side of this pregnancy that I am sure we will be shouting it from the roof tops. :)

So for 4 weeks we will  happily await this little boy's arrival. He will change all of our lives and we can't wait. 

p.s I STILL can't believe we are a having a BOY!