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I get so excited for all my checkups. I know some people don’t really enjoy the monthly weight, urine, blood pressure, measure belly checks, but I do. I love seeing the progress and knowing that I’m getting just that much closer. According to my doctor’s scale, I’ve only gained 1 pound so far. Perfect in my book – I know the big pounds are right around the corner. She said my belly was measuring right about 15 weeks but could be 17 weeks. I’ll take the 15, the 17 makes me a little nervous! I would like a nice, small baby this time. The baby’s heart rate was still a beautiful 160bpm – I just love that sound. It’s so reassuring and calming. I have thought about getting a doppler so I could hear it more often and so the kids could have more listens too – they don’t usually get to go to appointments with me. But I think I would become obsessive about it. I will just anxiously await each appointment to hear more! So everything was great, growing right on schedule and I’m feeling good and having no issues. I see her again in a month but just before I see her, we get our ultrasound!! Not only will we get a little peek at how this baby is growing and how adorable and healthy it is, we get to find out the gender! As long as baby cooperates though. I’ve not had one yet that hasn’t, so we’re hoping for the best! My doctor also reassured us that they are finding a lot of  marks for Echogenic Focus in the heart, like Lucas had. They think it’s because the technology is so much better and that they really are more common than thought before. At least if we find that again this time, we won’t initially freak out. It was really stressful last time.

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The long awaited day finally came!  I get so anxious because even though there is nausea and exhaustion and weird pregnancy symptoms at times, without seeing or hearing what’s on the inside – it’s all just a little unnerving until we know FOR SURE there is someone growing in there. And yes, there is! A wonderful, perfect, tear jerking, emotion evoking, loving, little flittering heart beat at 170bpm! It was music to my ears. My weight is good, growth is good, and we did the standard pee in a cup and take 5 tubes of blood for standard tests deal too. It was a good appointment and I look forward to all the rest that are to come. I just wish James would have been able to be there!

The other downside was that my doctor was quite adamant that I needed to have Lucas stop nursing, cold turkey, because it takes too many calories away from me and the innie baby. I’ve done my homework, I know that many people nurse while pregnant, some even beyond pregnancy and nurse 2 babies, and some even have twins or triplets and nurse all those babies! I just don’t agree with her and it set a little bit of a disappointing tone [for the first time ever] for the appointment. She didn’t hear me, she was just certain I needed to stop. I’ll be speaking with the lactation consultant and I plan to see the dietician soon to make sure that I am doing all that I can to have all 3 of us thrive!

It’s real, we’re having a baby!!

 

James made it home! It was a stressful week last week for both of us – me feeling like the baby was going to make an early arrival and him having delays in his schedule. We’re both just so relieved to be here and ready for our little guy to arrive!

We went to our 2nd NST test Monday morning and were in and out of there in no time. His tracings looked great within the first few minutes and while we stayed the required 20 minutes, we could have left after 5 – so they said. Good job little guy!

Yesterday was the checkup with my doctor – the scale is continuing into uncharted territory [gosh I hope so much is water weight!] – but my blood pressure and everything else was perfect. I measured a whopping 40 cm but I still feel like 50 cm! Unfortunately – not much is happening internally – so we’re all set for induction starting tomorrow night. I can’t believe it’s so close! It seems like it was just April and we were just finding out we were pregnant to begin with!

I’m not quite sure how I’ll occupy my day to avoid feeling over anxious or too concerned or worrying that the baby will be too big or that there will be other complications. I do need to get things in order for all the kids so they can have a relaxing weekend with Grandma. Tonight was the last night that we were all together as a family of 5 – soon there will be 6 of us. I cannot wait!

One more belly picture tomorrow – that will be the end of my belly. I’m excited to be able to bend over again, to see my toes while standing, to see my belly button at all, but I’m sad to lose this wiggly little life fluttering around inside me. I know he’ll be tons of fun on the outside too!

9 months has gone quickly – it makes me a bit sad to know all that time has passed and hoping that the next 9 months will not go as quickly so we can enjoy this baby boy so little for as long as possible. Life is amazing.

On Thursday, my doctor sent me for an ultrasound to give an estimate in size of this big baby boy and to check my fluid levels since my belly is measuring 2 weeks ahead and has measured significantly different the past few weeks compared to the rate of growth the past few months. I wasn’t about to pass up a chance to see my baby boy’s face so close to his due date!

It’s so different seeing a full term baby on ultrasound compared to when he was just 20 weeks and even at 30 weeks! He looks bigger, takes up more space for sure, but everything is very defined and easier to pick out. His cheeks are so big and squishy and I can’t wait to hold him in my arms and smell him and love him.

And while we expected to see that he was measuring a bit bigger than my other babies, I wasn’t quite prepared for the numbers I was seeing. The ultrasound tech was measuring his head and his legs and belly and spine and all of the parts that help with calculations and at the bottom of the screen I could see 40 weeks 6 days, 39 weeks 3 days, 40 weeks 4 days. I think my eyes were bulging out of my head knowing that I was only 37 weeks 5 days! He’s not supposed to be that big! Her guesstimate weight is that he’s 8 pounds 8 ounces. Now that isn’t horrible, bigger than I think I would like, but not unmanageable. But knowing there could be 2 more weeks of growth ahead – OWIE!! Yes, I understand that it’s not always accurate, he could be a whole pound less, but he could also be a whole pound more.

More concerning than his size is that there seems to be an excess of amniotic fluid – polyhydramnios.  I didn’t even know there could be such a thing – I have always heard of having low fluid being an issue, but never high fluid. I made the initial mistake of asking Google what that meant knowing my doctor wouldn’t call me back until much later to discuss the results. My heart sank. Another ‘complication’ that falls into such a small percentage of pregnant women. I’m not sure why I keep falling into that category. It didn’t help that I was able to still see the Echogenic Focus in the heart and that is still such an unknown area for us. While we try to keep a positive attitude and remain hopeful that this baby will be born totally healthy and without complications, these things are constantly in the back of my head and come out at the weirdest times and really get to me. The drive home was tearful and full of anxiety. Big words like hemorrhage and neurological defects really make a big impression. Sometimes having a medical education is not such a good thing. I spent the rest of the day being on edge and my head spinning in anxiety waiting for my doctor to call with some results and telling me what all of this means.

She didn’t call that day. But I did some thinking and realized that all this fluid is very likely the cause of many of my complaints – he’s so high and floating and up in my lungs, the extra weight of the fluid could be causing the muscle spasms, the growth of my belly week to week may not be all big baby, just a lot of fluid. I tried to avoid thoughts about defects and complications but my body stayed anxietous anyway.

I put a call in this morning right away letting my doctor know that I wanted to talk to her even if she didn’t think she needed to call me. I wasn’t thinking “no news is good news”, I figured she was just delayed. And she was. When she called me back this afternoon she was concerned but not as concerned as I was. She assured me that his growth looks good, all of his body systems seem to be functioning properly – swallowing and peeing enough, there’s no signs of diabetes and no good explanation for extra fluid. There is some concern about spontaneous rupture which could end up with a prolapsed cord which is not good at all. Most concerning to her is his size though she doesn’t think he’s as big as the ultrasound says – but who knows. She eased my fears some, the instant panic calmed some, which is good.

She ordered me a non-stress test today, Monday morning, and induction next Thursday if nothing happens on its own before then! hooray!

Today’s NST was perfect. His little heart beat was music to my ears. He was plenty active, I had a few nice contractions, and we passed with flying colors. This is good news, we want him as healthy as he can be!

Now to just get James home and move forward with things for the week and to have a baby!!


Surprisingly, I slept well last night. I thought I’d be up all night – tossing and turning and worrying – but I slept. I was thankful for that since the nerves kicked in as soon as I woke up. I knew it could potentially be a tough day. James and I haven’t talked much about the “what if’s”. We’ve tried to keep positive and put thoughts out of our head and just focus on having a healthy baby.

Fortunately, the wait at the office wasn’t too long. I had to give my usual run down of history to a nurse that was so quiet which made me feel uncomfortable. She repeated that an Echogenic Focus is a very common and usually goes away by the time of the perinatologist ultrasound. It was encouraging. We were moved to a very small room for the ultrasound and she started right away. James and I held hands, hoping this would be smooth and easy and we could get out of there. It’s always so nice to see this little guy – he’s changed so much since the last scan just 3 weeks ago. I can’t wait to hold him. She scanned the whole baby very generally and then did several measurements. I was trying not to hold my breath in anticipation for the heart but I think I was.

And then there it was, the heart, with a bright white spot sitting there quite prominently. My own heart sank and I didn’t have to ask if what I was seeing was still the spot that we had hoped had resolved itself, but I did anyway. Her confirmation made my heart sink that much. I didn’t cry, but I wanted to. I know it’s possibly not a big deal but it can be.

She finished the scan, said everything else looked great. I know she was trying to keep us thinking positive and that helped for sure. But then the long wait to speak with Dr. Boyle seemed to last forever even though it didn’t.

He came into the room and confirmed that yes, the Echogenic Focus was still there and yes, it is a marker for Down’s Syndrome. But other than my age, there are no other markers so it’s quite likely he’s still a very healthy boy. I felt a bit of relief until he said that he has seen babies born with Down’s that had no markers or just one or two as well as babies born totally healthy that did have several markers. So basically – anything is possible and we know nothing more definitive than when we walked in the office. He offered us the amniocentesis to get a definitive answer – but we’d still have to wait 3 weeks for the results and while there isn’t a huge risk with doing an amnio at almost 29 weeks, the risk of uterine rupture was there and I didn’t want to have a test that wasn’t going to change the outcome only to have a preemie. So we declined.

So what do we do now? We wait. And we hope. It’s hard to imagine that this wiggly little life is anything but in all ways perfect. And that’s what we plan to expect on the day he’s born. I think the possibility of Down’s will always be in the back of my mind but I cannot let myself get consumed with those thoughts – it’s such a small chance. And the next 11 weeks are going to go by so slow, I just know it.

Finally, the ultrasound day has arrived! It’s so hard waiting out all those weeks to get a little peek into the belly and see who’s growing inside of me. I didn’t want to rush it and have it done early, I wanted everything to be just perfect, and he is! Yes, another boy! All of the kids came with and thought the scan was pretty neat – for about 5 minutes! It’s so hard for them to understand what we’re looking at and the little guy was wiggling away and making it even harder to explain what was on the screen. I think they were all pretty excited to get a little peek at their new baby brother too. He measured well, right on schedule, and seems to be as healthy as can be. Now we just have to wait another 20 weeks to meet him in person. I can’t wait to hold him in my arms and smell his newborn baby goodness and love him completely.

Isn’t he cute?

Giving a little flex

Definitely a boy!

Well, almost done with 3 months – which also means the end of the 1st trimester!

No, I couldn’t pee in the cup again – I had to wait until the end of the appointment. I certainly need Dillan’s pee on demand ability!

I weighed in at 138 – losing a pound and my doctor asking me, “are you eating?!” Well, yes, I am, just not as much because everything makes me full and nauseated! I hope that comes to an end soon!

Better news, James lost 4 pounds! I knew this challenge would motivate him.

Best news, WE HEARD THE HEARTBEAT!! It’s so tiny and fast and soft and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The rate was right in the middle at 150.

My doctor mentioned that my uterus feels a bit more like 13 weeks and I’m not even 12 weeks yet! This puts me in a bit of a freak out! I’m not really worried that there are twins in there, I’m pretty darn sure there isn’t, but until there is an ultrasound – who knows?! The crazy, worried, OMG mom feelings are all over the place on this one. I’m certain she doesn’t suspect twins otherwise she’d probably rush me to the ultrasound. Thankfully the incidences of twins all run on James’ side of the family.

It was a good day. I’m pretty sure I’m smiling all over the place.

Finally, first appointment day arrived! Waiting until almost 10 weeks was kind of a killer. I’ve been through it all before so I knew it wasn’t going to be something super duper exciting but it was extra exciting because it was James’ first time and I’m so glad he was able to be here for this and because this time my regular doctor will be doing our prenatal care and delivery and baby care. I really like her.

We arrived and I immediately had to do some bloodwork and attempt to pee in a cup. Why is it that no matter how much I drink before I go to the doctor, I can never pee on demand? I failed [at least until after our appointment was done, then I was finally able to go]. We went through tons of family history and questions that all seemed to take forever. Then Dr. Card came in and gave us a ton of info and talked about all kinds of things and did the girly exam. We tried to listen for the little tiny heartbeat but with all my belly gurgling [way too much water trying to be able to pee!] and probably because it was just too early still, we were unable to listen even though we did hear about a second of it. We know it’s there, we just couldn’t get a good listen. Back in 2 weeks to try again.

James noticed the BMI chart on the wall which sent him into a texting frenzy to let his friends know they were overweight or obese! HA! I think it was some good motivation for him to drop a few pounds. I told him and the nurse and our doctor that I would like to see him lose at least as much as I gain during the pregnancy. I know it would be way too easy for him to gain right along with me, we feed into each others food cravings way too easily. But giving him a little bit of a challenge will likely get him going on the fast track. And I still hope that I don’t gain 50 pounds or more, I’m not going for any records here! I’ll take on what’s necessary but will try to keep away from too much junk food if I can help myself.

I weighed in at 139 pounds. EEP! Honestly, that’s more than I have weighed NOT pregnant since I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and on way too much Prednisone. In all of my adult life [not pregnant] I’ve managed to keep myself hovering 130 pounds. I’m not really complaining, and it’s not really a big shock, we eat a lot of junk and get minimal exercise despite my desire to live a healthier life.

With that, we went out to eat some greasy breakfast at Kroll’s. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs – we didn’t finish everything on our plates. But it was so nice to just be together.