Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Great News

Today I had my 38 week appointment. I was VERY nervous about it after my visit last week where there was talk of stripping membranes and induction and what not due to my blood pressure. I made sure to be totally hydrated (something I haven’t been very good with lately) and relax myself going in. I’d had a really stressful day yesterday and my home readings of my blood pressure were very high and I was pretty sure it was going to take a miracle to come in at an acceptable number.

Well it turned out great! My blood pressure was just a smidge higher than my readings for most of my pregnancy and quite a bit better than where I’d been last week. So relieved. Midwife said nothing at all about induction or anything like that. Unfortunately, I came back GBS+ again (I was + when I had Elly too), despite doing a daily rinse for a week beforehand. I was originally going to turn down the antibiotics if I came back positive but I’ve reconsidered and decided to take the antibiotics. If I did this rinse (which is antibacterial) for a week beforehand and still came back positive, it sounds like I’m pretty heavily colonized and I didn’t feel comfortable deferring antibiotics under that circumstance. Luckily my midwife won’t use an IV to administer them and that was of my big things. NO terribly uncomfortable needles in my hand please! I swear that I recovered faster from my last delivery than having that stupid needle in my hand. Ouch.

My midwife was talking about how I must be anxious to have the baby and I said no, you probably don’t hear this too often but I want to see how long I actually go without being induced… and I want to have a September baby! She said that not many people were excited about actually hitting their due date or beyond but she thought that was a great attitude. I hope that I can keep that attitude up as I get more and more uncomfortable.

Another good bit of news was that we listened to baby H’s heartbeat for two minutes and only heard the irregular beat once! Prior to that we’d been hearing it every 8-10 beats so this was a huge decrease. Yay! It sounds like the arrhythmia is already healing.

Jason is leaving for a conference on Saturday and will be gone until Thursday. The kids and I will be staying at my parents house during this time (bless them for making this option available to us!). I plan on putting myself on a lot of bed rest so that I don’t trigger anything before Jason returns.

Friday, August 20, 2010

No room at the inn?

I had my 37 week appointment yesterday and arrived at the birth center to find both the labor rooms full and the main midwife gone at a homebirth! Apparently yesterday was the day to have a baby! An assistant, as she hurried in and out of the rooms, told me that they haven’t had a birth in two weeks but today they had 4 in some stage of progress. I had to wait until the fill in midwife was available and I was seen in a small room (closet) with a bed. It was kinda interesting to see how it all worked. I was assured that this was extremely unusual and I would almost surely have a room when my turn came. And if I didn’t, a homebirth wouldn’t be so bad, right? :)

My blood pressure, per usual, is creeping up. The midwife wanted to sweep my membranes, but I declined. For one, at 37 weeks I didn’t feel it was time to use things that might encourage labor. Two, I don’t WANT to go into labor yet. I want a September baby! Three, a big part of me coming to the birth center was so that I wouldn’t be put into the “intervention loop” as soon as my blood pressure went up a little. I don’t want to jump willingly into that loop when the only thing wrong is that my numbers are a little high. I have absolutely no other warning signs (swelling, spots in the eyes, rib pain, headaches, etc). So I said we’d see where I’m at next week and go from there. That was kind of empowering actually. Usually I’ve felt a little scared about what-ifs, but this time I feel utterly confident in waiting and not jumping the gun. If the only thing wrong is my blood pressure, I’m not going to be induced. Nope.

She said the baby felt extremely low (yeah, tell me about it. Ouch.) and her hands were saying he was about 7 lbs or so. Gosh, he feels bigger than that, but who can tell really?

After my appointment I ran some errands and came home for a few hours before heading out with April to Dream Dinners. She threw me a lovely baby shower a few weeks ago and coordinated a group gift of these meals to use after the baby is born. I was able to get 9 6-serving meals and we went down there and prepped them last night. Its a cool concept and executed very well. We hit a cafe afterwards and talked and enjoyed some purely grown up time, no worries about messes or bedtimes!

The kids have been in a swimming class all this week (and M-Th next week) and we get today (Friday) off Oh I’m glad. The Y we’re taking classes at has a looooong set of stairs to the family dressing rooms and that is hard for me! But the kids are doing really well in the classes and Ethan especially doesn’t seem to be having problems with his water fears. I’m so happy about that.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Baby update

So the day after we returned from our trip, I had my high level ultrasound to check the arrhythmia that they’d found at 32 weeks.

It was good news. They confirmed that the heart structures were absolutely perfect. And that the type of arrhythmia was atrial, not ventricle, which is very good. They considered this a “normal variation” and no follow up or special precautions needed to be taken (unless it worsens or changes). Woo! I asked specifically if they felt it was safe for me to deliver in a freestanding birth center and the lady, much to my surprise, said, “I wouldn’t worry even if you were home birthing, so a birth center doesn’t cause me any concern at all”. Cool. She also knew my midwife and said it was a great place to deliver. I was surprised to hear that from someone who is in the highly medicalized field she’s in. Encouraging! Oh, she also added that based on their measurements and calculations, this baby was near 6 lbs! Now ultrasound estimates of weight are notoriously wrong so I’m taking it with a grain of salt, but it did take me by surprise! Gwen was only 6lbs, 5 oz at BIRTH! This boy could be big.

I had my midwife appointment afterwards and we discussed some of the birth details (eye goo, Vit K shot, etc) and I was so pleased that we were on the exact same page with everything. No “negotiating” needed. Also, I found out that the midwife comes to you 2-3 days after birth for a follow up check of you and the baby. How cool is that?

So most of my readers are aware of the names we’ve been batting around for this child. Right now, Henry James is the leader I think. Jason didn’t like it at first, but he’s come around a bit. We have a list of backups if he doesn’t look like a Henry. Caleb, Adam, Thomas. I like Tobias so much, but that’s my dogs name and that would just be too weird. Henry, as I found out after I’d liked the name, has a lot of family history on my Mom’s side so that is pretty cool. James is the name of Jason’s adopted Dad and is so special to him. I think the combination is lovely.

I’ve seem to hit a wall with energy and zest. I was doing ok up through the trip and even the first week back but since then I’ve been very blah. Sleep is strange, can’t get comfy, grumpy, annoyed, no motivation, daydreams of staying in bed all day reading or watching movies. I’m trying to focus on enjoying these last few weeks as I likely will not have another pregnancy but truthfully these are the least enjoyable weeks of any pregnancy, last or not! I hope they pass quickly.

Fort Stevens/Astoria Vacation 2010

Its been a week since we’ve returned from our 8 night camping trip and I’m just now feeling back in the swing of things!

We spent 5 nights staying in a tent trailer (amazing… couldn’t have done this trip without it. Thanks L & D for renting it to us!) in Les & Karen’s driveway having a little family reunion of sorts. Everyone came and visited and caught up and we had a great time. Last year we’d met at some cabins in southernish Oregon, but due to time/money concerns, we kept it more local (at least for the majority of people) and low-key this year. Mostly we hung out, let the cousins play their little hearts out (and did they!), and had a few excitements.

Two excitements involved my own children! Ethan got an infected finger and we had to take him to urgent care. It was a great clinic and the doctor set us at ease right away by looking at me and saying, “Whoa, I don’t know nothing about birthin’ no babies” and when Ethan said, “Hey, she’s not having a baby, its my finger that’s hurt!” he turned to E and said, “They didn’t tell me you were bit by a barracuda son!”. Well, that loosened Ethan right up. So, a few hours later, with antibiotics and a bandaged finger, we ended that adventure. Two days later I was there again with GWEN! She had an infected toe! It was just the most bizarre thing that both my kids have to be taken to urgent care (something we’ve never had to do in the past) in the same week. While we are on vacation. The doctor came in, looked at me, said, “Um, I still don’t know nothing about birthing babies” and I told him, “Dr., with the week I’m having, you better start learning because I might be in here by the weekend!”. Her procedure was a bit more painful (they had to drain the toe), but she left feeling better and with her own antibiotic prescription. Whew. Too much stress and hassle for a vacation.

We did get the kids down for some old-timey photos in Seaside and they were adorable. The kids had a blast dressing up and the people really worked to get them in character and play the parts.





Some more pictures…

The one sunny and warm day we had (70 degrees). We took advantage of it!


The kids were all about the bikes this year. Elsa was a little hellion and wiped out numerous times. I’m shocked at how fast she can make this thing go. She needs a helmet….


Ethan and Gwen BOTH rode without training wheels for the first time. I did not think Ethan would do it before 10. We were so proud!

Giving tips on how its done…




All the kids and the Bakugans


Gwen and Jaden. They are two peas in a pod.


At the Tillamook Cheese Factory (love to go there… my fridge is stocked, packed!, with all sorts of awesome cheeses).





Waiting in line for samples…





Afterwards, ICE CREAM!




Disappointed to find out that rocky road has peanuts…


After 5 nights, we packed up the tent trailer and took off for Fort Stevens to meet April, Su, and another family (new this year) for our 3rd annual camping trip. For Su and April its like their 5th annual I think! I don’t have many pics because, to be honest, I was burning out by this point. I was tired, stressed, annoyed, and, well, 34 weeks pregnant.

Elsa. Dirt.


Gwen made fast friends with the toughest guy in our loop… When I asked what she was talking to him about, she said bikes (he drove a Harley) and “how good I can ride without training wheels!”


Checking to see if Elly is asleep…. Success!


One of the things we did while at Fort Stevens was go to a Civil War re-enactment. It was a little less… um, everything than we’d imagined, but still pretty neat. Lots of cool weapons, wool spinning demonstrations, etc.




Another day Jason took us adventuring down some random road which took us over random dunes (that our car barely sloshed through) and onto this totally isolated stretch of beach. It was pretty cool. I tried doing something creative with the kids. Elsa did NOT cooperate!




Despite my stressed out nature by the end of the trip, we did have a great time overall and I’d do it again. 8 days is a long time to camp when you’re pregnant, but we made a bunch of memories and did something fun and it was worth it!