Saturday, December 31, 2011

Aaaaaand I Get Bad News

As expected, I have failed the 1 hour glucose test. Prior to getting pregnant I'd had some tests done that showed a high A1C but awesome fasting glucose. So they pretty much felt I was headed to diabetes but not there yet. Shortly after those tests I started taking high dose prednisone, which just.. wreaks havoc on your pancreas and blood sugars. I was frequently testing at 390 and on insulin. That wasn't something I could change. Prednisone is a terrible drug. And I'm wondering if it caused some permanent damage. But whether it did or not, things aren't looking good. They wanted to see a number under 130 and mine was 190. I'm fully expecting to fail the 3 hour, which I'll be taking next weekend because I can't take the time off work. I have to eat a specific diet for 3 days prior. It's basically just them trying to ensure I eat enough carbs for an accurate test and, uhm.. that won't be an issue.

The thing is, if I'm being honest with myself, I need to lose weight. I was morbidly obese prior to pregnancy. And I know people will say "No way, I've seen your pictures"but... yeah. I carry it well, but I am more than 100 pounds overweight. And now I just feel kind of stupid. I tried many times to lose weight, and I have been successful. I lost 50 pounds in college, but I did it by basically not eating and exercising obsessively. I lost 17 pounds before my wedding on Weight Watchers, but I gained it back when I started steroids. But I feel like there will always be something that comes up to keep me from losing weight, and I just need to do it. Especially now. Chances are I'm going to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and I know that with my history, Type II isn't far behind. And I can't let that happen. I have a daughter now, and my kidneys and cholesterol (hereditary) are enough of a worry. I don't need something I CAN control to make things even worse.

My BFF Megan who is due in the beginning of April is planning on starting Weight Watchers right after her baby is born, and I plan on starting right after E is born. Our leave should overlap by at least a couple of weeks, so I'm hoping we can get some exercise in together with the babies. And I love Weight Watchers. It really is such a fantastic program that teaches you how to eat, and it works. I just need to stick to it when life gets in the way. I'm hoping to breastfeed for a while and that would help with the weight loss.

I've also decided that I think I'm going to schlep the family to Chicago in July. E will be 4-5 months and hopefully in a pattern, and I really want A to get to see his team in their home environment. I know it might not be possible, but every year there's a new reason we can't go. Last year it was a failed IVF causing us to have to pay for a second round. So if we can get by maternity without using our credit cards, I'd like to at least try. It'll also depend on where Andy's working, but we'll see.

Oh yeah, and tomorrow we're FINALLY painting the nursery!!!!! I'm so excited. I'll post pictures of the transformation. Today I'm going to go get a new curtain rod fr the baby's room too, 'cause what we have right now is really ugly. I like projects so this should be a lot of fun!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

29 Week Appointment

I'm full of mixed emotions today. Someone else called my mom and said they were so excited about our baby and she was such a miracle. It made me think about our journey, and I said to my mom "I don't think I was supposed to be pregnant". I think if you had asked the universe whether or not I would ever have a baby, it would have given you a resounding "NO". I mean I started out with "PCOS" (quotations to be explained) and weird cycles. My kidneys started failing before the wedding. The doctor even said if we were working on baby #2 he'd just say no (and the RE wouldn't do IVF without his and the MFM's approval). When he did say OK, we found out A had a brain tumor and severe MFI. It was just such a ridiculous road. Although it turned out I didn't have PCOS, (just lucky to have hair on my chin I guess) nothing helped my kidneys. It was such a trying time, and I was teetering on the edge of losing faith. But I'm pretty sure this baby girl is brought to you by God. It just seems so weird to me that with all of our obstacles we've gotten this far... and in good health!

I was nervous going into today's appointment, but it really couldn't have gone better. Baby girl is still growing well. She was 2lb 15oz today, so almost 3 pounds! This puts her in the 43rd percentile, which is just fine. We still didn't get a good profile, though. Although she's head down (hooray for cooperation!) her head was low, and she's still folded up like a taco with her toes on her forehead. She has been at every appointment since 22 weeks, and I think she's stuck that way for the long haul. It's funny to know that the movements I feel so low are her head and feet, and the random rib level ones are her butt!

My BP was 147/79, and the girl who took it said "Oh that's pretty high". I said to her "Oh it's good for me!". She asked if I was sure, because she could take it with me on my left side. I said it was fine, and the Dr. would be happy. Well shortly thereafter, the doctor came in and said "You know me too well! I'm very happy!". And she actually told me that when they did my blood tests, my creatinine was 1.05, which is pretty good! It tends to go down a tad during pregnancy, but with kidney disease there's always the risk that the stress will make your kidneys worse, and so far mine are doing well! YAY KIDNEYS!

We were both pretty excited that I'm 29 weeks and doing well. She did say the next month was pretty crucial to development, but she seems pretty comfortable that once we hit that point we'll be in pretty good shape.

Since E was in such a bad position, we, once again, didn't get a good profile. She clearly doesn't understand how much her grandma wants to see her pretty face. We did get a head-on shot somehow... and it's super weird but I'm going to post it anyway.






The eye sockets are so creepy. BUT I do see some sweet little chubby cheeks and a cute little chin. It looks like my chin, with the teeniest of dimples.

I'm shocked and amazed to be here, and I keep going back and forth between wanting her out because I'm in pain, and getting teary because I'm going to miss her so much when I can't feel her moving around anymore. Either way, I'm going to have a baby soon, and it's insane.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

View From Above


This is what I see when I look down. It looks huge. Every once in a while I catch myself thinking I'm not that much bigger because I had a belly to start with. This is a fallacy. I'm huge. And I think the size of my belly is soon going to prevent restaurant eating. I already can't sit in a booth. How horrible is that????

I went onto my Target registry to remove the breast pump (which I'll get to in a minute) and noticed that someone bought the baby bath tub! I am so excited because it was one of the few things I really wanted that isn't sold in stores and I wouldn't be happy with a similar one. So now little one has the required gear for not being a dirtball! And with that comes the added bonus that I'm starting to feel like I will actually have what I need for this little girl. I mean.. we have a bathtub.. what else do we need, right? OK, maybe a few more, but we do have a stroller and car seat, and I think A's mom is getting the pack n play. So besides some little blankets and swaddles, I could get by with just getting the swing and the monitor if I had to (I, of course, don't want to have to since there's more I'd REALLY like. Like a diaper pail, which may not be a necessity but will make my life so much easier).

So.. why not the pump? Well.. I'm getting really down and out about breastfeeding. Not about wanting to breast feed because I want to so badly! But about the logistics of making it work. First and foremost, my boobs have been the one part of my body that haven't taken to changes. They aren't bigger at all, they're not leaking or anything. And I know that doesn't necessarily mean anything, but it freaks me out that they just aren't going to work. And the OCD. I've been off of Lexapro completely now for 4 days, and I can already tell that it was doing something. Not a lot, but something. Part of me was thinking "maybe we should start the meds back up" but I only have a short while before delivery and I CAN MAKE IT. I did have a panic attack today, though. I haven't had one in a while, but there it was, complete with raised body temperature/sweating and fight or flight feelings. I'm using alternative coping methods right now, and my parents got me an OCD workbook for Christmas I started on today. But once she's here... can I do it without meds? I'm starting to question myself. I want to... I hope I can... but I don't know, and so I've decided to play it by ear. If I can breast feed and pump, I'll rent one from the hospital. I hope and pray I can.... that I can overcome the OCD without meds. But I'm trying to be realistic, and I was only going to breast feed for 3 months anyway. I didn't realize rental was an option, but if it is.... it's probably the better one for a short-term BFer. So don't take this as "I'm giving up". Because I'm not. Because I'm strong. But... it's a ton of money to spend on a product I may or may not use for more than a short time when I can rent one instead.

I want to do right by this baby. I want to give her everything I can. And while part of me wants to give up and go back on meds now, I know this is for her, and she's worth it. And I know that learning the tools to cope with OCD once she's here is just going to give me a head start on dealing with it down the road, when I need to put all my effort into making my baby girl happy. So it's hard and it hurts, but I need this. And maybe this is a little side effort thrown in by God to show me that I CAN overcome this with other tools because right now it's all I have.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And Another Thing...

I just signed up for a birthing class on 1/22, and a hospital tour on 1/23, with the expectation that E will be arriving sometime near, or shortly before, 3/1. What? Am I far enough along that I just signed up for a birthing class and a hospital tour????

And in other news, my mom says she's "pumped" for my baby shower, which is less than two weeks away. My vernacular is rubbing off on her! Two of my friends are out buying decorations and baby gifts today! I can't believe in a few short weeks she'll be here, and all the final prep work is actually getting done. I remember thinking that 38 weeks felt like forever, but now it feels so close. I'm glad I scheduled everything though, because a lot of the January stuff was booked already! I guess it really is going to be January in just a few days. And I'm going to have all sorts of baby stuff soon after. This is turning into a bit of a whirlwind, but I'm so excited!

Christmas Blues

Well, first and foremost, I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday. I didn't, but I should have. It seems these days my emotions have just taken over completely. I argued a lot with A, and I even argued with my parents. When people say the third trimester is really hard, this is no joke! Every symptom has ramped up, but particulary the emotions. And I think when adding to that that I am officially 100% OFF Lexapro (YAY ME!!!)... well... it's just not a good mix. I'm going from being angry to thinking I'm a failure as a wife and daughter because I get angry... it's a mess. I took my first bath in ages (I would do this constantly if we had a nice soaking tub) to kind of calm down and it helped, but it made my joints worse. To be honest, I just need to get this baby out. 8 weeks to go until full term. I can do it! Haha. She's worth it. And I still want more kids. But... I can't wait to have ME back!

I did get a lot of cool stuff for Christmas, including TONS of gift cards, which I decided to mostly use on myself, despite the urge to buy things for E. I figure she has a shower coming up, and it's probably the last Christmas I'll be getting gifts. I don't know if I've mentioned much about this, but I'm a TOTAL nerd. I play tabletop RPGs, and a few weeks ago someone stole my bag out of my car. It looks like a laptop bag, but it really contained RPG books, dice, and character sheets. So I spent a lot of my money buying a new bag  (and I do need a laptop bag), a book, and new dice. But I did get a few things for E, and A bought her a few things too.

I picked out a Zelda onesie and A picked out a Mario one. I got the Mario in my stocking and I was so excited. We love old school video games. Hopefully E will too!




I bought her this because it's cuter than the onesies, and she should be in that size when we get to see the Sox play in August.


And a little light reading borrowed from a co-worker who got this for Christmas. It's pretty awesome.


So today I am, unfortunately, at work, but I'm off in a few hours. I work tomorrow, then I have a half day Thursday because I have my glucose test and a growth ultrasound (yay!), and I work from home Friday and it's another 3 day weekend. This one should be more peaceful because although we have plans NYE and NYD, we'll be in our town. We did have an awesome time with A's family, but it's exhausting and I'm glad we don't have a ton of driving to do again before E arrives.

All in all, things are good. I think E is getting a lot bigger because every day her movements get more and more pronounced. Some of her kicks feel a little less like someone bumping me from the inside and more like someone trying to jab their elbow through my skin lol. And at night she's crazy and just rolls around. She makes me laugh, and I can't wait to see her. I need to get a handle on my emotions, but I only have a few more weeks until she's full term and safe, and hopefully she'll decide to come on her own then. 9 weeks until my induction. Holy crap.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Picture Timeline

I'm not sure why, but I just decided it would be awesome to post pictures from all of my ultrasounds to see how much E has grown from pre-transfer to 28 weeks!

This is Evie as a 6 day old expanded, hatched blastocyst. This picture is absolutely stunning to me. I look at it and think "How is it this tiny thing has grown to an over 2 pound child squirming inside me!?



6 weeks 5 days. You can't even tell the baby from the yolk sac in this!


8 weeks 5 days. Starting to look a teeny bit more like a person and waving "Hi mom and dad!"



12 weeks - at the NT scan. Chillin' and looking more like a baby sitting in a hammock.


18 weeks  6 days, with her little nosed smooshed. She has visible eyes and lips. And she's begun finding her new favorite position of legs over her head.


22 weeks. The most beautiful profile I've ever seen. Her legs still over her head. 



24 weeks 5 days. Legs over her head, as always. Still the cutest nose I've ever seen.

Next Thursday she'll be 29 weeks and I'll be seeing her once more. I can't wait to see what she looks like, and I'm praying she's in a different position. It's so strange to see the changes she's undergone from teeny embryo to baby. I'm so in love and can't wait until I get to put up pictures of her at birth!

28 Week Progress

I've gotten a lot of new information in the past few days, and I don't know why I haven't posted any of it! I finally got the results from MFM. Everything is looking good. My 24 hour urine was 4g instead of 3g this time, but she wasn't worried because 6g is standard for me and I'm still well below that (which also means the last test wasn't a fluke!). She also did liver tests, though, and those were fine, so.. no Pre-E for me! My hematocrit was low though so I have to start taking iron supplements.Hopefully this will help with the fact that I do things like fall asleep at 7pm on a regular basis.

I also saw the OB yesterday... and I'm up 5 lbs from two weeks ago! AHHH! That means 16 pounds total, which is getting way too close to my 25 pound max goal. I do think some of it was water as I was swollen yesterday, so we'll see how my next appointment goes. My BP was insane.. 164/70, but I could feel it pounding when she took it because I'd just stood up really fast, so I asked the doctor to take it again and it was down to 140. Plus he said with Pre-E they look at the diastolic, and there's "no way" I'm developing pre-E with a diastolic of 70. So... good reports!!!! He also came in and looked at me with this big smile and said "27 weeks!!!" Like "WTF are you doing here with no major issues?". He was surprised but very happy. And, of course, it's actually my 28 week appintment, so even better!!

Tomorrow I'll officially be 28 weeks with no problems in sight! I'm feeling really confident that I'll get to 30 weeks, which, for some reason, was a personal goal I had. And hopefully at 30 I'll feel confident about 32 and so on. And once I hit 32 I get to see the baby twice a week for NSTs.

Yesterday we got her heartbeat up above and to the right of my belly button, which was very unusual, but I think at this point she's just getting really big! I get to see just how big next Thursday, and my mom is going to try to come, so I'm excited. She came to my 18 week, and it'll be cool for her to see just how baby-like E looks now days.

Tomorrow I'm ordering her crib. I'm so excited to finally have a piece of baby furniture on the way. We still have to pick up the changing table from my mom's friend, and then I just need to get the dresser. This is what I'm ordering:


It's the Graco Lauren in Espresso. It's very traditional and standard, but I think it will go well with our contemporary bedding and nursery. And it looks black online, but in person it has a lot of red, so it's really pretty. I can't wait to have it put together. I'm planning on ordering the Graco Portland dresser but... $250 just seems ridiculous for a dresser to me. I think we paid less than that for our giant, solid cherry dresser! But going through her clothes, she needs a place for onesies and little pants to go, so it's a necessity. And I think I might be able to use the BRU 20% off coupon with it, so we'll see. Whatever the case, in a week and a half, we'll have a cleaned, painted nursery with a crib in it!!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Getting Closer

Things are starting to get a little more uncomfortable. I think E has got to be about 3 pounds now. I can feel her up by my ribs and down in my lower pelvis at the same time. I'm thinking she's going to come out pretty long. I'm definitely starting to feel more pressure down there, and things are stretching and getting sore again. I get particularly sore at night when I roll from side to side - in my hips especially. I just keep thinking to myself that all of this is happening because she's getting bigger, and my body is preparing to evict her! The good news is my SI joint has let up a bit, so it's not quite as difficult to walk.

She's been extremely active lately. Last night I was typing on the laptop, and she kept kicking my arm. It cracks me up how much she moves and I love that she has a sweet little active personality. I can't wait to go in next week and see how much she's grown and what position she's in.

We pretty much got nothing done in the nursery. I'm bringing A some boxes from work tomorrow for him to finish packing things away, and I think all we need to do is move things into the car, which we can't do now anyway. I took two really long naps and was exhausted all weekend. I know that's just going to get worse, though, and I can't wait for it to be done. The good news is, there's very little to pack, and the rest is just moving things around. I think we can fit it all into one car load, so we should be ready for the painting on the 1st.

I have an OB appointment tomorrow and my glucose test this week. I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I'm almost 28 weeks pregnant. That things are winding down now and sooner rather than later I'm going to have a baby girl. I've been doing a lot of watching "A Baby Story" and every time I see the baby come out and the mom hold it for the first time I get teary-eyed thinking that soon I get to look in MY baby's eyes and kiss on her little cheeks and watch her daddy fall in love. I can't say how thankful I am for this miracle baby. But I am... so incredibly thankful for her. And as tough as this road was, she is already more than worth it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

YAY

AHHHHHH!! Someone bought our travel system!! We can bring our baby home from the hospital!! OMG I'm so excited I can't even stand it. I've been so nervous about getting some of the bigger stuff, so I feel so relieved that we have the absolute most important thing. I can buy a pack n play and a bouncer, now that I have a way to transport her in the car and to take her for walks. I'm just so excited.

I had a little talk with E in the shower about how much I love her, and how I hope when she comes out she knows I'm her momma. I can't way to stare into those big, beautiful eyes and just tell her she's mine and I'll always keep her safe.

I also started making some small changes in the nursery, so hopefully A can just go through his totes, box up a few things, and we'll be done except for moving stuff into the car. I think he's going to let me get rid of the desk. Whew.

Things are actually coming along a little bit. My shower is 3 weeks away! And then my little one will have things she needs. YAY!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Random Thoughts

I woke up at 5:45 this morning. It wasn't so bad. I think that's more due to the fact that I had a short week and a Christmas party at noon than anything like my body preparing me for labor. I'm pretty sure my body is just going to laugh at me when E is here and I'm trying not to be so tired.

I got a gift card on our secret santa, so I lucked out this year at both parties. This one was for Target, and I keep thinking I can have a little cluster of gift cards put away to buy stuff for E after the shower! So far I've got $30 for target, and $60 for Amazon (though that was a birthday gift so I might use it for me!).

I also took an updated photo today!


Pardon my dirty mirror. It's weird to me how my belly looks different. It's so round and.. baby-like! And speaking of babies, this guy is obsessed with me.
He's laying on my chest, like usual. Lately, every time I take a nap he's on my lap for hours at a time. He sleeps with me almost through the night, and he always wants to be on me. He's so freaking cute it's nuts. My other cat hasn't been quite as lovey. I'm thinking this guy knows change is coming. I'm excited though. Love my kitties. And I wanted to put pictures in here. Blog posts with pictures are so much better!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hello, Third Tri!

Wait a second... is this real? Yep, pinching hurts (I swear I did that). I am 27 weeks pregnant today!!!! And really, that needs more than 4 exclamation points. I'm in the third trimester, and not having BP issues. It has been drilled into my head since day 1 that we could experience all of these issues (with "could" somehow always sounding more like "will" from the mouths of doctors) and I had these visions of being on bed rest at 20 weeks, delivering at 24.... and I'm at 27 and everything looks perfect!

For this, I a grateful first and foremost to God. Every step of this journey has been a medical miracle. From conception to healing kidneys to my baby girl growing on track. It was such a long road to get here, and there were so many (seriously... you wouldn't believe it) times when I sat in my car crying and pleading and begging and on the very edge of losing my faith. And I won't say "ask and ye shall receive" because, let's face it... it doesn't always happen. But I am so grateful to be experiencing this miracle. I wasn't sure I'd ever feel my own little one rolling and stretching inside my body. But I am. And thank you Jesus for it!

And yet... 27 weeks means "OMGITSCRUNCHTIMEANDIDONTHAVEANYTHINGDONEWHATAMIGOINGTODO!?". Yep. It sounds like that in my head.. capital letters and all. So I called my mom yesterday and we set up a mass room overhaul for January 1. Since I will obviously not be hungover. She and my dad and I are going to paint the room and steam clean, so the next weekend (WHAT!?) when I have my shower, I have a place to bring all the baby stuff! And seriously... my "edging" looks like someone just tossed paint at the wall and hoped it missed the celing. So.. I need my dad's help.

I can't believe my shower is so close. And I'll actually have some of the baby's stuff. And I'm ordering her crib next week. So I guess I should calm down just a little. But who am I kidding? That's not going to happen.

Also, I need to stop craving whoppers. Help.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Almost 27 Week Survey

How far along? 26 weeks, 6 days

Next Appointment: 12/20 - Checkup with the OB

Weight gain/loss: 11 I think

Maternity clothes? Yep. Starting to almost grow out of some of them!

Stretch marks? Yes

Sleep? I can get sleep, but it hurts a lot more now. My shoulders, elbows, and hips hurt pretty bad.

Best moment this week? I had my hand on my belly, and was on the phone with A. He wanted me to tell her hi, so I said "daddy says hi!" and she kicked my hand, up above my belly button.

Food cravings: Unfortunately, whoppers from BK. OMG they're SO bad for you. I've had two in the last week or two though :(

Odd pregnancy symptom of the week: Not odd, but I'm ready to have my leg amputated if it can somehow help my SI joint pain.

Gender: Girl

Belly button in or out? Definitely getting shallower. Dear God please let my belly button stay in!!!!

Movement? She wasn't quite as active yesterday or the day before, but this afternoon she was nuts.

What I miss? Not throwing up and not being in pain.

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting my baby girl!

Weekly wisdom: I have nothing wise to say lol.

Milestones: Last time we checked, she was 1lb 11 oz. I'd guess she's over 2 pounds now. Also, I'm in third tri tomorrow!!!

Belly pic: This is the last picture I took. It was from 25weeks 1 day, so it's almost 2 weeks old already.



Holy Freakout

My mom came over last night to work on the bedding (which was completely unsuccessful). And I decided, somehow, that it was a good time to freak the %*&$ out. I realized that I have exactly 11 weeks and 1 day until the absolute latest that my child will arrive. Given that there are two holiday weekends during that time, and it's going to be January before I know it... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. If I told you work had been done on the nursery, I would be lying. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure it has an extra box in it that I received full of baby clothes. Every time I look in that room I think "What the hell am I doing to do with all of this stuff?". But I did get  A to agree that it needs to be cleared out this weekend, and I'm pretty sure my mom is going to come down New Year's day to help me steam clean.

And then there's the idea of baby items. I have NOTHING for this child but clothes. I have 75 items on my registry (and this includes books, toys.. butt paste, etc.) and I know there's going to be things I don't get that I need. I didn't want to invite a ton of people to my shower just to get gifts, so I only invited family and people I know really well. Or a few people A knows really well, since it's his baby too. I have a few "big" items that I really need, though. These include the travel system, pack n play, video monitor, and swing.

I'm completely in love with the ocean, and, therefore, this swing...

I really want to have this so I have a place to put E to rest that I can strap her in and make sure she's secure. My mom asked me what I needed the most out of these things, and I told her the travel system, since without it I can't bring E home from the hospital. I think she's going to get me that. It's just hard not to worry about having what I need for her. I'm afraid of getting her home and going "Oh crap, I don't have _____". And not being able to go out and get it. I'm also afraid that she'll come early and I won't have time to finish buying things after the shower. I plan to pick up everything I dont get myself with the completion discount, or the millions of 25% off coupons BRU sends out. But I need time! Where did the time go?

As you can see, I'm a mess. Time has FLOWN by. And yet I'm still spending 5 straight minutes puking in the mornings.

And, by the way, don't ever say "You're looking nice and heavy" to a pregnant woman, like the cleaning lady at work said to me. If she wasn't older and disabled I would've head-butted her. What does that even mean!???? all my new weight is in my belly, dammit.

I need a day off. I can has day after Christmas now please?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Big Decisions

Warning: I haven't written in a few days and I have a lot to discuss!

So I've written a number of times about my OCD, and how I'm on Lexapro for it. When I say I have OCD, I don't mean "I like things neat and orderly". I mean "Holy crap I'm ruining my family's lives and I can't eat or sleep because I have so much anxiety". And... it tends to go through phases.  I'll have a few years where it's very well managed, and then I'll go through this horrible spot where I just can't handle it. Last time that happened I started on prozac and was almost good as new in a few months. This time it's been a year and a half so far. I wanted to try the Lexapro thinking "Well, the prozac didn't seem to be working quite as well anymore". And I thought it was working at first. And we decided to stay on it in pregnancy because my doctor thought the benefits outweighed the risks (it's category C). And last weekend we decided we didn't think that was true anymore. After a blowout about how horrible my OCD was, we decided it simply wasn't working. And the risk with Lexapro to a fetus is that fetuses exposed in the third trimester have a slightly higher risk of persistent pulminary hypertension once born. The risk is still low, which is why we continued, but at this point.. it's not worth it. So.... I started weaning off of it yesterday. I won't quite be done by 3rd tri, since that's Friday, but I'll be completely off by the middle of my 28th week. So close! And I'm hoping that's enough to keep her from getting PPH.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified. But my husband knows what to expect. He has spent the last year and a half with me and my OCD. He knows it's not my fault, and he expects it to get worse. But, as he put it "You can have a day where you lose your job, your wife, and your house. And then you can have a day where you lose your job your wife, your house, and $100. When it's that bad you don't even notice the $100." Which may not be exactly true, but the point is, it's the right decision. It's going to be tough, but I've been trying SO hard to employ cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques  to help. They've helped me in the past to the point where I didn't even need drugs for a few years. I'm not ready to be off meds, but E needs me to be, and we've decided we need to do this. The good news is, she's coming in 11 weeks, and so if it gets really terrible, I can start back on prozac right away once she's born. I couldn't breast feed on prozac, so I don't want that, but we'll see how things look closer to the time. Hopefully my OCD will be controlled enough by CBT that I can breast feed for the first 3 months as planned. A is on board for that, but... we'll play it by ear. So... BIG NEWS! Part of me is thrilled. My conscience is happy, and I will continue to pray that it works out!

In other news, I've done absolutely nothing on the nursery, and I told A I wanted it cleared out NOW. I can't lift the boxes or the desk. He's been away this weekend, but next weekend it has to be done. The next weekend is Christmas, and we'll be out of town. Then New Year's, and then I'll be 30 weeks, and it's getting way too close to crunch time. And I still have to steam clean and paint. And I just don't want to be doing that 2 weeks before she arrives. It has to get done now. And as I was walking through target yesterday I came across those vinyl decals. I've always loved the tree decals and I found two that surprised me. The one is the same colors as E's bedding! And the other is just gorgeous.

I love the actual tree in this one. I was thinking of putting it up, and getting bird decals made from the birds in the bedding and putting them on instead of these birds.


The birds in this one are already the right color, but the tree and leaves aren't colors in the bedding.


I've also been thinking of doing like a scrolling branch-looking design on either side of some of the bedding's bird decals. I'm not sure. I just need something special for her. A loves the idea of making decals from the animals in the bedding, and I do too. I just wonder if it will be enough? I feel like once I get the room painted and furniture in it I'll be able to decide. So A has work to do.

Oh, AND my invitations went out. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I'm going to be a mommy soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

99 Days

I'm pretty sure the ticker at the top of my page says 25 weeks and 6 days. How on earth did that happen!? I think pregnancy pushes you into some sort of time-space distortion because I feel like the next 3 months are going to feel more like 80 years, and I feel like the last 6.5 months lasted about 80 seconds. How did I get here!? My baby shower is in 4.5 weeks. During that time we have two separate holidays. I think I had better start really enjoying being pregnant because it's going to be over really soon!

Some interesting things have happened since I wrote last.
  • I have felt Evie up above my belly button. She doesn't like to move up there, and prefers dancing on my bladder, but it does happen.
  • My BP was 122/60 at my OB appointment yesterday. Who am I???
  • A said he was OK with Noelle for a middle name. I don't think he's fully convinced, but I'm pretty sure that if I say I really want it he'll go for it. Now we just need to have a boy so he can do the name thing. Er.. I guess if the next one is a girl he gets to name her too. This scares me (Also, WTF am I doing acting like I'm fertile and "the next one" will just pop into our lives).
Ok maybe not that much was interesting, but I needed to write, so there it is. I'm honestly surprised about my BP. The doctor walked in and said "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" And I was confused at first, until he said my BP was wonderful. He's happy, and seemed a bit surprised that I'm 26 weeks and doing so well! To be honest, so am I, but praise Jesus I will take it! He said we'll feel even better at 30 weeks, and once we hit 33-34 we'll feel 100% better. I don't know who this "we" is he's referring to. I will feel 100% better when I'm holding a squirming, healthy Evangeline Noelle in my arms.

I'm considering going the "Everyone does this" route and getting name letter blocks. I don't want to use her nickname though, and Evangeline is a hell of a name to spell out at $12+ a pop. But look how cute they are:



These are from Oh my buttons and bows. She does custom worked based on pictures of your bedding and I'm pretty sure I'm going to somehow budget for these.

So that's it. Life is moving right along. Baby girl looks good. And I still haven't beaten that damn dragon.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nursery Progress!

We actually did a lot in the nursery last weekend, and I'm so glad we've at least started. I'm trying to convince A to just get rid of the desk we still have left. It's old, not particularly functional for us as a desk, and I put a hole in it by trying to use the wrong screws. Oops. If I can convince him to help me take it to the dumpster this weekend, we might have the room cleared out! I pulled all of the totes out of the closet. 3 are getting stored downstairs and the rest are going to my parents' house. A says he's going to put stuff in the car to pack up, so I may actually be able to steam clean the carpets next weekend! The bed is already gone, so it looks like we did a lot. The carpets really do need to be steam cleaned desperately. Our house is small - a basic townhouse with two bedrooms, a galley kitchen with a tiny dining room, a living room, and 1.5 bathrooms, neither of which could fit a litter box. So to that end, the box has been in what was the guest room but is now the nursery. While our cats are pretty good, everyone misses once in a while, and I won't feel comfortable in there with the potential of walking on poop stains until it's steam cleaned. Plus we need the cats to know it's not their spot anymore, and their sense of smell outsmarts most cleaners. Hopefully I'll get to this very soon, but for now... progress! The closet that was once just a pile of totes and bags....

 ... is now filled with baby clothes, with tons of room for other stuff we get for her! The suitcase is going into my closet, and the bag on the floor is a bunch of insanely expensive Italian Couture dresses we were given for when she's a little older.


The room! The only thing that's staying is that book shelf. The rest is getting packed away or taken to grandma and grandpa's house.



There are still a few totes remaining, but the bed is gone, and these totes are ready to be taken out to the car. I still don't know what to do with the Kohl's bag of "stuff" for Evie. I guess it's going back in the closet for now. At least it's not overflowing since I took out everything that could be hung up.


This weekend my mom and I are going to keep working on the bedding. I hope to have the crib skirt and sheet done, so all we'll have left is the bumper. My mom is going to help me paint, too, and I'd like to have it done before Christmas. I just have to convince A to go through his tote and a few things on the desk that are his.

And a few unrelated to the nursery notes.
  • 4 different people looked at my belly yesterday and asked if I was ok. I'm not sure what prompts this. They know I'm pregnant. It's a baby, not a tumor.
  • There is "talk" about the next baby. While I do have a timeline, I'm still working on this one. Although next time I can tell the pressure is on to have a boy. My dad says Evie needs a little brother to pick on.
  • A loves his diaper bag (which was supposed to be a Christmas present until  UPS left it out in the rain [you know, since cardboard is impervious to water]) but he wishes the changing pad was the Tigers, so if E pees or poops on it, he can be even more proud of her.
  • I want to go to Disney World RIGHT NOW.
  • I'm having a hard time not wanting E out right now. I mean I KNOW she has to stay in but to say I can't wait to hold her is just not doing the feeling justice. It's driving me up the freaking wall.
  • A's job is finally joining the real world and offering some paid time off, so he'll be able to take the whole week to stay home with me and E! YAY!

And finally.... I love Skyrim. I want to play it all day every day but I can't stay up past 10. OR get past this guy:



Weekend missions:

  1. Work on  nursery and nursery bedding
  2. Beat Skeletal Dragon!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Growth Ultrasound

I got a pleasant surprise phone call from maternal-fetal medicine (MFM from now on) asking if I could come in for her growth scan today instead of Friday. This works out well because I won't have to flex out of work when I'm working from home. And because I wanted an ultrasound after Sunday night's spotting episode. They found no evidence of placenta previa or abruption, and no blood anywhere. They said everything looks great - fluid, cervix, etc. And Evie, who has apparently decided to follow in her momma's footsteps of being a medical oddity, is weighin in at 1 pound 11 ounces! She's in the 51st percentile, which absolutely thrilled the doctors. They're expecting her to be small and each time they're a little more excited when she's not. I can't believe my little one's almost 2 pounds! Unfortunately we still didn't get a great profile because she still had her feet up over her head and her little hands to her face. They did start talking about 38 weeks for induction again though, when they've been talking about 36/37 the last few visits. They're happy we've made it past 24 and our goal is just to keep her in as long as we can. Here are the best shots we were able to get today.

This is her profile with her leg over her head:




This is a bit blurry, but it's her foot.


One thing is for sure... she's a girl. She may be shy about her face, but not about that. The tech said "It's a good thing you already know she's a girl because she's out there like 'Hi! I'm a girl!'". Lol. My baby is so cute.

We also managed to clear out the closet and get the bed to my parents' house. Just a few more things to do and I can steam clean the carpets and paint!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

First Trip to L&D

How far along? 24 weeks, 4 days!

Next Appointment: 12/02 - Growth ultrasound

Weight gain/loss: As of the last appointment, 9 pounds, but I'm sure I've gained since then.

Maternity clothes? Yes

Stretch marks? Yes

Sleep? I've actually been sleeping pretty well.

Best moment this week? Reaching V-Day!!!

Food cravings: I haven't really been having any.

Odd pregnancy symptom of the week: Nothing really.

Gender: Girl

Belly button in or out? Definitely getting shallower. Dear God please let my belly button stay in!!!!

Movement? There are times she's quiet, but she can also be completely insane.

What I miss? Nothing. I've never been so excited and I'm starting to feel good again.

What I'm looking forward to: The ultrasound.

Weekly wisdom: I have nothing wise to say lol.

Milestones:Viability!!!!


I had my first trip to labor and delivery last night. I thought I'd noticed some blood on the tp in the morning but I figured I was just seeing things. We went out to dinner, and when we came back there was definitely blood. It scared the crap out of me and so we went straight to the hospital. Perhaps I should have called, but I don't think I could've been OK with not knowing for sure. They took me in a wheelchair up to L&D, and hooked Evie up to a monitor, but couldn't find her heartbeat for like 15 minutes. They finally got her and did 10 minutes of monitoring before hooking me up to a contraction monitor. I wasn't contracting, and she looked good, but they called my doctor in. He did a speculum exam and found red blood cells, but said it was to be expected from the exam. He also did a cervical check and everything was ok. It was an interesting night, but we were in and out in 2 hours, and he said Evie "looks really good for a 24 week baby". My bp was also decent. They don't know why I was bleeding, but the good news is things seem to be OK. It's scary, and I really hope we don't have to head back there until she's ready to come out!

As a side note, I was in a real L&D room, and the bed was much more comfortable than a regular bed. There was a private bathroom with a shower and a tv with tons of channels. There was a rocking chair and a couch for Andy. We got to see the little thing they put her in to weigh her. Andy said he'd be wheeling it over to the couch so he could stare at her.

I'm glad things are OK, I just hope they stay that way. At least 12 more weeks!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On a Lighter Note...

I have been so excited about Evie's arrival! I keep thinking about just letting her sleep on my chest and brushing her beautiful baby hair. I had an image of her pop into my head yesterday. She was sleeping in a little pink and green onesie, and she had her lip stuck out like she did in one of her ultrasound photos. I just want to hold her in my arms. I've been daydreaming about sitting on the couch with A watching TV with her asleep in our arms.

This morning A was not feeling well. Before he headed off to work he rolled over and put his hand on my belly and said "I love you so much. Daddy will always be there to take care of you. Even if I'm sick I'll pretend I'm not so I can take care of you when you're sick". It was the sweetest thing.

Before our ultrasound I posted about how Andy really wanted a boy. Right before I left for my friend's gender reveal, I said to Andy "Are you going to be jealous if they're having a boy?". He said "Nope!" and he meant it. He told me he wants me to buy him a bunch of CDs for Christmas, which I'm going to do, but I also bought him this (which I think I've posted before):



It's such a manly bag, and I figure he'll need it given that he says he's going to take her everywhere. Last night he was trying to figure out where he could work that he could take her with him haha. I also LOVE the changing pad. It really doesn't look like a diaper bag at all. Plus it was on sale. I've showed it to him before, but he doesn't know I bought it. I can't wait until it comes and I can wrap it up.

On the present front, I'm going to be partially done by this weekend! I'm going shopping with my friends on Saturday and I'm trying to get some things for my dad at least, and maybe my mom if I can think of anything! She's so hard to shop for. Worse, though is my brother and SIL. All they want is fitness stuff but it's all stuff you have to buy online and I don't want to! I want to shop in actual stores, and I'm afraid I'm going to end up spending my money on Evie instead. We don't exchange gifts with A's sisters, so he's going to get something for his parents, but that's it. We're trying to scale back some this year with all we have to purchase for E.

I did tell him my idea of making decals from the animals in the main print of her bedding set, and he loved the idea, so I'm really thrilled about that. He's mostly leaving the nursery up to me, so I'm glad that he likes what I've come up with. We're trying to keep a balance of girly and not TOO girly. It's not really easy to do! My daughter is already the proud owner of TWO tutus, so.. there's going to be a lot of frill in her life.

And finally... V DAY IS TOMORROW!!!! I'm so thankful to be here waiting on V DAY in good health with my baby in good health and no signs of her early arrival. Stay in there, little one. You have a lot more growing to do!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

OCD

I have mentioned this before, but I have had a lifelong struggle with OCD. It started when I was 5 years old, and it has come on and off throughout my life. I've been on 5 different medications... some made it better, some made it worse, but the ones that made it better made me a different person. OCD comes in waves. I can go two years with very minimal problems, and I can go two years with rampant OCD symptoms. It usually comes when you're very stressed, which I have been for the majority of my life. Pregnancy is exacerbating it. This past week has been absolutely horrific. I believe my hormones are playing a large role in it, and I'm not sure how to make them stop.

One thing I want to explain about OCD, since it's not widely understood by the general public, is that OCD is not a disorder of wanting things to be clean, or objects to be in a certain alignment. That's one form of OCD, but the root of it is not the cleanliness or the organization. It's the intense anxiety you feel when your hands are not clean, and the rituals you undertake to "neuatralize" the anxiety. OCD is not logical in any way, and it makes you FEEL things normal people wouldn't. It's intensely emotional, and so people wash their hands until they FEEL clean, which might be an hour after they started washing.The entire time the sufferer knows his hands are clean, but doesn't FEEL like they are... and must continue to wash. This process is mentally and physically draining, as your body is constantly pumping out stress hormones and your mind is racing a mile a minute. Television shows and movies make light of OCD as an interesting quirk, but OCD is truly devastating for the sufferer and his family. It makes you feel crazy... it makes you feel isolated... and it hurts physically and emotionally.

My OCD is not about cleanliness. It used to be. I was that person washing their hands for an hour. They'd be cracked and bleeding and I couldn't stop. And the best way to cope with OCD is to face your fears, meaning, not washing your hands despite fearing you're going to contaminate our family with hepatitis. Rational or not, it's how it feels. I liken it to taking someone with an extreme fear of heights to the top of the Empire State Building, making them walk to the edge (with nothing to hold on to) and stare down and not stop.

My OCD currently focuses on unwanted thoughts. Random things that pop into my head and I think "Why would I think that? What's wrong with me? What kind or person am I?" etc. It's a very strange disease to have because it feels like OCD is someone else that lives in your brain. Not like someone who is delusional. You know it's just a chemical imbalance coupled with a predisposition and some learned behaviors. But it feels like some evil monster is sitting in your head, searching for whatever makes you most vulnerable, and then feeding on it. Mine is morally motivated. I want to be "good". I put my expectations of myself onto my husband, too, so I'm often prying into his psyche, wondering what thoughts go on there. And I know... I KNOW that we don't always control our thoughts. Sometimes things just come out of nowhere and you think "WTF? I don't think that..." But the OCD causes you to think that it MUST be true. It's difficult to explain, but, again, torturous.

I decided something today, though. My husband has been frustrated and irritable today, and he says he's tired, but I think some of it is exhaustion from my constant seeking of reassurance that neither he nor I are crazy. My baby girl has been making her presence known as well. And I guess I realized that I have things good. OCD is a disorder that cannot be cured, but it can be coped with. I am incredibly lucky to have a supportive family (both my brother and father have OCD) and a husband who knows me inside and out. And I'm tired of living this way. I've overcome OCD before. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I tell my husband regularly that if I was given the choice to get rid of OCD or my kidney disease, I would pick OCD without hesitation. But I don't have that choice. The (much harder) choice that I do have, is to overcome it. And I know that thoughts and actions are two very different things. And I'm tired of letting this fear run my life. So I'm done letting it. I'm finally feeling ready to begin the hardest battle I've ever had to endure. Life is too short to spend it worrying about things that simply are not going to happen.

I'm glad that I've consciously made this decision. But I've made it before, and it's not easy to stick to. But I have to.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Once Again, I'm Medically Bizarre

This post is going to be long. Consider yourself warned!

It's common knowledge that I have kidney disease. I'm sure I've shared most of that journey but I want to step back there for a moment.

I remembe the first day it all started. I was living in Rehoboth Beach, DE, with 2 of my best friends, managing a record store. I wasn't feeling well but no one would work for me, so I went in. At one point I had to pee, so I did, and when I turned around to flush the toilet I noticed that my urine was brown. Like.. BROWN. I knew it was blood. I called my parents right away, as they both have medical backgrounds. They were pretty scared, and I came home to Baltimore to see a doctor. They confirmed it was blood, but it went away with antibiotics, so they weren't concerned. The problem was that over the next few years it kept happening. I kept going back tot he doctor and I kept being told I had a bladder infection. I went to the hospital and they couldn't find anything wrong (obviously peeing blood is a problem, guys). I told my doctor that there had to be a correlation between me getting sick and peeing blood. The response I was met with was "maybe you're just weird". I kid you not. So I got pissed. And I went home and googled "Hematuria and sick" (I'm not making that up. That's all I had to do). The very first link was for IGA Nephropathy - one of the main symptoms being blood in the urine when you get sick.

I printed out all the info and took it to my doctor of 13 years. He looked it over and said to me "Normally I don't pay a lot of attention when people bring things like this to me, because normally they're wrong. I don't think you're wrong". So he sent me to a nephrologist and we confirmed. 4 years after the first episode, because "maybe you're just weird" was good enough for him, and, thank God, it wasn't for me.

My family decided we wanted to see the best doctors, and so we sent all of my information to Johns Hopkins to try to get on their waiting list. The doctor will only accept patients if he reads their notes and deems them.. not critical, but... in need. It took a few months, but they called to set up an appointment, and this is when I met Dr. Choi. Andy and my mom both came to the appointment (my dad was still in Singapore at the time). He wasn't sure how bad my disease was at the time, and he ordered some tests, which confirmed it was indeed a big deal. He also said if we'd caught it sooner we could've dealt with it better.

The good news at the time was that my kidneys were still filtering (still are) but that I was leaking a ton of protein. What happens is the membranes in your kidneys get holes in them that grow, so protein leaks out into your urine. The problem is that when that happens, some of it gets absorbed by the kidney, causing further damage. My creatinine is creeping up, but for now it's doing so slowly. "Normal" people lose no protein at all. Up to  about 100mg CAN be normal. Generally speaking I leak about 6000mg. So 60 times the highest of "normals".

Fast forwarding a little bit... I went through two rounds of steroid treatments that didn't work. Or, they seemed to be helping, but then just... stopped. By some miracle my nephrologist got the high risk OB to let me do  IVF. We did not tell her that the low protein she saw was due to medication and it had gone back up. He basically had to tell her "it's now or never". She and my OB have been expecting my numbers to get worse, though. They've been expecting problems with the pregnancy - high BP, IUGR, etc. A few weeks ago I got a test result saying I was leaking 3000mg of protein. High risk thought it was "the same" but it was down by a lot. So today I saw my nephrologist who knew the truth. And things were interesting.

First, he did not have my lab results, despite the high risk calling specifically to get his info. He is pretty sure it's misfiled, so I told him it was about 3000mg. He didn't seem to believe me. It's not that he thought I was lying, but he's very logical and needs an explanation for things. He suggested perhaps even a lab spillage! The only thing he could come up with was that perhaps the treatments I had just had delayed results; however, he said he's never seen that with my disease, and it would be "bizarre". He asked me what the OBs were expecting of my kidneys and pregnancy and I told him, flat out, that they expected it to get worse. His response was "So did I". He said that pregnancy is hard on your kidneys, and high bp is as well. He asked if they were happy with my bp, and I said no, not really, but they didn't want to up my meds (it was 143/83 at his office). He said those were the parts of pregnancy that they worry about with progression of renal disease. And I think what he wanted to say was "Why the hell are your kidneys getting BETTER!?".

He then explained that he thinks lowering sodium is very important, so I brought up to him that I didn't eat much the first 20 weeks because of nausea, so by default I didn't get a lot of sodium. He said that sounded better than his theory so we'd use that. He also said he thinks everyone else is taking my blood pressure incorrectly. I told him I normally get it done by a machine, but he said he thinks they're using the wrong cuff. He put a cuff on , and it worked, but he said he wanted to try the bigger one to get more "overlap". He did, and my bp was 130/60. Uhm... wow, difference. It's funny because the only other place that always changes the cuff is here at work, and my bp is always good here at work. So maybe he's right!

So what's the meaning of all of this? Well... I'm a medical mystery. By all rights my kidneys should be getting worse, and they're not. There are theories, but he doesn't know why. He's surprised.. I'm surprised... and the OBs keep expecting the worst and for now, it keeps not happening. And the only explanation I have is that God is working on me and through me. Basically, it's a miracle. I'm thankful to have this beautiful little girl growing inside me (24 weeks on Thursday!) and to be healthier than I've been in a long time. It's weird, and I'm just grateful for it.

PS: On a completely unrelated note, my bff had her gender reveal party and she's having a BOY!!! So now we get to go buy boy clothes! I'm totally pumped to have a reason to buy adorable little man sweater vests.

Friday, November 18, 2011

And The Hormones Run Rampant

I can be a little insecure at times. But I know my husband loves me and I don't worry about anything in that realm. Well, pregnancy has other ideas. My anxiety this week has been through the roof, and my hormones have been just as bad. I've been upset and worried about A wanting to leave me and having fantasies about other girls and things. I've even asked him outright and he's repeatedly said "no, I don't do that". I believe him. But the hormones and insecurity are so jacked up right now it's making me question everything.

This isn't a completely new concept to me since I have an anxiety disorder, but right now it's not just that. I feel strange in a way that is foreign to me. I feel sort of alien... sort of deeply disrupted. Unsure, insecure, scared... crazy.

I know my body is going through all sorts of changes. I look different, I feel different... and it's really taking a toll that was, up until this week, subconscious. Now it's on the surface and I'm just an emotional wreck. I'm terrified or not having A, and I want someone to shrink me and put me in his pocket so he can be with me all day. I want to curl up in his arms and have him keep me safe and constantly reassure me everything is alright and he loves me. I've had spurts of this needy feeling that have lasted a few hours before, but this is ridiculous. I don't even feel like me. I want to cry ALL the time.

It's not depression. It's only been a few days, and I have been incredibly fulfilled and truly happy. It's anxiety and insecurity. And I HATE IT. My husband can't be there 24/7. I can't go to work with my head in his lap and his hands stroking my hair. But I want to.  I want to know, all the time, that everything is OK. I want this feeling to go away. I want to feel like myself. And I don't know what to do but try to keep myself occupied and get a lot of sleep and hope it goes away. This sucks. It sucks a lot.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oops

I went to the OB yesterday and everything was great. BP is still the same as it's always been, and my total weight gain so far is 9 pounds. YAY! I'm proud of that number. I was expecting to balloon up pretty quickly. Of course I've had no appetite so I really need to watch it now. The OB called E "such a good baby". That surprised me lol. She was ready and waiting for the doppler.

Unfortunately this morning I woke up with a pain above and to the right of my belly button. It wasn't too bad, but when I got out of the car and walked into work it got awful. It was a very sharp pain so I called the OB and they asked me to come in right away. I went to the office closer to work and who saw me but the same doctor I see every time at my regular office! I felt like such a dork when he walked into the room and said "Long time no see!". I apologized for freaking out, and he understood. I mean sharp pains in weird places + pregnant = nervous momma! They're checking my urine for a kidney infection, but everything else was fine. He said I'm fine, so we don't know what the pain was from. It's lessened greatly so I'm just trying not to worry.

He did do a cervical check. My first one and OW!! But it was very closed so all is well. And because I promised a belly picture, here's one from this morning.. 22 weeks 6 days.



The sweatshirt barely fits anymore. I think it'll last until it gets too cold to wear it, but it's going to be quite a stretch. I have to say I kind of love the way my bump is looking. I expected to look frumpier since I'm overweight to begin with. I can't believe tomorrow is 23 weeks!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

22+4 Survey

How far along? 22 weeks, 4 days!

Next Appointment: 11/15 - Checkup with the OB

Weight gain/loss: It looks like about 12.5 at this point. Might be 9.5. Still confused about last time I got weighed at the doctor's. I'll find out for sure tomorrow.

Maternity clothes? Yep. Starting to almost grow out of some of them!

Stretch marks? Yes

Sleep? It's been OK this week. Last night was the first night I had trouble falling asleep because Evangeline wouldn't stop moving. It was awesome.

Best moment this week? Feeling her kick from the outside! Seeing her on ulrasound again.

Food cravings: Pickles, which I shouldn't be eating due to the sodium. Otherwise I'm just hungry all the time.

Odd pregnancy symptom of the week: Nothing new really.

Gender: Girl

Belly button in or out? Definitely getting shallower. Dear God please let my belly button stay in!!!!

Movement? She is a machine. I have a little firecracker on my hands. She does sleep for long periods but when she's awake she can't sit still.

What I miss? Nothing. I've never been so excited and I'm starting to feel good again.

What I'm looking forward to: Viability! 10 more days!

Weekly wisdom: I have nothing wise to say lol.

Milestones: At 22 weeks, she was 11 inches and about a pound. I'm thinking she's got to be a pound or more now. And I felt movement from the outside.

Belly pic: I will post one later.

My boss took the work from home thing pretty well, and she says she thinks they can accomodate. I hope it works out because it would be great. And it would only be December - February, so it's not long term, and I hope they can handle that. I don't fully understand the doctor's reasoning, but I'm not going to just ignore her, so if it can work out it will benefit everyone. I should have more info in a few days.

We started working on the bedding on Friday. We didn't get as much done as we'd planned, but we got the pieces for the dust ruffle cut out. Here's my mom cutting pattern pieces:




We started the process of heming the pieces, but I kept breaking the machine, so my mom is going to do the tedious part of ironing and heming, and we're going to start sewing pieces together soon. We should be done with the ruffle next time, and the sheet is super easy. The pattern came with patterns for a diaper stacker that I want to make as well. So far I have scraps so I can make my artwork, but I'm not convinced I'll have enough for the valence. I hope I do!

I'm glad we're at least working on some of the stuff for the nursery. And we're bringing boxes over to their house on Thanksgiving. My mom offered to come help paint, which I think we're doing in early December. I'm also ordering the crib soon, so hopefully the nursery will still be done by January. At least something is coming along. My mom is an awesome seamstress. She uses patterns, but... well, I sure as hell don't understand them so I'm glad she does!! I'll post pictures as we get more done.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

EEK

Tomorrow's the day I have to bring up working from home to my boss. I told her when we first talked about my pregnancy that it was a definitive possibility, and she said we'd cross that bridge when we came to it. We're here now, and I hope that she is willing to help me process it. My job is a job I can easily do from home. We have one girl that works from home every Friday already. There are definitely others that do, and I don't know of anyone who is on it for a medical reason, so I'm hoping they will look at my case, realize it's best for everyone, and let me do it without a fight. I'm nervous about talking to her, but it has to be done, and I think working from home would be beneficial for me and Evie.


I'm feeling a little bit better in general, though. I'm not happy about my blood pressure, but I'm glad that Evie looks good. She doesn't look like she wants to make an appearance any time soon, so I just need to control my bp and keep her in as long as possible. 11 days to 24 weeks. That's our first milestone. I'd like to make it to January without any escalating problems. I'd like her to stay in until full term at 37 weeks, and I know they'll be watching everything closely. I'm not happy about everything, but just hoping my body holds out. I'm proud of it so far.

I am on some restrictions right now. She says I'm only allowed 1 outing per weekend. I don't think she means I can't go to the store if I need to, but I'm only allowed to go out with my friends once.. that sort of thing. Last night I went out with my pregnant friend. She's 2.5 weeks behind me and it's so cool to be so close in our pregnancies. She's finding out the gender this coming weekend so we can finally go shopping!

I did buy one more thing for E last night. I'd been wanting this fleece sleeper for her when she's a newborn so bad so I finally just bought it because it was 40% off and I had a 15% off coupon. I also bought her a Winnie the Pooh sun shade for the car.

All told, things are going pretty well and I'm glad we're just taking precautions at this point. Whatever we can do now to ensure that she stays in and healthy, and I can stay at work, we're going to do. So I'm taking it easy as much as possible and praying every day for my little girl and I to stay well.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fetal Echo and a Big Surprise

Yesterday I got to have the fetal echocardiogram. It took about a half an hour, and E looks awesome. She is such a wiggle worm despite me not eating or drinking to try to calm her down. She was such a good girl for the actual echo though, so we got what we needed. She's incredibly flexible, too, and was doing all sorts of cute stretches and putting her hands in her mouth. Here are two pictures. The first one is her with her legs over her and her toes on her forehead!!



So on to the surprise. She wants me to work from home two days a week. My blood pressure was 157/74, which is creeping up higher than normal. 150s isn't abnormal for me but 157 is getting higher than it's been. She had me kind of lay back and turn to the left a little and took it again about a minute late and it was 133/64. WOW. She said it was because I was relaxed, and she wants me to be relaxed more than anything else. She thinks getting to work is stressful and putting me on two days a week from home will keep my bp down and allow me to work longer.

We can't afford for me to be out of work for real, so I really want to get this work from home approved. Every week I'm out on bed rest is a week I can't hang out with her after she's born and... this is scary. I'm not sure what to think. I don't know if they'll approve me working from home, even for medical reasons. I have to do what I have to do to protect E, but I also don't want them to put me out of work unless it's absolutely necessary, and she seems to be being ridiculously cautious. This sucks. But I'm glad E's alright.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Big Changes, and Even Bigger Changes

After going back and forth about it, heming and hawing, arguing, and trying to make sense of our finances, we finally bought a new car! It's going to be a big investment for us. We went into it intending to keep it for 10 years. It's a 2012 Chevy Sonic. It has everything you could want in a car, got the highest IIHS crash test scores in every category, and has tons of safety features. It is going to cost close to $120 more a month than Andy's current car payment, but when you look at the fact that we shelled out over $1400 this year alone in repairs, and spread that out, it evens out! It's nice to finally have some peace of mind. The "Hey my car won't start" calls were getting old. And there was no way I'd trust E in that old car. We definitely made the right decision. A is happy, and here's a picture of him in the new car. He doesn't look happy but trust me, he was!




I hate orange, but in person this color really isn't bad. He got to drive it out of the dealership, and he got a Sonic hat because it was the first one our salesman sold. We love it and I for one am so glad I did it!

One thing we did decide upon purchasing the car, though, is that we need a solid budget. Right now we pay our bills and then just spend freely, and I think we need to tighten the reins. We could save a lot more money, and we will be living on a lower income once E comes since A will be in school and only working part time. I started working up the budget today and it's not so bad. I'm very fortunate to have a great job, and I just got a raise. We have to up our life insurance, and we may need to add in some more for paying off credit cards, but it works. I plan to have all my cards paid off when E comes, but we may need to dip into them while I'm on maternity, so those will have to go back into the budget, but so be it. I set aside money for food, gas, and "fun" as well as medical stuff, like prescriptions and appointments. We will be splitting care for E between A, Me, and my mom, so we don't have to pay daycare. We're very fortunate for that! But it's really time we set some solid ground rules for spending. We have everything covered, but I want to still be able to put some money away and have fun, too.

We're coming to the realization that having this baby means we are definitely going to have to make some changes. But there are new, awesome things to experience with our baby, too. And my mom showed up at the dealership yesterday, and we went out to dinner once we had the car. Andy was saying he would never get to go back home to PA because he couldn't leave his girls, and my mom said "They can come stay with us". So now A feels comfortable with being able to see his friends once in a while and knowing I'm safe, and I have no problem hanging out with my parents for the night. I want E to spend as much time with them as she can. I'm really glad she suggested that because I think it lifted a little weight off of him. He's pumped to be a daddy and have his little girl, but ALL of his friends are in PA, and he doesn't always want to drag us up there, so now we found a way to deal.

Yep, things are certainly going to be different, but I'm excited. I get to see her tomorrow finally and make sure everything still looks good. Then I have another growth scan at 26 weeks. Still praying every day she's healthy and happy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coming Home

I'm having one of "those" days. I've cried more than once, I've been angry, I've been tired, I've been excited. I've been emotional, and I'm more than ready for a nap. My fetal echocardiogram was supposed to be today, but I got a call at noon that I'd missed it. I was very confused because it was in my phone for 1:45. It looks like somehow the "0" dropped off because it was supposed to be 10:45. They managed to fit me in On Thursday, but I sat at my desk and cried because I missed her and wanted to see her so badly. I know it's strange, since she's in my body, but I was so looking forward to it. And now A might not be able to go. I am glad I get to see her Thursday, and I've mostly recovered from the news. As if to say "Mom, it's OK!" she started kicking a little more again today. I love it when she does that. Her kicks are definitely getting harder and more kick-like.

And then I started looking at the registries I made for her, and thought about her coming home outfit. And that hit me a little funny. In 16 weeks, I should be bringing a baby home. It's sort of unreal. It doesn't feel like long ago that I felt hopeless. The time between IVF #1 and IVF #2 was difficult, and the only thing that got me going was trying to wipe the slate clean and start a new cycle. And there were some days then when it just didn't seem like it was going to happen. And then it did. And... everything is different. And the further along I get the more real it seems. I'm looking at clothes for my baby girl to wear home from the hospital. And it's just amazing.

For what it's worth, I'm thinking of using this:


I've made it clear I'm not a huge fan of pink but I want her to have something simple and pretty to come home in. She is, after all, a girl. I love that it covers her tiny little angel feet and her sweet little head. We have pink mittens for her perfect baby hands, too.

I'm in awe. I'm picking out a coming home outfit. For me. For MY gorgeous girl. I just keep continuing to pray that she stays in as long as possible and is healthy and happy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Holy Clutter Closet

So that whole organizing the house thing didn't get off to the start I'd intended it to. I did clear out space in my closet, and we started to go through more boxes, but on Sunday we were too tired to do any more of it once we got done grocery shopping. So E's closet looks like this:


She has a huge closet. This is what you see when you open the door. And below is what you see when  you turn to the left. There is a weird sloped area.. I guess it's over the stairs.. where you can store things but they don't lay flat. And a lot of shelves. The goal is to get ALL of this junk out except perhaps for Christmas decorations. Which I'd rather store in our downstairs closet anyway.


You can see all of her clothes hanging up, and the bag on top of the cardboard box in the first picture is other stuff that doesn't hang up. As of right now this closet consists of a chair, two litterboxes, about 5 totes full of crap, tons of Christmas stuff, wrapping paper, suitcases... etc. So that all has to go somewhere else. Most of the totes will take up residence in my parents' basement. I'm hoping to move the suitcases to my closet and the chair and the Christmas stuff downstairs since we do still have some room. But this is going to be a big challenge because this is just the closet! There's still a desk and a bed!

On a completely different note, we strolled through the baby section yesterday where we purchased a few essentials. I got a diaper sacks dispenser for my diaper bag, and A got a second mirrior for the new car (which we didn't get to buy because they were closed!) so he can watch E a little better. And I looked in the cart and found this...


He has every intention of putting this on his cool new car, along with his death metal stickers and sports stuff. E will spend most of her time in my car, but we did get a second car seat base, and chose a safe car, so he can take her out when he needs to as well. And when he does, everyone will know that along with a burly, handsome man who likes metal... is a little princess. <3<3<3<3

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ups, Downs, and a Prayer

It's been an interesting sort of week, filled with ups and downs of all shapes and sizes. The fact that the holidays are coming up always put me in a little bit better of a mood, so I think I've been better able to handle the downs, and even more excited about the ups. So what's actually going on. Well, I'll start with the baby stuff.

Baby Stuff
  • Baby girl is 21 weeks and 1 day brewing. She's 10 inches long!
  • She has been moving a lot more consistently this week - I think because she's bigger. It's not completely consistent, but I feel more like I can count on feeling her at least a few times a day. Yesterday she was an animal!
  • We have the fetal echo on Tuesday, and we get to see her sweet face and make sure she's still measuring on track.
  • I haven't thrown up in 11 days! This is not to say I haven't been nauseated, because I get nauseated every day. But at least I'm not throwing up.
  • Round ligament pain is the devil. I feel it in a triangle - where my legs meet my body, and right under my bump. If I sit down for a long time and then get up I can barely walk for a few minutes. My guess is since she's growing so much faster (my little pregnancy wheel says "uterus grows rapidly" under weeks 21-24) the ligaments are just stretching further.
  • As I just told my friend, the pain isn't a big deal in the scheme of things. I'd go through way worse to have E, and we're HEALTHY. And that's what's important.

Not Baby Stuff
  • A was driving home from work Monday night when his car decided not to turn into the parking lot he was turning into. He ALMOST got rear-ended, but managed to avoid it and somehow even got all the way home. It turns out his power steering pump is done. This is a $450 fix. We put over $1000 into it in the summer. It's a 2003 piece of crap, so we don't want to keep pouring money into it.
  • SO we're buying a new car! We're getting something brand new and safe, with a warranty so we won't have to worry about repairs for a while. We also got approved for an awesome loan with a MUCH lower interest rate. We're psyched.
  • My check engine light came on! So my car has to go into the shop. I think it's an issue with the air conditioning/sensors so it's not covered under my power train warranty. I am afraid to take it in because I don't want to spend a bunch of money right now!
  • OCD is an asshole. Enough said.
  • I just planned a Christmas shopping trip with my pregnant friend who is 2.5 weeks behind me. We are so excited - we NEVER go shopping.
  • Christmas is less than two months away, and it's less than 3 weeks until Thanksgiving (AND V DAY!). I am so excited for Thanksgiving because we're spending it at my parents' house. My mom makes the most amazing food, and I get to see two aunts I haven't seen since before I was pregnant. Mmmmmm.. comfort food, family, and a day off. How can you beat that?
  • We're cleaning this weekend!!! We are spending tomorrow going through our closet and getting rid of everything we can. We're starting a "flea market" box, and a "throw out" box, and trying to clear out as much as possible. I LOVE not having tons of stuff we never use around.
  • A agreed I can get a new desk!!! And a new DVD tower, so we're going to clear a bunch of room in the living room, too.
  • I got a raise!!!!
So basically what I'm trying to say is "Holy crap, there's a lot going on". And while some of it (car stuff) is less than awesome, I'm still in a great mood. The holidays this year will be amazing with the expectation of a new little person in the family. The house will be cleaned out so I can decorate (and get to my decorations!). And we have lots of family time planned.

And I can't leave out the fact that today is Friday. Woo-hoo for the weekend and being productive!! Wow... I haven't been in this good of a mood in some time. I'm knocking on wood and saying prayers now that it stays that way, and that E and I keep doing well.

Thank you, God for my gorgeous baby girl and my amazing husband. He's my rock and she's my sunshine. I'm not sure what I did to deserve these precious gifts, but I send all my praises to you for them. I can't thank you enough. Please keep my baby girl and her daddy and I safe and well, Lord. We love you and are so thankful for all you've done. For getting us through the hard times to the good times. For everything we have. Thank you.