Sunday, November 29, 2009

giving thanks

This past week was great. Cody was home and able to spend a lot of time with us. In attempt to help me stay off my feet he has stepped up and taken over a lot of the things I normally take care of. He gets up with Rhys in the middle of the night when his teeth are bothering him. He makes multiple runs to the grocery store a week. And, he does nearly all the Rhys related work around the house. All on top of his normal day job and his side home projects. I'm sure I don't tell him often enough how much I appreciate the help, but I do! Love you babe!

So far the terbutaline pump hasn't been so bad. Except for the massive headaches it gives me. I had a constant headache for about the first three days, and now I seem to only be getting them in the afternoons. The catch is they are really hard to get rid of. I hear the side effects should wear off in between 3-5 days, so I am really hoping they don't hang around. The jitters are mostly gone, except I still have a pretty unsteady hand. It isn't nearly as bad as it was the first day after the meds started, but it is noticeable.

The contraction monitor is a bit of a pain. The monitor will pick up most stomach muscle movement so you have to remain fairly still. No bending over, walking, etc. It even will pick up laughing or coughing. These don't necessarily show up as a contraction, but the nurses who review the strip can tell something is going on. So far I have had some minor irritability (that I think was me readjusting my position while lying down) and one small contraction that lasted less than 45 seconds (when I was asleep). Having the monitor is somewhat reassuring, but I never had signs of labor with the boys' delivery so that has me a bit worried. According to my OB the 17p injections are really proven to work, so that combined with the cerclage, taking it easy and aggressive doctor's checkups should get me a lot farther this time.

Rhys has recently started indicating that he isn't wanting the cereal in his night time bottles. The past few days we've only given him milk at night and that has actually seemed to work just fine. We were previously keeping the cereal in his night time bottle because he was waking up starving in the middle of the night without it. He has also started indicating he really wants to eat his solids. If you don't get the spoon out fast enough he pitches a little fit. He will eat up to 16 ounces with the spoon a day. Too bad we are still limited mostly to his yogurt. He has six teeth now, with two more bottoms nearly poking through. Those little suckers are sharp too! He is fascinated by fingers and loves to chew on them. Not so much his fingers, but others' fingers. Gross! His weight gain seems good as well, at nearly 21.5 pounds.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the kitchen sink

Today I am 20 weeks pregnant. Oh so close to viability, but not quite there. It is making me even more anxious, wanting to make sure I keep Little Sister cooking for many many more weeks. Ideally 16 more weeks.

I had my first fFN test today, as well as a cervix check. Um, not fun! Of course they wouldn't do it if it were harmful, but there is something about them poking around in an area you want to remain closed that makes me squirm.

As of tonight I have a new, goes with me everywhere friend. This is to be my constant companion until Little Sister is born. Meet my terbutaline pump.

This pump is much the same as an insulin pump that some diabetics use. It is about the size of a cell phone and is attached to a catheter into the leg or stomach. The catheter looks like a plug to me and reminds of me of the thing that was sticking out of Keanu Reeves' neck in The Matrix. I am certain one of these days I will not have the pump attached to my pants/shirt and walk off, drop the pump and cause the catheter to pop out of my leg! Nice thought isn't it? :) Anywho, my pump is set to deliver a very small amount of medicine at a constant rate, with another small bolus injection every four hours. Overall, not so bad, but it is going to be a bit of a nuisance to always be juggling the connecting tube. All worth it for Little Sister of course. So far I am a bit jittery, but nothing I don't get from antihistamines.

My contraction monitor came today as well. I did my first monitoring session tonight and no contractions! Woohoo! I will monitor for one hour in the morning and evenings, unless I am having concerns. The session is sent wirelessly to the home health agency where it is reviewed by an RN, who then promptly calls me back to give me the results. Pretty nifty.

So, as my OB says, they're throwing in the kitchen sink and taking no chances. We are doing everything we can to get Little Sister to 36 weeks! I am feeling good and confident, but I am not taking things for granted. I am still trying to remind myself to take it easy and accept the help that is offered.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Rhys is doing great. He's healthy and happy and still plugging along at his own pace. He got his second dose of Synagis today, poor kid.

We recently gave Rhys peanut butter for the first time. HUGE success. If you can't tell, he has peanut butter all over. He really seems to like it despite it being super thick, which is usually a turn off for him. At his last weight check he was an even 21 pounds!

We are in the process of switching Rhys from private PT to ECI PT. Our private therapist is fantastic and we love her, but she is 45 minutes away. This is making it hard to get Rhys back and forth since I am supposed to be taking it easy. I am sad, but also think this is going to be a great opportunity for Rhys to have therapy at the house every week. I think it will be much easier than trying to juggle his sleep schedule, car time and eating and ensure he isn't a grouch that cries through the whole session.

Today I am: 1 year, 4 months, 1 week and 1 day old.
Adjusted I am: 1 year, 2 weeks and 2 days old.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


From the moment I knew I was pregnant I've had one thought on the brain. Boy! I was eagerly looking forward to my 16th week of pregnancy to confirm discover the gender. Little Baby had other ideas and didn't cooperate fully for that ultrasound. Though my OB's best effort indicated it was indeed a little boy. However, last week my OB wasn't so sure and told me to have the peri check it today. Let me just say that this whole time I've been focusing on a little boy I have also, in the back of my head, been sure it would then turn out to be a little girl just because that is the way it works. So, I was mentally prepared for today's announcement, even though not necessarily expecting it. Cody, however, was a bit giddy when they told us with certainty Little Baby is a GIRL! So Little Baby is now officially Little Sister. :)

All looked well today with my ultrasound, and (thank you Lord!) my cervix is still nice and long. Little Sister looked "perfect" said the peri, except for one small thing. Apparently I am eating too much sugar because Little Sister's kidneys were too full. I'll go off on a tangent here and let you know that the first thing my OB told me about this peri is to take what she says with a grain to salt and do not freak out until I speak directly to him. This peri is a diabetes specialist and is very serious about that aspect of her work. I do drink regular Dr. Peppers occasionally (while pregnant, otherwise I drink diet), and I just happen to have a movie sized box of Sweet Tarts in my car I've been eating on for the last few days. I also love anything bread, and french fries are my food of choice. So, I concede I might could try to lose some of the starches and sugar. I will talk to my OB about it next week, and in the mean time I will do my utmost to not get mad when Cody tells me I can't have my waffle fries and lemonade from Chick-fil-a.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

this and that

I feel like I haven't posted in forever. My days seem to fly away faster than I realize. We're all here and (thankfully) well. Rhys and I have gotten our H1N1 vaccine - yikes! - and I'm feeling much better that we've taken every precaution (in addition to being germ freaks) to keep us healthy. I really did not want to get it for him (or myself), but given our current family situation I didn't feel either of us could risk it. But boy did I have to scheme to get it for him! The pedi notified patients via e-mail that they received the shot version last Thursday. So I called to make an appointment never dreaming it would be total chaos. The office opens at 9 a.m., and by 9:30 (I had to call for 30 minutes to get anyone to answer the phone) they had quit making the required separate, to-get-the-vaccine-only, appointment. I was furious. There was absolutely no priority for who received the vaccine. I was told to call back Monday morning and they'd be making additional appointments provided there were vaccines still available. I called again first thing Monday morning and got through at 9:05 a.m. Awesome, I should have no problem now! But wait, they were now not making additional appointments until Tuesday. Um, sorry not acceptable that my 23 weeker is getting no consideration. I don't expect special treatment for my child for anything other than he is legitimately HIGH RISK! So, I schemed. I made Rhys an appointment to get his allergy sniffle checked out, which needed to be checked anyway to make sure his lungs and ears were okay, in hopes he could get the vaccine while he was there. They had an opening for a pedi visit that morning, so I get Rhys ready and into the office lickety split, all the while expecting a line out the door. Imagine my surprise when I get there and see only a handful of people waiting in the lobby. Not only that, but the receptionists were now telling people they were out of the vaccine completely. I was irked, but quickly discovered from the pedi that they did in fact have the vaccine and they were all too happy to give it to Rhys. I was glad we did in fact get the vaccine for Rhys, but I am still seriously annoyed I had to go to such lengths.

Rhys is such a funny little guy. He is loving the Pediasure and seems to be growing like a weed. He's gained nearly a pound since switching over and is starting to look more like a toddler than a baby. He is still taking things at his own pace, but he is definitely gaining more strength in his torso and arms. The coordination in his right arm is catching up to his left, though he is still a lefty more often than not. He can push himself up now and acts like he really wants to start moving. He'll bring his legs forward one at a time, but he just doesn't quite get it yet. He is still a ways from coordinating everything all together, but it's exciting seeing his progress nonetheless. We recently found him a (second) pair of shoes that are hard sole, but not so hard that he refuses to use his feet, as we found was the case with the first pair we purchased (and had to return) for him. We are really pushing new foods, trying to make him branch out from his yogurt and ice cream. He'll eat his yogurt or ice cream with his graham crackers crunched up in it (for texture) but he wont he mushed mac and cheese or spaghetti. He loves all his finger foods and will try to feed himself most anything you put in front of him, but we're still working on adequate chewing. His gag reflex is all but gone, though there are still a few occasions where something will get stuck in the back of his throat and he wants it out.

His four top teeth are now all poking through and partially in, and you can occasionally catch a peek of them when he smiles. He is still crabby a lot of time at night so we think they are still bothering him, or maybe he has some new ones working on coming through. Since the time change Rhys has been waking at 6 a.m. every morning. Who knew that a one hour time difference would make my child wake two hours earlier?! Sheesh, that has been a hard adjustment for me. I am trying to transition Rhys to only one nap a day. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. If he takes two naps a day he tends to fight bed time and/or wakes several times at night so I try really hard to keep him up and make him tired for one good nap after lunch and then a decent bed time.

All seems to be well with Little Baby too. My hips have seriously started to ache lately, which is odd because I never felt this with the boys. It could partially be because of the cold weather moving in and out. I finally have a real baby bump instead of a squishy beer looking belly. I have felt fluttering and occasional little thuds but not much movement overall. The minimal belly growth and baby movement (as compared to last time) has had me a bit worried that something was off, but I am comparing to the only other thing I know which is not the norm. I get a quick mini ultrasound (no audible heartbeat check, only from the screen) at every OB visit so I am certain they'd notice anything irregular. I have my 20 week anatomy scan next week so I am excited to see how Little Baby is growing. Tonight the home health nurse who gives my 17P injections (which btw hurt like h-e-double hockey sticks tonight) used her little machine and we found the heartbeat. As of yet we still do not know if said heartbeat belongs to a baby boy or a baby girl. One week it's a girl, the next it's a boy and so on and so forth. My OB finally threw up his hands and told me to let the perinatal doctor call it next week!

Since the home health nurse has been reviewing signs to watch for I've been concerned that maybe I wouldn't be able to recognize contractions if I were having them. That sounds ridiculous but when they tell me back aches and pelvic pressure, both of which I've had, can be signs of contractions I get a little confused. I truly don't think I am having them, but my situation isn't one where I can afford to be mistaken. So, I told this to my OB and I think I might have scared him a little. I also remembered to ask him about the throbbing/pulsing I'd been feeling occasionally. He looked a bit alarmed before he understood what I was telling him, and explained that it was increased blood flow and nothing to be worried about. So, because of my two concerns he is trying to get my home monitor and terbutaline pump now instead of in two week. Man! But, anything to keep Little Baby cooking for the next 18 weeks!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

little baby update

My age now officially belongs to a new decade and I can no longer claim to be in my 20's. I'm not an age person at all but man that stinks! :) We had a little birthday get together today and I asked Cody to snap a picture since I don't have any pregnant pictures yet. I don't really have many from my last pregnancy either, so I should try to get a few more this time around.

Little Baby looked good last week at my checkup. I started my 17P injections (progesterone) last Thursday so the preparation/planning is slowly being phased in. An RN from home health comes to our house to give the injection and provides a bit of "signs to watch for" refresher as well. She seems very knowledgeable and friendly and I am thankful for her service. I know I've mentioned it before but I h-a-t-e needles, and Cody tells me the needle for this shot is ginormous (I didn't look else I probably wouldn't have let her stick me). The medicine is delivered deep in the muscle and is injected slowly. The shot itself wasn't so bad but the prolonged injection makes the muscles ache. Needless to say I will not be eagerly awaiting her weekly visits.

This pregnancy is very similar to my previous pregnancy, but at the same time it's also very different. I've had the same symptoms as with the boys, but on a much different scale. Everything with the twins was multiplied to a higher degree. That is all I've known so I keep expecting a repeat. I stare at my belly worrying that Little Baby isn't growing enough, but then I remember oh wait there's only one! I packed on the pounds with the boys, despite never being hungry, and my belly grew visibly from day to day. While I have been hungry this time around, and have gained a good amount of weight, it isn't really showing so much. I will just say that maybe I need a "With Bump, Not Plump" shirt to add to my wardrobe. I definitely have a baby belly right now, but am barely showing compared to this stage with the twins.

I've had a few different sensations this time that I don't remember from before. From time to time I've had an internal pulsing/throbbing way down low. There is no pain, it's very random and is not at all rhythmic, lengthy or consistent. I mentioned it to the nurse (because I forgot to ask my OB - forgetting to question my doctors seems to be a recurring theme with me) and she told me they call it pelvic pressure and it is something to take mental note of to make sure it isn't a contraction in disguise. I don't really think it is at this point, but I suppose it could be eventually. The only contractions I know are the ones I felt the day the boys were born. Those were the textbook abdominal cramping that came 3-5 minutes apart so I am constantly concentrating on any strange feelings trying to determine if they are a cause for worry. Other than that everything has been uneventful, for which I am grateful.