Friday, February 26, 2010

it's almost March!

I have tried to remain positive through this whole pregnancy, but even still I have exceeded my initial hopes. While I of course wanted the best possible outcome, 28 weeks would have been acceptable. 30 weeks would have been great and 32 weeks would have been even better still. Truth be told I was mentally prepared for almost anything. Well, as mentally prepared as you can be for a premature birth.

At the beginning of this experience none of us were sure exactly what to expect, my OB included. Were we dealing with an incompetent cervix? Bentley's infection? Both? Neither? Something else entirely? All we had were ideas and assumptions so we treated the worst possible scenario. And now here we are, less than three weeks from the ultimate goal! I'm not sure my OB necessarily has any more answers today than he did 8 months ago, but we do know that despite random contractions and almost constant irritability my cervix is still holding up! Even if I were to start to efface now I could most likely hold on a while longer and probably even make it all the way to 36 weeks thanks to the cerclage. My next hope is that my uterus isn't completely destroyed from the classical c-section, contractions and two pregnancies. My OB will know more once he gets a look during the delivery.

Cody and I are feeling good about Little Sister's birth. Her healthy birth. And we're getting really excited she's almost here. She still has no name, so we're hoping for inspiration to strike once we lay eyes on her. As of now we also don't have a definite delivery date, but we do know it will be sometime during the third week of March.

I've gained 40 pounds and I only have about two pairs of pants I can wear comfortably (most of them are a little snug in the, ahem, rear). I don't have any stretch marks I can see on my stomach, but my rear and thighs are a different story entirely. Little Sister moves all the time and loves to poke me in my ribs. I go back to the perinatal doctor in two weeks for a final anatomy scan and Cody and I are really hoping she's been packing on the pounds!

As far as Rhys goes he is becoming quite the toddler. He is chattering all the time and has become a pro at vocalizing his displeasure. He is great at pitching fits and shaking his fists, but he'll melt your heart with his smiles and belly laugh. We're trying really hard to start teaching him that temper tantrums aren't the way to get what he wants, but he finds our attempts at verbal "discipline" really funny. He has recently discovered the joy of deliberately dropping things to watch us pick them up for him and gets really tickled with himself when we play his game. He received his last two Synagis shots this week, but is still due for his 18-month well baby visit and vaccines (eh, we've been busy!). Overall Rhys is doing great. We continually see improvements in his development, and his therapists are pleased with his progress even though we've still got a long way to go.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

getting closer

Four weeks. Oh goodness. I was thinking to myself just this week that there really is another baby on the way. Ha!

Everything is still looking good with my cervix, and I'm beyond thankful for that. Every time my OB examines me I hold my breath waiting for him to tell me I'm starting to efface. I honestly think I've surpassed his expectations.

We still haven't nailed down a delivery date, but it's now looking like I will probably deliver around 36 weeks instead of trying to go closer to 37 weeks. My OB is still okay with letting me wait, though when I asked him his opinion he said his preference is to get her out. Even though we want Little Sister cooking as long as possible we also have to consider my health, so Cody and I have come to grips that she may need a little O2 or a very brief NICU stay. Babies born at 36 weeks have about a 10% chance of needing breathing assistance, but typically it is very minimal, very brief and the babies are usually fine to leave by the time Mom is discharged.

We're still hoping for our planned delivery, but are mentally prepared for her to come at any time. The good news is my OB doesn't have vacation plans for any time in the next month! While I love his partners, and they may even attend the delivery as they did last time, I'd prefer my OB to actually do the cutting.

Something new for Rhys today... he ate mashed potatoes! It was a bit of a fight for the first few bites, but after he actually tasted what he was eating he really seemed to like it. I had to use pea-sized bites as to not overwhelm his gag reflex, but I was so proud of the amount he ate.

Friday, February 12, 2010

reading rainbow

Rhys loves books. And magazines.

More specifically, he loves to turn pages. Except with magazines he likes to scrunch up and tear the pages.

Rhys's fine motor skills are improving considerably. I think there are times I don't give him enough credit and don't believe he can do certain things. And then he surprises me.

Rhys recently started vision therapy. It turns out it is more of an eye/hand coordination type therapy which is great for Rhys. He basically gets to play with cool new toys for 30 minutes once every other week. During his first session the therapist pulled out a peg board. Imagine my surprise when Rhys started grabbing the pegs and pulling them out without being prompted. This isn't something I'd have believed Rhys would think to do on his own. But he did it. So after his therapy I pulled out his wooden puzzle board. Again, he surprised me when he grabbed the tiny red pegs on top of the pieces and started yanking them out. And then yesterday, when Rhys was snacking at his high chair, he started playing with his sippy cup and the strap that attaches it to his chair (to keep him from chunking it every ten seconds). When he couldn't reach the cup he pulled the strap to bring the cup to him. Wow, when did this kid figure that out?? So in addition to being excited about this vision therapy for Rhys's benefit, I am also excited for my benefit so that I can get some new ideas!

If I haven't already mentioned it, Rhys is now on the charts for weight and height for his actual age. If you take another peek at the pictures above you can see his chubby little tummy hanging over his pants. We're excited about his continued good growth and are no longer worried about his weight. That isn't to say we aren't still working really hard to get him to eat a larger variety of foods, only that what he does eat is sufficient for him to gain weight and grow properly.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

peri @ 31 weeks

Still here and still cooking! Everything was "perfecto" at Tuesday's OB appointment. I received my second steroid shot for the lungs, so hopefully it's doing its job. I will see my OB again next week for another cervix check. He initially said two weeks for the next visit, but I asked to come back next week because I tend to freak myself out imagining things when I go that long without getting checked.

Today I saw the peri for my 31 week visit. Little Sister's weight is estimated at a whopping 3lbs 13oz. That far exceeds my hopes for her to be at least three pounds at this point. Around 32 weeks gestation babies typically start gaining about a half pound per week so hopefully Little Sister will easily weigh between 5-6 pounds when she's born. In order to avoid automatic admission to the NICU we need her to be at least 35 weeks gestation and 5 pounds, so it looks like she is holding her own in the weight department at least. I am scheduled to see the peri again in four weeks, which would put me one week prior to my tentative delivery at 36 weeks.

My belly feels like it is growing by enormous amounts every day. And as Little Sister gets bigger she is starting to bump into things and lodge herself in uncomfortable positions. My hips/inner thighs are so sore (think of what it feels like after a particularly hard workout) that it hurts to get up out of a sitting position. But other than that everything seems okay. I am getting weird twinges here and there but I figured if anything was out of the ordinary one of the two doctors would have said something this week. Our nursery is coming together. The bedding is nearly finished and we have everything else we need, it all just needs to be put in the right spot. Hopefully we'll make some more progress on it this weekend.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

thirties here we come

I got a big high five from my OB today. 30 weeks is a big deal! He is always completely calm and collected, which I appreciate, but it makes it hard for me to read him sometimes. Even when I was lying on the delivery table at 23 weeks pregnant with my boys he was outwardly unfazed. I asked today what his real thoughts were of this pregnancy. In the beginning did he have concerns of me making it this far and doing this well? His response was along the lines of absolutely he was worried, he has been worried since he delivered Rhys and Bentley. He didn't want a repeat so he pulled out all the stops this time around. He is thrilled I have made it to 30 weeks with my cervix still looking good and no major worries thus far.

My blood pressure was 120/60, Little Sister's heartbeat was 150, I had another fFN test today and all looked good on my super quick mini-ultrasound. I have gained a total of 33 pounds to date and have (another) bladder infection. Ick. Much to my surprise we are going to schedule a c-section date. I assumed we'd play it by ear since things can literally change at the drop of a hat. But when I asked him today he said we are planning the delivery for 36 weeks. That prompted me to ask if it was at all possible for me to go just a bit farther. He is fine with that under one condition. He'll let me go as far as 37 weeks as long as I check into the hospital at 36 weeks "just to be safe". Well, I am okay with that! Remember, with my previous classical c-section my uterus has a higher chance of rupturing, so he wants to make sure that doesn't happen.

So, at this point I am leaning towards checking myself into the hospital to keep Little Sister cooking a few more days. All assuming I still have that option come time. My biggest concern for delivering at 36 weeks is the difference in due dates... the official one vs. what I actually am. There is a 4-5 day difference, and while that doesn't sound like a lot it could mean the difference between needing the NICU or not so I'd rather not chance it. I did receive my first of two steroid shots today to help Little Sister's lungs develop. Just in case.... you know, the story of this whole pregnancy.

I still can not believe we are only six weeks away (at most) from meeting our baby girl! I think I kicked into frantic mode today worrying about all the little stuff we are missing for the nursery. We really aren't missing a single necessity, but I went ahead and ordered everything anyway. So, Little Sister has a changing pad cushion, newborn diapers, mattress cover, night light and a few other miscellaneous items on the way!! I'm also going to put my hospital bag together this weekend so I can carry it in my car. In case during one of my weekly visits between now and then I have to be admitted unexpectedly for one reason or another.