Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hello Braxton-Hicks!

Yup; they have arrived with a vengeance. I've had a few prior to now, but nothing to really note. Again, I had a LOT of these with Katie's pregnancy, so I figured it was only a matter of time. It's funny - they say that every pregnancy could be completely different, but mine are turning out to be quite similar (not the same, but definitely similar).

So, yesterday as I was driving home from work, I noticed that my abdomen just started squeezing - really really hard. It was like I couldn't breathe. For a moment, I forgot about being pregnant and wondered if I was having a panic attack, but then I realized I had had a pretty darn good day and there was no reason to be panicking about anything. It took a minute, but I remembered what that feeling meant.

At home, I followed the advice of my old doctor (the one I have since fired - mine was out of the office for the weekend so I didn't want to call for something like this), and I put my feet up and started drinking water. And then they really hit - boom boom boom! I had three or four in a row - within about ten-fifteen minutes. They were all pretty quick, but they were really really intense - I couldn't breathe and they definitely had some pain with them. Just when I started to really get worried, they would go away and I would be able to rest for an hour or so. Then another wave of three or four would hit. This went on for about three hours and was not the most comfortable experience, but nothing terrible either.

It was then that I remembered one of the really difficult things about the third trimester: Is it labor? Unfortunately, my new doctor doesn't have a nurse call line or physician phone line, so if it's after hours I only have the choices of waiting it out or going to the ER (which is quite expensive). Thankfully, there is an on-call doctor on weekends, but during the week, I'm on my own from 4:00pm until 8:00am the next day. That's something I really need to ask about at our next appointment.

You would think I would know what I'm looking for, but since labor completely took me by surprise last time (and I didn't have a "normal" labor by any stretch of the imagination), I don't. I didn't even know my water had broken because it was such a small little trickle. When I finally got to the hospital with Katie, not only had my water broken, but I was having contractions every three minutes that I didn't even feel. All of this makes me that much more uncertain this time around.

At some point here, I'll reminisce a bit more about Katie's birth for those of you who weren't around to enjoy that story. That was an adventure and a half (as this one will be, I'm sure).

Off to enjoy a beautiful day and the Sweet Corn Festival. Ta-tah!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rough Night - the beginning?

So, I had a really really really rough night last night (I know, I know - complain and moan, wah-wah!) and now I'm pretty darn tired. I'm trying to look at the bright side of this one: with Katie's pregnancy, I had these pretty much the entire nine months. This is the first one I've had in recent memory, so that is definitely a good thing...but it would be nice to not have them at all :)

It was one of those nights where you just can't get comfortable. Our temps have gotten a bit better here and it was supposed to be 59 degrees overnight. Obviously, that means no air conditioning, right? Well, there wasn't a lot of air moving so it never felt really cool in my room (and I have two fans positioned right on me); that was bad night symptom #1. I couldn't find a comfortable way to lay and I was warm. Yuck.

Symptom #2: that sweet ol' late pregnancy nausea. Yuck. I was up for about two hours or so...at least from 2am until 4am, just feeling like I was going to yak. Thankfully, I didn't, but I really hate feeling nauseous. It's one of those feelings you can't really do anything for, and I hate being helpless. The nausea has chosen to hang around into today, so I have the pleasure of continuing to enjoy it.

Symptom #3: pregnancy sleep. This is where you fall into a deep, dreamless, heavy sleep...for about twenty minutes at a time. You wake up and look at the clock and twenty minutes or forty or an hour have passed - it's very surreal because you feel like it should have been a whole night's sleep. Then it's the challenge of falling back asleep - and this happened, I would guess, at least six times last night. Thankfully, with all those deep sleeps, I don't feel as tired as I could. That's a definite bonus.

So, it's off to work to finish out the first week. Again, none of this is a bad thing or a symptom of anything being wrong with Jellybean, so I'm very happy about that. Sometimes, when you start to get so uncomfortable, it's hard to think about doing this for the next three months, but I keep reminding myself of where I was last year. Last year I would have killed to be uncomfortable and tired if it meant I was going to have a baby. And I still feel that way; I just wish we could be pregnant for like three or six months and not nine :)

So, I'm sorry for the moaning and complaining, but sometimes you need to express the good and the bad. During the most lonely and exhausted moments of the night, Jellybean started kicking up a storm, and I just lay there being thankful that at least I wasn't alone in this. She was awake, too and she was reminding me that we're in this together. I can't think of a better buddy as I keep going on :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Milestone

We are now at 89 days (which is less than 90 if you have forgotten how to count - as I have on many many days recently). And yes, we are going to celebrate each new count that I get to here :) Another big ol' Woot Woot!

Things are better at school. I'm lucky enough to have wonderful students who are making my life infinitely easier with their care and concern. None of them wants to see me go into labor in the classroom (and they have not been shy about sharing that fact - this is really funny since I actually did go into labor with Katie at school. My water broke there, I didn't know, and I can show you which room if you'd like the "really TMI tour") and they all are very careful to tell me to sit down or drink more water when I start to do too much. It's like have 60 parents, but they're really cute.

They're also really engaged and smart and I love that. There's nothing worse than a quiet class, and so far I don't have those. Yay!!

The best part is having Tuesday and Thursday off for recuperation purposes. The bonus to that is that I get to pick up Katie from preschool and hang out with her. It's a bit harder on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday because those are REALLY full days, but my body is so thankful for not having to drive the 40 minutes each way to work and all that that entails. I'm very very lucky to be able to have a schedule like this (and since our department is changing our classes, this is the ONLY time it will happen. All of our developmental classes are going to five days a week plus two lab hours in the Fall of 2012).

Jellybean is getting so much stronger every single day. She slept while I taught and drove yesterday, but the whole time I was in the office and at home she was kicking. Not dancing or rolling or just moving - KICKING! She is really really really really strong. I honestly can't believe it. I think I may be happy when she runs out of room and can only nudge, but then she'll be big enough to do some serious damage. Oh well.

One more week and we're off to the doctor's office for our THIRD TRIMESTER check-up (and we head into appointments every two weeks). I never dreamed I would make it this far (and I honestly didn't really dare hope). Last year at this time, this seemed like a situation that would never ever happen. My doctor is amazing. My friends are amazing. My family is amazing. My God is amazing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Welcome Back

It's the first week of the fall semester, and the insanity has hit full force. Not only do we have the usual rush of students (me in the classroom and Brian in advisement), but they have invaded our town, making it impossible to shop, eat, or even drive. On top of that, Katie started preschool today and dance lessons last night, so we're feeling a bit busy (I know - that gets worse as time goes on, but this is our first experience with it).

Overall, it was not bad to be back at work. I had several office hours before my first class (three, to be exact), so there was a lot of time to prepare. Except for the fact that I couldn't prepare for any of the issues I had. When I arrived in my first classroom, I discovered that none of the students could log onto their computers due to technology issues (not their fault, for once, on a first day). Then, after using a generic login, we found that none of the computers were hooked up to the printer (problematic as our department requires a typed, printed assessment during the first two class meetings). After that, I discovered that even though all the students were enrolled in our Blackboard site, none of them saw the class listed or could access it. Of course, the Help Desk is overloaded and I haven't heard back on any of these problems, so I guess I just hope it's fixed by tomorrow.

To make things more interesting, my Reading class is being held in an art studio classroom - no one could find it, and, when they did, they were sure they were in the wrong place. I tried to pass out the handouts I had made prior to the semester (I ordered them in July in order to avoid the rush), I discovered that the number of handouts I had requested was apparently not a requirement for the person who did the copying. I asked for twenty and received 11. So, about half the class was able to get the homework assignment (and, since the printer doesn't work, I couldn't print out more).

In short - long day. Nothing unmanageable, but not the impression you want on your first day. After that, I had to pick up Katie, get her changed, get her to dance class and then home. Let me tell you, after all of that, I HURT. I felt like I had just run a marathon. Of course, I made the poor choice of actually dressing up for the first day and wearing kitten heels (I assumed that the really really low heel would not be a problem - boy, was I wrong). My back was killing me. My legs ached. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. I'm really thankful that the fall semester always goes quickly because if that's the result of a full day of work, this could be rough.

Other than physically feeling like I was beat up, things continue to go well. Jellybean has gotten REALLY strong and can now kick me hard enough to cause interesting results. Yup, she can kick my bladder hard enough that I pee my pants (also a fun experience in front of students - thank you pads!). She can also kick my stomach hard enough to make my stomach/clothing move. Several students chuckled at her yesterday after a few solid kicks to the gut. I'm glad I can offer entertainment on all fronts; I am a full-service instructor :)

Since it's been a while since I've shared, here is some video of Katie from her first dance class. She didn't like it at all, as you can tell. Enjoy! video

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SEE THAT ----------------------------------------->

Anyone else see that?????

Yeah- that's double digits there in the "time until I deliver" countdown.

And that's a big ol' Woot to the Woot!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How it's going...

Not bad. Jellybean is doing very very well as evidenced by her rigorous exercise routines that she insists on performing every couple of hours. She has very strong legs that are just amazing me every single time I feel them since it makes me wonder (and cringe to think about) what they will feel like in another couple of months. If she's already so long (just like Katie, she spends her days with her head down in my pelvis and her legs and feet up in my ribcage) and so strong that I just can't imagine where she's going from here.

I'm doing ok. I've got the return of morning sickness, which I had hoped to avoid but knew would probably happen. I had this happen with Katie (although I think it was a few weeks later - maybe around 27?) and it's not fun, but it's not unbearable. Most of mine is just plain ol' nausea which shows up about halfway to 3/4s of the way through the day and just makes me uncomfortable. Hopefully it won't hang around too long and it'll just be a little blip in the road. Also, the heartburn is making itself known with a vengeance. This weekend was the worst I've had in terms of sleeping - even upright I was in a lot of pain. I think I downed much more than my daily allotment of Tums, so I'm trying to increase my milk/yogurt for the day to see if that helps a bit. I remember this being far worse much earlier with Katie, so I'm happy it's held off this long.

Other than that, I'm doing well. Since the heat backed off, I finally feel more normal - like I can walk around without feeling like a whale who's always out of breath. My nerves and patience are a bit short, but that seems to be due to not sleeping so much. I'll have to be especially conscious of that when class starts next week so I don't become the uber-bitch teacher that I was when I was pregnant with Katie. The nice part about this pregnancy is that I am a lot more aware of myself and my reactions and I seem to be in overall better control of them, which I'm sure those living with me and working with me appreciate (or will appreciate when the fall semester starts). I have gotten over the post-summer depression and am starting to look forward to classes starting, which is another good hurdle to be over. Mentally, I'm feeling very good and enjoying the little Bean as much as I can (although I'd still prefer her to be out here where I could snuggle with her).

100 days to go...tomorrow we're down to double digits. What an amazing milestone...I mean, you consider that 38 weeks of pregnancy is about 266 days. I've gone through 166 - way more than halfway. We've had no serious issues (knock on wood) and Jellybean is developing exactly as she should and looking healthy at this point in time. I am sincerely and incredibly thankful for all of this...I can do 100 days of uncomfortable if we can continue to have a happy and healthy baby at the end of those days. Thank you all again for all of your love, thoughts, prayers, and support...it's not over yet, but it's within sight :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jellybean Update

Well, we had a brief visit at the doctor's today (this is good - a lengthy visit would mean problems) and found out a bit more about Jellybean and her arrival.

First of all, we had our sixth sonogram. She was still uncooperative. Figures, don't it? Thankfully, they only had to check a few things that were left after the last sonogram, and the tech was able to check them and see that everything was fine. We also had her double-check the gender - since this is the first time that we are buying gender-specific gear, I want to be darn sure that I know I'm bringing home a girl. Jellybean is still a girl. I'm still surprised because it seems to me that she acts like a boy...but what do I know? The placenta has moved up a bit, but remains in placenta previa position - again, no big deal due to the C-section.

After getting more sonogram pictures (we'll fill our photo book next time - we've had that many sonograms), we were told we'll be back for another sonogram at 30 weeks. So - in seven weeks we'll see her again. This is definitely the bonus of the high risk pregnancy. Found out that I was down another two pounds (after eating a huge lunch at 1:00 - appointment was at 2:00), so that's a good sign for me healthwise. I'm not being unhealthy and dieting or not eating; I'm just eating better and trying to make good choices. The doctor is pleased.

We then met with the doctor who got a good heartbeat (chasing Jellybean around - she would NOT sit still) of 147-150 and said that I'm measuring exactly as I should. For those of you who haven't had these experiences, this is the point in time where they pull out a tape measure and start measuring top of uterus to pubic bone (I believe) and your measurement should pretty closely correspond to your week of pregnancy (so I should have measured about 23). This means that your calculations are correct and everything is developing as it should.

We went over the restless legs and I turned down the meds again. I'm going to keep trying to tough it out on my own, but I may cave before this is over. It would be nice to make it to the last trimester before giving in, though. We also talked more about delivery. Of course, everything depends on the baby's readiness, but the plan is to deliver at 38 weeks for sure if we can. We pulled out a calendar to look at the week (since it is Thanksgiving) and she said it would most likely be that Tuesday, November 22. As you can see, I have a new ticker above to reflect that due date. 15 weeks and we will finally get to meet Jellybean. While a due date is nice, having such an actual date makes it more real and gives us a pretty definite plan (of course, Katie arrived at 36 weeks, so we still have to be ready for an early or late surprise - who knows!). She said that we'll put that on the calendar (schedule the surgery) when I hit the final trimester.

Speaking of that final trimester, that's in four weeks. I return to the doctor at that time for my final "monthly" appointment and then move into visiting her office every two weeks. This is yet another huge milestone that we will hit in only a month and I'm very excited for it. The down side to the next appointment is that it will be the dreaded glucose test. Again, for those of you who haven't had this fun, you get to fast before going into the doctor. I was always told 12 hours, but I've heard some people have shorter or longer fasts. You go in and drink a really nasty, sugary concoction (mine was orange last time) and sit and wait for an hour so they can check your blood sugar levels for signs of gestational diabetes. Obviously, we want to avoid this complication if at all possible since it brings with it the most bland and awful diet known to man. I was lucky enough not to develop it last time, so we'll hope my luck holds. Thankfully, I was able to schedule an appointment for 8:30am this time. With Katie, I had to do mine at 2:30pm and they made me fast from midnight...by the time I could eat (approximately 4:00pm), I was very very sick. This will be much nicer.

I'm trying to think of whether I have missed anything. Lovenox shots continue, of course, and we checked to see if there was a possibility of doing them anywhere but the stomach (like the thigh) since it's really getting painful. My stomach is one very very large bruise (each time I do a shot, a bruise the approximate size of a golf ball appears and remains for a week or so - imagine what your stomach looks like after a while. You have to find new spots that aren't in the bruise to stick each day, but then you can't use that spot again until the bruising heals) and with Jellybean kicking as she does, it's a painful combination. I did *just* learn (why did no one tell me this???) that it's good to aim for your "love handles" to avoid a lot of this kind of pain and so I started that a couple of days ago. It hurts a bit more to give the shot, but if it gives my belly a break, I'm all for it. Unfortunately, the stomach is the only area my doctor will allow me to give these shots (but that includes the love handles), so I'll keep looking for new real estate....perhaps I should gain more weight just to increase the space....

Whew - I thought this would be brief, but I guess more happened than I thought :) In any case, all is looking good and Jellybean is doing just fine. It's all good news and I thank God every day that we have made it this far and hope we continue to do as well for the next fifteen weeks.

Friday, August 5, 2011

23 Weeks

How far along: 23 weeks and 1 day

Baby is the size of: a large mango - over a pound and about 11 inches

Symptoms: Pregnant nose, of course. In addition, I seem to have pregnancy sniffles. Other than that, just the usual: restless legs and a LOT of stretching. Heartburn is a given.

Weight gain: At my last appointment, I had lost four pounds. Here's hoping we can keep that trend going :) Since I'm overweight, I don't "need" to gain weight - 10-15 is the max (and that can happen easily at any time).

Maternity clothes - living in maternity shorts and capris. I can still squeeze into most of my shirts and t-shirts, but I have to start thinking about what to do about work here soon.

Sleep: Getting worse. Jellybean is figuring out how wonderful the night is and has started to take the opportunity of such peace and quiet to really play around. I'm pretty sure it's a Zumba class or something of that caliber. Heartburn gets pretty bad at night as do the restless legs. If I can fall asleep, I can get a couple of hours before I need a pee break.

Movement: Insane. This kid has really really long legs (and strong ones) just like her sister! Her kicks are really really strong and make my whole belly shake. I'm so happy that she's moving and I know she's ok that I don't have the heart to ask her to calm down a bit at night ;)

Cravings: Nothing too consistent. When one hits, it's fleeting and usually only for the day/afternoon/hour. The only one that has hung around has been a need for Subway Tuna Fish sandwiches (which I would normally rather pass on...I still can't believe I keep ordering them).

What I miss: Being comfortable. It's not a huge thing, but sometimes I think it would be really nice to be able to take one day off a month from being pregnant. You know - have the baby hang out with someone else for just one day so I could do anything I want for a day without worrying about it.

Strangest moment: So far? Going to the hospital because I peed my pants. I don't think it gets much stranger than that. Full story available a few posts back - at "If You Can't Laugh at Yourself..."

Gender: Girl

What I look forward to: Meeting her. While things are going really well and we're not having problems, I won't feel totally comfortable until she's out and healthy (and then we have a whole new set of worries, don't we? The nice part then is that others can help with her and I don't have all the care responsibilities).

Milestones: Passing the 20 week mark and being out of the range of "miscarriage." I never ever want to use that word again. Feeling her move. Enjoying her responses to voices, sounds, movement, and music. Watching Katie bond with her sister who she hasn't even met yet.

More than halfway, baby! Just a few more weeks and we can get into that final trimester and really kick things into high speed. I just can't wait to meet you, Jellybean!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Quick Update

I know I've been a little bit MIA, but we've been busy.

Thankfully, the summer term is over and I no longer have to grade. This means I also don't get on the computer as much since it will become an appendage again when the fall semester starts.

We just took a nice little vacation to Chicago for a few days with Katie and it was a lot of fun.

I have just a bit over a week until I have to be back at school, so I'm trying to avoid the "summer depression" thing that I get every summer at this time: mourning the loss of full days with Katie; feeling like there was so much left undone; wondering if I made it enough fun for Katie; feeling nervous about the semester; all that kind of fun stuff.

But it will all be good and once the semester starts, I will quickly slip back into routine and be pretty happy with my days; it's just the transition period that's always hard - and the EXCESSIVE planning I've had to do for the coming semester (to help subs when the time comes) has made me an eensy bit more stressed out than usual.

So, it's time to just enjoy the days and relax so I'm all recharged and ready to get back in the classroom. I'm sure I'll be back on after our sonogram/checkup on Tuesday to give you all the new info on our little Jellybean. In the meantime, enjoy what's left of your summer :)