Saturday, May 29, 2010

34 Weeks Plus a Few More Days

LOL my son took this and as usual cut off my head. And yeah I suppose I need to buy some shirts that cover my stomach. Sorry for the lack of updates. I have all sorts of weird symptoms these days, as I venture into new territory going this far in pregnancy. As I may have mentioned, it's hard sometimes deciphering what is normal pregnancy woes, what's a sign of problems. Overall I feel like I am doing very well. The last couple days I've had some mild cramping, which according to what I have read is normal. By the grace of God I seem to have little to no swelling which is just so bizarre when I look at pics from last time. How can two pregnancies (so far) be so different? The toughest complaint I have had is I tend to get this weird fatigue daily. I'll wake up and be fine for an hour and then a wave of fatigue will hit - not normal tiredness. This feels like weights and I can barely stand up and my pulse races. Lasts a couple hrs and then am fine usually. Hits in the afternoon as well. My perinatologist mentioned something about cortisol levels but didn't indicate it was serious enough to treat. Blood work from last week showed that I am now less anemic so doubt it is that (my anemia hit its highest level at the point where the blood volume had finished expanding) and is now stable.

Anyway I mentioned on a couple boards what the gameplan is now for the next 5 or so weeks:
- Weekly blood tests to check liver and kidney function (CBC, ALT, AST, creatinine, uric acid)
- Usual daily BP checks and urine checks I do myself at home
- Last ultrasound was at 33 wks. No more scheduled. Growth at 55% est 4lbs 12oz.
- Going in biweekly but suspect it will change to weekly after 35 weeks?

Right now the baby is breech and shows little signs of going head down. If things don't change and we don't go into labor the plan is to have a c-section at 39 weeks. However if we go into labor before that and the baby turns and no blood pressure problems then we will still hope to do a natural VBAC. Only time will tell. Just want a healthy baby - experiencing labor ideal but is secondary to our health.

Constantly adjusting exercise level to how I feel, try to get a mile walk in with the dog at least. It actually makes me feel better.

Other times, man, the tiredness is just overwhelming. Lots to do, not much time. Lucky if I scratch one thing off my list. Oh yeah and I have a cold this week. Wow, colds and pregnancy do not go together well. Especially coughing and being pregnant!

Monday, May 17, 2010

T Minus 49 Days

What's Going On:
I had a blood draw this morning which was actually the first since 27 weeks so seems like it was definitely due! My CBC already came back. Overall looks good, still borderline anemic but doesn't look severely so. Hematocrit is down to 34% which is the lowest range of normal, but as I mentioned it before represents hemodilution in pregnancy (in other words blood volume is expanding, which is a good thing. In pre-e it doesnt not expand to what it should and is overly concentrated). Here is a good article on hematocrit and hemodilution. So now I am waiting on the big tests for liver function and kidney function. I love Kaiser and I love getting the results by email but of course it is always a little anxiety-ridden when the results come in. Blood pressure today was still hovering at 107 over 65 with protein negative. So in terms of pre-e we still look good but the blood tests will give an indication of any signs of HELLP syndrome approaching. My platelets were down to 172K from 181K a month ago - so a bit on the low side but still in normal range. (I never run high - 220K at the max anyway). Little to no swelling.

Thursday is an ultrasound to check on growth and a regular Ob appointment.

Today I pre-registered at the hospital and got to see L&D (it's a new hospital). Two women in labor checking in as I was at the counter. I can't wait til this is me.

How I'm Feeling:
Not great but expect much of this is normal for 33 weeks. I've been getting some major Braxton Hicks contractions in the afternoons and evenings that don't stop til I lie flat. I have called the docs and am monitoring. Doesn't seem like a danger just have to take it easy. Also these come on regardless of whether I have walked that day or not. (It's more a case of them coming on when I am housecleaning - bending over, playing ball with my son, etc). Hmm what else: back aches, acid reflux, generally feeling like a whale. I've also had incidences where my heart races and I get very weak and my BP drops quite a bit (like too much). In this case, again not pre-e, but more likely part of all the blood circulating and being a bit anemic. Walking and stretching (ie light exercise) actually seem to be the best things to get the blood circulating and me feeling normal - I just have to time it right.

I'll update once the labs come back. Going to go for a slow 20 minute (1 mile) walk on the treadmill to stretch out my legs and see how I feel. And then a bath!

Thanks for reading. Two more weeks and we may just escape the NICU entirely this time. What a dream that would be.

UPDATE 5/18: Yes, all bloodwork looks fine: CBC, ALT, AST, creatinine, uric acid. Fingers crossed for good ultrasound Thursday

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

32 Weeks

OMG was my stomach really this flat last October? It feels like such a distant memory! 5 weeks pregnant

And 32 weeks...blimey.

More updates tomorrow. PS I had my 31 week appointment last week and my Ob Gyn says to me, "I hadn't scheduled any more appointments because I didn't think you were going to get past 32 weeks." (This was early on, she is more optimistic now). She didn't have to be quite so honest but the fact is she sees alot of recurrence when you get it as early as I did. Oh well. We're past 32 weeks, that's what matters.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hello May, It's Nice to See You

Back in October I remember looking at the calendar and thinking about what each month meant in terms of the baby's birth. Feb meant no chance for the baby. March meant a 50-50 chance but a micropreemie no doubt. April meant some relief - an early preemie - but one that would have a fighting chance. And I remember thinking if we could just get to May (June of course would be even better). Especially May 6th which would be just two months left to D-Day. And May 11th marks 32 weeks exactly.

So here we are May. I'm glad to see you. The picture on the left is the urine dip sticks that I use to test my pee every day for signs of protein, a marker for pre-eclampsia. I reckon now since starting at Week 20, I have done this 70 times. The color that appears every morning is a relief but there's always trepidation that one morning is going to be the morning when I wake and it's a darker color, like the colors it was in 2005 when I was diagnosed and doing this at home. (So far it's negative as long as I am hydrated and I dip trace when I have not had enough fluids).

Similar to what I had at 20 weeks (see old post), I had a little bit of irrational anxiety since hitting Week 30. It must be something about hitting the number (10, 20 or 30). If I had known before conception how much better things would go this time, I would have jumped in even sooner. But I still get gripped occasionally with the fear of my body turning against me and the baby. Like I said before, 95% of the time I am fine and upbeat, it's only moments here and there. And I allow myself this. As my high-risk doctor has said it is completely normal to experience some anxiety in a high-risk pregnancy. Honestly to ignore the risks and not ever think about the what-if's would be a bit like sticking your head in the ground to me.

But I'll take a deep breath and head out soon for a short walk (my walks are indeed getting shorter!) and I will rejoice in the fact that this baby is now 50% bigger than Liam was at birth and in another week will probably be around 4 lbs, twice what he weighed.
Thanks again to everyone following our journey and prayers to all those facing similar journeys!