Monday, March 29, 2010

Closing in on 26 Weeks

Last week was busy. After Monday's ultrasound with the peri, we had our blood tests and a regular appointment with the Ob Gyn. No gestational diabetes - hooray! The Easter chocolate beckons! CBC was done and platelets are around 211K (For those knowledgeable about HELLP my platelets fell to about 27K at their worst). Interestingly, I was a bit concerned as it looked like I was trending towards being anemic, if I compared the figures to my baseline blood test at 8 weeks. I know it's common for pregnant women, and with all the calcium I am on that can interfere with iron absorption, I would not have been surprised. So I emailed my doctor and she said my levels were still fine within the range, and the range for pregnant women is lower than non-pregnant women. So no anemia. Then she went on to say, " In your particular case, I would be worried if the hemoglobin had stayed the same, since a high hemoglobin can be a sign of preeclampsia (the blood becomes more concentrated). So I'm very encouraged that your blood has become more dilute, just as expected."

I find it all fascinating, the signs and things we can read as predictors. Medicine can tell us so much, but has such a long way yet to go to treat and prevent this disease.

On another note, since all of us in second pregnancies after pre-e share info about what we are doing differently, I am drinking a ton more water than I did before. I don't remember what I did back in 2005 but I dont think I carried around a one-liter Nalgene bottle like I do now (and go through two full bottles minimum a day). Course I was sitting in an office last time and may not have required as much as I do now, where part of the day I work, part of the day I am with my active son out and about. But fluids are so important with expanding blood volume it must be beneficial.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

25 Weeks and Ultrasound Update

Quick update that we had an ultrasound with our perinatologist on Monday. I've become very friendly with the ultrasound tech now, being I am in there once a month. But I always look forward to those appointments and seeing my baby twist and turn! Good news continues. Dopplers looked normal, no notches, normal blood flow through umbilical artery and uterine arteries. Baby's growth is on schedule, 50th percentile. Estimated weight is 1lb 10 0z. It is so surreal to think he is only 7 oz away from Liam's actual birthweight at 28 weeks. Looking back, Liam's growth was slowing down as my pre-eclampsia progressed and by the time he hit 28 weeks had slowed down to the 10th percentile. IUGR was clearly setting in.

So thanks for checking in. My peri is always positive and pleased how well it's going -- I love her -- but as usual reiterates the same statement that we have no guarantees yet. But every week we get more and more of a glimmer that we'll go farther. I need to go in tomorrow for the diabetes test and anemia test where they will check platelets as well (falling platelets are a part of HELLP).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

24 Weeks

24 and a half weeks as of today! Another milestone as 24 weeks supposedly marks "viability" though there are several 22 and 23 weekers that have survived as well. I believe the survival rates for 24 weekers are around 50-60%, though the majority will go on to have some disability. I certainly saw enough 24 weekers during L's NICU stay that sadly never made it home. Still, this week has made me think of my friends who are parents to 24 week micropreemies. The one who was tube fed his first 9 months after major bowel surgery, who now stands heads and shoulders above his classmates and reading at a 2nd grade pre-K. The other one, whom the doctors said would be a "vegetable" and suffers both hearing and vision loss, but is sharp as a nail, and reading the fine print off the back of 4. I certainly don't want to go down the micropreemie road, but was just thinking this week about these exceptional kids and their parents. I do wish 28 weeks, and then 32 weeks were here already!

We're doing fine. Things are as good as I could hope right now, and am thankful for every day of baking. Just got back from a prenatal massage, its relaxation benefits clearly demonstrated in my blood pressure reading a few minutes ago of 95/60! I've a varicose vein from my last pregnancy that is bothersome, and a few spider veins starting to form in the same area, plus the usual pregnancy woes of heartburn, but all in all, normal.

I bought this running shirt a month ago, but shouldve gotten in back in the 1st trimester when I was still doing a reasonable amount of running! Still at it with my 2-3 miles of walking a day though, interspersed with the exercise bike, and elliptical machines. Basically I don't aim to work up much of a sweat, but just do whatever feels right to hit 45 mins of exercise 7 days a week.

We have another important ultrasound on Monday to look at growth and again blood flow to the placenta. Fingers crossed for my boy to keep baking.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

23 weeks

Last pregnancy I only got one or two belly shots of me so forgive me for all the shots I am taking now. I figured at the time I had months left before delivery (haha), but also as I mentioned earlier, I never really looked pregnant. As the stomach grew the swelling started and the water weight pretty much eclipsed any baby bulge I had.

So it's comforting but also odd for me when strangers actually comment on me being pregnant this time. No one noticed last time.

23 weeks. My son took this and was about the best shot I knew I could get from him.

18 pounds gained already

Monday, March 8, 2010

Diving into Week 23

Since having our ultrasound a couple weeks ago, things have been good and I had barely any anxiety the past week, week 22! I have a regular OB Gyn appointment on Wednesday so I'm sure I'll have a touch of anxiety then but all home monitoring seems fine at moment.

It seems though that the first 20 weeks flew by and now every week passes slowly until we hit Week 28 and I breathe a small sigh of relief. Yes 24 weeks is often considered viability, but as one active in the preemie community, we all know that weeks 24-28 are very "fragile" and having a micropreemie, no matter how the media portrays these stories, is downright scary as hell. We'll breathe an even bigger sigh of relief at Week 32, Week 34 and fingers crossed at 38 weeks! As a reminder my son was born at 28 weeks, and while we are fortunate he is doing so well, it has been a long road.

A friend told me at the beginning of my pregnancy how I deserved to go full-term. I completely understand her sentiment, as she knows how much we've done to prepare. But of course the truth is no child deserves to be born prematurely.

Anyway, again right now things are good. BP's been around 104 over 65. Pee looks fine. No swelling. Usual pregnancy gripes. Running is winding down slowly but still walking. Last week I did a spinning class (on the stationary bike) as well as Zumba. These are BOTH exercises I did regularly before pregnancy, and would never recommend anyone start these mid-way. But I'm trying to find ways of staying active, just not on my feet all the time.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ending Week 22

Gorgeous morning. Getting ready to set out for a breakfast of Swedish pancakes at our favorite diner and then a family hike at one of the regional parks. Update later!