V-Day!!!

I am officially 24 weeks today and that means viability day!!!  Yay!  I honestly have had this day in my mind for some time (September 29th seemed like an eternity away) and I am so excited to be here.  I think miss Arlie is celebrating too today… Lots of flips and kicks and punches today.  The completely bananas thing is that depending on the timeline that the specialist gives us, we could be meeting this girl in about 10 weeks.  Hopefully she can stay in there a little longer, but man, 10 weeks is not very long.  My personal goal now is 37 weeks, so I think I’m looking at more like 13 weeks, which is still crazy.  I just can’t WAIT to meet her!

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23 Weeks

Another week almost gone.  I could not be happier that tomorrow is Friday.  Work has been less than satisfying lately.  I’ve been in this position for almost two years and I feel like I have progressed out of it.  I’m bored and there really isn’t any room for growth and even if there were, I’m not sure it would be the kind of growth I am looking for.  With Arlie on the way, I want to be doing a job that I love and that fits into my life with a newborn.  My current position is more suited for someone without young children and I just don’t feel willing to sacrifice time with Arlie.

As I get bigger, I get a little more uncomfortable everyday.  I feel squished.  That is the only way I can describe it.  Everything is squished into a different and new place and position and it is weird and uncomfortable.  But despite all of that, I am so happy to be pregnant and to have this little lady growing inside of me.

How far along? 23 weeks 3 days
Total weight gained? I am officially at the 10 lb mark.  Which scares me.
Maternity clothes? Yes.  I feel like I’m quickly running out of things to wear though.
Stretch marks? A ton on my hips and thighs, none on the stomach yet.
Sleep: I have slept a total of 18 hours in four nights.  I fall asleep ok, but wake up often and then I’m up from 4:00 am until I finally give up trying to sleep and just get up.  I’m tired.
Best moment this week: I laid down on my back on Monday night and I could SEE Arlie kicking and moving around.  It was and is amazing.
Miss Anything? Sleeping.  I’m exhausted.  I miss being able to find food that I want to eat too.  Nothing sounds that awesome.
Movement: She moves around a lot.  Its really nice to have that reassurance.  I can also feel where she is laying now.  I can actually cup her head sometimes and that is magical.
Food cravings: I just ate a heath bar blizzard.  Heaven.  I feel like I could eat heath bars all day long.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Pretty much most food is unappealing.  I’ve been eating whatever is around but nothing is a must have right now.  Except for heath bars.
Have you started to show yet? Yes!
Gender: GIRL!
Symptoms: The boobs are still leaking.  And I have been having a lot of round ligament pain.  I can tell my bump is about to expand again because it has been really uncomfortable the last few days.
Belly Button in or out? Last week it had morphed out a little and this week it is kind of back to being stretched out and still in.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Moody.  I am cranky.  Arlie makes me happy but almost everything else is annoying.  I hope this passes soon.
Looking forward to: Viability day is on Monday, just a few short days away.  And we have another ultrasound on the 7th.  That’s pretty exciting.  Always nice to see her little face. 🙂

The Hope Between the Fear and Anxiety

You know, I spend a lot of my time worrying.  It has been the most dominant theme of this pregnancy and although I don’t really like that this is what I spend my time on, it is my reality.  But some days, I can stop the world around me and think about how amazing it is that Arlie is in there and alive and if all goes well, she will be here in a few shorts months.  Today I can think about how much she has been moving lately and how her nursery is slowly coming together and how stinking excited I am that she is going to be here so soon.

Feeling her move is amazing.  And surreal and so incredibly reassuring.  I love her kicks and her punches and her rolls.  And I love that I can lay down now and SEE her moving.  It is just so amazing.  I talk to her in the car on my way to and from work.  Just to tell her that M and I love her and that we can’t wait to meet her.  And I tell her about the dogs and her room and whatever other random things pop into my head.  I want her to know my voice and her place in our hearts well before she arrives.

Today was another appointment with good news.  My doctor here doesn’t think that this will push us into the high risk category until later on, if ever.  She seemed very confident and addressed all my fears and never once made me feel silly for being so concerned.  In fact, other than the amazing specialist, she is one of the few doctors I have seen in the last 5 years that takes me seriously and addresses all my questions and concerns.  She also never acts rushed and gives me a hug at the end of every appointment.  She is an amazing provider and I am lucky to have her here and the specialist as well. 

So for tonight I can relax a little and enjoy being pregnant.  And look forward.  I can start to look forward.

22 Weeks

I think I am finally on board with the statement that the weeks are starting to go quicker.  I’m not going to lie and say they are flying by, but it certainly seems to be moving faster than it was before.  Which I fully appreciate.  I’m all for speeding up and meeting her!  We got a break from doctor’s appointments this week, so that was nice, but we are back to that schedule next week with two appointments.  I also am a mean wife and I am forcing M to get a Pertussis shot next week.  He is not thrilled about this, but its necessary not only in general but even more so now with Arlie likely to be so small and susceptible to illnesses.  My parents and brother and sister in law are also going to have to do it as well.  A small price to pay for having a little lady around…

How far along? 22 weeks 4 days
Total weight gain: I am right at 7 lbs.  I think it will start to rise now, but hopefully I can keep it within the 20-25 lb mark.
Maternity clothes? Yes!!  Love my new jeans!  SO comfortable.  And I love how all my tops are starting to really hug the bump.  I love showing it off!
Stretch marks? A ton on my hips and thighs, none on the stomach yet.
Sleep: Pretty good.  I don;t have to pee so many times during the night right now, so that’s pretty nice.  Once I’m asleep, I’m pretty dead.
Best moment this week: We got a bunch of stuff sent to us off of the registry.  Apparently our friends and family are pretty excited about this little girl.
Miss Anything? Being able to roll out of bed in the morning and grab almost anything out of my closet to wear.  Now it involves strategic planning.
Movement: Lots.  She is quite active.  It’s relatively steady throughout the day with some small breaks, and at night she goes a little crazy during dinnertime.  She also loves the morning.  I love waking up in the middle of the night and getting a reassuring nudge or kick.
Food cravings: I made M go to the store to get Heath Bars on Monday night.  I can’t get enough of them.  I also am seriously craving a blizzard.  Mmmmm.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I HATE chicken.  It is evil and disgusting.
Have you started to show yet? Yes!
Gender: GIRL!
Symptoms: Some swelling in my feet and hands.  Also, I finally broke down and bought some breast pads because the leaking is out of control some days.  It is the strangest and coolest thing.
Belly Button in or out? In, but in the last week, it has become more and more shallow on one half.  I think I am going to end up with a halfsie innie/outie in a few weeks.
Wedding rings on or off? On, but it is definitely getting a little tighter than normal.  It is slightly too large as it is, so it now fits like a ring normally would.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Honestly, I have been incredibly moody.  I am frustrated with people a lot and driving is one of the most annoying parts of my day.  What is so hard about following a speed limit?  5 miles under the limit makes me CRAZY!!
Looking forward to: Having this whole weekend off.  I am exhausted and so excited about sitting around in my house doing NOTHING if I want to.  And sleeping in. 

21 Weeks

I’m writing this relatively early in the morning because I can’t sleep.  Again.  Partly because I am so uncomfortable, partly because I have an enormous event tomorrow and I’m stressing about it, and partly because all I can do is think about Arlie.  This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life.  My brain refuses to shut down completely, so I am now exhausted and this event tomorrow is going to require a lot of my energy and time.  If I were totally honest with everyone around me, I would explain to them how incredibly mentally done I am and how I don’t think I can make it through the next two days, but I can’t ever let people see that.  In fact, most people around me right now have no idea what is going on or how stressed I have been.

If you’ve been reading, Arlie has a weird cord issue (two actually) and we are now going to have to be monitored closely until she gets here.  My overall feeling is hopeful and even a little confident, thanks to the amazing doctor we have now.  I am very lucky to have access to someone like him and hopefully this will be my last of the super debbie downer posts.  Hopefully.

How far along? 21 weeks 4 days
Total weight gain: Right around 10 pounds.  I lost a pound this week, I am sure it was due to stress.
Maternity clothes? Yes please!
Stretch marks? On my thighs and a couple very small ones on the sides of my stomach.
Sleep: Terrible.  Extenuating circumstances, plus being uncomfortable equals very little sleep.
Best moment this week: Finding out that Arlie is going to be ok.
Miss Anything? Not being stressed out or worried.  And good deep sleep.
Movement: Arlie is a very active little one.  She moves a lot and seems to enjoy flipping around and kicking me quite hard.  Every kick or swish or punch is a perfect reminder of her being in there and being ok.
Food cravings: Cereal.  I know I probably shouldn’t be eating it, but it is so delicious.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I hate chicken so much.  It is so disgusting.  And french fries.  They used to be one of my favorite things in the world, but I can’t stand them anymore.
Have you started to show yet? I can see the bump growing higher, which is kind of fun.  Plus I am finally starting to fill out maternity shirts and my regular shirts are starting to be very short in the front.  I love the bump!
Gender: GIRL!
Symptoms: I am still dealing with some queasiness and  a stuffy nose.  My newest symptom and the weirdest so far:  My boobs are leaking.  It is so strange and it caught me off guard.  I am now stuffing my bra with pads.  Kind of bordering on the line between gross and awesome.
Belly Button in or out? Still in…  I can see it shifting.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Combo.  It has been a week of ups and downs.  I am definitely happy right now, but earlier this week too many tears were shed.
Looking forward to: December.  Or just Sunday, when I can finally take a rest and relax a little.

SUA

We got our diagnosis today.  Arlie (that’s her name!) has an SUA and a strange oddity in conjunction with the SUA.  Basically she has a 2 vessel cord, one artery and one vein.  In addition to the SUA, her cord does not actually insert into her placenta.  She has normal insertion into her body, but the cord then travels up to the top of the sac and actually inserts into the sac, then splits into multiple vessels and those vessels attach to the placenta.  The odds of this happening are incredibly small (think one in a million range).  The doctor was amazing and reassured us that although this is strange, it will likely only affect her growth.  Because the oddity is so high on the sac, it will most likely stay high and therefore not be an issue.  If it were to for whatever reason start to shift to the bottom half of the sac, I would need to be induced pretty quickly.  In that scenario, if the sac were to rupture, the vessels would also and Arlie probably wouldn’t make it.  However, the doctor said that the chances of it moving that far down are incredibly low.  The more likely scenario is that I will have to be induced in December and I will probably have a c-section.  For me, a c-section seems like the best option because they can insure the her safe delivery while avoiding the sac issue all together.  I will have to have ultrasounds every 4 weeks to check her growth and the location of the insertion.  At 32 weeks, our doctor will make an assessment with a level II ultrasound and it will be decided then how much longer the pregnancy will progress.

This has been one of the hardest things I have ever gone through and I am sure that it will continue to be difficult.  All I want is for Arlie to be here and be healthy.  I can deal with an early delivery and I can deal with her being tiny.  I just want her HERE.

Heavy Heart

My heart hurts today. 

We found out on Monday that the umbilical cord only has one artery, commonly known as a 2 vessel cord or SUA.  We are scheduled to go to a specialist tomorrow, but the wait is literally killing me.  The likelihood that everything is ok is about 67%.  About one third of babies with this condition have some abnormalities.  The most common issues are kidney problems or missing one kidney.  There can also be heart defects, bladder problems, cleft pallete or lip, club feet, etc.  The worst possible diagnosis is trisomy 18.  Because no other abnormalities were detected on the initial ultrasound, the chances are very good that we will only be dealing with Inter-uterine Growth Restriction.  Basically this means that our little girl may not be getting enough nutrients and that will result in a smaller baby. 

I am terrified for tomorrow.  I have not been sleeping and I am constantly worried.  Life is still going on around me and I am trying to maintain some sort or normalcy, but the truth is that I am always thinking about this.  My midwife did not seemed concerned at all.  She said that they see this occasionally and the result is usually a smaller baby.  The reason they are sending me to the specialist is because they have better equipment and should be able to do a higher resolution scan that will show more.  So for now, I wait and worry.  The worst part was that the midwife had very little information for us.  In fact, she pretty much had none.  She hadn’t actually even checked my chart before she came in so the news was clearly a shock to her as well.  She was largely unprepared and it left me feeling very unsettled and upset.  The first thing she asked me was if anyone had called me.  Because apparently based on the ultrasound, someone should have called me prior to the appointment.  This really bothers me now because if we had known last week, I would have been able to get to the specialist even sooner and I would have an answer right now.

I feel angry and sad.  M and I have been through a lot in the last year with the loss and now to have this happen is extremely frustrating and sad.  I can’t bear the thought of something being wrong with the baby.  I love her so much already and the thought of something happening to her is honestly more than I can handle.  This does not seem fair to me.  It just seems like too much.

Tomorrow is going to be a hard day no matter what the outcome is.  I am not a religious person, but I am hoping with everything I have inside me that she is ok and will be here and in my arms in the very near future.  Hope for me and my baby girl if you can.  I appreciate any good vibes we can get.

20 Weeks

Halfway!!  Yay!  I honestly never could picture myself this far along and it is so exciting and fun.  And whats even more fun is knowing that there is a little GIRL in there.  I love being able to say “she” or “her”.  I also love that M and I can call her by her name.  It honestly gives me chills when I hear M say her name.

The ultrasound was pretty awesome.  Other than having to pee so badly.  I have an extremely tiny tank, so holding my pee was very difficult.  But seeing her on that screen and being able to see her face and all her limbs was one of the best experiences I have had.  She was so active that the tech had a little trouble getting some of the required measurements.  If she didn’t like the wand on her, she moved way down low and hid behind my pelvis.  I love her personality already.

She measured on track and there were no obvious concerns.  I have not received a phone call either, so I am assuming that everything is good with her.  I have an appointment on Monday with one of the midwives to go over everything.

How far along? 20 weeks 3 days
Total weight gain: No idea right now.
Maternity clothes? Yes please!
Stretch marks? On my thighs and a couple very small ones on the sides of my stomach.
Sleep: On and off good.  I still have one hour periods in the middle of the night where I am wide awake.  If I can fall asleep, I stay asleep so thats nice.
Best moment this week: M finally got to really feel her kick from the outside.  He has felt tiny rumblings, but these were legitimate kicks.  She is getting stronger by the day.  Also, M and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this week and that is always fun.
Miss Anything? Beer right now.  Mostly seasonal beer.  I’m having M stockpile my favorite kinds for later.
Movement: Lots.  Still not terribly consistent, but she is active everyday.  I love feeling her move around.
Food cravings: I’ve been craving meat again.  Specifically pot roast.  I could eat that every single day.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Food in general.  IBS and pregnancy is a rough combination.
Have you started to show yet? Yes, it seems like my bump is rounding out this week, which is nice.
Gender: GIRL!
Symptoms: Queasiness is back.  Stuffy nose, varicose veins, some fatigue.
Belly Button in or out? Still in…
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy.  I do find myself annoyed relatively easily but when I do get that way all it takes is a moment of thinking of the little lady and I am better.
Looking forward to: Feeling more movement and getting to 24 weeks.  I’m trying to break this down into smaller goals so I so freak out so much.  24 weeks is viability time, so I am just waiting to get to there now.

Overall, I am incredibly happy and lucky.  I am so excited to be having a girl and I am even more excited about having a little girl with M.  Life is good!