Saturday, November 29, 2008

Full Term!

I am officially full term today! It’s a major milestone for me, yet I still feel like I have the monumental task of delivering a healthy, living baby in a few days. It has been a few weeks since I’ve written here and so much has happened.

We had another growth scan this past Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Although the abdomen has grown, it’s still lagging far behind the head (in the 53%) and femur (in the 49%) at only 2%. The doctors are convinced that it’s due to my blood pressure. Since the baby is consistently scoring 8/8 on the biophysical profiles, they are ok with me waiting to deliver on Tuesday (if the lungs are mature) or on Wednesday (if the lungs are not mature).

I was also back in the hospital for a few hours of monitoring 2 weeks ago, due to 2 high bp readings in the doctor’s office. It was most likely not necessary, but I really appreciate the “better safe than sorry” attitude of our doctors. The baby was fine and my bp dropped right away. After being monitored for 2 hours, I was able to go home. I’ve really gotten to know quite a few of the staff there – so much so that one of the nurses came in to say hello! Hopefully, that will be an advantage when I actually deliver.

This past week has been very emotional for me. The 11 month anniversary of Dashiell’s death was Tuesday. As I watched the parade on Thanksgiving day, I couldn’t help but cry thinking that he should have been here. This would have been his first Thanksgiving with us. I remember last year thinking about it and planning for it. I’m so thankful for this little one inside me now, but it does not erase the pain & hole in my heart. I will never be able to spend a holiday with my first child. How does anyone truly heal from that?

It’s also surreal that I will be having my second child 11 months and 1 week after losing my first child. The holidays will certainly be bittersweet this year. I’m already having trouble listening to Christmas carols. I keep flashing back to last year. I remember December 14 very clearly. It was the family Christmas party at work. This is a huge event, attended by approximately 6,000 people. They had photo booths, Santa was there, the Rockettes performed, a Build a Bear workshop was set up, the cafeteria provided free lunch to all attendees, giant blow up slides, movies, etc. Glenn came and we walked around looking at all of the kids and talking about how we would have Dashiell with us at the party this year. It was one of the happiest days of my life, and my happiest memory of my entire pregnancy with Dashiell.

I know that there will be many happy memories that we’ll have with this baby. I’m so thankful for that. I’m also thankful for the happy memories that I have of my short time with Dash.

So, Monday, I’ll have an amniocentesis for lung function. If all goes well, I will come in Monday night to have my cervix ripened (GROSS!) and the induction will start on Monday. If the lungs are not mature, I will have one beamethosone shot on Monday, another on Tuesday & go in Tuesday night for the “ripening”. For the rest of this weekend, Glenn and I will be busy cleaning and trying to enjoy our last few days alone together.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

34 week visit, another trip to the hospital & going through Dashiell's things

This past Friday, we had another bpp and doctor’s appointment. Dr. G was actually out on paternity leave. He and his wife welcomed a beautiful baby boy on 11/3! I had the bpp and growth ultrasound first. The bpp was 8 out of 8 again, but the growth showed that the baby’s abdomen was much smaller than the rest of the body. This was not the case 4 weeks ago. Because of this, they started checking the blood flow through the cord and the arteries in the baby’s abdomen and brain. They were ok, but slightly high. The ultrasound doctor suspected that this is due to my high blood pressure.

I then went in to see Dr. M. I had not met him before, but he was quite funny and very nice. The nurse was a little cold (very Eastern European), but she was fine. My blood pressure was on the high side (133/90), so they had me lay down on my left side for several minutes. It went down slightly, but not much. We then met with Dr. M in his office. He said that, at this point, he’s not overly concerned, especially since the head & femur were measuring right on, but I would be “upgraded” to twice weekly bpps and to really take it easy. “If you don’t have to go to the store, then don’t. Have your groceries brought to you. You’re not housebound yet, but you really need to take it easy.”

Sunday morning, while doing my kick count, I only got 5 in an hour. You’re supposed to get 10 and normally I get my 10 within 20 minutes on a slow day. I checked my blood pressure and it was very elevated at 150/106. I called the doctor and was told to come in to labor & delivery. I was very nervous, but not completely panicked. I had seen the baby moving in the u/s on Friday, but I wasn’t feeling some of the movement.

When I got to the hospital, I got very dizzy. They took me in quickly and monitored me for several hours. They also did the preeclampsia blood work, which came back fine. While I was laying there, my blood pressure dropped very low (93/59), but they were not concerned. I was given the ok to go home and Taifa & Paul (who not only drove us up, but also waited in the hospital lobby for the several hours that we were there) drove us home and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

Yesterday, I had another bpp. The baby received a perfect 8 out of 8 and the blood flow through the cord & abdominal artery looked better. My blood pressure was good, too! Poor Glenn had to carry 2 jugs of my urine to the office from my 24 hour urine collection. Hopefully those results will come back fine today. For now, I’m just trying to relax and focus on all things positive.

We went through the box of Dashiell’s clothes yesterday. I cried quite a bit, especially since most of them were given to us on Christmas day, the day we lost him. We decided to use one of the outfits as the coming home outfit. It will be like having a little piece of Dash with us. Since he has been a part of this from the beginning, it only seems appropriate. I miss my angel so much. It never seems to get any easier.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tears of Joy and Sadness

I was so excited to log on today and write about Obama's big win last night. I have been very emotional about it. I truly feel that, even with the challenges we will be facing, my child will be born into a better world. Last night was like New Year's Eve here. I so badly wanted to head up to Rockefeller Center to "Election Plaza" to celebrate, but alas - bed rest. Even still, we could hear people on the street screaming, cheering and honking their horns. I couldn't sleep last night because I was just so excited.

This morning, I woke up and checked Jenell's blog only to learn that she delivered both of her baby girls, Alexis and Ashlen, yesterday and they are now both in heaven with their big sister. I'm sick about this. On top of it all, her birth story was horrible and painful physically. To have to deal with physical pain on top of the emotional stress is just cruel. I will never understand how God can let drug addicts, teenagers, abusers etc. be blessed with children while taking children away from a good, loving couple wants nothing more than to love their children. It is senseless. I can't believe that Jenell and her husband, Rob, will have had to bury 3 children in less than 10 months.

Please keep her in your prayers. If you click on the link in my last post, you can leave a comment for her and Rob. I know they appreciate knowing that they are surrounded by support and love.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The final countdown

I saw Dr G again on Thursday. He was a little all over the place, but understandably so. His wife was to be induced today with his first baby!

Our little munchkin got a perfect 8 out of 8 again on the bpp. Afterwards, I saw Dr. G. I had no weight gain this week at all, so as of Friday, I'm up 20 pounds even, which I'm pretty happy about. I showed Dr. G my home blood pressure logs and even though they've been creeping up, he is not concerned yet and thinks that the modified bed rest is working. Part of the reason my bp has been elevated is that I've been trying to deal with getting everything set to qualify for disability. It's an incredibly stressful process whereby you receive different information from everyone you speak to. I've done all I can do and it's out of my control, so I'm trying not to think about it.

After that, we set an induction date! I will have an amnio to test the baby's lung function on Monday, December 1. Provided all goes well, I'll be induced on Tuesday, December 2 - 28 days from today!!!! I kind of can't believe that we're almost there and yet I'm terrified to let go and fully believe that this will happen. I have a good feeling, but I'm just a little too nervous still in spite of that.

Halloween was a little rough. It was hard to see little boys in their costumes. I kept imagining what Dash would have looked like in the duck costume we had purchased for him last year. At the same time, I was looking forward to next year and this munchkin. I just miss my baby Dash so much.

Saturday, I think I had some kind of 24 hour bug. I threw up (which is normal), but I also slept for about 8 hours during the day and then slept all night. I felt better Sunday, but was feeling off again yesterday. I'm hoping I can stay healthy for these last few weeks. There is so much to do and I try to do just a little each day. I can't do too much because I'm not supposed to. Glenn is getting very excited. I think now that we have a date, he's ready to start buying things. I'm not quite there yet, but I'll have to be soon!

Link to Jenell's Blog

I wanted to post a link to Jenell's (my fellow angel mom who I posted about earlier) blog. She updates daily. As of yesterday, she was holding steady, even though her water has broken. Please continue to keep her and her baby girls in your prayers.