Sunday, July 25, 2010

18 Weeks!

We're trucking right along in the gestational department! I am 18 weeks pregnant today. The baby is now approximately 5.5 inches long and weighs about 1/2 a lb - about the size of a sweet potato!
The 1/2 lb baby doesn't quite account for the 10 lbs I've gained thus far though! Ooops :) Because my BMI was on the higher end for normal when I got pregnant, I really should not gain more than 25 lbs total. That's a little scary...

I'm feeling pretty good these days. I rarely have morning sickness anymore - only about once or twice a week! I have tons more energy during the day, but am still beat by early evening. I feel a lot of fetal movement, which I absolutely adore!!

I started the progesterone 17P shots this week. Despite all the hype leading up to it, it was easy peasy. I barely felt a thing. My bum was a tad sore for about two days afterward, but nothing to complain about.

This week upcoming is pretty exciting! Thursday morning, I have my anatomical ultrasound, where they take an in-depth look at the baby's organs and take all of its measurements to make sure everything is developing well. If the baby cooperates, we will also be able to find out the gender!! After that appointment, I am heading to a consultation with a midwife practice who may consider me as a patient for a vba2c!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bennett's Toddler Bed - FINALLY done!

This past Spring, I discovered this awesome blog - The blogger is a stay at home mom in Alaska who designs and builds her own wood furniture. She generously creates plans and posts them on her blog for all of us to use and replicate! Her designs are inspired by some of my favorite stores - Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, etc. HEAVEN for me. However, other than a shop class I took in 7th grade, I had NO experience with woodworking! But, ever fearless, I embarked on this project -with the help of my husband of course. And let's be honest - he really did most of the work because stuff like saws and drills scare me a little bit. But, I will get there one day.
So, after obsessing over this blog for weeks (literally) I decided that our first project would be a toddler bed for our crib-jumping son Bennett. I printed off the plans and headed to Lowe's for the lumber. All in one day, we bought the supplies, made the cuts and assembled the head and foot boards!

The bed really was beautiful "naked" but I wanted to stain it to match the rest of Bennett's nursery furniture, which is Mahogany. That had to be put off to another day, and actually took several days and coats to get it perfect. Then I got pregnant. And sick. And nothing other than eating (sometimes) and sleeping (a lot) and breathing has really been accomplished since then!

So, we started this project on April 10th and completed it yesterday, on July 5th. We're real efficient, as you can see. But it is DONE. And I love it!
Bennett slept in it for the first time last night and did great! I was nervous that he would fall out because he's a hurricane when he sleeps, but he stayed in just fine!
We did learn a few important lessons in the process, however, that I feel I should pass on to you, should you decide you want to attempt a great feat such as this ;)
1. I learned that lumber doesn't actually measure what they are labled. A 1x6 board is actually only 5.5'' wide, not 6'' as the label would lead you to believe. This is important in figuring out measurements, obviously. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I had no idea.
2. Cut as you go. We pre-cut everything and that ended up being a mistake (albeit fixable) because some of the pieces didn't match up perfectly. So, we had to fix pieces here and there. When pieces go side-by-side, mark the cut for subsequent pieces off the first cut so they are all uniform.
3. When cutting, add on 1/8'' for the amount the saw takes off.
4. Double-check your plans before you start cutting. Sometimes there are small mistakes in plans and you want to catch that before you do anything permanent! For example, the plans we used from Knock-Off Wood were for a 26.5'' mattress, when a crib mattress is actually 28.5'' wide. I accomodated for this by using larger pieces of wood than plans called for, but fewer panels. Read the comments for each plan entry and see what others have to say - they often point out potential challenges and flaws in the plans!
5. Sand REALLY WELL. The finish is ALLLLLL in the sanding. An electrical sander is a must.
Next up - bunk beds for Carter!!!! He's been begging for bunk beds forever! Which will come in handy with Baby 3.0 makes her arrival and Bennett has to give up the nursery!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Shooting Up

Last week, I met with my Perinatologist (a doctor specializing in high risk pregnancies) to discuss our plan of attack to help prevent another preemie. Because I had a preterm premature rupture of membranes (pProm) with Bennett, there is a 31% chance that it will happen again. Now, that 31% figure comes from a study that looked at all moms with a history of pProm - which included known and unknown reasons and risk factors. We don't know why I ruptured so early with Bennett. It could have been a total fluke! Or, there could have been something going on that they could never find that caused it. But, its maddening because without knowning the cause, its very difficult to assess my true risk for a repeat pProm AND to take appropriate precautions to prevent it.

That said, even with known causes, its pretty diffficult to prevent pProm. The Perinatologist recommended weekly 17 p (hydroxyprogesterone) shots, bi-weekly ultrasounds of my cervix (because a common cause is "funneling" at the top of the cevix, leaving the amniotic sac unsupported), lifting no more than 10 lbs, and restricting exercise to light walking. I am also Group B Strep positive, and will be monitored for that and possible spread of infection throughout my pregnancy.

So, the next day, I go to my regular OB check up and report these recommendations to my doctor, who should be the one to prescribe and administer the shots for me. Despite my Perinatologist's recommendation for the shots, my OB was very resistant to it and was trying very hard to convince me that I did not need them.

The 17p shots were designed to help prevent preterm labor. They work by keeping the uterus calm, hoping to keep you from having any contractions. Since I was not having contractions when I came into the hospital after my "full" rupture, my OB said he doesn't think that was the cause of my rupture and therefore the shots won't help me.

That would make sense EXCEPT for the fact that I have a very irritable uterus in general. I have already been having contractions here and there with this pregnancy, and I'm still a few days away from 15 weeks! Furthermore, I actually started leaking fluid at 21 weeks - three weeks before I was admitted to the hospital. Who knows if I was contracting then or not! And the day that I ruptured, I was having contractions on and off the whole day. They weren't regular contractions, so I assumed they were Braxton Hicks - but WHO KNOWS!? The point is, we don't know. But if there is a chance these shots could help me prevent putting another baby through hell, I'm going to do it!

Then my OB had the nerve to say - "Yes, but you realize that this is an added cost [the co-pays] and pain and inconvenience for you?" Does the man not realize that I would hang from the ceiling by my ankles for the rest of my pregnancy if I thought it would keep this baby in? Does he think I care that it will hurt or cost $10 a week? He has obviously never had to sit at his child's bedside daily for nine weeks watching him struggle to breathe. I would do ANYTHING to keep that from happening to this baby.

I was already looking for a new provider before this happened, but now, I feel all the moreso that I need to do just that...

So, starting at 18 weeks, I get to have a shot in the bum every week. Fun, fun, fun! Now, all I need are volunteers to administer them....