Growing Up

Dear Henry,
We’ve been taking a lot of walks lately. I’m currently 8 months pregnant with your younger sibling, and we walk so I can stay active. You’ll either walk with me (and sometimes your dad) or you’ll be pushed a long on your tricycle. I love these times with you. You’re so talkative and inquisitive, and I could listen to you talk about what’s going on inside your head for hours.Last night, your dad and I were taking a walk after dinner, and you came happily with us. We were almost home, when a car drove past us, and you announced “That was an old lady driving that car.” As it was almost dark, I have no idea if it was an old lady or not, but your dad asked you “how do you know that was an old lady?” You thought for a moment and then replied “because it’s routine.” It’s not. We don’t usually take walks at 8:30 at night, but your dad and I went with it. You’re dad then asked you “What does routine mean?” And again, you thought for a moment and then you proudly announced “predictable.” You stumbled a little on the pronunciation, but needless to say your dad and I were stunned for a moment at your brilliance.  


Sometimes it’s really hard to believe that you’re not even 4 yet. You have such a big vocabulary and act like such a little man. I’m so proud of the way you’re growing up. You’re so smart, but beyond that, you’re incredibly empathetic. You love helping people and doing things to make people feel better.

We have an elderly couple who live next door to us: Mr. Frank and Ms. Martha. Mr. Frank recently had a stroke that left him in a wheel chair. At least once a day you go over to their house by yourself to hang out with them and to brighten their day. You can literally see Mr. Frank perk up every time you go over. You love spending time with them. I’m not sure exactly what you do over there, but they love you, and it’s clear you love them. I hope that relationship can go on for as long as possible.

I love watching you grow from my baby to the little boy you’re becoming. I can’t wait to see you as a big brother. I know you’ll be fabulous at it.

I love you so much,

Momma

Week 33

Dear Baby,
This week you’re the size of a stalk of celery. According to the ultrasound I had last Friday, you’re weighing in at 5 lbs, but most of that is because of the length of your legs. Your head and chest are in the 60th percentile, but your legs are in the 90th…..I have no idea where you’re getting your length from…as I’m short, and your dad’s short, and all of our parents are short….So, we’ll just have to see how long you actually are when you’re born.  

Your cool develops this week are that you’re keeping your eyes open while you’re awake. You’re also starting to coordinate your breathing with sucking and swallowing. Those are some important skills, so make sure that you’re really working on those!

Yesterday we had a huge storm come through, and it was causing me to have contractions like crazy. It started around noon, and I was having contractions about every 30 minutes, and by the time I got home from work, they were 10-15 minutes apart. They didn’t start to slow down until after 5, and didn’t stop until around 7:30. So, that was fun. As excited as I am to meet you, you need to cook for a few more weeks, like 4-7 more weeks.

Your movements are getting stronger and stronger. You’re also hiccuping all the time. You usually get the hiccups 2 or more times a day, and you usually always have the hiccups when I’m about to eat lunch for some reason.  

We’re starting to finalize everything for your arrival. Today I ordered your diaper bag, wipes and wet bags (all of those items did not survive your brother, so you get brand new! I just have a few more things to get for you before we’ll be all set. I can hardly wait for you to be here. I’m so excited to meet you and watch your grow. I hope these next few weeks just fly by, and that you’ll be here before I know it!

I love you so much,

Momma  

Week 32

Dear Baby,
I don’t know why, but 32 weeks seems like a milestone to me. Maybe because it’s a nice round number, but it feels important. This week you’re the size of a squash: about 3.75 pounds and 16.6 inches long. My apps say that you’re likely in the head down position by now, but you’ve been in the head down position for a while. You’re also starting to run out of room in there. I can sure attest to that. I get very uncomfortable a lot, especially when you start stretching and pushing on things, which seems to be happening more and more.

I had a busy week last week with two trips to the hospital. I had a stomach virus that came close to developing into pancreatitis. I was given lots of fluids and rest, and I’m happy to report that I’m feeling close to 100% better. It got scary a few times because I was having contractions that were pretty close together (3 to 5 minutes apart), but the nurses and midwives were able to stop them. The whole time I was sick, you did great though, You kept moving and your heart beat stayed strong and steady the whole time.

I started to feel you having hiccups this week. It’s the cutest feeling. They feeling like little rhythmic bumps. They bring a smile to face every time it happens. I think they irritate you though. After a few minutes of the hiccups you start squirming and kicking, as if you’re trying to get them to stop.

I have a midwife appointment on Friday. They’re starting to worry that you’re getting too big. I got in for a biophysical ultrasound, a non-stress test and a regular appointment. It should be a long one, but I’m hoping I get nothing back but good news on your size.

Everything else seems to be trucking a long. You’ll be here before I know it, and I’m so excited for it!

I love you,

Momma

Week 31

Dear Baby
You’re the size of a bunch of asparagus this week! You’re measuring around 16 inches in length and are weighing around 3 lbs. You’re brain is growing like crazy right now, developing more and more and getting wrinklier by the day. Your eyes are developing too. You can now tell the difference between light and dark, which is super cool. And, now that your irises are working, all 5 of your senses are in working order! WHOOHOO!

Everything is going well for me except for the Gestational Diabetes. I was put on Metformin a while back, and the other day my midwife increased the dosage. Well, the drug from the beginning wasn’t agreeing with my body, and on Saturday, it had me throwing up and in so much pain that I couldn’t stand it any more. I took myself off of the medication without consulting my midwife, and now I’m just hoping that I don’t get a stern lecture from her. Without being on that awful medication, I feel fantastic. I have energy, I’m sleeping well (did I just jinx myself?) and things are sailing pretty smoothly. 

I am worried that you’re getting too big. My fundal height measured 32 cm at my last appointment, and it should pretty much match the number of gestational weeks that I am, so at the time it was measuring two cm more than it should. So, my next appointment I got to get an ultrasound to assess how large you are. I’m starting to worry that I’ll be induced like I was with your brother. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

I love you. Keep growing, but reasonably so,

Momma 

Hospitalizations….

Last week was a awful. 
Early Tuesday, I kept waking up with chills, shivering and achiness. I took my temp when I got up in the morning, and it came back at 101. So, I sent a few emails calling in sick to work, and promptly went back to bed. When I woke up a few hours later, I ended up having to run to the bathroom to throw up. I thought that episode was a fluke. Maybe I just got too hungry, or my blood sugar got too low, and I just passed it off and headed down to get something to eat.

I spent the remainder of the day camped out on the sofa, trying to rest. I still had all of my symptoms: fever, aches and pains, chills, and to top it off, my heart was beating a mile a minute. To the point that I could feel it pounding in my chest while I was sitting on the sofa doing nothing. I called my midwife’s office to let them know about my symptoms, and to tell them I was concerned about my heart rate. When I heard back from them, they said that the fast heart rate could just be caused by the fever, and to rest. But, if it really started to bother me, to go to the hospital to get checked out.

I was sitting there trying to figure out if I should go to the hospital or not, when I threw up again. At that point my mom made the decision for me and told me that we’re going to the hospital. So, into the car we went.

We got to the hospital, and I was assessed.

  

Turns out I was pretty sick. And, that temp is while on Tylenol.

I was taken to one of their monitoring rooms, and hooked up to the monitors, and the monitors were showing that I was having contractions every 3-5 minutes. I had no idea. I thought the back pain I was having was just from being sick and pregnant…but nope, those were contractions. That’s about when I freaked out, became super emotional and was very close to tears. That’s also the point where I called J and told him to come to the hospital (He was in the middle of Beauty and the Beast musical rehearsal at his school).

I was given two IV bags of fluids, and some Zofran for the nausea. And, I really started to feel better. The contractions never stopped for the remainder of that night, but they got farther and farther apart. After those IV bags, I was sent home and told to rest. We got home around midnight, and I went straight to bed.

I took Wednesday off from work, just to rest and make sure that everything returned to normal. My fever was gone, but my stomach, specifically the top of it was really hurting me. I assumed it was just pregnancy indigestion. The day was pretty normal. I was tired….like really tired, but was doing ok. That is, until it was Henry’s bed time. I started to feel really nauseous while reading him a bedtime story, and it was all I could do to make it through bedtime routine, As soon as I closed the door to his room, I had to run to the bathroom to throw up.

Thursday morning, I threw up my tea. A few hours after that I threw up a piece of dry toast. I called my midwife and pretty much demanded an appointment to be seen, and was given a 2:00 appointment.  

My mom drove me to the midwife’s office, and the midwife saw me fairly straight away. When she walked into the exam room, she took one look at me and said “you’re going back to the hospital.” She went on to explain that I was severely dehydrated (more so than I was on Tuesday) and I needed fluids. She added that she thought my gallbladder might be causing a lot of my sickness, and told me that I would probably be admitted, and that she wanted to run tests (blood work and ultrasound) on my gallbladder.

So, back to the hospital we went. I threw up in the bathroom waiting to be called back, and then I threw up again as soon as they got me to one of those monitoring rooms. They got the IV in fairly quickly after I started throwing up. They pushed two and half IV bags into me while I was in that room, and then a midwife popped in, and told me that I was to be admitted. They were going to send me for an ultrasound of my gallbladder in the morning. My numbers apparently came back horrible, and they said that I was about an inch away from developing full blown pancreatitus.  

From what I understand throwing up had irritated my stomach, which then irritated my gallbladder, which was then irritating my liver, and I was to the point where my pancreas was about to join the party. So, after being admitted, I was allowed to eat a bowl of chicken broth, but after midnight I wasn’t allowed anything to eat or drink (not even water).  

I had my ultrasound of my gallbladder, which came back normal, and then I was given 6 more bags of fluids throughout the day (that’s a total of 8 full bags of IV fluids if you weren’t keeping count).

I was slowly allowed to start eating again, and at around 9 pm on Friday night, I was discharged from the hospital. They told me that I was still dehydrated, and that I really needed to push the liquids to get my body back in shape. I’m also to stay away from all fats right now. Basically, I can have lean meats and vegetables. I have no idea how I’m supposed to gain weight on that diet….I go back to the midwife on the 22nd. So far, I’m doing well. My system is slowly returning to normal, and I believe that I’m close to being rehydrated again. It’s seriously taken me days to accomplish it.  

Update

The other day we had our pediatric cardiologist appointment in the morning, and then we had a midwife appointment in the afternoon. I was so happy that J could come with me to both of these.
The pediatric cardiologist appointment took a little over an hour. They assessed me first: weight, height, bp, and asked a bunch of questions about the pregnancy and my medications.  
Then, they took me back to the ultrasound room. The ultrasound took about half an hour (maybe more) and the tech, while quite nice, hardly spoke, and when she did, it was all medical jargon that I didn’t know. So, my stress level was pretty high during the whole thing.
When the tech was done, she left to get the cardiologist. He came in looked at the pictures that the tech took, and then got the ultrasound back out to get a look himself. After about another 10 minutes of silence, he started talking to us and said that everything looked normal. They didn’t see a bright spot, or hole that the previous ultrasounds showed, so it looks like everything resolved itself.  
He went on to say that an ultrasound through me, through the baby might not be totally accurate, and that if anything is found after the baby is born, to ignore this ultrasound and its findings. But, to the best of his knowledge, everything looks perfect.
We were relieved to say the least.
J and I then went out to lunch. And had a nice afternoon out until the midwife appointment.
At the midwife’s office, they got my weight. it’s been the same the last 3 visits. My BP was slightly down at 124/84. When the midwife came in, she used the doppler to listen to the heartbeat. It was around 150 bpm. She measured my fundal height and that was 32 cm. Which is on the large side of normal. As I have GD, on my next visit, I have a midwife appointment, a biophysical ultrasound and a non-stress test. So, I’ll be there a while.
They increased my Metformin Rx because it’s not helping my fasting numbers at all. They’ve been going nowhere but up, which is beyond frustrating. I hate the meformin. The side effects of it are just awful. I’m nauseous again in the morning, and struggle not to throw up. I have awful indigestion that a pepcid can’t even touch. I get extremely fatigued on, and have brain fog almost all the time. And, to top it all off, I started throwing up again because of it and hardly able to eat past the indigestion pain. If the medication was helping, I think it would be one thing and I’d have hope to tough it out. But it’s not helping at all. I finally broke down and emailed my midwife to ask if there’s another Rx that I could switch to that might be easier on my system.
I’m now worried that the baby is going to be too big. I’m really trying to do everything in my power to make sure that I eat only GD approved items, and refrain from eating anything else. I’ve cut all ALL sweets, all added sugar and am on a diet very similar to keto, with a few carb items added in here and there. I’m really curious what the ultrasound is going to say as far as weight for the baby. My next appointment is April 22, so we’ll see I guess.

Week 30

Dear Baby,
At 30 weeks, you’re roughly the length of a cucumber, and you’re weighing in at about 3 lbs. From here on out, you’ll pack on about a half pound a week until you’re born! Another really cool development this week is that you’re brain is getting wrinkly! Your brain is growing and developing which will help make you super smart. With the added fat that you’re putting on, and your super smart brain, you’re now regulating your own body temperature, which means that the lanugo that covers you is starting to disappear. Also, for the first time, your bone marrow is producing your red blood cells. This means that you’ll be super prepared for life on the outside soon!

What’s new with me? Pelvic pain and/or pressure. I’m feeling a ton of pressure and pain in my pelvis right now. It’s starting to make it hard to sleep at night, and walking around at work is also becoming uncomfortable. I really feel like I’m running out of room for you to grow. I’ve upped my walking to every day. I’m going on at least a 30 minute walk every day that isn’t raining. Most times I take your brother with me, I’ll either push him on his bike, pull him in a wagon, or he walks with me. So, we’re both getting really good exercise to get ready for you. I’m hoping that we can keep this up after you’re born. My feet and hands are also starting to swell from the warmer temperatures. It’s nothing bad, and really pretty tame compared to my last pregnancy.

I’m really getting excited for your arrival. I’m looking forward to snuggling with you. I’m really looking forward to watching your brother and Dad hold and snuggle with you too. I can’t wait to see what you look like, and to watch your personality form. I’m so looking forward to being a part of your life.

Keep growing, and always remember that I love you,

Momma