Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Testing, testing (34 week update)

Well, I'm not officially 34 weeks, but this is the only time I have this week to update the blog, so I jumped the gun by a couple days. Forgive me. :)

Last week we began the gauntlet of testing that will continue until the baby is born. Because of my history along with my pre-existing Polymyositis, they are keeping a really close eye on things, for which I am very grateful. I now go into the hospital every Tuesday morning for what's called a "Non-stress test", in which I am hooked up to a monitor and they measure baby's movement, heart rate, and my contractions for about 30 minutes. I then go down the hall for an ultrasound where they check fluid levels, position of the baby, and generally how things seem to be going in there. Ever Friday, I go to the hospital again, but only for the non-stress test. I am now down to weekly appointments with my OB, and those are usually on Wednesdays, and then once a month I still go in for a special ultrasound to measure baby's size and a few other factors. Whew! Makes for very busy weeks!

Physically, I feel great. I hurt my back last week which has been somewhat annoying, and on some days a bit more than annoying, but I'm not even entirely sure its pregnancy related, so hopefully a visit to the chiropractor will fix me right up. I am definitely growing...a lot! But I've been told this baby is quite the chunky monkey and may just close in on nine pounds or more, so a big me is to be expected! Let's remember the days when I was lugging around more than 14 pounds of baby, shall we?

38 weeks pregnant with  Jake and Eisley

Ahh. Memories. I have had a few comments to the effect of "Oh my! It must be getting harder and harder to walk around now!" To which I fight the urge to whip the above picture out and say, "Not as hard as it was back then!!" ;)

Currently, I am pretty comfortable (but probably only because I compare everything to the twin pregnancy, and that pregnancy was as far from comfortable as one can possibly get), and enjoying this baby and all that comes with it, even if it means lots of tests and hospital visits. I don't mind one bit, and I love the reassurance of seeing the baby alive and well so often.

I will say, it hasn't been without its struggles. My testing is done in the same place where I had to go after I found out Lily had passed away to get an amnio. I remember vividly sitting in that same waiting room with Josh, feeling completely empty and like I might never feel happy again. That's not a feeling you forget easily, and this place tends to trigger those emotions for me. My ultrasounds are in the same room as I had that amnio with Lily, where I laid in the dark and watched her still body on the screen. I remember how the nurses cried with Josh and me as the doctor did that test. I remember chanting "My poor baby" over and over again as I watched her on the screen, not wiggling, not doing anything, and how I was still concerned the doctor might accidentally poke her with the needle. It is one of my worst memories in my entire life, and it wasn't easy going into that room again, even under happy circumstances.

Jake and Eisley got to come with me for the first ultrasound in "that" room, and honestly that made it a lot easier for me to be brave and face those awful memories head on. They had no clue what had happened in that room just two years before, how they were sitting in the same chair their daddy sat in while he sobbed and held my hand. They just bounced up and down, anxious to see "their" baby on the ultrasound screen. One of the coolest things was when Eisley said, "Look mommy! A lily!" Sure enough, I looked behind me to see a framed picture of a lily on the wall. And the ultrasound began, and there was our baby, looking perfect and healthy, and things couldn't have been more different than that awful day two years ago.

This morning's tests went perfectly. The baby was active and behaving nicely. I went in for my ultrasound, in that same room, and of course I just couldn't help but feel that twinge of dread and sadness I felt on a much larger scale back then. I have been blessed to have very few moments of panic the last few weeks, but when the tech started to look at the baby, there were these five seconds or so when I could not spot the heartbeat at all. She was looking right at the baby's chest, but I saw no familiar flicker. I kid you not, I almost lost it right there. I knew that the baby had a heartbeat only one minute prior to this, one minute! But there I was, positive that the baby had just died and I was experiencing some horrible Twilight Zone episode where the same awful things keep happening in the same awful room. This room must be cursed!!! I was thinking. I literally told God "I cannot do this again, I will not." And just then, there was the heartbeat. Who knows why I hadn't seen it before, the ultrasound tech certainly wasn't one bit concerned, so I then reasoned that I had probably been looking at the baby's head. But those five seconds...ugh. They were hard.

Pregnancy after so many losses, it is filled with moments like that. You are no longer able to believe the best, you can't. Your mind goes to the worst possible scenario at the slightest sign of trouble. It's just hard, it just is. But, on the flip side, I appreciate every single moment with this baby so very much more than I ever would have if my history was different. Every kick I feel is a rush of joy and thankfulness. Every single one. I have times where the baby has been napping for a half hour or so, and I start prodding at it, trying to get it to move and tell me it's okay in there. The moment it does, I have to hold back my tears. I let out a breath and just say, "Thank God, thank you God, thank you so much." It borders on the ridiculous really. But I don't care, and if you have been where I've been, you understand completely.

And now to the good stuff! In case you are wondering, no, we haven't officially decided on names yet. We have a "short list", and each of us has our favorites, but they are subject to change until that birth certificate is signed! Hopefully this baby will have a name by the time they arrive, but I'm not making any promises.

Here is the most recent picture of mommy and baby, each of us growing steadily! ;)

And here is the most recent picture of our little peanut! Though he or she is so NOT a little peanut anymore, and was fondly referred to as "quite the chunker" by the ultrasound tech this morning. ;)

Well...who do you think this baby looks like? Because I am of the opinion that this baby has Jake and Lily's exact pouty lips! Just look at the comparison!


But, the upper portion of the face...that's all Eisley! This baby has her nose, for sure. :)


We do make cute babies, there is no doubt about that. :) 

Thanks so much for continuing to pray for us and this baby. We are getting so close to holding this little one in our arms, and while we are trying to enjoy these last few weeks as they are, that day just can't come soon enough!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

32 Week Update :)

I just wanted to give those of you who are following our little surprise blessing an update on his/her status! ;) I got to have a growth scan today (as I do every four weeks) and was SO looking forward to it, as I haven't had an ultrasound in a month! I am ultrasound spoiled being high risk and getting to have so many, my fridge is PACKED with pictures of this baby spanning from a spec to a gummy bear to a full on baby looking human!

Anyways, at my appointment this morning my doctor let me know I'm measuring a couple weeks ahead (or rather, baby is, as I have only gained a few pounds thankyouverymuch). She said I might go a bit earlier than anticipated, or we just might have a chunky monkey growing in there!

I went from there straight to my ultrasound and it was so wonderful and comforting to peek in at this little one wiggling around. He or she is quickly running out of space! We got some great shots of baby today and even got a couple in 3D! Some people are very weirded out by the 3D ultrasound pics, but I think they're so cool! Baby looks just like Jakey!!!

They also measured baby at 4 lbs 11 oz already (holy cow! Chunky baby!!!) and based off of that and my measurements, we're keeping our fingers crossed that maybe this baby will make an early appearance when Josh has two weeks off for Spring Break in March haha! A girl can dream can't she?!?

Physically, I am feeling really good! I'm tired of course after a long work day, and definitely feeling more whale like, especially when trying to roll over in bed, but overall I feel fantastic and I'm enjoying things as much as possible. I know the hardest is still ahead, but I also know I will never get as big or miserable as I was with the twins, so that's comforting!

Emotionally, I have had a really great couple of weeks. God has been so good to ease my fears and allow me to enjoy the pregnancy so much more. I have not struggled as much lately and have a real peace about things, and at times I actually let myself believe we really will have a baby in our arms in a couple months. I am hopeful and trying to be optimistic, but of course those doubts and fears can creep in when I least expect them.

My doctor has been wonderful at keeping a really, really close eye on me and baby to help ease the anxiety. She was with me through my pregnancy with Lily and my last miscarriage, and knows how hard this pregnancy has been on me emotionally. Next week I start weekly ultrasounds and twice weekly non-stress tests to make sure baby is doing well in there. At the first sign of trouble, she will yank that baby right out (her words). ;) That makes me feel a lot better, and hopefully will make these last few weeks a little easier on my heart!

I will leave you with a recent photo of my pregnant self in all its glory, as well as a few of our creepy 3D ultrasound pics (which I still find super cool). Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement!!!

Here's a picture from last week...

And here is a picture from today! We be poppin'! ;) 32 weeks! Never in a million years thought I'd make it this far!

Here is a 3D picture of Baby Harrison's cute little face! Remind anyone else of Jakey???

Here is another 3D picture, a side view of baby's profile with his or her hands in front of the face! Look at that cute little chubby chin!! ;)

Last but not least, I had to include this acrobatic shot of the baby touching his or her foot to its nose! That's a big foot! Must get that from daddy. ;)