Sunday, August 14, 2011

Post 132...Phoenix Rising

It was 6am at the hospital as my husband and I walked laps around the birthing center. Since I wasn't having any contractions, the nurse suggested I walk around in hopes to progress my dilation. At the moment, I was sitting at about 2cm and roughly 80% effaced. Round and around we went, impressing all the nurses on the floor with our speed. After walking nearly 4 miles a day up and down hills, a small walk around the birthing center presented little challenge. After about an hour of power walking the halls, the nurses switched shifts and the doctor was soon to arrive.
Before we had began our walk, I asked the nurse if it was at all possible to request Margie, the nurse we had when we lost Joey. She was a fantastic nurse who had helped us through an impossible time. But the nurse regrettably told me that Margie no longer worked as a floor nurse, but was now working as a teacher for new nurses. She was known to occasionally pick up a few shifts from time to time, but she almost never did so on Mondays. I tried to swallow my disappointment and focus more on the task at hand. But I had to admit, I was really hoping Margie could have been there.

Well, by some miracle, as we walked our last few laps around the halls, Margie came walking up to us with open arms! By an unusual turn of events, she was covering a floor shift that day and, per our request, had been assigned to us! I could have cried right then and there! The wonderful nurse that had helped to bring my first son into this world was now going to be a part of helping to bring Andy into the world! When our family had arrived, they all embraced Margie like a long lost relative. The room was filled with smiles, hugs, and laughter. I couldn't have planned a better environment to bring my son into.

Since my contractions still hadn't kicked in on their own, the doctor decided to start me up on pitocine. Within the hour, I went from having little to no contractions to having full blown, extremely painful contractions. After about a couple hours of increasing pain, I finally asked for an epidural. Around noon, I was given relief from the pain. As we watched the graph charting my contractions go up and down, I blissfully sat there chatting with family, completely unaware of my body contracting and working hard at gearing up for labor.

But as the hours past, my dilation began to slow down. After reaching roughly 4cm and only 90% effaced, everything came to a screeching halt. The doctor increased the pitocine even more, but, much to my dismay, I made no progress. After awhile, it became apparent that the long use of pitocine was starting to have a negative affect of the baby. With each pitocine induced contraction, Andy's heart rate would flutter. Soon I found myself facing a scary crossroad: keep going with pitocine in hopes for a vaginal delivery but risk stressing the baby, or back off of the pitocine so as not to stress the baby but face a higher chance of a cesarean. As much as I wanted to deliver vaginally, obviously the baby's safety came first.

The doctor backed off on the pitocine and we all watched as my contractions slowed down and my progress came to a complete stop. As the late evening hours rolled into the night, I could feel the ache of day's labor setting into my body even through the epidural. Finally, around 9pm, the doctor came to tell us to start preparing ourselves for a cesarean. We were terrified. My husband and I sat in the labor and delivery room crying and praying that my body would show some progress in the next hour so I wouldn't need the c-section, but there was no such luck. Around 10pm, I was signing consent forms for the cesarean as my husband held tight to my hand. I then watched as my husband got dressed in his blue paper jumper so he could come back to the OR with me. In what felt like a matter or minutes, I was in the operating room under large bright lights, numb from the chest down, staring nervously into my husband's eyes.

No words can describe how odd it was to simply lay there knowing that I was being filleted open by a team of doctors. Before the surgery began, I noticed that I could see the reflection of my stomach in the large lights that loomed over me. I nervously squeezed my husband's hand. "I can see myself in the lights." I told him. "I can see where they are preparing to cut."
My husband squeezed my hand tighter in response. "Then I want you to look into my eyes." he instructed. "Don't look away. Just look into my eyes. I don't want you to see them cutting into you. Your job is to keep your heart rate down so Andy can be safe, and watching them cut into won't help with that. So just look at me, Tiny. I'm here. I've got you. And I'm not going anywhere."
Even though his face was covered by a medical mask, I could see the smile in his eyes. I was amazed. There wasn't even a trace of fear. Once again, my husband faced an incomprehensible situation with such bravery. Moments before we left for the OR we were crying in fear and now, he sat next to me with smiling eyes and a steady hand. In that moment on the operating table, I thanked God that I have such a remarkable husband.

I never knew that a woman in labor, even during a cesarean, could shake so badly. It started off as a lip tremor as if I were feeling cold. But quickly that lip tremor turned into chattering teeth, and then full on body shaking (well...from the chest up since my whole lower half was completely numb). A nurse fetched me a warm blanket but it did little to stop my shaking. My husband asked the anesthesiologist if it was a side effect of the drugs. But the doctor informed us that the shaking was not only normal, but quite common for a woman in labor. The tremors are apparently caused from all of the adrenalin going through the body. And for a woman undergoing a cesarean, the effects can be amplified from the shock of the surgery itself. It was weird having such uncontrollable shaking that didn't subside until shortly after returning to the recovery room.

But as I lay there shaking on the operating table, looking deep into my husband's eyes, all the world stood still when I heard the first cry. "There he is!" I heard the doctor say. "Look how big he is! Oh and look at those cheeks!" I couldn't speak. My breath caught hard in my throat as my husband and I gazed at each other in excitement. Such a precious little cry echoed through the room as I cried in joy. "Go to him." I whispered to my husband. I could see he was eager to go see him. For several minutes I lay on the table crying, straining to hear him, craning my head as much as I could to see beyond the huddles of doctors and nurses that surrounded me. "Where is he? Where is he?" If I could have, I would have ran to Andy's side and scooped him up into my arms! But I was stuck laying on the table, numb and impatient.

And there he was....

My husband, beaming from ear to ear under his paper mask, came walking up, gently holding a small bundle. "This is your mommy." he said to the bundle, turning it towards me to reveal the pink, wrinkly, little face of our son. Tears streamed down the side of my face. "Hi Andy." I said in awe. He cooed and turned his face towards me. My voice! He recognized my voice! I was overjoyed! For what felt like a day that passed in a second, I lay there looking at our beautiful healthy little boy.

Quickly we were back in the recovery room as I watched the nurse clean Andy up and give him his shots. My husband stayed by his side, only to look up with tears in his eyes as Andy gripped onto his finger. I still was shaking horribly when the doctor asked if I would like to try and feed Andy. I told her I was afraid I was going to drop him since I was still shaking so badly, but my heart was aching to hold him. Gently she passed him to me and, for the first time ever, I was holding my baby boy, Andy. Without any trouble, he latched onto my breast and began to nurse. And much to my amazement, my shaking immediately stopped as soon as Andy began nursing.

In that beautiful moment, as I watched my son drink, I was washed over with a feeling of relief. Relief that I could supply milk for him. Relief that the surgery went so well. Relief that he made it into this world safe and healthy. This pregnancy has been such an incredible journey filled with many trials and tribulations. And in a way, I don't feel like this pregnancy began when we first found out I was pregnant with Andy. But rather; I feel like this pregnancy began about a year and a half ago when we were first pregnant with Joey. We learned so much from our experience with Joey; how to protect, how to appreciate, how to love, and how to let go. Joey showed us what we needed to do to ensure the safety of our next pregnancy. I can't help but to see the two pregnancies as one. Both Joey and Andy were so much alike as I carried them inside me. And the timing of the pregnancies were so close together. Plus we couldn't have had the second pregnancies without the first, so they will forever be connected. From the very first positive pregnancy test I ever had to the beautiful healthy boy nursing from my breast, my heart and soul have been forever enriched from this experience.

There was a time that I never imagined I would feel whole again. But as I hold my son in my arms, and my first born son in my heart, I can truly say: like the phoenix, new life has risen from the ashes.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Post 131...In the blink of an eye

Our last obgyn appointment, I was at 40 weeks. The doctor, surprised that I was still pregnant, decided to do another sweep of my cervix, scraping the membranes in hopes that it would help move things along. But since everything was otherwise at a stand still, the doctor scheduled for us to be induced on the 22nd.

Once again the results of the sweep slowly came up over the course of a few days. First there was spotting, then an increase in discharge that ramped up more each day. I won't go into detail about the discharge. All I will say was there was a lot and it was gross.

But in spite of the promising results that came from the sweep, it still didn't seem like enough. I had little to no contractions (except for when I was walking) and there were no signs of my water breaking. In my desperation to get things moving, I continued to walk miles each day, and doing just about everything I could think of to get the baby to drop into position.

On July 18th at 3am, I got up to use the bathroom. It was funny really. I almost wasn't sure what happened at first. I had just finished going pee, wiped, and as I was about to stand up, I felt a small gush of water come out. I sat there for a second, my heart racing, trying to figure out what just happened. Did my water just break or did I just have more in my bladder than I thought?...It didn't feel like I was peeing, but everything is so squished down there with my big belly, who can really say?....

I tried to walk around to see if I would continue to leak fluid. There was a little tiny bit of runny fluid but honestly, it wasn't like the big Hollywood splash-down. I began to think it may have all been in my head. So I tried to go back to sleep. But of course, I couldn't. When 4am came rolling around, I still felt like I had a little more watery fluid leaking out, though still nothing of great significance, so I decided to wake my husband up. Maybe I was going to be the crazy woman who went to the hospital over a small trickle of pee, but I wanted to be absolutely sure. So, as planned, we went down the checklist on the back of the front door, gathered up our things, and headed out for the hospital.

At 4:30am we were checked in and waited anxiously as the nurse ran a test on my urine to determine if it contained traces of amniotic fluid or not. As I went back to the bathroom to give them a sample, I noticed a second gush of fluid, much like the first, but this time there were small bits of blood and what looked like small shreds of tissue paper in my sample. I had read about this before. The small bits of tissue is actually parts of the fluid sack. At that point, I was positive my water had broken. And sure enough, about 20 minutes later, the nurse returned with a smile on her face. "Guess what day it is?" she said with glee. "It's your son's birthday!"

With that, we were checked in to the labor and delivery room, calling up our family and friends, anxiously waiting for Andy to arrive. It was hard to believe. One second I had been power walking around the neighborhood trying to get things moving and the next, I was sitting in the hospital room watching the sun rise over the city, trying to wrap my head around the idea that, come nightfall, we would be holding our little boy in our arms.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Post 130...7 Eleven

Darn! I was hoping Andy would be born today. How fun would it be to have a birthday of 7-11-11? Come on! 7 Eleven?! He would've always had free Slurpees on his birthday every year! Oh well. I know the day isn't done yet, but I don't really feel like labor is on its way. I have had more discharge (sorry, TMI) and occasionally I have had a contraction or two, but otherwise I haven't had any other signs of on-coming labor. I keep hoping and praying that he'll come soon. I spent the whole morning talking to Andy, trying to convince him to come out soon but I guess he's just a little too cozy in there.

Yet another day goes by and we're still all waiting anxiously for Andy to come...

Dear Andy,
We are all so excited to meet you! We trust that you know when it will be the best time to come out into this world but, until that day, we are all driving ourselves crazy with anticipation! You still have so much energy, kicking and wiggling around in my tummy. It makes me smile every time! I'm glad you have so much strength! I just know you're going to handle labor wonderfully. And when you're ready to come out, you're going to see all the wonderful things our family and friends have gotten for you. Your room is ready, your toys are waiting, and your dad and I can't stop thinking about holding you in our arms! At the latest, I will see you next week!

Love always, Mom

P.S. Auntie Katie got you an awesome onesie that will make it look like you're wearing a tie! It's pretty sweet! I'm thinking you'll have to wear it to your Uncle Andy's wedding or wedding rehearsal so you can look snazzy for all the visiting relatives.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Post 129...Five days away

In spite of the progress I had yesterday with losing my mucus plug, it seems like everything went back to a screeching halt. Again I have no cramping or contractions going on, and the baby shows no signs of dropping, leaving me feeling like I am no closer to labor than I was before. I took one step forward and two steps back. When my friend lost her plug this last Wednesday, her baby dropped right away and she started having increasing contractions in the days to follow. I suppose I expected the same of myself. But here I am, waiting for some other sign of progress while my friend is holding her newborn that she gave birth to last night.

I'm not sure what to do. A part of me wants to spend the day walking around in hopes to move things along. But I have a hard time believing that will actually work considering I was walking for miles every day last week and didn't so much as dilate or efface in the slightest bit. The only cramping it causes is the cramping in my legs. As much as I have been wanting to be woken up by strong contractions, I have been woken up by charlie horses in my calf muscles instead! The one thing that seemed to help me progress was when the doctor scraped the membranes in my last appointment. But considering that I don't have my next appointment until this coming Thursday, the day before our due date, I'm having a hard time believing that Andy will actually be here on time. Because unless the doctor does something else to help move things along, I don't really trust that my body will do it on its own. Hmmm...any guesses why I wouldn't trust my body?

So here I am, five days away from my due date and I am showing no signs of approaching labor. I am so ready to have my body back! I am done feeling so tight, fat, and achy! But each time I ask when I will be relieved of this discomfort and when I'll be able to see my son, I'm met with the illusive "soon" response that I hate so much. "Soon" is just another way of saying "I have no idea."

Everyone keeps throwing out guesses for when I will deliver Andy and so far I have disappointed many. My husband originally guessed that we would deliver on the 11th, which is tomorrow. I hate to brake it to him, but I don't think that's going to happen. He seems excited and anxious to meet Andy too, but each day I don't have any symptoms, each day we edge closer to delivering late, the more I see that excitement fade in his eyes. It seems like the more he realizes the likelihood of me needing to be induced, the more he reluctantly lets go of that dream of receiving an excited call from me saying that my water broke. I want so badly to give him that excited, classic experience. He has already had to put up with so many unfavorable circumstances by having a child with me (out of all the woman out there, he had to chose the one that would miscarry his first born son and then have another pregnancy full of fear and complications); I just wanted this one part to go right. I wanted him to feel the joy and nervousness of needing to rush to the hospital to have a healthy happy baby. But once again, I fear that my body is stopping our dreams from coming true and there is nothing I can do about it but watch the growing disappointment in the people around me. I know there is still time for me to go into labor on my own. But forgive me if I have little faith in things going right when it comes to my pregnancies.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Post 128...Mucus Plug

Last night, after a relaxing evening at our friends house where I got to enjoy alcohol free wine that they bought for me (yay for modern technology!), and a nice summer night walk around the neighborhood, I came home to some hard cramps. It wasn't anything too painful. I have had menstrual cramps that were way worse in the past. But they were the most painful I have had yet in the pregnancy. The achiness radiated from my back and into my front causing my whole stomach to feel as tight as a rock. So to help relax my muscles a little, I took a nice hot shower before bed. It helped a little, but luckily the cramping wasn't so bad that I couldn't fall asleep. I slept soundly through the night, only feel some mild cramping when I got up to use the bathroom.

This morning, the cramps were gone. Since it hasn't even been two days since my last Obgyn appointment, I shrugged it off. I wasn't any closer to labor two days ago, so I highly doubted that my cramping last night was any indication of approaching labor.

But then I took a shower....

As I was showering, I was thinking of the things I had read about with the process of scraping the membranes. Most woman who have had the procedure done will see results within 24-48 hours after. Other than my mild cramping and slight spotting I had the day of, I hadn't seen any indication of approaching labor. I laughed to myself. Of course things weren't moving along. When it comes to pregnancy, I am often the rare exception it seems. 48 hours. That would put me at noon today. Yeah right! Like I'm going to see any changes! Again I laughed. We are going to my husband's company picnic today and the thought of going into labor during it sounds like a joke. But as I finished washing up the shower, I went to rinse off down there and (here is where it gets really TMI) suddenly I felt an odd slimy discharge. Sure enough, my mucus plug had come out! One of the first obvious signs of approaching labor! It's a gross little thing since it's just a glob of concentrated mucus (its name does not fall short of its description) with just a little hint of blood in it. But as nasty as it is, I couldn't be more excited to see it come out! That just means I am on my way towards having little Andy! Of course, losing my mucus plug doesn't mean I'll go into labor today, although that is a possibility. It could still be a week or so out from here. But at any rate, it means that my body is at least getting ready for labor.

Who knew such a nasty little blob could bring so much excitement?

Post 127...Nothing

On Thursday I went to the Obgyn thoroughly expecting to hear that I was further along in my dilation. After walking my butt off all week and doing everything possible to move things along, I was shocked to hear that nothing had changed since the previous week. I was still sitting at 1cm dilated and about 50-75% effaced. I was crushed. Here I had come bounding into the office expecting to hear good news and instead I was basically being told that all my efforts were for nothing! For several hours afterwards I moped around, swearing that I would give up in my efforts to move things along.

That evening I finally let out a good cry, confessing that I was worried he would be late. The last thing I want is a c-section. But each step that doesn't come naturally just brings us that much closer to needing one. Plus, I couldn't shake the feeling that Andy wasn't coming because he didn't want to be here. "He doesn't want to come out." I moped. "I want him here so badly and yet already he's fighting against me! He's going to hate me and rebel against me his whole life!"

I know. I was being ridiculous. Can I blame it on hormones?

I suppose the reason why I took it like a personal insult is because everyone keeps wording it in a way that makes it sound like it's Andy's choice. "He doesn't want to come yet." "It's up to him when he's ready." "Why doesn't he come out already?" All of it makes it sound like Andy is choosing not to come out. So to hear that I wasn't even a step closer to delivering him, it made me think: "He just doesn't want to be here!" Of course this is ridiculous. At the moment, he's just a wiggly little adorable baby who is acting on instincts alone. He's not consciously choosing to stay in me just to spite me. And as my husband so wonderfully put it: if he is choosing it, it means he needs me to carry him just a little bit longer so he can be ready. As his mother, how can I say no to helping my son if he needs it? So after my emotional freak out, and yet another wonderful change in perspective thanks to my husband, I finally came to my senses and decided to just relax and let Andy and my body do what they need to do.

When I was at the doctors, however, she decide to attempt to help things along by scraping the membranes. For those of you who aren't familiar with this procedure: scraping the membranes is when a doctor will take their finger during a vaginal exam and carefully "scrape" and wiggle it around in order to stimulate the labor process. "Essentially it is an aggressive pelvic exam in which the doctor will feel around just inside a woman's cervix where the membranes ("bag of water") are attached to its rim. By running an examining finger around the inside of your cervix, she can separate the amniotic sac from where it's stuck there. Theoretically, this will allow the bridging molecules that stick the membranes to the inside rim of the cervix to break--all at a molecular level, mind you--and so be released and then converted into prostaglandins, which are powerful stimulants of labor." It was pretty uncomfortable. It basically felt like she was swirling her fingers way up inside my whoowhoo which was a bit painful. Afterwards she warned me that there would be some bleeding, which there was. But it stopped shortly thereafter. I had some more mild cramps for the rest of the day but nothing more.

Reluctantly, in my need to hang on to hope, I still went for a long walk that night in order to help keep things moving along. Other than walks, the doctor recommended having lots of sex to help induce things since sperm has a chemical makeup that is really close to Pitocin, a labor inducing drug. Well, if it's doctor recommended!.....;-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Post 126...And the wait continues

It's 11:20am and already I have done the dishes, washed and put away all the laundry, vacuumed, swept, cleaned the refrigerator, wiped down the kitchen floor, straightened up the living room, gathered up all the trash and recyclables, filed away our mail, took care of the bills, dusted, organized the computer desk, made the bed, and straightened up the bathroom. The funny thing is, I still have energy after all that even though I hardly slept at all last night!

It was warm last night which made it hard to get comfortable. I could feel my hands swelling, making the joints feel creaky. It also didn't help that all night I kept tossing and turning with an upset stomach and mild cramps from time to time. It almost felt like I was coming down with something, I felt so queasy. But this morning, even though I'm still a little nauseous and have little appetite, I otherwise feel completely fine. I'm beginning to wonder if this nausea is a result of another hormone flux. It feels a lot like the nausea I had in the beginning of the pregnancy. The kind of nausea where it feels like I either ate too much or not enough. In addition to the nausea, I've certainly been more moody lately. I've been flipping between uber happy, crazy mad, and then sobbing for no reason whatsoever! It's got to be a hormonal thing...

I've still been going on long daily walks. I was surprised that I have so far walked down to the nearby Whole Foods and Fred Meyer pretty much daily for the last week. The walk just to Fred Meyer is about a 2 mile walk, so all together the walk is nearly 4 miles there and back. It hasn't been easy, but I've been handling it better than I expected. The fact that I can just do it is amazing to me. It has certainly made my legs pretty sore, but if it will help move things along with the pregnancy, than I'm all for it!

Yesterday I joined the Eastside Mommys for some coffee at a local cafe. I was surprised and excited to hear that the other mom who is about as far along as I am (she's 4 days ahead of me) is now about 1-2cm dilated and 100% effaced. The doctor told her that if she keeps up with walking this week, she could very well have the baby by the weekend! And just now she texted me saying she lost her mucus plug! I'm so jealous! I want so badly to see some progress towards labor! Tomorrow is my Obgyn appointment so I'm hoping I too hear good news too. Otherwise, I'm still waiting to see any other signs of approaching labor. I have yet to lose my mucus plug or have my water break (obviously), I haven't had any bloody show, and my contractions have been pretty mild. When I walk the contractions have certainly gotten stronger and longer. But as soon as I stop walking, the contractions completely go away. If it weren't for my aching feet and legs, I'd keep walking until true labor kicked in if that's what it took! But I guess I'm stuck waiting, watching, and hoping. It's exciting to see the other mom getting so close to labor. It gives me a great preview of what's around the corner. I just hope I don't have to wait too much longer to be in her shoes. We keep joking around about going into labor on the same day, but at this point, I'm pretty sure she's gonna beat me to it.

So I'm anxiously waiting for my appointment tomorrow. I hope there is good news. At this point we are 9 days away from our due date. We'll see if we have an early bird or a late bloomer.

Maybe I should go walk up and down the stairs again. Even if it doesn't bring on labor, it'll at least tone up my booty! ;-)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Post 125...Pointless

Well, I can't really say there is anything new to report. Each day goes by and I don't even have so much as a hint of labor coming my way. I keep doing what I can to help encourage things along, trying to make sure the baby drops into position, but nothing seems to work. I have done lots of research and found several suggestions for helping to move things along including: walking, sitting backwards in a chair (to open the hips), doing squats, doing lunges, walking up stairs, bouncing on a birthing ball, eating spicy foods, and more. For the past week I have been doing squats and sitting backwards in my chair. I have eaten spicy foods and I've done lunges. And for the past couple of days, I have been going on several long walks day in hopes that, as the websites say, "gravity will take effect." I've even gone so far as to try acupressure! But what do I get for all my efforts? Exhaustion, puffy hands and feet, and a broken spirit. I'm starting to realize that there really isn't anything I can do to get things moving. As much as I try, it still doesn't feel like the baby has dropped. In fact, if feels like he's just resting his head on my left hip bone, which isn't very comfortable. There have been no signs of spotting, no loss of the mucus plug, nothing! When I walk, I feel some contractions which, on occasion, are a little stronger than before. But otherwise, throughout the day, I hardly feel a thing! For the past few nights, I thought I was having stronger contractions that felt a lot like menstrual cramps. The mild cramping lasted for a few hours each night, but quickly went away without a trace come morning. Much to my disappointment, it turned out to be gas cramps.

At this point, I see no point in trying anymore. There is nothing I can do to bring labor on any sooner. The more I try, the more disappointed and uncomfortable I get. All of these so-called tricks for bringing on labor seem to be nothing more than a sad attempt to make a pregnant mother feel productive while she waits for true labor to come. But really, it is all out of my hands. For all I know, it will come down to what I dread the most: an induced late labor that leads to a c-section. Perhaps I should spend more of my time coming to terms with that possibility than focusing on how to speed up the process. I can't speed up the process, but I can mentally prepare myself for the "worst case scenario." I know before I have said that I don't mind the wait, but that's with the stipulation that I see some progress. Without their being any signs of forward movement, the wait suddenly seems all the more pointless and frustrating. I know that in about three weeks at the most, he will be here regardless. But I don't want it to come down to a late induced labor. I want the joy and excitement of going into labor on my own. But the more I read about the cerclage, the more I find that the scar tissue it leaves behind can often result in needing to be induced. With the cervix being scarred up from the cerclage, it's possible that it will have difficulty dilating without assistance.

So I guess there is nothing I can do at this point except wait and come to terms with the possibility that I won't get the labor experience I was hoping for. In the mean time, I get to deal with all the frustrating hormonal fluctuations. Last night, for no real reason at all, I started bawling my eyes out for several minutes. And about 20 minutes later when my husband and I took a quick break in between shows to get a snack, I felt the sudden need to clean the house before sitting back down. So I did. Today, I keep bouncing between being extremely tired to feeling wide awake, never mind the fact that I got plenty of sleep last night. I think at this point, I'm about ready to be done with being pregnant. As much as I have enjoyed the experience, I am ready to have my body back and be done with this never ending wait. We have been waiting for nearly two years now to have a baby, and we worked so hard to make sure he wouldn't come too early. Now it's okay for him to come, and nothing is happening.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Post 124...Relaxed

After my rant this morning, I decided to try and relax a little. From what I've read, stress can actually prohibit labor from kicking in, so I thought it would be best for my health and the baby if I relaxed a little. To start, I took a nice warm bubble bath, complete with lavender scented bubbles and chocolates nearby to snack on. Afterwards, I did some prenatal yoga which helped me release a lot of tension in my body and mind. And now, when my husband gets home, I'll go for a nice walk in the sunshine.

I feel loads better after having a break from Facebook and all the other drama, taking some time to just relax and focus on me and the baby. After doing so, I feel like I can see everything with a clear mind, if just for the moment. Our friends and family, although dominating in their excitement, are just that: excited. They are all eager to celebrate Andy's arrival! And even my family, in all their business focusing on other realms of their life, are still very excited for Andy too. Why else would they have been checking in with me throughout this whole pregnancy, helping to throw us a baby shower, and even going so far as to buy us a new crib? They are excited in their own way. So what if they aren't calling me three times a day! If they did, then it would be just as annoying as all the others who are knocking down my door for updates. So perhaps I should appreciate my family's quiet involvement. I will still have my times of feeling emotionally sensitive and I know that some of the issues I have run deeper than just wanting their attention and approval. But I shouldn't question whether or not they are excited about Andy joining our family. Their involvement may be different, but it's involvement nonetheless.

These could be my famous last words but....ha ha! Andy wasn't born in June!!! Tomorrow is July 1st! So long as I don't deliver before midnight tonight, he will be a July baby! And our parents thought he was going to be born in June! Of course, they thought he was going to be a girl too. Either way, my first instincts were right! We're gonna have ourselves a July baby! Now to start doing exercises and stretches to get him to drop into position for labor...

Post 123...One step closer

It has been an interesting couple of days, to put it nicely. Some good, some bad. To start, after my last blog, I receive an unexpected package from my grandma. It was a wonderful gift of home-made crocheted clothes and a blanket. She even crocheted adorable little shoes! It was very touching. After all the silence from my side of the family, it was nice to see someone getting excited.

The following day was yet another boring day filled with cleaning, watching movies, and finding ways to kill time. But yesterday was luckily a little more active. In the morning we had our weekly Obgyn visit. It wasn't my usual Obgyns since both of them are out of town for the week. But she was still a nice woman. She checked for his heartbeat, like usual, and then performed a pelvic exam to see how my cervix was holding up. Much to my excitement, she told us that I was already 1cm dilated and about 75% effaced! Of course, that doesn't mean I'm going to go into labor any time soon, necessarily. But it does mean there is some progress! I spent the rest of the day joyously baking in the kitchen.

In my excitement, I made a post on Facebook telling everyone I was 1cm dilated and 75% effaced. I got lots of happy responses and, of course, more lectures on how I need to give birth right now. Well apparently, even though I told everyone that I was not going into labor and that I was just getting one step closer, some people took it as "I'm having the baby right now!" Today I had a message waiting for me from my aunt frantically asking if everything was okay and if the baby was here yet. And I noticed that she left the same message on my mom's facebook as well. Juuuust peachy! I haven't been able to get a hold of my parents yet to even tell them that I am slightly dilated, and now my aunt is leaving them messages, asking how my labor is going! I tried to call my parents again to make sure I could clarify that I am not actually going into labor at this very minute, but again, they didn't answer their phones. So now, not only do I have relatives thinking I'm going into labor, but I can't get a hold of my parents to tell them otherwise! Are they going to see my aunt's message and think I left them out of the loop? Do they even care? And it's beyond frustrating to see how hard it is to get a hold of my parents right now! What if I was going into labor? I wouldn't be able to let them know! I've got my mother-in-law who is going to the extreme and contacting me daily, sometimes multiple times a day, asking if I'm going into labor yet. And on the flip side, I can't even get through to either of my parents!

This whole thing is getting ridiculous! I want so badly to enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy and, instead, I find myself wanting to go into labor just so people would stop bugging me about it! But then I know they'll continue to bug me to see the baby. There's no winning here is there? It's starting to feel like my wedding all over again; everyone is making it about them and taking the joy away from my husband and I. Everyone wants the baby to be born on some day that is significant to them. They want me to contact them first before others when I go into labor. They want me to go into labor at their very demand. I "should" do this, and I'm "supposed" to do that. And with a single update on my condition, I'm met with extreme freak outs! At this point, I'm kind of afraid to even log on to Facebook, let alone post any updates. The only problem with that is; if I'm not actively updating everyone, I am hunted down through all forms of communication (cell phone, email, instant messaging, Facebook...) with frantic messages asking if I haven't said anything because I'm going into labor. As I said before: this whole thing is ridiculous!

I am glad that people are excited for us. And I really am happy that everyone is so anxious to welcome Andy into the world. But it is getting a little overwhelming too. I'm just not sure how to handle it all. As much as I love getting attention for my accomplishments (a music performance, an awesome new recipe I've mastered, etc.), I really don't like having all eyes on me, watching to see if I'm going to go into labor at any second. I've never liked being treated delicately for any reason. But now, I can't even so much as sneeze without several people looking anxiously at me as if my water was going to break because of it! I know, given my history with pregnancy, that a lot of people expected me to go into labor sooner than later. But at this point, after having the cerclage removed, I'm like every other pregnant woman out there. And for once, I'd like to be treated as such. Most women end up waiting until closer to their due date or even later, so why is it such a big deal if my pregnancy is the same?

Well, this is turning into another bitch-blog. I really don't mean to complain so much. I just want so desperately to enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy while I can. If the attitudes were different, not so demanding, I think it would be easier to get excited. I don't know why it's so hard for me to look past the demands and just see the excitement. I should be happy that so many people want to be a part of Andy's life. I just wish they wouldn't try to force it and just let it happen naturally. Their impatience is starting to borderline hostile! I wonder if many other moms-to-be feel the same way as I do. Or am I the only crazy one who gets uncomfortable from all the constant attention?

At any rate, I am personally excited to hear that my body is making progress towards delivery. I was hoping, with our Obgyn appointment, that they would tell us we're getting closer but not yet ready for delivery. I didn't want to go into labor that day, but I liked hearing that we're at least inching our way there. It makes for an exciting wait! I would've been bummed if we didn't have some sort of progress. So I'm glad we're at least one step closer.

For now, I'm going to hide from Facebook for the day and try to enjoy the wonderful experience of carrying my son inside me while I can. Even though we will soon have the joy of him being here with us, I'm going to miss feeling his little kicks inside me.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Post 122...Now What?

It is the question that has been on my mind all morning: now what? Originally after the cerclage removal, I thought we were going to have a quiet, uneventful weekend. But, for the first time ever, I am actually really happy that it was so busy. It was a fun kind of busy with lots of last minute get-togethers with close friends, and even a relaxing Sunday picnic in the park with the Eastside Mommy's group. It was delightfully social and most importantly, distracting.

Since the cerclage removal last Thursday, of course the one thing in the back of everyone's mind is: when is the baby coming. And unfortunately it has put an unwelcome focus on me that leaves me squirming like a bug under a microscope. So far I have been getting daily phone calls, texts, Facebook messages, and more from my very eager mother-in-law. Plus, now when I post my weekly belly picture online for friends to see, I am getting playful lectures from friends demanding that I deliver the baby this very instant. "Tell him he needs to come now!" "Why are you still pregnant?! Deliver that baby already!" And although it's all in good nature, when it comes from every angle, it gets old fast. Before the cerclage was taken out, it seemed like people had gotten used to me being pregnant. Friends would occasionally ask to touch my tummy, but for the most part, everyone was pretty mellow about it. But now, without even so much as a hello, people are publicly lecturing my tummy, demanding Andy come out that very instant! With the slightest expression I make, or twinge I get from him kicking me, all eyes are suddenly on me followed up by a game of 20 questions. "Are you okay?" "Was that a contraction?" "Do you need anything?"

The funny thing is, out of all the awkward attention and fussing, my family has remained absent. I got a couple of texts from my parents asking how the cerclage removal went, followed up with several pictures of my nephew that my mom sent me ( and I'm not sure why she sent them to me right after my cerclage removal except that, perhaps she was just associating her excitement for a new grandson with the love she has for her only grandson). But otherwise, I haven't heard a thing. I know that right now they are adjusting to a new work schedule since my dad just took on some new jobs, so I figure that's why I haven't heard anything. But I have to admit, sometimes it feels like they are often very busy with their only grandson to be too excited for another. Given the situation, my parents have practically taken on my nephew as their son, more so than a grandson, so I realize that they have a very close and active relationship with him. In the case of my son, he won't be living part time with my parents the way that my nephew does, simply because our family situation is different. My husband and I are still happily married and we are working hard at giving me the opportunity to stay at home with the baby. I sometimes wonder if my parents will be disappointed or happy at how different their relationship will be with my son. Of course I want them to be a part of his life, but only as grandparents, not as second parents. Will they be upset that he's not over there as much? Or will they be happy that they don't have to take on another child? It's really hard to say. And even then, I find myself asking: if they are happy that they don't have to take care of my son as their own child, is that because they want a break from being second parents, or is it because they wouldn't enjoy taking care of Andy as much as they like to take care of my nephew? I know my parents like to be needed. That's partly why they are often trying to help others and share the load. But it confuses me when I hear them longing to have a simple grandparent relationship with my nephew, and yet they seem so excited to be in the role that they are in as second parents. They brag about him like parents. They proudly teach him things like parents. They care for him like parents. Why else would they continue to chose to be in that role unless they really did like it? So how am I supposed to take it if they seem so relieved no to have that kind of relationship with my son? Andy won't need them in the same way my nephew does, so will that make Andy less important to them?

At any rate, it seems their attention must go to where they are needed (work, my brother and helping his kid, church...) and so I've grown accustom to flying solo from my family when it comes to the way I live. It's always been that way. But I guess now it stands out more than ever. It just makes me wonder how that will affect the relationship they will have with my son.

Anyway, that was a long-winded way of saying that I'm getting a ton of attention from everyone except for the people that I crave the most attention from: my family. I guess some childhood needs for parental approval never really go away do they? Oh well. Soon enough I will be too distracted by a newborn to worry about such trivial things. As for now, I'm drawn back to my original dilemma: what do I do now? I can't exactly do anything to speed up the approach of labor. I've done some research and found claims that staying active (going on walks, doing squats, etc) will help get the baby in position for labor. But there really isn't anything I can do to make my water break or start up contractions, not without a doctor's help anyway. So I'm stuck waiting. And honestly, it's not hard waiting to go into labor. Since both my Obgyns are out this week, I'm not exactly in a hurry to go into labor until they are back. Mostly I'm having a hard time just figuring out what to do with myself. After having so many sweets this weekend, I do not want to do any baking for once! I've cleaned the house several times over so there isn't really much more I can do about that. I've already got everything ready and waiting for the baby....there just isn't anything left for me to do to prepare for the baby. Everything is done. So now I'm stuck trying to kill time. I've had project after project for the past several months just getting ready for Andy. Now that I'm done, I've got nothing else to do but watch movies, read, and take naps. And as fun as that is, I can only do it for so long before I get stir crazy!

I'm going on 38 weeks this Wednesday, I have no idea if the baby has even dropped, I've got nothing to do that interests me at the moment, and I'm getting lectured daily by friends and family to "get a move on" with delivering the baby. Can't I just enjoy the last few weeks of peace and quiet? Can't I savor the ability to sleep through the night? What's wrong with enjoying the time I have left being just my husband and me? I've already been struggling with mixed emotions about no longer being just the two of us. I love the relationship my husband and I have. It's fool proof! And now that we're about to have a baby, I find myself wondering "why did I go and mess with such a good thing?" But then I feel guilty for even thinking that because I am still beyond excited to have Andy here with us. Augh! So many emotions! This is why I can't be left with nothing to do. [As a side bar to my husband: no I don't want to play video games to pass the time.]

Is it wrong that I seem to be the only person who isn't in a rush to get Andy here? Of course I'm excited to meet him, but I don't see why there is the rush. He'll get here when he gets here. But as a new mom, and especially after all we've been through to hold on to our pregnancy, shouldn't I be more exhilarated? Why do I seem so apathetic about it? I thought after the cerclage removal that I would be driving myself nuts with anticipation. But, in stead, I find the whole cerclage removal to be a bit anti-climactic. Everyone seemed to think we were going to instantly have the baby, despite what we and the doctors were saying. It's like no one really wants to listen unless I'm saying "the baby is coming." And I have to admit, I was in some ways hoping the baby would come that day too. But honestly, I've thought from the beginning that he would be a July baby. I didn't expect him to be really early so I guess that's why I'm okay with the wait. But I did so much to be ready for the earliest time possible that now I'm stuck feeling kind of bored.

Like so many times before, I'm stuck waiting for life to happen, wondering what to do with myself before my whole world is turned upside down yet again. Maybe my doctor's visit this week will give me some kind of news that I can use to beat back the hundred and one questions I'm getting from everyone. They don't seem to be too satisfied when I tell them that my cervix is still holding together so we'll just have to wait. In the mean time, I guess I'll go watch some Netflix in attempts to drown out my thoughts....

Friday, June 24, 2011

Post 121...Cerclage Removal

Well, it has been done. The cerclage has been taken out! For the first time in months, I'm going al naturale. It was a fairly quick procedure. We were in and out of the clinic in roughly 45 minutes, and the majority of that time was spent waiting for the doctor to get set up. The actual cerclage removal took maybe all of 15 minutes itself. But oh my God was it the most painful 15 minutes ever! For you ladies out there, imagine the worst menstrual cramps you've ever had and multiply it by 10. Then imagine feeling someone stabbing you deep inside your whoowhoo during an annual exam. Yup...that's about how it felt. Like being stabbed in my whoowhoo while having terrible cramps. In all reality, the doctor was being very gentle and even allowed me to have a moment to breath before he continued with the removal. But since the cerclage had been in there for so long, it seemed my cervix didn't want to let go of it. As the doctor tried his best to remove the cerclage as quickly and painlessly as he could, I just focused on the twinkling lights they had in the ceiling that looked like stars as I squeezed my poor husband's hand to death. At one point, he showed me his hand, bright red, with white impressions of my fingers still glowing on his skin.

The doctor, nurses, and my husband all spoke words of comfort and encouragement to help me through the process, but it was still hard to ignore the pain. I wished desperately that I could've been numbed up for the procedure but since it's such a quick and "easy" removal, the doctors don't typically drug up the patient for a cerclage removal. The nurse at one point asked me to try and relax my legs. I hadn't even noticed through all the pain that I had been flexing my legs the whole time.

The time came when the doctor told me he had just one last pull to do to remove the cerclage and then it would be all over. So I took a deep breath and braced for impact. I had thought the rest of the procedure was painful. I had no idea what I was in for. The last "little" part of the removal was the most painful yet. As he pulled the stitching out, I began to yell out, arching my back in absolute pain. The doctor sat up with a smile and showed me the cerclage. "That's it! We're all done!" he declared. I laid there for a few minutes trying to regain my breath, holding on to my stomach, and waiting for the cramping to subside. It was amazing to see this tiny little cerclage that looked more like a twisty-tie than anything else, realizing that this little stitch was the difference between life and death for my child. How amazing it is that I live in a day and age where this kind of procedure is available. If it was another time in life, I may not have been able to ever have children.

From what the doctor said, my cervix was still in fantastic shape, even after the cerclage removal. He said that he wasn't even sure if I really needed a cerclage this whole time. But obviously, as we both agreed, we're not about to test out the alternative. It's weird to think that there is a possibility that I don't even have an incompetent cervix. Perhaps the miscarriage last time was due to a combination of things that simulated the symptoms of an incompetent cervix. We will never really know. But no matter what the reasoning, I am just happy that things worked out so well this time. I couldn't take another heartache like the last time. Anyway, since my cervix still appeared to be in good shape, the doctor speculated that it will still be awhile before Andy makes his big debut.

When we got home, my husband was all over my tummy! He was talking to Andy all day, smiling from ear to ear with every kick and wiggle from Andy. Now that the cerclage is out and Andy could be here any day, my husband confessed, he is extremely excited and eager for Andy to come. I have to admit, it is weird to think that the baby can come at any time now. I am anxious to go into labor and bring little Andy home. But after feeling the pain of the cerclage removal, I'm not exactly anxious to go through labor pains any time soon. At least then I can opt for an epidural, which I thoroughly plan on using!

For now, I'm keeping active to see if that helps encourage the baby to come. And I'm keeping an eye out for any symptoms of labor. I'm not the type to run to the hospital with the slightest bit of cramping. I'll wait until I have regular contractions and or have my water break. But otherwise I'm trying to look out for any signs that labor is on it's way, such as the loss of the mucus plug or the bloody show. Although, earlier today I had some discharge that could've been the bloody show, but it's hard to say. Since I just had the cerclage removed yesterday, I've had some bleeding and cramping from that. But the cramping and bleeding had both stopped a few hours after the procedure. By the time I went to bed last night, I didn't even have a hit of pink. This morning I had a little pink, which I'm guessing was just from me moving around in my sleep. But a couple hours later, I had (and this is total TMI so don't read if you don't want to know) more of a mucusy brown discharge like old blood. I've read that this could be the bloody show, but I'm guessing it could also be just old blood that had been around the stitches from when they were originally put in. At this point, I've pretty much stopped having any kind of bloody discharge so I don't know what really caused it. But since I'm not having any contractions, cramping, or water leakage, I'm not really worried about it. Maybe it's a sign that labor is coming, maybe it's not. At this point, I'm not too worried either way. Right now, it's all up to Andy and my body when I'll go into labor. I have no control over it and, in some ways, that's kind of exciting. It's all a surprise from here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Post 120...Waiting for tomorrow

Well, tomorrow is the big day. Tomorrow we get the cerclage removed. I keep flipping between being really excited and absolutely scared! I want Andy to be here so badly but I'm also really scared to go into labor too. I don't feel ready. But at the same time, I'm really nervous that something else will go wrong before I get the chance to deliver him. Of course, it doesn't help that I was watching a tv show today and in the episode a couple lost their baby just weeks before giving birth. It brought back so many painful memories and has left me feeling on edge all day. I really should have just turned the show off but I was fixated on it, in a trance, silent tears running down my face. Hours later, I have done all I can to keep my focus on the positive but I can't say it has worked completely. After watching a happier show, reading, dancing and singing, and cooking, I am still left with a pit of worry in my heart. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I'm getting my safety net out tomorrow and it leaves me with the unknown. Up to this point, everything has been mapped out and carefully monitored. Suddenly being left alone to wait and wonder; it is a scary thought.

I am very excited though that, today, we are officially full term! With the help of the cerclage, several amazing doctors, our family and friends, and of course my wonderful husband, I have been able to carry successfully to full term! I wish I could say I wasn't going to be a paranoid mother who just replaces one worry with the next, but it seems like I'm already doing so. But I guess that's just part of being a parent: worrying all the time about the safety of your child. At any rate, tonight, my husband and I are going to celebrate that we have made it to this point. I'm not sure yet how we'll celebrate but it just feels like something that should be honored.

So first thing tomorrow morning, I'm off to the doctor's to finally have the stitch removed! Wish me good luck!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Post 119...A bundle of joy brings a bundle of nerves

It's finally here! The week I get my cerclage out! Nearly 24 weeks later since it was first put in, the time has come to remove the cerclage and let nature do its work. I can hardly believe that we have made it full term! I have been waiting for this day since we first got pregnant, the day that I no longer have to worry about going into premature labor. It feels like such an amazing accomplishment to know that I can have a baby! There was a time I was so scared, worried that I would never be able to carry full term. But here I am! This busted body of mine did it! With a little help from the doctor and one simple little stitch, we're finally going to have a baby.

I'm still nervous as all hell to get the cerclage out though. With it looming over the later half of the week, just a couple days away, I am finding myself desperately searching for some kind of distraction. But unfortunately, as I sit here at home alone, it's all too easy for my nervous energy to find its way back into the forefront of my mind. I keep looking around the house at the little bits of clutter here and there, mapping out the route to cleanliness before I go into labor. Although the chances of me going into labor this Thursday after the cerclage is removed is extremely unlikely; I want to make sure our home is ready for anything. If I do go into labor this week, I'd hate to come home to a messy apartment. With a newborn around, the last thing I want to worry about is picking up any mess before family and friends come filing in to see the baby. So today, in hopes that it will keep me at least somewhat distracted, I will power through all the household chores. Already I've got laundry going and the living room straightened up. Next up: dishes!

For now, we have our hospital bag already packed and in the car just in case. So here we go. Ready or not, here it comes! I'm hoping and praying the cerclage removal is quick and easy with as little pain as possible.

Anxiously waiting for his arrival...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Post 118...Things I Will Miss

Things that I miss:
  • Seeing my toes
  • Being able to bend over
  • Being able to eat rare meat, sushi, soft cheeses...
  • Going weeks without any heartburn at all
  • Flopping face down onto the bed
  • Going on long walks without getting winded once
  • Having the occasional glass of wine
  • Sleeping through the night without a single bathroom trip
  • Making love with my husband
  • Never having to worry about my feet swelling if I wear shoes
Things that I will miss:
  • Watching my tummy grow, knowing the baby is getting bigger
  • Feeling Andy kick, making my whole tummy jump
  • Watching Andy and my husband play "tag" when my husband rubs my tummy with lotion
  • Having people look at me like I'm the most adorable thing on Earth with my prego bump
  • Feeling Andy get the hiccups
  • Sleeping through the night, other than the occasional bathroom trip
  • Watching Andy move around on the ultrasound
  • Feeling Andy wiggle when I sing
  • Being able to get up and go whenever we want without the need for a babysitter
  • Quiet, uninterrupted evenings
  • Putting my hand on my tummy and knowing that Andy is right there, safe
  • Always having Andy with me wherever I go
There are so many things I will miss about being pregnant, and so many things I will not miss. It's weird to consider how much our lives will change once Andy is here. Just the physical differences alone are going to be so weird for me. After being pregnant for so long, I've grown accustom to having him here inside me. Once he is out, I imagine it will be both relieving and lonely all at once. But then, instead of a wiggly bump that kicks when I sing or eat ice cream, there will be this wonderful little guy in our lives that we will get to know and watch grow over the years. I wonder what he will look like. I hope he looks a lot like my husband.

The doctor said that the baby is head down, but she doesn't think he's dropped yet. She said my cervix is still pretty high and there doesn't seem to be any stress on it at all. So I guess my suspicions of him dropping were not really accurate. I'll just have to wait and see what happens. For now, I am nervously awaiting the cerclage removal next week. Honestly, I am terrified! Not because the baby could come right then, I seriously doubt he'll come right away, but because it sounds like the cerclage removal will be really painful! The doctor even gave me fair warning that it will hurt. In my experience, doctors normally try to sugar coat things a bit. So if they say "you will feel some discomfort" that usually translates into: this is gonna hurt a bit. But if a doctor says "this will be pretty painful"'s gonna hurt like a son-of-a-b****! From what the doctor told me, there won't really be a need for any numbing when he removes the stitch. But because there is a chance that the skin has grown around the stitches, causing some scar tissue, it might be difficult to remove the stitch without a little stretching and ripping.

....okay....deep breath!....

Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to it. I am expecting to be one sore mamma after all is said and done. But the nice part is, my husband will be taking the day off to be with me and help me through it, so at least I don't have to go through it alone. Once again, my wonderful husband saves the day with his never-ending loving support. After the stitch is out, assuming I don't go into labor right then and there, we'll just come home and take it easy.

At the moment, I've actually put myself on temporary bed rest for the evening. I went on a walk this morning with the Eastside Mommys group. And even though I took it easy on the walk, making sure not to push myself, I came home and noticed a little hint of spotting when I went to the bathroom. It was no more than a slight hint of pink, so I'm not really worried about it. But since I really want to make it to 37 weeks (just so I can prove to myself that I can carry officially to full term), I'm going to take it easy for now so I don't bring on early labor. Not that I think I'm going into labor at all. I don't even feel any contractions at the moment. Mostly I just want to play it safe.

As for the Eastside Mommy's group; I have been loving it! I don't remember if I mentioned them much before in my blog. The creator of the group is actually a woman who went to the same birthing class we took weeks ago. It is a fantastic group of moms who live in the east side areas (Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond) who all get together regularly to have fun and support each other through pregnancy and motherhood. For the past several weeks, on Fridays, I have gone on the weekly walk with them (it's really funny to see several pregnant women waddling around in a group together). And last week we all went to a big consignment sale that had nothing but baby/toddler/maternity items for sale. It was so much fun! I got Andy a Bumbo seat, a Raiders onsie (since my husband is a Raiders fan), a dishwasher basket for binkis and nipples (so they don't fall down and melt in the dishwasher), some toys, and a changing pad plus two covers all for less than $50! It has been so wonderful being part of a community of moms that I can connect with and learn from. And hopefully, soon enough, I can set up playdates for Andy! The fun part is, the creator of the group is also a first time mom-to-be and we are almost at the exact same gestational age with our pregnancies. She is due July 11th, I'm due July 15th! So it has been really great to have someone on the same time frame that I can connect with so I don't feel so alone in what I'm going through.

Anyway, for now I'm rooted on the couch, keeping an eye out for any more spotting if it comes up. Oh, and as a side note: I'm happy to report that the bacteria test I took last week came back negative so I don't have to worry about any antibiotics before going into labor! And then this weekend, we will be celebrating Father's day by going to the Pomegranate for brunch on Sunday. Who knows. Maybe my husband will get to flex his fathering skills sooner than later....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Post 117...Nesting

I'm really beginning to wonder if I am showing signs of approaching labor. I'm not saying I'm going into labor right at this moment. It's just that I've been noticing some differences in my body and behavior that are pointing towards the possibility that labor is on its way to pay me a visit. So in my curiosity, I started to look up signs and symptoms of approaching labor (again, not signs of labor but signs that its on its way in the coming week or so). I was surprised and a little scared at how many apply to me. Here's what I found:

Increased vaginal discharge: Usually clear mucous, but sometimes streaked or tinged with brown or pink. This is sometimes referred to as "bloody show". This discharge may appear at the same time that contractions begin or a few days before. Your mucus plug, which has blocked the cervix throughout the pregnancy to protect your baby from infection, may loosen and be expelled. Any amount of vaginal bleeding should be reported to our doctors and nurses at once.

Engagement: The baby's movement into your pelvis in preparation for birth (also called "lightening" or "the baby dropping"). It can happen anywhere from a few weeks to a few hours before labor begins. You will find that it will be easier to breathe and heartburn may be lessened. But the additional pressure of your baby's head on your bladder may make you need to urinate more frequently.

Weight Loss: As a result of changes in your hormone levels, you may lose 1 to 3 pounds in the week before labor begins. This is mostly a loss of fluid that has been held in your tissues.

Backache: Dull, lower backache that may come and go.

Diarrhea, Indigestion, Nausea and Vomiting: You may experience one or more of these conditions before or at the beginning of labor, often accompanied by cramping. This is just your body's way of responding to the labor process.

Rupture of the Amniotic Membranes: The breaking of your "bag of water." This may happen several hours before labor begins, but in most cases, the fluid-filled sac that surrounds your baby during pregnancy doesn't rupture until later in the labor process. Discharge may be a continuous trickle or a gush of watery fluid from your vagina. If you are not already in the hospital when you rupture your membranes, notify your provider immediately to describe the time of rupture, the color and amount of fluid.

Contractions: The most obvious sign of labor, but often confusing because irregular cramps of false labor pains occur. You may have experienced these "Braxton Hicks" or "practice" contractions throughout your pregnancy, but you will notice an increase in frequency and intensity in these last weeks before delivery. Your abdomen may feel like it is tightening or hardening. Some women have compared it to strong menstrual or intestinal cramps.

So far I am having all of these symptoms except for my water breaking and having regular contractions. And I'm not entirely sure if the baby has dropped yet or not. I've had my sneaking suspicion the past week that he has dropped only because the way I'm carrying feels different. It's hard to describe. I don't feel a huge difference, but I'm not sure if I would feel a big difference since I've been carrying low to begin with. But lately I've been feeling more bladder and pelvic pressure, my heartburn has decreased a lot (although it still flares up when I lay down), and I feel like I can take a deep breath without any restriction (but again, I never had too much of a problem with that since I've been carrying low this whole time).
Anyway; as for the other symptoms, I have been feeling them for sure. I have had more discharge lately. I've already dropped a couple pounds in my last few doctor's appointments. I've been getting random backaches, especially when I try to walk around. TMI but I have been having more loose...ahem...movements in the past week. I've been having some more menstrual like cramping at random times, although they aren't terribly strong, just noticeable. And my braxton hicks contractions seem to be getting a bit stronger and happen more often when my husband and I go for our evening walk. In fact, it's come to a point where I will feel my whole stomach go hard as we're walking and I have to stop for a moment until it calms down. Again, any cramping or contractions I have felt have NOT been coming at regular intervals. They just happen randomly from time to time and some days, I don't get them at all. But all of this has me wondering if I'm getting closer to labor than I realize. Maybe there is a good chance I'll go into labor right after the cerclage is removed!
The only other thing that has me a little worried is that, out of nowhere, I was hit with a major nesting urge today! I had set out with the intent on just taking care of the dishes. But instead, I ended up scrubbing down the kitchen from top to bottom! I scrubbed down the counters, including everything on the counters. I cleaned the microwave inside and out. I washed down the stove and even lined the burners with tinfoil to make it look shinier and easier to clean out later. I wiped down the walls and cabinets. And I even got on my hands and knees and scrubbed down the floor! After all that, I moved to the next room, cleaning up the nursery and making sure everything was washed and ready. For some reason, I even felt the need to wash off the window blinds in the baby's room. And all the while I kept thinking "I can't put him into a room with dirty blinds! What kind of example would that set if his room was dirty in any way?"....I know. It's ridiculous! Not only will he not notice because HE'S A BABY, but he's gonna spit up and poop all over it anyway. But nevertheless, I still felt the urge to clean it all. After straightening up the living room and dining room, I finally had to call it quits. I still have a list of things I want to continue to clean, but my energy has been completely zapped from me so the rest will have to wait for another day. But still...nesting?....Isn't that supposed to happen a week or so before a woman goes into labor?! Maybe I'm just feeling it because I know I'm getting my cerclage out next week. So perhaps, in some way, knowing that I could potentially go into labor next week has kick started the nesting urge in me. For all I know, it could still be nearly a month before Andy is actually here. But for now, I keep planning on the earliest day possible. Maybe that's why I have this sense of urgency to get everything ready.
The hardest part is, all I can do is wait. I have no way of knowing when he'll actually be here. So in spite of all my excitement and all my nervousness, I have to wait and see what happens. Although, even if I did know the exact day he would come, I don't think it would help me feel any more or less prepared.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Post 116...Romance

Since we could be having the baby as early as next week, tonight I have decided to set up a romantic dinner for my husband. He's not home from work yet, but I've got dinner ready and waiting. I've been wanting to have a romantic Italian dinner just the two of us but since I also don't want to spend a lot of money eating out, I decided to make a home cooked Italian dinner complete with candlelight and romantic Italian music (I still have a copy of the CD we used to play at an Italian restaurant I waitressed years ago). Tonight, we will be dining on stuffed mushrooms, garlic bread, salad, and shrimp and pasta in a garlic marinara sauce. And I have the wine glasses out so I can have some cranberry juice in it just to feel like I'm having the real deal. As much as I can, I want to enjoy the time I have with my husband before we have the baby. Don't get me wrong, I'm beyond excited to be a family with little Andy. But right now, I want to celebrate the relationship I have with my wonderful husband. It's been just the two of us for nearly 5 years now. So I want to have at least one more romantic night before Andy is here. For all I know, we might still have about a month before Andy is actually here. But just in case he decides to come at the earliest time possible, we can at least have one last romantic dinner before it requires a babysitter.

Time to go light the candles and pour the juice!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Post 115...Stocked & Ready

I'm beginning to realize how tricky it's going to be to keep up with my blog once the baby is around. He's not even here yet and already, in just preparing for his arrival, I'm finding it hard to motivate myself to blog. But why stop writing when we're this close to the end of the pregnancy? I've been doing it this long. What's a few more weeks?

So far, everything has been pretty mellow as far as the pregnancy is concerned. The doctors say my cervix is still holding up great. It's still nice and long with no signs of effacement. We've been having weekly visits with the doctor since we're so close to being full term and, for the most part, they're fairly uneventful. Mostly they just check my cervix, check Andy's heartbeat, and then send us on our way. In my last appointment, they did do a swab test for a type of bacteria that can be easily passed to the baby during delivery if it's there. Apparently the doctors do a routine check for signs of the bacteria when a woman is this close to full term. That way, if the bacteria is present, they can treat it before delivery so it won't be passed to the baby. From what the doctor said, the bacteria doesn't usually cause any symptoms to the mom if she has it, and it can be easily treated with antibiotics. So far, I'm still waiting to hear the results of the test. Otherwise, that's about all there is to say about the Obgyn check-ups.

Other than our Obgyn appointments, we've been using our free time to make sure everything is ready for Andy. Last weekend my husband installed the car seat and we packed our bag for the hospital. Since we don't know if I'll go into labor as soon as my cerclage is removed, we want to be ready for the earliest time possible. Also, on the front door, we posted a list of things to grab before we leave for the hospital, things we couldn't pack ahead of time. On that same list, we also made sure to have the number for Labor & Delivery on there so we can call them on our way to the hospital. We have the same number for Labor & Delivery in each of our wallets too in case we're not home when things start to happen. It's weird having the bag packed already. In some ways it makes me feel more calm and prepared. But in a way, it also makes me feel more impatient, like a kid who is ready and waiting to go to Disneyland. My bags are packed. I'm ready to go! But unfortunately, I have to wait a little longer.

Aside from installing the car seat and having everything packed for the hospital, we've also been getting all of Andy's stuff ready for him. I've been washing all his clothes and blankets and making sure everything is set up in his room. We also bought baby wipes yesterday along with a bunch of easy-make meals and snacks when we went grocery shopping yesterday just so we can have more time with Andy and less time fussing about in the kitchen. We've started reading the What to Expect in the First Year book, we've been reviewing the information we got from the birthing class, and yesterday we took a breastfeeding class that gave us a lot of good information as well. And yet, even with all of our preparing for Andy, I still don't feel like I'm 100% ready. I'm certainly excited and anxious to have him here. I'm more than ready to have my body back. But do I feel ready to go through labor and suddenly bring a baby home?....not entirely.

I am ready for him to stop kicking my ribs though! He's kicking me right now and my God it hurts! He's getting so big and strong. Those once cute little kicks are really starting to hurt these days. Yesterday it even brought me to tears!

Tomorrow we will be interviewing a family practitioner who will be Andy's primary care physician after he's born. This last week I had one hell of a time trying to find a pediatrician/family practitioner who would accept medicaid. I was on the phone for hours trying to find someone who would accept it. By the time I had finally found someone who would accept our insurance, my cell phone battery was dead and it had overheated to the point where it wouldn't let me charge it until it had cooled down! It was frustrating to have so many physicians slam their door in my face because I am on state insurance. It was humiliating to feel like I was being treated like I was some low-class gutter trash just because I'm on medicaid. My husband made the joke that I had become Mother Mary running from Inn to Inn, begging for someone to please spare a room for me and my baby. Luckily, after hours of searching, I found two options for family practitioners who have great online reviews and were very courteous on the phone. So this week, we will be interviewing them so we can hopefully have a doctor for Andy before he's already here.

On a more fun note, we had our maternity pictures done a couple weeks back and we got the pictures just this week. They turned out great! I couldn't be happier with them! It's so fun to look through the pictures and see my prego bump. In a way, I'm going to miss it. But I can't wait to have Andy's newborn pictures done once he's here! Something tells me I'm going to be one of those moms who post new pictures of her baby on Facebook nearly every day.

I can hardly believe I'm already 35 weeks along! In less than two weeks I will be considered full term and getting my cerclage removed! It'll be weird not having my safety net. I have worked so hard this entire pregnancy to keep Andy safely inside me. Getting to a point where it won't matter if he comes out right then is just bizarre. It really is hard for me to feel comfortable with the idea of going into labor. Mostly just because I've been trying to prevent it for the last 8 months. But I have to admit, it feels good to know I can carry full term. It makes me feel better about myself knowing that I can have a baby safely. It gives me a sense of pride and closure.

Well, in as early as two weeks, we could have a baby here with us! After years of planning, trying, grieving, celebrating, preparing, and enduring, we will finally have a little baby to join our family!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Post 114...Puffy

The further along I get in this pregnancy, the hotter and puffier I get! I just went for my usual walk around the neighborhood and before I know it, my feet feel hot and tight and my wedding rings don't fit. Every now and then I have to take my rings off before they feel too tight around my finger. Luckily the puffiness seems to subside fairly quickly, but in the mean time, it's not the most comfortable feeling. I am glad though that I can keep up with my walks. I'm even able to still go on the long walk to the grocery store and back. I just can't do it as often as I used to and I have to go much slower than before. But I can still do it!

I can't believe tomorrow is already June 1st! In just a matter of weeks we'll be getting the cerclage out and we'll be all the closer to Andy being out in the world with us. I am so excited and terrified all at the same time. Although we're very much ready, there is still so much to do to prepare for his arrival. And even still, no matter how much I do, I still don't feel 100% ready, but I don't expect that I ever will. I keep worrying if I'll be a good enough mom, or if my husband and I will ever have a moment to just relax once he's here. Everyone keeps telling me to get as much sleep as I can now before he comes, reminding me of how exhausted and scared I'll be. So many people keep telling me of all the aches and pains I'll feel, how I won't get any sleep, how I'll have to listen to the baby crying 24/7, how he'll poop all the time, and how I should pray to God he doesn't get colic! No one is telling me how amazing it'll be to have him here with us. And honestly, even though I'm fully aware that it will be a difficult transition, hearing nothing but horror stories and "realities" is starting to make me feel really scared. I really hope that I will be able to handle it all while keeping my sanity in tact.

Last Saturday was really fun though. We got to have our maternity pictures done by an old friend of mine. We've known each other since we were babies, and she did the pictures for my wedding too. I am super excited to see how the maternity pictures turned out! She said that we should get the CD of pictures in about two weeks. I was also really happy that the sun decided to peak out just in time for our photo shoot so we were able to get some of the pictures done at a local park nearby. I think those will turn out really cute! The other exciting part is, my friend will also be doing our newborn pictures for free! So probably within the first few weeks after Andy is born, we'll have her come back over to take some pictures of him. I can hardly wait!

So other than being puffy and a little more tired these days, all in all I'm doing pretty well. Even though I am getting extremely nervous for the day Andy will be born, I am also beyond excited to have him here!--Not that he's not here right now, but you know what I mean.--This coming weekend we've still got lots to do to get ready. Since we don't know how soon or late he will come after the removal of the cerclage, we're preparing for his arrival for the earliest date possible. We've got the car seat to install, the hospital bag to pack, a few more items to get for the nursery, we need to go through the list of local pediatricians and sign up with one....

Let the count down begin!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Post 113...Birthing Class

Friday was the one year "birthday" for Joey Jr. So to celebrate his birthday, we went out for his favorite: cheese burgers and butterfinger blizzards! Those were the two things I craved the most while I was pregnant with him so it just seemed right to have it for his birthday. When we came home from his birthday lunch, we lit his memorial candle, put on his song "The Crow & The Butterfly" by Shinedown, and looked through his memory box. It was an extremely emotional moment for my husband and I. We cried as if we had just lost him. And we smiled and hugged each other, thankful for the influence our son had on our lives.

Later that evening, we went to the first day of our three-day-weekend birthing class. I was nervous to go, not sure how much the birthing class would bring back memories. But I knew that there were things I had to learn for birthing a full term baby, and I knew that I had to keep moving forward in preparation for Andy. The class was held at the hospital where we delivered Joey Jr. and where we will be delivering Andy. It seemed like I had been there all week after going in twice before this week for different reasons. But I was glad to be coming as a visitor this time and not as a patient.

It was funny being surrounded by other pregnant couples. Since I have been pregnant, we haven't been around anyone else that is pregnant except in passing. It was fun to feel like I fit right in with my big belly. Plus it was really nice to have some social interaction! Since I haven't been working for the past year, it gets kinda quiet and lonely here at the apartment. So to have a class to attend and people to socialize with, I quickly became more and more excited. The first day of class focused primarily on birthing plans, including a tour of the labor and delivery rooms. Up to that point, I was doing really well with focusing on this pregnancy and not getting too swept up in past thoughts. But once we entered the labor and delivery room, I was overwhelmed. I held tight to my husband's hand, trying to keep the room from swaying. I felt hot and light-headed looking down at the bed that was oh-too familiar. All the other moms-to-be in the class looked nervous as they imagined the labor that lies ahead of them. I looked nervous as I thought back on the labor that was behind me. The pain of future labor doesn't bother me as much as the pain of the past. But as we left the room, I did feel a little relief that I was able to face that fear of the labor and delivery room and conquer it. It's better that I got it out of the way now rather than dealing with it during labor again. Now when I go in to deliver Andy, I can say: "the last time I was here was when we had that fun class."

From there on, the class was great! We learned so many new techniques for helping me through labor, plus we got to learn a good deal about newborn care for those first few weeks. We got to practice swaddling, diapering, bathing the baby, dressing the baby, how to take care of the umbilical cord, circumcision care, feeding the baby, and more! We even got to bring in our car seat and practice buckling in the baby! We learned great stretches I can do to make sure Andy is facing the right direction for labor, as well as tips for handling contractions. We got to learn a lot of the anatomy and medical understanding behind labor and delivery, as well as what to expect with my body before, during, and after labor. It was such a fantastic class and I really feel a lot more confident about going into birth and taking care of Andy as soon as we take him home.

I was sad to leave the class though. It was surprising how hard it was for me to be done with it. Not only was it the end of my much needed social interaction, but I felt a sudden fear of flying solo. Having the class meant having a professional there to ask questions and show demonstrations. It meant having other moms to talk with and share worries with. Now that the class is over, I'm suddenly overwhelmed with the feeling of handling a newborn by ourselves! Luckily the teacher gave us her contact information and said we could contact her any time with any questions. Plus the mom's from the class now have a Facebook group that I joined for Eastside mommies to connect and get together to support each other. So all of that helps ease the fear. But still, after going to the class, I have such a crazy mix of excitement and fear going on. I keep wondering if I'm ready and yet wanting the day of delivery to be here already. I keep worrying if I'll be a good mom or not, having ridiculously exaggerated fears. In fact, after class one day, I wanted to practice swaddling again. But when I couldn't swaddle the stupid stuffed animal just perfectly, I started to panic, thinking: "if I can't swaddle this damn stuffed animal, how am I supposed to swaddle my son?! What kind of mother can't swaddle her own son?!" Of course, I know it's normal to have those kind of freak-outs and worries. But knowing that still doesn't bring me much peace of mind. I guess it's just one of those feelings I'll have to deal with until Andy is here and I realize the world isn't ending if I have to redo a swaddle. Hey, and if anything, I'm not going at this alone. My husband seems to have swaddling down. So where I might not do so well, I at least have a partner in all this. I just have to remind myself of that from time to time.

Anyway, I loved the class and I'm really glad we took it. But I couldn't help but feel a bit guilty for taking it too. Now that it has been over a year since we had Joey Jr. I can't help but feel a little guilt that we're moving forward. We celebrated his due date, we had his memorial, we celebrated the holidays with him, and we honored his what? I am so extremely happy that this pregnancy is going so well, but it's odd now to think that I have carried Andy longer than Joey. The time I was pregnant with Joey has now been surpassed and it's an odd feeling. For the first time since January, I am no longer overlapping pregnancy times. And in a way, I feel guilty that we're still moving forward. Andy is still here with us and we're preparing for his arrival. I knew that this day was coming, where we would continue on past May 20th (or at least I had hoped for it), but now I can't help but feel a little bad that we are. Not that I wanted anything to happen to this pregnancy! I am more than grateful that Andy is still with us! I guess I just feel bad that I couldn't give that to both my sons. Now, after passing one year, I know that the pain of losing Joey will fade more and more. And soon we will have little Andy here to love and watch grow; I feel all the more guilty. I am so excited for Andy but I feel like I'm saying to Joey; "sorry but we're moving on. We've got a live child to be with now. We've already celebrated you. It's time we move on to our new son." That's not at all how I actually feel, but I can't help but feel like that's what I'm doing.

I have so many mixed emotions. Happy, sad. Excited, nervous. Confident, scared. Supported, lonely. Shameless, guilty. And on and on the list this what it is to be a parent? To be full of emotions and absolutely confused?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Post 112...A Year Ago Today

Today is a hard day.

It was one year ago today that we found out we were losing our son, Joey. Although tomorrow is his actual birthday, today holds a lot of meaning for me. I will always remember that indescribable feeling I had when the doctor told me that there was nothing they could do to save our son. The embarrassment and hatred I felt towards myself for having an incompetent cervix, the condition that was costing us our son's life. The fear and desperation I felt, trying to find answers that didn't exist. And the incredible sadness that took hold of my entire being in that moment. But there is one thing that I hold onto the most about this day, the one thing that was both comforting and torturous throughout that impossible day one year ago: feeling Joey kick.

It still brings me to tears now just thinking about it. As I feel Andy kick, I am reminded all the more of those last few moments with Joey. He was born on May 20th, but May 19th was the last day he was alive. I remember crying each time I felt his little kicks that day, realizing that it was the last time I was ever going to feel them. I wanted to hold on to that feeling, to freeze time and be with him for as long as possible. I wanted him to keep kicking and to prove the doctors wrong. And yet, each kick tortured me to the core. It was like a final touch of my son's life, pleading to stay here. I wanted him to stop and yet, I would've given anything to keep his strength up, prolonging his life for even just a moment longer. But as the kicking began to settle down, until I couldn't feel them anymore, I knew then that Joey was gone. Suddenly, I felt so alone. I knew that I still had to pass his body out of mine the following day, but for that moment, a year ago today, he was still inside me.

So although we will be celebrating Joey's birthday tomorrow, honoring the life of our beautiful baby boy; I will always feel a deep connection to today, the last day I got to carry him inside me, the last day he was alive, the last day I got to feel his sweet little kicks of life.

I love you Joey, and I still miss you with all my heart. But thanks to you and what you taught us, your little brother Andy will continue to carry on past this day. And because of all the lives you touched in your short time here, you will live on forever. My dear sweet boy, my little will live on forever.

Joey at 19 weeks, 6 days

Joey's urn.

Joeybear we got from the hospital the day Joey was born. He's wrapped in the blanket I had made for Joey.

Post 111...Back to the Hospital

After our scare on Sunday, I was really hoping I wouldn't have to go back to the hospital until the day we were going to deliver Andy. Sadly, that wasn't the case....

On Tuesday morning, we went in for our final Eastside ultrasound. Once again, they checked my cervical length and the condition of my cerclage and everything looked fantastic. We talked about reasons for the spotting that occurred on Sunday, but again, we were left assuming that it must have been due to Andy kicking at the stitches. The doctor then suggested a few stretches I could do to encourage Andy to flip back around. Although I'm not eager to have major rib pain again, I'd gladly take it over spotting again. So as soon as we got home, I tried out the stretches the doctor recommended. It's an awkward movement where I have to get onto my knees and try to touch my chest to the floor. Not only does it make me stick my butt way up in the air, but it makes it tricky to breath when my big pregnant belly is pressing up on my lungs. But I tried it nonetheless. Afterwards, I was a little queasy but I hoped that it would get Andy to flip around.

But as the day went on, my queasiness didn't stop. As I tried to unpack some of Andy's new gifts, the nausea started to get worse and worse. I thought perhaps I was just trying to do too much, so I sat down to watch a few shows on Netflix. But the nausea still didn't stop. Before I knew it, I was running to the bathroom, violently throwing up. At first, I wasn't too concerned. I had something similar happen a couple of times before in the second trimester when I either got too hungry, or tried to eat too fast. But this time, after getting sick, I didn't feel relieved like I did those other times. In fact, I still felt horribly queasy. In attempts to settle my stomach, I tried sipping some water while eating a banana. But about an hour later, I lost it again. At that point, I started to worry. So I called my Obgyn and talked to the nurse. She was very concerned to hear how much I had thrown up and was worried that I would get too dehydrated. She advised me to try sipping some Gatorade to see if I could at least keep some fluids down. But if I were to throw up one more time, she told me to go to the hospital so they could hook me up to an IV and make sure the dehydration wouldn't cause any contractions.

Well, sure enough, not even an hour after talking to the nurse, I threw up again. So off we went, back to the hospital for the second time this week. At that point, I was so severely dehydrated that I could hardly stay awake. All my energy was gone. But the scariest part was that, because I was so dehydrated, I was actually having some mild contractions. So the nurse quickly hooked me up to an IV and gave me some medicine to help settle my stomach. We were there for several hours before I was able to keep down two crackers and a few sips of water. Since the vomiting and the contractions had finally come to a stop, the doctor gave me a prescription for some nausea medication and sent me home to rest. From what the doctor concluded, I had contracted a nasty virus that has been going around and, unless I developed a fever or started having any diarrhea (I know, it's not a pleasant subject), it should pass within a day or two. So we picked up my prescription and went home.

I only threw up one more time that night about an hour after we got home. I spent the whole night sipping Gatorade in between nodding off from time to time. And by 5am, I was finally able to eat a piece of toast. It was the first thing I was able to keep down since noon the previous day.

I am happy to say that, two days later, I am now medicine free and I have been able to keep all my food and drinks down without the lightest bit of nausea! I'm still trying to get myself back up to the level of hydration that I was at, but for the most part, I'm pretty much back to normal. Andy has been happily kicking away (although I think the little bugger is still feet down!), and I am gradually getting my energy back.

With any luck, after this last hospital trip, I won't have to go back to the hospital until the day Andy is born. Right?...Do you hear me universe?....No more hospital trips until the baby is ready to be born....after he's full term! Oh which reminds me of one last thing. We scheduled out the day that we will have my cerclage removed! On June 23rd, so about five weeks from now, we will be full term and having the cerclage removed! After that, Andy could come any day. Five weeks seems so close and yet so far.