Thursday, October 27, 2011

Home sweet home

I am home! I was sent home on Tuesday afternoon, and I have to stay on my BP meds 3 times a day, moderate bed rest (15-18 hours a day of rest), and I also have home care coming in every day to monitor baby and of course my BP.

The home care and rest at home is going well, my BP is in the high range but stable (about 145/95). I like getting the NSTs at home every day; it's very reassuring to see that my little guy is doing well.

As we were leaving the hospital the other day, I started having cramping and back pain that was off and on. Nothing regular or too intense but it lasted all day. Baby's definitely dropped and he's putting tons of pressure on my cervix. One of the doctors at the hospital (and my mother-in-law who worked in L&D) did say I might go into labour a bit early on my own, because sometimes having hypertension causes your body to start the labour process as a kind of protective measure. And, I've heard from a few people as well that women with hypertension often have faster labours. Wouldn't that be nice! No cramping or labour signs since Tuesday though.

Today I was able to get out of the house with my mom for just a bit and it was great. Just walking around for a brief period really encouraged the baby even lower into my pelvis. Now my crotch is sore; feels like I have been horseback or bike riding!

Tomorrow I go to see my OB for my weekly scheduled visit, and we will talk more about my BP and she will check to see if there's anything going on in terms of dilation. I know it doesn't matter as labour happens when it happens, but in case they want to induce its good to know if I've had any progress on my own. I'm 37 weeks tomorrow so I'm technically full term, though if they do want to induce, I'm hoping they will wait until 38 weeks. But our bags will be in the car just in case!

I have to admit that last week I was very scared when it seemed like a real possibility to be induced, or, possibly a section if things got bad fast. But now feeling my body at least preparing itself on its own, I'm not as scared just excited and a bit anxious. Also, reaching 37 weeks has made me feel better about our baby's health, and now that I know it could happen, induction is less scary too.

Stay tuned! Baby Watch begins...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Still here at the hospital

I'm still at the hospital and am pretty sure I will be until at least tomorrow. They have me on 300 mg of Labelotol for my BP. It seems to help, but I feel crappy on it. I'm jittery and shaky, and also nauseous which could be the meds or my BP.

Yesterday they did an MRI to rule out some rare adrenal gland tumor (based on my physical reaction to BP spikes... Shaky, racing heart, sweaty, nauseous) and that was a horrific experience. They did not communicate well to me what would happen during my first ever MRI, and being literally stuffed into that machine with a 9 month pregnant belly was not fun. I couldn't take a large deep breath without my belly being smooshed against the top and I could feel my baby squirming in protest. He was fine I'm sure, but it freaked this momma out! 15 minutes of pure hell I tell you.

The good news is the results came back super fast, and there are no tumors on my adrenals. However they still are doing tests to rule this condition out completely as it can occur elsewhere in the body.

Today I have the worst headache. They are concerned about that of course, because even though my BP is fairly stable it is on the high side. Tylenol barely touched it and every time I cough or move I feel like my head will split apart. The resident I saw today said if things get worse or even stay too much the same, they will induce but they would like to get me to 37 weeks if possible.

So that's it for now! Baby is doing good and is currently trying to bust out the top of my uterus, or so it feels like. ;-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Well THAT was unexpected!

We went to our 36 week appointment on Thursday morning. I was excited because it meant my appointments would now be every week, and it is getting closer to baby time.

They took my vitals, listened to baby, and then I was swabbed for Group B Strep. And then my doc tells me my BP was pretty high so she wanted to check it again. Sure enough it was still high at 150/95; high enough that she was concerned. We were told to head to assessment to monitor how baby was doing and of course my BP. We ended up being there for almost 6 hours! My BP kept spiking, and they couldn't decide what to do with me. Finally they decided I should go home but come back the next day for a BPP ultrasound (Bio Physical Profile of baby's vitals and growth) and another NST. They also arranged for home care to come in and check my BP starting Saturday.

We headed home after FINALLY grabbing something to eat (they wouldn't let me eat all day since they weren't sure what they were going to do with me). I relaxed and had a nap, then woke up at about 9 pm feeling really off. The off feeling got worse... I felt almost panicky for no apparent reason. My heart started racing, I was shaky, nauseous, and sweaty. I checked my BP using mom's monitor, and it was a whopping 198/117! Yikes! We had mom and Nate check theirs to make sure the machine wasn't wonky and it wasn't. So back to L&D I went. This time I brought mom so Nate could catch some sleep.

They monitored me for a bit then decided to send me back home as my BP was more stable. I was told to come back the next day for the NST and BPP.

Mom and I showed up at Assessment in L&D at 7:30 am as instructed. But no one had any clue about the ultrasound that was supposedly booked! They hooked me up to monitor baby, who was doing great and wriggling around like crazy trying to kick the monitor off my belly (and managing to move away from it several times). My BP was still spiking though.

After a while the oncall OB came to see me and decided he wanted to keep me over the weekend for observation. He said if my BP stabilized with rest and medication I would likely go home and be closely watched. If it stayed pretty high, they would likely induce. He also still wanted the BPP to check on baby, so that was scheduled for the afternoon. I was to stay in Assessment on the super uncomfy stretcher until a bed opened up later on.

The BPP went really well. Our little guy was measuring great and looking healthy. Fluid levels and placenta looked good too. He was weighing in around 6lbs 10oz (give or take of course!).

Finally around 4:30 pm a bed opened up in antenatal care. I was put in a semi-private and it is sooooo much better than waiting in Assessment. My room mate is pretty quiet and on strict bed rest, so I have the washroom to myself. Not long after I got here to antenatal care, an OB Med doctor came to see me and take a very detailed history. She has a theory, based on my weird off feelings during a BP spike, that my high blood pressure could be a result of benign adrenal gland tumors. They are doing a 24 hour urine collection test, as an MRI tomorrow to rule it out.

I'm honestly not too sure what it will mean. I think from what I learned baby may need to come soon, and possibly this means a c-section so they can remove the tumors at the same time. I really really hope that's not what I have and it's just a bit of pregnancy induced hypertension.

Either way, I do have a strong feeling baby will be coming soon. I'm not too worried about him as I am pretty far along, but I'm still nervous.

Also, staying in a hospital on bed rest sucks. I just hope this can be resolved soon and both baby and I remain healthy.

Here is my latest belly pic at 36 weeks, the morning we went to the doc. Hopefully not my last one this pregnancy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Prenatal class... Check!

So last Saturday Nate and I attended the Capital Health prenatal class. We did a one day class from 9-3, and it was pretty good. I learned a few things, and Nate learned a lot. It was pretty obvious we were some of the more knowledgeable, well prepared first time parents though. We had a group activity answering questions about car seat safety, and thanks to one of our recent Bump Camp sessions with a car seat technician, we totally aced it.

My absolute favourite part was the supported labour positions, massage techniques, and then the relaxation exercise. We lay down side by side with our husbands/partners on padded mats with our pillows from home, then relaxed listening to a guided relaxation CD while our hubbies massaged our backs using a tennis ball, their hands, etc. Nate did such an amazing job and I almost fell asleep it felt so nice. I am so insanely lucky to have such a caring, sensitive, and calming husband. He is going to be the best labour partner and the most amazing dad. Love you honey!!! Xo

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Random awww moments

#1. Seeing a perfect outline of a baby knee poke out the side of your tummy, then kind of gently hold it until baby yanks it away. So incredibly awesome.

#2. Watching a very excited Daddy-to-be put together baby's bouncy chair & swing that we received at the shower (with absolutely no prompting or suggesting on my part).

#3. Having the same excited Daddy-to-be kiss my belly and talk to the baby, only to get kicked in the chin and tell baby to "Do it again!!!"

It's not possible to cough yourself into labour, right??

I jest. But seriously, it feels like I might just cough this kid out with this nasty chest cold!

Anyone who has ever been pregnant with a cold knows how bad it sucks. Particularly when it's one of the worst colds you've ever had and you're nearly 9 months pregnant. Total suckage.

My voice is pretty much gone, and what I do have (as kindly pointed out by my mom) sounds like a raspy Rocky from Bullwinkle. I cough all day and night and it's icky and phlegmy.

Thankfully, I don't have a fever and nothing (TMI ALERT) coming out my nose is lime green so it's probably just viral.

But in case anyone else finds themselves dealing with the cold from hell while pregnant and not able to take a heck of a lot for it, this is what I've been doing to try and help:

- Raise the head of your bed with books. This works best if you raise your partner's side too, otherwise you'll just roll towards them all night (and find yourself uncomfortably stopped by your giant belly which is no fun). But it does help the congestion and coughing fits, so highly recommended.

- Steam, steam, steam! I sound like my mom, but for congestion and a bad chest colds it totally helps. Boil some water in a pot (just a few inches so it doesn't take forever) and when it's done boiling, turn off the burner, move the pot to a cool burner, and stand over it with a towel over your head and breathe in the steam until it's gone. Repeat several times a day. At night, I take a nice hot shower (I only stay in a few minutes so as not to raise my temp too high), then get out and leave the shower going for a good 5 more minutes to inhale more steamy goodness.

- Benalin DM (cough suppressant syrup... Be warned it tastes AWFUL). My OB recommended this to use at night, but I am in my 3rd Trimester so always check with your own doctor first. I only take it at night and it helps keep the coughing down to a reasonable level so I can sleep.

- Vick's Vapour Rub. I'm just using this tonight for the first time after checking to see if it's okay and OMIGOD it is helping a lot. Highly recommended. Also, random observation: my cats love the smell of it and I had to physically remove them off of me because they were trying to lick it. Who knew?

- Cool Mist Humidifier. I actually don't know if this is helping at all, but we bought one for the baby so I figured I may as well give it a go.

- Lots of fluids and rest (obviously!). This is harder to achieve than you would think, because more fluids means even MORE peeing, which means you're up even more often. I basically sleep for 2 hours at a time due to the peeing and hacking and general misery. But that's actually par for the course in the third tri anyways (Mommy Bootcamp!!).

Here's hoping tonight is a better night!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Most spoiled baby ever!!!

Well my baby shower last Saturday, thrown by one of my very best friends Elaine (and with the help of my awesome mom and mother-in-law) was fantastic. It was seriously the best shower ever; I was surrounded by my closest friends and family and you could just feel how much this little guy is already loved and greatly anticipated.

The not so fun part was that I was coming down with a nasty cold and pretty much lost my voice. Anyone who knows me knows that I talk a LOT so it was a bit of a pain.

The food was awesome (they did a dessert theme, as well as punch and a candy buffet for the guests to take home as favours... Yum!!!), the games and prizes were a hit, and everyone was so incredibly generous. We now only need a small handful of items off of our "to-buy-for-baby" list. I can't thank everyone enough.

My mother-in-law is a total shutterbug, so she took a ton of pictures. As soon as I get them from her I will post a link to them.

On a totally unrelated note, I just realized last night that there are only 36 days until my due date (!!!), and I will be considered full term in just a little over 2 weeks (due date is in 5). Holy crap!!!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Perfectly average!

So I went for a growth ultrasound a few weeks ago due to my uterus measuring a few weeks ahead, and yesterday at my 34 week appointment, we received the results. Baby is measuring perfectly at the 50th percentile, which means he's not huge like everyone thought. My amniotic fluid levels are right on too, and I haven't had abnormal weight gain, so my doc says it's just the way I'm carrying him and that's a-okay.

His heartbeat is great and he's head down... So great news all around! We have an appointment in 2 weeks and then after that we go every week. Holy crap!!! I'm having this baby next month!

Today is my baby shower here in Edmonton and I am soooo excited. I can't sleep (partially due to excitement, mainly due to a nasty chest cold and a sore neck) so thought I'd briefly update.

Shower post and pics to come! Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Letter to my baby

To my precious baby boy,

I have been carrying you inside of me for 33 and a half weeks now. I am happy to report that being pregnant with you is a complete joy... It was getting you in that was the hard part. Though I have a feeling that getting you out won't be such a cakewalk either! ;-)

I am constantly amazed by the love I already have for you. You have been wanted for so very long, and with every nudge, wiggle, or hiccup, I fall in love with you even more. I could never have imagined how strong this love is. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. And it almost scares me to think of how even more intense that feeling will be when you arrive into this world.

In a few short weeks, we will finally meet face to face and I will get to kiss those chubby little cheeks and smell your intoxicating baby smell. In the meantime, I content myself with feeling your little feet as they poke my stomach and cupping your tiny little bum that is usually nestled into my side.

My every thought seems to be completely consumed by you (especially when you practice those ninja moves in such cramped quarters!) and what it will be like to finally hold you in my arms. It feels surreal to think that I will be holding you in 4-6 weeks from now. There are so many things I can't wait to experience with you and to watch you experience... And at the same time I want time to slow down so that I don't miss these last few weeks or even one moment of your precious newborn phase.

You should know that I'm not the only one who can't wait to meet you. Your dad is beside himself with anticipation and excitement, and I already know your Gramma Sam is going to be constantly trying to get her hands on you. She is positively giddy at the thought! Your other Grandma and Grandpa are beyond excited too, as well as all of your aunts and uncles. You are one loved, much anticipated baby already.

As much as I want to meet you (SO BADLY!!) I want you to stay inside until you are nice and strong and ready to greet the world. I can wait. However, if you could please make your appearance soon after your due date at the very latest, I would sure appreciate it. As you will learn, your good old mom is not the most patient person in the world.

I love you my baby boy, and the happiest day of my life will be the day you arrive into the world with a big, hearty cry and your daddy and I hold you in our arms. Until then, keep growing big and strong.

Love always,