Monday, January 31, 2011

What A Pain!

Wow the last few days have been rough! It all started late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning when I woke up in the middle of the night with terrible tooth pain. It was BAD. And being pregnant I could only take regular strength Tylenol, so sleep was very hard to come by. I was luckily able to get in to see the dentist first thing that morning. I was nervous about what would be needed and how it would affect Snow Pea, but I had a note with instructions on dental care from my OB and the dental staff was very concerned about taking every possible precaution for me and baby. I was in pain but at least I was being well taken care of.

After as few X-rays as possible, the dentist determined I would definitely need a root canal, as I had suspected. He prescribed me an antibiotic and scheduled me to see the specialist the following morning. The rest of the day was still pretty rough since I couldn't take much for the pain but I somehow managed to fall asleep and make it into see the specialist the next morning. I tried to relax as much as possible which was especially tough considering I have a long time anxiety issue when it comes to any kind of dental work. I used to have to take anti-anxiety meds just for a cleaning! Luckily, I have been getting better and the staff once again did all they could to put my mind at ease.

Unfortunately, I couldn't explain what was going to Snow Pea, and once the drill started she began moving like crazy! I can only imagine how shocking the loud sound and vibrations must have been to her. Poor thing must have been so startled and confused. Once it was all over I could feel her calm down considerably though and the good news is the hard part is now over. I do need to go back for a build-up and crown though but there is much less work involved at those appointments.

So no more tooth pain, yay! But of course that just meant a new pain was headed my way because by the end of that night I had developed a different kind of infection thanks to the antibiotics that are treating my tooth. Many of you ladies probably know what I am referring to as I know that many of us suffer these infections from time to time, especially when the natural "good" bacteria in our bodies dies off and things get out of control. If you're not sure what I am talking about, all I will say is that it is downright miserable, especially when it starts on a weekend and you have to wait until Monday to see your OB to do anything about it.

Today is finally Monday, so I was able seen this afternoon and hopefully the prescription I received will have me back to normal very soon. I especially hope to be back to my old self my the weekend because Chad and I are planning a mini "babymoon" weekend. We love to travel and plan to continue our trips and excursions with our daughter, but this will be our last chance to spend this kind of time together as a twosome and I am really looking forward to it.

Since I was already in the office, the NP decided to do my bi-weekly check as well and everything is still right on target. I have lost some weight since my last check up which made me a little nervous at first but she didn't seem concerned about it since my measurements are all right where they should be and showing healthy growth. I am thinking it is must just be the normal fluctuations of water retention, which has me convinced my bloggy friends were right when they said that regular weigh ins during pregnancy aren't necessarily the greatest idea.

She used doppler instead of an ultrasound to check on Snow Pea so I don't know what position she was in, but even if we had seen her I bet she would have moved completely an hour later. She does not stay still! She is not just kicking in there, I can feel and even see her moving and rolling over and flipping from side to side. The other night she was curled into one side of my belly and totally changed the shape of it from round to some sort weird oblong, oval. Then last night she seemed to be fist pumping into the side of of tummy as Chad and I watched the little bump rise and fall repeatedly right next to my belly button. I thought she was moving a lot before but now it really does look like she is trying to break free through the front of my stomach. It is crazy to feel but even crazier to watch! I can't believe how much of it I can actually see.

Since she was so active and so clearly close to my skin last night, we decided to listen to her on our doppler and for the first time since we got it, I heard her actual heartbeat and not just the whooshing sound of blood moving through her body. Both sounds are effectively the same thing and I love them both, but this was especially exciting because the noise was so distinct and so clear! It was so similar to the sound you hear when resting your head on someone's chest except a heck of a lot faster. It definitely took me away from my pain and frustration for those few minutes listening to her heart thumping.

Tomorrow is dentist appointment number two of three. I am looking forward to being one step closer to being 100% pain free but I am hoping that any drilling that needs to be done will be at a minimum for poor Snow Pea's sake. I hate being at the dentist but I hate having to put her through it along with me even more.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let's Do The Time Warp Again

This past week I was working on updating my Belly Book pregnancy journal, reviewing past blog entries to double check on certain dates and events when I came across this: "I am continuing to stay hopeful I will hold Snow Pea in my arms, happy and healthy very soon. 9 weeks down, 31 to go." Now take that time line and reverse it. Holy crap, right? I .mean, WOW! seriously, has that much time passed already? In all fairness, I am not officially 31 weeks until this Saturday but still, the time reversal applies. My baby girl will be here before I know it! And there have been lots of little ways I have been reminded of that lately.

Shopping for instance. I was at the store today and had lots of big reminders of my nearing due date in my face as soon as I walked in the door, namely lots and lots of Easter gear for sale. Snow Pea is due 3 weeks before Easter so seeing plastic eggs, wicker baskets and pastel candies everywhere really made me notice that she will be here sooner rather than later. Of course, I know retail sores do tend to push this stuff on to the shelves way before it's necessary, but even though I always mock the early holiday sales, those events do tend to get here quicker than I expect.

We also have finally begun preparations on Snow Pea's room. We live in a two bedroom and we've had quite a few guests in the past couple of months, so we delayed converting our guest room for a little while so that our visitors would have a comfy bed to sleep on. After visiting for two fantastic weeks, my little sister just left yesterday and by the end of the night our guest bed had found a new home. Today, I began boxing and moving all of our books and Friday we have painters coming to turn the wall from neutral to nursery. I can't wait to really get this room going and see it go from an office/guest room into our baby's room! I promise to post updates and pics.

Yet another reminder of just how close my due date is getting, tomorrow is our last childbirth class. It feels like we just started them and now they are already at an end. This past Sunday we also had a tour of labor/delivery and the mother baby unit at our hospital. It was so exciting to see the rooms that Snow Pea will be born in. The rooms are really nice and some even have gorgeous ocean views. I know I am probably a freak but I am starting to get so excited about the birth! Not just the end result of finally meeting my daughter face to face, I am also excited to experience labor and delivery itself! I know I might not still feel this way when it really does get close though, so feel free to remind me I said this. The tour made me realize I am a little behind on preparing though. Apparently I should have pre-registered at the hospital by now and I have yet to do that but luckily it's as easy as mailing in a form and a copy of our insurance card so I am not worried about getting it done.

Oh and last week I got to see my OB again, and this time I saw MY doctor and not his annoying alternate. This visit went so much better than the last. Dr. Casual continued to be true to his nickname and was very relaxed and laid back throughout the visit. We discussed how classes were going, our search for a pediatrician and touched on some basic labor preferences like whether I'd like an epidural. He did a short ultrasound that showed Snow Pea is currently breech but he said chances are she will turn head down in plenty of time for delivery since only about 3% babies that are breech at this point still are by the time they are full term. Then he pointed out the position of her head inside my tummy and showed Chad and I so that we could actually grab her head through my skin! It was crazy! Very weird and surreal but also kind of cool.

I am sure some of you are also wondering if Dr. Casual discussed the weight concerns with me but he didn't even mention it and I didn't bring it up. I am officially of the position that my last appointment had much more to do with water retention than anything because at this visit I was a full four pounds lighter than the last. This just reaffirmed for me that I will not be seeing Dr. Inconsiderate again if I can help it and that all of you were completely right when you told me not to worry. Thank you so much to everyone that sent comments of support. You have no idea how much it really did help.

Overall, though I just can't stop thinking about that blog I wrote at 9 weeks and how much has happened since then. It feels like some sort of crazy time warp sometimes. Honestly, it feels like just yesterday I was anxiously writing about my beta results, still in utter disbelief that this FET worked and now here I am anxiously searching for a pediatrician and hoping I can get the room finished in time. Part of me can't wait for Snow Pea to be here but another part of me will be sad to see this time come to end. As an infertility and IVF survivor I have definitely had a different and sometimes more anxious pregnancy than many others may have, but overall I truly have enjoyed being pregnant these past 7 months. It has been a dream come true. From seeing the 1st flutter of a heartbeat to feeling those 1st flutters to experiencing real kicks and the bonding that comes with them, there have been some amazing moments so far. Sometimes I wish I could take a jump to the left and a step to the right to relive some of those magical moments of this pregnancy all over again. Luckily, I still have 2 months left to enjoy and I will definitely soak up every second.

P.S. My hubby started a project 365 that will follow us in 2011 through a picture a day. Please stop by and take a look! It started on January 1st so feel free to scroll back see what we've been doing so far this year.

We also have a baby website with more belly and u/s pics as well as a timeline of Snow Pea's growth and a doppler video. I will continue to update it with news and pictures so please stop by if you're interested!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Class Is In Session!

With the start of the new year, I started the 3rd trimester which means there has been a lot more to think about. Namely, the fact that my sweet little Snow Pea, is getting much bigger every day and getting ready to make her debut into the world! It's just unbelievable to me much closer that day is, and we are trying to do a lot to get ready for it.

Last week was the big preparation kick off. Chad and I went to our first class on childbirth, which gave a great overview of the process, steps and choices during labor and delivery. This was just a free, one time class offered by a cord blood banking company in our area, but we still learned a lot and it made us more excited than nervous for what's to come. Thanks to the nurse who taught this course, I can now say for certain that I have been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the past two weeks. Wow is that a weird feeling! The first time I really felt one it seemed like Snow Pea was trying push her way out of my tummy through my belly button! Now that I know what it is though, I often go through the day barely noticing them.

We also attended a breastfeeding class offered by the same company and nurse. Chad questioned whether there could really be enough information for us to learn to fill up two hours since he has been reading about it lately, and I also think he wondered whether he really needed to be there since I'd be the one actually doing the breastfeeding. But I thought it was important for both of us to really understand as much as we can and to feel confident so that I'd have a higher chance of success. We really did learn a lot and even though we had both read some of the information before, it reinforces it to have an expert you can talk to face to face to reinforce it. My goal is to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, but I know it is not always easy, so I am happy to use all of the resources I can find.

And in the end, Chad was of course, really glad he came. He is loving all things "baby class" and told me to sign us up for anything and everything. In a few weeks we will be going the class on baby basics as well where they go over everything from to feed and change a diaper to infant CPR. As a longtime nanny of infants, I have the diaper changing stuff down but Chad has vowed to make his first diaper change his child's so I think he'll have a lot of fun at this one.

For myself, I have started attending a pre-natal yoga class. I've been twice now and I really think it is helping my posture and the soreness I was starting to get in my back. It is also very relaxing, and the instructor has given me a lot of great tips for comfortable positions and breathing to use during labor. She also teaches a Mommy & Baby class, which I think will be great once Snow Pea is born.

In addition to all this learnin' we've been doing, we also started meeting with pediatricians. This is the part that really makes Snow Pea's impending arrival feel real, because even though I have had a doctor to get me pregnant and then a doctor to see me through my pregnancy, now I have to think about getting her a doctor of her own! The man we met with yesterday is full of energy and seems to share a lot of our philosophies. Chad and I both really liked him and can see him being very good at treating kids of all ages. He has a solo practice though, so in a couple weeks we are also going to the open house at a group practice that was recommended to me so that we can compare and make an informed decision.

I have really loved these past few weeks getting educated and ready for the day we bring Snow Pea home in my arms instead of in my belly. In addition to all of the classes and meetings, we have both been reading up on different theories and styles of caring for infants and discussing the ideas that work for us and the ones that don't. I know we can parent without the books, but looking into the different schools of thought on feeding, sleeping and infant care now while I am still pregnant gives us the opportunity to really find out where we stand on these choices and to feel prepared to put them into practice when the time comes. And honestly the more I read and the more we learn, the more excited I am for that "put it into practice" day to be here! I can't wait for the parenting part!

Chad has been such a big part of this process and I have to say that seeing him so involved in this pregnancy and getting ready for our daughter makes me melt in a whole new way.
Today marks 8 years that Chad and I have been a couple and I know it's cliche but I really do love him more and more every day. He is my lego, we fit together, and seeing him so excited about becoming a dad just reaffirms that. Since we got married, we save our "anniversary" for that date, but I have taken to calling today our non-iversary, because it is still a special day to me. So to celebrate 8 years we are doing what else? Going to another class! Tonight, we start the 3 week long childbirth preparation class at the hospital. I'm so excited to learn more about preparing and relaxing for labor and practicing all of the "Bill Cosby" breathing techniques.

Of course, I know that no matter how much I read or how many classes I take, nothing will fully prepare me to go through the realities of labor and delivery or for parenting itself, but I am excited to take on the challenges of motherhood and to have another opportunity to learn something from it each and every day .

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Weighty Realizations

Today is results day. My one hour glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes test was last week and this morning I went in for my bi monthly OB appointment, knowing that I would also be getting back the results of that test. I, of course, like anyone else, hoped that I would pass so that I could avoid the longer, more involved 3 hour glucose tolerance test and strict gestational diabetes diet. I felt pretty optimistic this morning that I would get good news though, and enjoyed my drive to the office as I stared in the rearview mirror at the gorgeous snow covered mountains behind me. Now that I have been to my appointment, I have good news and bad news.

Throughout my pregnancy, it has been important to me to keep my weight gain within the recommended limits. I haven't been counting calories or obsessing over what to eat, but I have been mindful of it, and also been staying active with daily walks (usually twice daily if my schedule allows it). I have a had a few tiny jumps in weight gain, and although my numbers have been higher than I expected at some OB visits, I have always stayed within the range. After my last OB visit, I resolved to be easier on myself mentally and not worry about whether my weight gain was a pound or two higher than expected since, while occasionally on the high end, I have still consistently stayed in the healthy range.

I haven't gotten much bigger since my last appointment and I've been told by a few friends that I still don't even look pregnant except for my round belly. I am still able to cross my legs, move around easily and even wear some pre-pregnancy clothes (including at least one pair of pants!)
With this appointment being right after the holidays, I fully expected my number on the scale to be a bit higher than what is expected in a two week period. But having this in mind, I was prepared and I felt good. I was not, however, at all prepared for what actually happened this morning. I stepped on the scale totally ready for a higher than normal 3 pound jump, but instead I shot up 6! In two weeks! Which puts me over the recommended weight gain for this stage of pregnancy. In fact, after today, I have just about reached my total recommended weight gain for the entire pregnancy, and I still have 12 weeks to go. I did not handle this realization well. At all.

As soon as the nurse left and I had time to process what the scale had said, I got a little teary eyed. Then Chad hugged me and tried to soothe me and I teared a little more. Then I tried to articulate why I was so upset and a full tear made it out and rolled down my cheek. Then the OB came in and asked what was wrong and I lost it. Full on cry fest in the exam room. It was mortifying but I couldn't make it stop. I told her my concerns and after looking at my chart, she agreed that, yes I was gaining too much. Well, that didn't help the sobbing. She kept saying it would be ok and that I'd just have to eat well and exercise from here on. Which pissed me off because I have been doing that! I will admit, I have not eaten nearly as well or exercised as much over the holidays, but I also have not been stuffing my face with fries and milkshakes and I have still gotten a few good walks in.

The whole thing just made me feel so bad about myself. I have worked so incredibly hard to get here and I was already failing as a mother, not taking good enough care of myself or my baby. I just couldn't stop crying. And for some reason, me crying made Dr. Inconsiderate keep talking about it. All I wanted her to do was stop. The more she talked, the more I wanted her to shut up. I kept trying to pull myself together but her chit chat about how it was bad but not that bad and I could turn it around and slow things down and yadda yadda yadda just kept me from being able to take a deep breath and calm down. I know she was trying to help, but really she was making it worse. Finally she left the room to get my glucose test results and I was able to get it together a little bit.

The great news is I passed the glucose test with flying colors. No gestational diabetes for me and no need for the 3 hour test. The bad news is, I am on the carb/sugar restricted diet anyway for my weight gain.
The only things I have consistently craved since day one has been cereal and fruit. I am addicted to apples, tangerines, pears and grapefruit as well as just about anything made from grain or rice with milk poured over it. Turns out that my biggest pregnancy cravings, while they haven't been fast food or doughnuts, are still my biggest downfall. These foods are filled with pound packing carbs that apparently are sabotaging my healthy goals. So now I have to give them up. Which really doesn't bother me nearly as much as the risk of hurting mine or Snow Pea's chances at having the rest of this pregnancy and the following labor/delivery being as healthy as possible. But it still kinda sucks.

I am also incredibly embarrassed that my emotions got the better of me while at the OB's office. I keep daydreaming about going back to do this morning's appointment over again, this time without looking at the scale or having the subsequent melt down. I had other things I wanted to talk about and go over but once the weight conversation started, pretty much everything else was out the window. Luckily, when I go back in two weeks I will be seeing Dr. Casual again and I know that his much more laid back and non-intrusive bedside manner will be much easier to deal with so that I can discuss other things and not worry as much about any of this.

I am trying really hard not to beat myself up about this. I have told Chad I will need his help emotionally to get through the hit on my self esteem, and while I know he has no idea what to do or say, he has really been there with kind, encouraging words and a few wonderfully long hugs. For that I am incredibly grateful. I also can't help but feel guilty for being so upset. Last year, I would have killed to have this be my biggest problem and cried that someone else was crying about gaining extra pregnancy weight when all I wanted to was to be pregnant. And when I remember that, it puts everything into perspective a bit. Am I unhappy about the extra weight? Yes. Would I trade this unhappiness for anything else? Hell no. So, I might go over the recommended weight gain. So, I won't win pregnant woman of the year. So what? I have realized a dream I once feared may never happen. I have a healthy baby growing inside me and that is SO much more important than some stupid scale.