Friday, May 22, 2009

Full Bed Rest

Well, I decided to call the nurse today to report some pain I’ve been having quite regularly in the groin area for the past couple days that won’t go away (I wanted to check in since we’re supposed to be out of town all next week for Carolina Camp Meeting.) The midwife was out for the morning, but the nurse suggested coming in this afternoon to get checked out just in case.

She started off with a pelvic exam to check my cervix. Last Monday it was still thick and completely closed. Today it was softened and dilated 1cm. I haven’t had too many contractions this week, but I did tell her about last week when I was having contractions every 30min for about 30 hours straight after being up tending to Carter for the morning. She went ahead and hooked me up to a monitor to make sure I wasn’t currently experiencing any contractions that I wasn’t aware of and that came back clear.

She then did an ultrasound to determine Owen’s position and found that he’s breech right now (which is completely ok at this point, he’s not due for another 3 months!) She figures that the groin pain I’ve been experiencing is from his position- his legs pushing downward when he moves. So she called it a lucky fluke that she discovered my dilated cervix, which she attributes to the contractions I’ve been experiencing, not the current groin pain.

So the result of all this is that I am now of full bed rest. I am allowed to get up to go to the bathroom and she said sitting should be ok, so I don’t have to be lying down 24/7. She also advised against traveling out of town, but since we will be staying with my in-laws and will receive more help with Carter than if we stayed home, she gave next week the go ahead.

After conferring with one of the doctors she decided to give me an injection of betamethasone, which is a cortical steroid to help develop Owen’s lungs in case he is born early and I have to have a second injection tomorrow afternoon. She also gave me a copy of my records to keep with me in case I do go into preterm labor.

She also told me that regular contractions 30 minutes apart at this point should be ok, but if they’re painful or more frequent than that to go straight to the hospital. Their goal is for me to get to at least 34 weeks. I’m currently 26w 3d, so I have 7 ½ weeks to go until it would be considered safe for him come out. He’d have about a 90% chance of survival right now, but with risks of complications.

And so the new countdown begins. I’ve been counting down to the planned c-sections day of Aug. 18 (88 days from now), but I have decided to now just count down to 34 weeks, at which point I will breath a huge sigh of relief (and hopefully be downgraded back to partial bed rest). So… 53 days to go, but it’s almost tomorrow, so 52. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sofa Loafing- Week 2

Well the week has passed and I never heard anything back from the midwife’s office, so I’m feeling pretty confident that both tests came back negative. It is a bit of a relief, but it also means that the cause of the contractions and measuring 3 weeks ahead remains a mystery.

The week has been up and down in regard to handling the partial bed rest. Monday of course was my appointment, and after being out all morning, I had lots of cramping for the rest of the day. Tuesday morning Carter decided to test every limit he could. He had that look in his eyes where he knew he was about to do something he wasn’t supposed to and was waiting to see what my reaction would be. Unfortunately for him and me, the reaction wasn’t good. He refused to stop when told, would not take time outs, and was just plain defiant every chance he got, so I was getting up quite a bit to deal with him (which included a couple spankings!).

That evening we went out to eat with Ryan’s mom, sister and her husband and kids. I figured it was a sit down meal, so I should be ok. However, after combining that with the morning’s events I was doubled over in pain from really bad cramping and contractions by the time we got home. I woke up several times that night with contractions and noticed the next morning that they were coming consistently about every 30 minutes. They weren’t very long or extremely painful like others I’ve experienced, but they were quite regular.

Fortunately for me, Carter was a perfect angel all day Wednesday (I think he learned a lesson or two from his spankings the previous day). I was able to stay on the couch and rest the entire day, but the contractions kept coming and were still 30 minutes apart when we went to bed that night and I decided that I would make a call to the midwife in the morning if they were still present. I woke up once that night from a contraction and by morning they had finally stopped.

Thursday was another restful day, thanks largely to a friend who took Carter out for a play date with her daughter for the morning (Thank you so much Lori!!). Ryan was able to borrow a wheelchair from the university health center, so I was able to go out on a “walk” (push) around the neighborhood that evening and get some fresh air and change of scenery.

Today I was up a bit more, mostly because Carter was having a fussy day and insisted on going potty every 5-10 minutes. As a result I’ve had more cramping and a few contractions, but nothing too horrible. I even made it out to Wal-mart this afternoon with Ryan. To keep from walking too much I used one of their motorized scooters/shopping carts, which Carter loved, since he got to ride along. It was nice to get out, but it’s hard to not feel conspicuous riding around in one of those things. Plus, they really don’t handle very well- they jerk around a LOT!

So that’s been my week. Nothing grand and fabulous, but I survived it. Here’s hoping there are more relaxing days in the future and no more “Tuesdays” for a good long while.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And so the sofa loafing continues

Well I had my monthly checkup with the midwife this morning and she did a couple tests to see if they could find a cause for all the cramping and contractions. She took a swab of my cervix to run a test to see if my body is preparing to go into labor within the next 2 weeks. Fortunately, my cervix is still closed and thick, which means the contractions haven’t caused me to dilate any.

She also measured the height of my uterus (a standard thing to do at every checkup). I should have measured at 25cm (which correlates to 25wks). However, I measured at 28cm, which is 3wks ahead. Any variation under 2cm is considered a normal variation, but since I was over that she had an ultrasound done to check my fluid levels to see if they’re high. High fluid levels can cause contractions and could be a sign of things like gestational diabetes or congenital defects. Also, if my fluid levels are high, I could be at an increased risk of placenta abruption, preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes (water breaking), growth restriction for the fetus, cesarean delivery, and postpartum hemorrhage. Of course I’m having a c-section anyway, and I had postpartum hemorrhaging with Carter, so those two don’t scare me as much. I should hear back from the midwife later this week if they find a problem from either test and they’ll treat accordingly.

In the mean time, she extended my partial bed rest for at least the next 4 weeks (my next scheduled appointment). I am to rest as much as I possibly can and absolutely no sex (it stimulates contractions). She said it was a good thing that staying off my feet has been helping, but if it gets to the point that resting doesn’t help and they get worse then they’ll have to take a more aggressive approach to prevent early labor.

So that’s everything I know for now. If I find out more I’ll be sure to post it. I have survived one week of partial bed rest already (and went a little stir crazy). We’ll see how the next four go!

Oh yeah, we also got 5 more ultrasound pictures out of the ordeal. I’ll try to get those scanned in and posted sometime soon. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Long overdue update (sorry!)

Sorry it’s been so long since we posted an actual update, but life has a way of getting in the way. Since the last real post, Carter has turned 2. He had a lot of fun at his birthday party, with lots of his little friends. Counting adults and kids, there were 27 people crammed into our house for the party, but fortunately it was nice weather and it ended with all the boys getting to play outside in the yard. The party was a football theme and we had face painting, a piƱata, and a 3-D football cake.

Carter is a really good boy in general, but he is also your typical 2 yr old, meaning the “terrible two’s” are in full swing. He doesn’t always want to listen or do what he’s told, but we have a pretty good reward/punishment system that we try to stick to. Regardless, it can be very frustrating at times and in my opinion no woman should ever have to be pregnant and have a 2yr old at the same time, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it to have the boys close in age.

We have decided on a name for our new little one- Owen Rylan Herman. We derived Rylan of course from Ryan. We decided that Owen Ryan sounded too much like Nolan Ryan, the baseball player, so we modified it a little. I hit 24 weeks yesterday, so only 15 more to go. (That’s 104 days, but who’s counting?!) We’re having a planned c-section, so I only have to make it to 39 wks! We have settled on August 18 as the delivery day. We had considered the 20th, since that’s Ryan’s birthday, but after much thought and consideration, we decided it will be special enough to have their birthdays so close, but they’ll each still have their own special day.

For my part, my dizziness finally let up in my 5th month, but my blood pressure hasn’t really gone back up much. I guess my body just adjusted to it and compensated. It’s still really easy for me to get dizzy if I get up too quickly or anything like that, but it’s definitely better than suffering motion sickness around the clock, day after day.

After finally getting to the point of actually enjoying pregnancy, except of course for the frequent bathroom breaks, a new problem has arisen. I’ve been experiencing some really painful contractions and lots of cramping for the past couple weeks. I had Braxton Hicks contractions with Carter, but they didn’t get painful until the last month of pregnancy. This time I’m experiencing some that feel like real labor and cause me to double over in pain and yelp.

This past Sunday afternoon I had 5 in one hour (you’re supposed to call your dr. or go in if you have 4 in an hour). I held off on calling since they were getting further apart, rather than closer together. I called Monday morning and left a message for the nurse, not expecting a call back from the nurse until that evening. I was surprised by a call back from my midwife around noon concerned about what she’d heard in the message. After explaining what I’ve been experiencing she put me on pelvic rest for the next week or two with instructions to call or go right in if they start coming regularly or get really painful again. I had a few REALLY painful ones yesterday, because I wasn’t taking it as easy as I was supposed to, but fortunately they let up after just a half hour and subsided to just cramping.

For those who don’t know, pelvic rest is modified bed rest. There are different limits on different people, but for me it means no lifting, exercising, or sex and I am to rest as much as possible and drink lots of water. So I can get up and take care of Carter, but I can’t lift him or chase him around or do much around the house. Just walking around for a bit is enough to make me start cramping badly, so I’m trying my best to take it easy. Although let me tell you, it is really hard to stay off your feet when you’re drinking about 10 glasses of water a day. Even for someone not pregnant that would make you have to pee A LOT! I’m scheduled for my next appointment with the midwife this coming Monday, so I’ll probably find out more then.

In the mean time I’ll try to get some more blogs and pictures up. There has been a little more going on in our lives in the past couple months, but this post is already long enough, so… the end.