Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Week 30: My Uterus is Irritable, and so am I

          According to the NEDC my pregnancy progress is based on Saturdays. So for example, this past Saturday marked the beginning of my 30th week of pregnancy. Woohoo; that in and of itself is quite exciting. 30 just seems so close to 40 (which we all know I will not be carrying to). If you all remember, I expected each trimester to announce itself with a bang; some sort of dramatic change; and yet they always arrived like a lamb (if a lamb were huge and swollen and had terrible acid reflux.)
          I have been having contractions on and off for weeks now, but nothing too close together or even that often. However, this past Saturday I finally got that big bang I had been looking for as my 30th week announced itself with a lot of contractions. The contractions I had been having were painful and they continue to be most times. This Saturday though I had 8 within an hour and 20 minutes. From there I continued to have between 4-6 contractions every other hour or so; if you have 4 within an hour you are supposed to call the doctor, but I was sure it was nothing.
          On Sunday I began to notice a decrease in the amount of baby movement, which is something I have been told to watch for. I also have been having menstrual like aches and back pain. So Monday rolled around and I still had barely felt baby girl move, and she is usually pretty active. I was still leery about calling a doctor because I didn’t want to look like an idiot if everything was fine. BUT this is my first time and so I don’t know what is normal and I worry easily. So I called my doctor in the hopes of rescheduling my next appointment at a closer office and while on the phone I felt prompted to ask to speak to the nurse.
          I told the nurse about the contractions, the decrease in fetal movement and the pains I was having and of course she told me I needed to go to the hospital where I will be giving birth to be checked out. Now mind you, this hospital is about an hour away from me; so, on top of worrying that I would look like an idiot if everything was fine, I would also have driven 85 miles round trip just to ease my mind. I was wrestling with whether or not to go. But it came down to the fact that I would rather feel stupid and have healthy babies than sit around and ineffectively worry when something could actually be wrong.
          So I made the drive in record time, it wasn’t too bad actually. They immediately took me back and hooked me up to fetal monitors. It took them a while but they finally found baby girl and baby boy’s heart rate. Hers was a little slower than normal, in the 130’s but it was there. Then, of course, both babies started moving like crazy. (I am wondering if all the tryptophan in the turkey I had been eating the past few days put them in slight comas?) This was fantastic news! They were both moving and seemingly healthy (as far as a heartbeat can determine health.)
          The nurses began to notice contractions showing up on the monitor; contractions that I couldn’t even feel. This apparently meant that I have an “irritable uterus” which I thought was fitting because I have been pretty irritable lately myself! Later, I began to have bigger contractions that I could feel; I had 5 while I was there. My actual OB was out of town and it took 2 hours to reach the doctor covering for him. She was in the operating room, so I suppose that is a good reason to be unreachable. I never actually saw the doctor. She spoke to the nurse and after hearing my situation she ordered me on bed rest, beginning immediately. They said I can’t cook or even drive. So much for that hour drive home….
          I obviously had to drive myself home, but I was required to make an appointment with my OB for that same week (which I have to drive an hour to.) The nurse said that my regular OB may take me off bed rest, but until then I am under strict orders. They never actually checked my cervical length so I don’t know if the contractions are affecting that or not. They said my OB should check this week, so until then it is all down time. Of course this is right before Christmas and I haven’t even bought one gift yet! I also still have lots to do for the pending arrival of the twins and a home to take care of. Bah humbug!
          I am very thankful for a loving husband who insisted even before the doctors did that I take it easy and put my feet up. He is so helpful around the house and he takes good care of me. I am also thankful for friends and family who selflessly offer their time and encouragement to us! So I only ask that you would join me in praying that these babies are born when God has planned and not before or after 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Week 29: It’s raining Babies!

          I am really going to try (until I forget) to update more regularly. So have I mentioned yet that I know 22 people who are pregnant? Yeah. That is a lot of babies; a lot of hormones; and a lot of parties! It’s raining babies! Two of the pregnant women are close friends that we see all the time, and no, we did not make or plan a baby pact, lol! It has been fun to have so many women around who can understand what I am feeling and experiencing J In the past 2 weeks 3 of the babies have been born; 2 boys and 1 girl. I think I am next in line, but either way, our babies will have plenty of little friends their age to have play dates with.
          I went to see my OB this past week and I finally (4 weeks later) found out the results of my glucose screening test. I DO NOT have gestational diabetes; in fact, my sugar looked good they said. That is honestly a relief because these last few months I have been craving sweets and sometimes they are the only thing that doesn’t make me sick. However, I did find out that I am severely anemic. I wish they had told me this at my last appointment instead of forgetting to tell me. I now have to take 325mg of iron twice a day plus whatever is in my prenatal. I am irritated because I could have been taking the iron supplements for the last month and I may not have felt as bad as I have been feeling.
          According to WebMD symptoms common to many types of anemia include the following:
  • Easy fatigue and loss of energy
  • Unusually rapid heartbeat, particularly with exercise
  • Shortness of breath and headache, particularly with exercise
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Leg cramps
  • Insomnia
Other symptoms are associated with specific forms of anemia.
Anemia Caused by Iron Deficiency
People with an iron deficiency may experience these symptoms:
  • A hunger for strange substances such as paper, ice, or dirt (a condition called pica)
  • Upward curvature of the nails, referred to as koilonychias
  • Soreness of the mouth with cracks at the corners

So yeah, I have been experiencing all of those except soreness of the mouth. I am hoping that this newfound diagnosis and regimen of iron will help, especially with the insomnia! And speaking of insomnia, any time I tell my regular OB about my trouble sleeping, he says I can take melatonin but not to take it every night. That is the only option he gives me. But this last visit, I saw his nurse practitioner and she told me I could take Tylenol PM or Benadryl to help me sleep. So now I am a little confused and a little frustrated because I want to sleep but I don’t want to harm our little miracles!
     Also this week, I got a call from my endocrinologist’s office saying that the doctor had received my latest blood work (for my thyroid) and that she wanted to see me. I had cancelled the appointment but couldn’t reschedule because she was so booked. So for them to call me and say that the doctor has requested that they “make room for me” because I am pregnant makes me a little nervous. I asked the lady if that meant the results were bad but she didn’t know. My previous results had shown that all of my thyroid levels were back to normal, but who knows what this latest blood work shows.
     Overall I feel pretty good and I know that no matter what test results show, this pregnancy is in God’s hands and they are more than capable! I will not live in fear. So I will see this endocrinologist next week and I will let you all know how it goes!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weeks 25, 26, 27 & 28: Welcome to the THIRD TRIMESTER

          Why are there so many different pregnancy books out there with different authors, opinions, and research? The 2 that I currently read are What to Expect When You are Expecting (most recent revision) and The Mayo Guide’s Clinic to a Healthy PregnancyWhat to Expect says that I am just now entering my 7th month of pregnancy. The Mayo guide says that I about to be in my 8th month of pregnancy and in the 3rd trimester….so which is accurate? The Mayo Clinic is a renowned medical facility with top rated physicians so I think I am going to go by their calculations (not to mention they are the same as MY calculations). Soooo tada! In a few days I will be 29 weeks pregnant, at the threshold of the 8th month.
          So according to the Mayo Clinic and my doctor (finally) I am in the 3rd trimester! What does that mean for me? Of course I expected the 3rd trimester to announce itself in some magical, earthshattering way; alas, the only fanfare announcing its arrival was the worsening of my acid reflux to include waking up with a mouth full of vomit, vomiting on the carpet in my room, sore throat from the acid during the night and just an overall increase in instances of acid induced sickness. Morning nausea did make a comeback this trimester, and I guess exhaustion never really left me. I am having more and more trouble sleeping and some disturbing dreams.
          On the plus side, the shin splints do not seem to happen as often (yay!) and oh yeah, the babies kicks, punches and all movements are much more pronounced now, so that’s fun! I love to watch my belly when they get going; it is kind of like ocean waves. My OB said that my uterus is now all the way up to my ribs so these babies have nowhere to grow except straight out! As of 27 weeks I was measuring in at 35 weeks along, so I guess I am around 36 weeks now. The OB says that at 30 weeks I will be as big as a full term single pregnancy….what will that be like?
          We did have our local baby shower here at the end of October, and it too was beautiful! We had a nice turn out, great food, and generous gifts. God really is using people to bless us. I know that God will not leave a duffle bag of cash on my doorstep, but He sure will/is using people to provide for our twins. The jaw dropping part to me is the number of people we BARELY know who have poured out blessings upon us. That, to me, is God’s handiwork. But I must also say that our family and friends (who let’s face it, are just like family anyways) have abundantly blessed us beyond belief! THANK YOU!
          So as I sit here, 28 ½ weeks pregnant, I realize that our babies will be here between now and 10 weeks from now. WOW. Yes, our babies. It often takes my breath away when I think about the fact that we are about to be parents, to babies, to 2 babies. This couple who was told they could never conceive; this woman who wondered if she would ever feel a baby kick inside her womb…BUT God. A miracle was our only option, and a miracle is what we received.
          As far as changes in our pregnancy over the last few weeks, there haven’t been too many. My belly is definitely larger now, and you can finally see my linea negra, as well as a lovely network of dark blue veins around my belly button (which has completely flattened out and slightly protrudes). The babies seem to be as healthy as always and growing perfectly. They are both at least 2.5 pounds now and measuring on track with where they should be.
           I must admit that I am having more frequent contractions, which I assume are Braxton Hicks contractions. They are slightly painful and happen a lot at night. At first it was hard for me to tell that I was having contractions because I had never felt them before; I guess the biggest clue was the hardening of my belly for about 30 seconds and then it getting soft again. Now, the contractions bring with them a pain that is like having the fullest bladder possible and someone sitting on it. I was a little concerned because of the frequency of the contractions and the fact that sometimes they are close together. However, just this past Monday I had my cervical length checked and it is still 4cm, even under stress. The doctor says that as long as the contractions don’t change my cervix I am fine.
          We started our birthing classes last week and we are really enjoying them and learning a lot. I wish that I had taken these classes before I even got pregnant just to know some of the basics of anatomy! LOL!! Maybe then I would’ve known that my stomach was up by my ribs and not low in my abdomen. *sigh.* The lady who teaches our class is a RN who has been in labor and delivery for 17 years, so she is pretty knowledgeable. She always has very funny stories to tell us; we love it! The teacher also explained to me that my false contractions make me feel like I have a very painfully full bladder because of how low Elliana is in my pelvis. She is basically hanging out on my bladder. When I contract, her little body stiffens on top of my bladder and causes the pain. Needless to say, I am making a lot of bathroom trips lately!