Am I Nesting? Maybe A Little.

I am 34 weeks 4 days pregnant today. My Cerclage is due to be removed at 36 weeks. This is my fourth pregnancy that has advanced to cerclage removal, and I have yet to go into natural labor either right away or prior to scheduled induction dates. BUT… anything can happen, so I am trying to get myself prepared as though August 10th could be delivery day.

We have an infant carrier/car seat ready to be installed. I don’t have a place ready for her to sleep, bags packed, breastpump/bottles sterilized, or any other necessary items prepared. YIKES!

I have sorted through stored baby clothes from my boys to pull out neutral items, or items that will be useful whether neutral or not. 😉 I have washed those items, and the girly items we have picked up here and there. They are actually drying now. Once they are dry I will sort those items into plastic drawers we normally bring camping, since she doesn’t have her own bedroom or dresser right now. The trick will be finding a place to keep those drawers away from the sticky fingers of her toddler brothers while we wait for her arrival.

I think I will feel a bit better once that task is complete, but there is still much to do in very little time. I could probably manage to pack a decent diaper bag as I sort the clean clothes too. I haven’t purchased newborn diapers yet though. Diapers, and a couple of pacifiers are probably all I will actually need to complete her bag.

We will most likely use our co-sleeper again, so I just need to pull it out of storage and make sure it’s clean. We do have a pack n’ play very handy if we’d rather use that. It’s just going to take up more space. It was being used as a changing station and dumping grounds for toys up until a few months ago. I really enjoyed gaining the space it was taking up back, but to keep our little girl out of reach of the toddlers it will probably be set up again.

Our two youngest share a bedroom, and each have a convertible crib right now. The nearly four year old is using his as a toddler bed, and the almost two year old is still in a crib. They aren’t quite ready for the bunk bed we want to purchase, so for now we plan on buying an inexpensive toddler bed for the four year old and taking his crib for the baby. It would be nice to have a nursery set up and ready to go before she arrives, but having a plan in place is good enough. I think if this was our first baby I’d feel more pressure to have everything ready for her first year, but being our fourth I’m much more relaxed. I know she’ll be in my arms a lot, and if she’s like her big brothers will probably prefer sleeping on my chest than in a crib anyway. No need to rush setting up a space that will only collect dust or become a cat bed. (Our cats do tend to think empty cribs are new beds for them.)

I wish my own hospital needs weren’t things that I use on a daily basis. I would love to have my own bag packed and ready too. I can pack some comfy clothes, and some travel sized toiletries. I think the hospital will cover my going home needs, like pads and a peri bottle. So, I basically have to throw my phone, charger, camera etc into a bag as we head out the door.

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The Time Has Come

Today was just too much. I suffered a new hand pain while working, that I just can’t see fighting through until I have my baby. I had sharp shooting pains in my right hand through my middle finger whenever I grasped or pinched. I need to use those functions constantly. I haven’t felt this pain before, but since I had no hand trauma I have to assume it’s related to my swelling and carpal tunnel syndrome.

I already had an appointment scheduled with my OBGYN today, so I requested that they sign me out of work until after I have my baby. They had no problem doing so, with the symptoms I am having, and the nature of my job and alternative duties my employer has offered. My hand issues are not my only complaints, but they are the most debilitating.

Financially my family will take a hit, but I am only 5 weeks from delivery +-. I will be without any pay for 1 week, then I will receive 60% pay for a few weeks before my full pay maternity leave starts. By full pay, of course that means an average for 6 months to a year… I forget the details of that part. Since I lost a lot of hours during my company’s slow period, and now will have a total of 8 weeks or so of FMLA time used within that period my full pay will not be quite as high as I would like. It’s better than nothing, and I will be allowed more time home with this baby than I have had with any of my other children.

I hope this time out of work before delivery will mean I get some rest, and relief from the swelling in my hands and feet. I will be very busy with regular household activities, and twice weekly doctor appointments but maybe I’ll put my feet up here and there. 😉

A Blanket For My Girl

I like making my babies blankets just for them when they are born. I crochet and knit…very basic skills only. 😉

I had started a knit blanket a while ago for my little girl, but it’s going too slow. I searched for a quick pattern with a tutorial, and I found a crochet one that should work for me. I wanted to use yarn from my stash. The pattern called for a chunky/bulky yarn. I hoped that my Lion brand homespun yarn would be close enough.

I had trouble with the foundation row since the homespun yarn is so fuzzy. I know my edges are going to be wonky since I’ve already made some mistakes. I don’t think the baby will notice, or care.

It is growing quickly, so I am happy so far. Due to my yarn choice I don’t think the finished product will be as big as the example, but it should be a decent car seat blanket. 🙂

Below is an updated picture of my blanket. It has grown so much and will be crib sized after all. I am amazed by how quickly it worked up. Especially since I have a very grabby almost 2 year old and my hands still go numb due to my carpal tunnel.

Contractions and an ultrasound

Over the past two days I have had lots of contractions, lower abdominal pain, lower back pain, and pressure. Yesterday after work I called the OB’s office and they just told me to stay hydrated and lay low. Today I was working and feeling those same pains and pressure. So, being that it wasn’t even 5 am I called the oncall doctor. He told me it sounded like Braxton Hicks contractions, and to call back if the pain became debilitating or if I had any discharge or bleeding. Thankfully my pain stayed manageable and there were no other concerns.

I was already scheduled for an ultrasound today to check the baby’s size. She is growing well… maybe too well. She averaged out 5 days ahead of my due date in the 86th percentile at 4 pounds 10 ounces. I’m only 32 weeks today, so that’s a bit scary.

I asked the high risk doctor about my contractions and she said to continue doing what my regular obstetrician said to. I told her that he didn’t really say to do anything. She asked if I had this weekend off, which I do. She then suggested I try floating in a body of water, and that I use a support belt to relieve the pressure I have been feeling. She also asked about my non stress tests, and I told her I start Monday. She seemed happy with that.

She did say our baby looks perfect, just a little big…not scary big in her opinion.

My husband did point out to me that her head measured the biggest of anything they checked, at over 34 weeks. Yikes!

Life is gonna get hectic

I had a prenatal appointment yesterday at 31 weeks pregnant. Next Friday I have an ultrasound to check on the baby’s growth, but the week after my life is going to get stressful.

I will need non-stress tests twice a week until the end of my pregnancy. As long as my ultrasound next Friday goes well I will only need one more before delivery at 36 weeks. Around that same time my cerclage should be removed. Once my cerclage is removed I need to be ready for labor to start. Cerclage removal has never led to my going into labor, but it could happen.

My 3 full term pregnancies have all ended by induction. The first was at 39 weeks 4 days, the second was at 39 weeks 2 days and the last one was at 38 weeks 6 days. I am expecting an induction around 39 weeks again this time. That’s only 8 weeks away!

I am still working 30-40 hours a week and will possibly be spending several hours a week in the doctor’s office. When my regular home life with a teenager and two toddlers gets thrown into the mix I see exhaustion and mood swings in my future.

We haven’t started preparing for this baby yet. We have baby clothes stored from my last pregnancy that need to be sorted through for neutral items, and the few clothes that we’ve purchased for this baby need to be washed. We need to purchase a new infant car seat, and a bed for our middle son. We’ll take his toddler bed and put the side back on it to use as a crib. Where to put that crib is another issue. We need to get creative in our house to make a bedroom out of a storage room and part of another room. My husband and I are still in the planning phase of that project. I do plan on using a co-sleeper early on while breastfeeding, but eventually she’ll need her own space. We do have a nice pack n’ play to use for naps that we can set up wherever is convenient. There will be a period of learning sleep schedules to decide where that may be in this house of rowdy boys. She might be able to nap in the little boys bedroom while our almost 2 year old naps, it may be in my bedroom, or who knows it could be the kitchen if that’s the quietest place during the day. 😉 We’ll just have to see how it goes.

Viability and a scare.

We’ve reached the 24 week viability milestone! So, why today of all days does my little girl decide to be still?

I drive to work at 3am, and my commute is nearly an hour. During this time I have been used to my little girl bumping quite a bit. Today however, she was not active. I was stressed all day trying to feel her move. I would feel a light bump here and there that may have been her, but it also could have been my gurgly tummy. I shared my worries with my husband over the phone during my breaks, and of course caused him to worry too.

I worked my whole shift without feeling definitive movements. I did have another hour long commute to sit through and hope that my being still would get her to wake up. I had a cold drink and snack to try to get her moving too.

Finally, I felt movement! I still planned on taking a listen to her with our home Doppler as soon as I got home.

We found her heartbeat fairly easy, and felt some relief. It was such a hard day fearing the worst. I could imagine calling my doctor to tell them how I hadn’t felt movement and couldn’t find her heartbeat. I imagined starting my maternity leave to deliver my deceased baby and recover. Awful thoughts and situations run through your mind when you are pregnant after experiencing loss. I was fortunate today to only imagine the worst, and not have to experience it.

On a happier note, my blood sugars have been great. I was able to cancel my next diabetes appointment, and am only required to check in from time to time by email or phone. 🙂

I will be having ultrasounds every 4 weeks starting in 4 weeks to monitor the baby’s growth. I will also start non-stress tests twice weekly at 32 weeks. That seems early to me, but I will do whatever the doctor suggests.

Bleeding!

At 18 weeks pregnant, with a cerclage in place I am bleeding. I got up for my morning restroom visit, to discover bright red blood. It was there when I wiped, but I don’t seem to have active, heavy bleeding.

I called the oncall doctor, who said they would check for a heartbeat, but at 18 weeks they can’t do anything. I already found her heartbeat before calling, so now I am just supposed to take it easy this weekend. If my bleeding or symptoms worsen, like if I developed cramping then I need to call back to be seen at the hospital.

I was not looking forward to getting myself and 3 kids ready for a trip to the hospital this morning, but I want to be reassured that my cerclage hasn’t failed. If I should be restricting my time up on my feet I want to know that.

My 1 1/2 year old son was climbing and practically jumping on my belly this morning when he woke at 2am, and my job required and excessive amount of bending/heavy lifting yesterday. I really hope my stitch hasn’t torn. I have to be prepared for the possibility of being pulled out of work. I’d like to know if that’s where I am at before Monday.