Aug 25, 2009

Week 15: Labor stories

lol - check out this cartoon: http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/l/labor_wards.asp

So, I have been meaning to write about this for a bit; those who are following me on twitter may have also seen a few tweets about this.

I finally talked to my mom the other day for more details about how labor was for her. As in - how much does it actually hurt/what does it feel like? I still think that it's going to be one of those things that you have to experience for your own - I still don't feel like I know what it's going to be like too well. (of course, part of my problem may be that I always 'defined' my pain in categories due to sport injuries and so I probably have a different way of going about pain than other people! lol)

But, also - people don't often say too much about the pain. I mean, they say it does hurt (and open their eyes really big to get that point across), but at the same time, they then focus on the pushing and how tired you can get... So, the pain is not as bad as the exhaustion? And I would think that anyways you are super uncomfortable... the baby is in your pelvic area, your legs are wide apart when pushing, your breathing is off - it just seems very uncomfortable!!! ;)

Going back to my mom though - let me know share what her history was in birthing the 3 of us kids. Mind you, it's really sounding like the doctor didn't tell her much of what was going on... the last 2 births seem better, but she does say that the first doctor kept telling her during the entire pregnancy that she was doing everything wrong (don't eat ice cream, don't drive... ok, how do I get to your office? lol) and that the hospital was pretty industrial and not personal at all for delivery.

My older brother was the first one born and my mom says that she was in labor with him for 2 hours. That's it!!! He was also about 19 days early, although it sounds like the delivery estimates weren't as actuate in 1978 since they didn't use ultrasound that much. (my mom is LOVING my ultrasound pictures) Anyways, she said that they did the whole 'push, push!" thing, that they had her laying down (thank GOODNESS they don't do THAT anymore!), and that she got a pain shot (I'm unclear if it was an epi, she says it was) in her back. Now - she also says that the shot was given and about 5 minutes later she gave birth! She said if she knew that, she would have gone straight through with the delivery since it was only a bit longer. With it being her first birth, the main thing for her was that you don't really know what's going on and so it's kinda' scary.

... But, with births 2 and 3, she knew that she wasn't going to, well, die - and so that made it better for her. Also, my birth and my younger sister were also pretty quick: I was born in 45 minutes (15 minutes after she got to the hospital, 30 minutes after her water broke), and my sister was born in 3 hours or so. (my sister was the largest out of the 3 of us) The main thing that she says from us is that she really didn't need to 'push.' She says that if she pushed when they told her to, she felt that she would be going counter to what her body was telling her. She also says that the muscles were pretty much just doing the job... I guess if it's so short like that, they really do have a mind of their own!!!

I find her birthing stories really interesting (or course- it has me in them!), but I don't know if it's an indication of how my own labor will be. Other factors that I'm sure can contribute: 1. my grandma wasn't fast with her labor, although she was 38 and 40 when she had her 2 kids... apparently at some point the nurse told her that she just wasn't trying and needed to get serious - how rude! ;) 2. My mom was younger than me with her births, I think 23 with my brother 25 with me and 27 with my sister. I'm going to be 29 when I give birth to my first...

I get worried about her fast delivery because my delivery hospital is about 20 minutes away with no traffic, but there is a very good chance that I would hit traffic and/or ice/snow considering I'm expected to deliver in Feb!!! So, I'm probably going to be very paranoid about going into labor in case it's super fast! :) My mom joked that I should rent a room closer to the hospital.

I still have plenty of time to discuss delivery with my doctor (we haven't touched on it at all yet), but please share your birthing stories and if you think that family history does make a difference or not. Also, although I don't think this would help if it's super fast, I heard that having an epi can delay how long the labor is... any thoughts on this?

Week 15: Quickening


"Bubbles. Butterflies. Gas. These are all words used to describe what a baby's first movements feel like to a mother.

Quickening is defined as the first time you feel your baby move. This is a long anticipated event in every pregnancy.

If you are expecting your first baby you can expect to feel your baby for the first time between 18 and 24 weeks gestation. If this is not your first baby you can expect to feel your baby a bit sooner than you felt your first. This is usually said to happen because you know what you're feeling for and your uterus is more stretched out than it was the first time around." From http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/fetaldevelopment/a/aa082999.htm

So, I wanted to write about this because I'm either having a new kind of gas/growling belly or I'm actually feeling baby :) I know, I know - it's early and probably not it, but it certainly is different! :) About 3 days ago - at the start of the weekend - I was lying in bed before getting up and felt kinda like a growling in my belly... except that it is not in my belly (much lower) and that it's not really growling. It was like a gentle growl, I guess. Since then, I have felt it every once in a while, usually when lying down.

What do you think? I don't know if anyone can really tell you yes or no, but when did you first feel what you thought was quickening? I'm sure that once the baby is REALLY kicking me, I'll be less enthusiastic. ;)

Aug 24, 2009

Week 14: Belly Shots

Week 14 pictures up! With week 13, 12 and 5 to compare :)

Week 14




















Week 13




















Week 12




















Week 5

Aug 19, 2009

Week 13: Belly Shots

A bit late, but here is my picture when I was done with week 13 and the old pictures for comparison:

Week 13 done!




















Week 12 done!




















Week 11 done!

Week 14: Pregnancy insomnia

So, I have been complaining about this on Twitter and have decided to officially gripe on my blog about my sleep cycle these last few days. I have anyways changed my sleep cycle once I got pregnant because I was, of course, TIRED beyond words. I don't nap, but changed things so that I was pretty much in bed between 10-11 pm (I would normally sleep around 12-1 am).

In the last week and half, I have been following that schedule, but I wake up at least once at 2:30-3:00 am. I always heard that people wake up during their pregnancy, but they always tie it to having to pee. I DON'T NEED TO PEE! WHY AM I WAKING UP?!!

My first reaction is that I am hot... we are getting into the really hot time in the DC area and in the past week and half, we got hot and humid. In order to combat the humidity (because there is not much of a 'cool off' at night and no breeze), we have to use the air conditioning. Normally during the summer, I have it set to 78 degrees at night; 76 if it gets really hot. Since I got pregnant, I have it at 74 degrees at night and when I wake up, I sometimes turn it down to 72 degrees. That does seem to help.

If it's cool enough, I just wake up, turn to my other side with my body pillow (I use the Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow). If I get hot, I'm up longer. Last night though, I couldn't fall asleep for about an hour!!! :( I was not a happy camper.

I then also wake up around 5:30 am - 6:00 am. I'm not SUPPOSED to get up until 7:30-ish. I suppose I could start getting up early, but I'm not a morning person and frankly, I get a bit pissed off about waking a bit early from my alarm :P

So, what I have heard about sleeping?
Mostly that everyone seems to get this and that some contribute it to having to pee, your body getting ready for middle of night feedings, and just hormones. Here are some hints I found online:

  • Go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day. (I already do that)
  • Don't nap during the day. (I don't - not even during the 1st trimester)
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Pregnant women should do this anyway. (duh - I don't drink or smoke)
  • Don't drink caffeinated beverages four to six hours before bedtime. (I don't drink caffeine at all these days; I just don't like it... I can barley stand 7-up)
  • Avoid spicy foods. (hmmm; well, I don't have it that much. And when I do, I think I have slept better. Maybe I should try that tonight.)
  • Get regular exercise but not too close to bedtime. (ha! Yea, I don't exercise close to bedtime - I would be too tired)
  • Do not watch TV or read in bed. Go to bed only when you're sleepy, and use the bed only for sleep or sex. (yep; actually, I try to read, but I'm too tired)

Oh - do you guys follow the spicy food rule? I don't eat super spicy food, but don't have any issues with that - no heartburn and whatnot. I think it mostly depends on how much you eat it anyways. I mean, in some regions of the world, you can't AVOID it!!!

I would love to hear any suggestions you have for sleeping; I would just like to sleep through the night and not wake up so much. I know that I will be doing this a lot with baby and would like a bit more time to enjoy my nighttimes :)

Aug 12, 2009

Week 13: Pelvic Bone pain/dreams/sleeping

Sorry - I have been taking forever to write this... I'm just not feeling very verbal right now :) So, here are some random thoughts that I have been having:

PELVIC BONE
For some reason, my pelvic bone is not happy :( I basically feel like I have a sore butt... I never bruised my tailbone, but at this rate I may know how that feels soon!!!!

Has anyone else had their butt hurt during pregnancy? Especially this early? It seems early to have something like this bugging me.

Most of the time, it's just sore, but twice I had two sharp pains (on the toilet, I think it was the position and hard bowl). Thanks for those who have tweeted about what it could be - I think you are right and it did make me feel better. That is, stretching and that sort of thing.

SLEEPING
I also now wake up around 3 am each morning. I don't necessarily have to pee, but I still wake up. I also wake up around 6 am or so. I wake up for real at 7 am, but it takes me awhile to get going. I really don't know if I will have that much energy going into the 2nd trimester - I do feel a bit less tired, but I still know that I'm tired by 10 pm and like the wake up around 9 pm... I think it's more about knowing your schedule and not trying to make the old one fit.

DREAMS
I have been having interesting dreams recently and apparently that's because I'm not sleeping as well and so have more REM sleep. :) (nice to have a scientific reason for it) I'm actually a bit tired to remember them right now, but I keep looking up through google every morning for the 'meanings' behind them. :) I usually like dreams, but these are just odd at times. Last night, I was in this old Victorian house and my family was there. I had two kids (boys) and we just brought them home, although they were pretty big babies. I was taking care of both and things were fine, but one of the babies seemed to be having some difficulties with something, I don't know what and so I was spending a lot more time with him. Interesting stuff....

Anyways - today I am done with 13 weeks and so I am officially into my second trimester!!! Yay!

Aug 10, 2009

Week 12: Dr's apt & 1st Trimester Screening

So, this past week I had both my second doctor's appointment and my 1st Trimester Screening. I have Care First (Blue Cross) which doesn't allow for procedures like the 1st Trimester Screening to be covered in my doctor's office, so I went to the Genetics & IVF Institute to get that screening done on Friday.

But, my regular doctor's appointment was on Wednesday and everything went pretty quickly. I had a mid-morning appointment which meant that I waited about a half hour to get in. Then, I did my urine sample, blood pressure (good) and waited in the room for my doctor. She came in and it was pretty quick where she just listen to the heartbeat - in the 160s/minute, good - and then just asked if I had questions. I really do think that they figure there is so much for people to read out there that they don't need to really tell us a lot of stuff... Or they figure we will ask. Which makes me think that really, in the end, not too many things will hurt you! At least in moderation.

Anyways, it took her a bit of searching to find the heartbeat, but that really didn't freak me out. I mean, I always get a bit nervous before these things, but I don't feel like anything is WRONG, so I guess that doesn't worry me. :) She may have thought it was a bit higher because my belly is kinda' sticking out, but really it's still pretty low.

So, I asked about my weight - ie, I have gain about 8 pounds already - and she said no problem - it's probably a lot of water weights and gas. :) I said I got a bit dizzy last weekend and she said to drink more water and it's probably because I'm starting to produce more blood. I also brought up how I trust her opinion and for the most part I'm healthy, so if I have questions and it's really normal - just tell me it's normal and not to worry about. She said that most things in pregnancy are kinda' like that! lol. And finally, I brought up how I have bad ankles, shoulders and knees (tendinitis and almost no cartilage in my knees) and how when I gain weight my knees usually hurt - can I take Alieve, Motrin, etc. Nope - I can only take Tylenol, which doesn't help. :( She said that a brace may be helpful, but also that sometimes pregnancy makes women get more lubrication in their joints, so I may be fine. Cool - I hope that's me (if you saw on twitter, my knees are hurting today, but I think that's because we have an atmospheric front coming in tomorrow - yes, I usually feel those... I have a bit of arthritis too)!

After that, I got 2 vials of blood taken out so that they can test for EVERYTHING (including HIV and blood type). I love the nurse - I barley felt the needle! :)

So, that appointment is all good and my next appointment is Sept 2nd. :) I really did think that they would do an ultrasound each time - they don't unless you ask - which is kinda' sad, but I understand. I don't think I'll request the ultrasound, but I hope I get one next time :)

So, my second appointment was Friday for the First Trimester Screening. This screening is an option in Virgina, however something that is recommended. They are testing for Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 and/or 13. English? Well, we know that Down Syndrome is not a fatal mutation, but *can* result in the child having any range of mental retardation. They can't tell how much the child may be affected (or in the end if the child WILL have it), but they give a range of probability. Likewise, Trisomy 18 and 13 are cases when a child has extra chromosomes (18 or 13) in their DNA which more often than not, results in them not surviving past the first few hours or days of birth. This screening does an initial test for these defects:
"The First Trimester Screen (FTS) begins with an ultrasound examination measuring the tiny fluid filled sack at the back of the fetal neck, called the nuchal translucency. An increased measurement may indicate a chromosomal disorder, a congenital heart defect or other birth defect, but can also be seen in normal fetuses. A maternal blood test that measures pregnancy hormones (B-hCG and PAPP-A) is combined with the ultrasound measurement and maternal age to calculate a specific risk for Down syndrome and for Trisomy 18 or 13." from Genetics & IVF Institute webpage

They also look in the ultra sound for the development of the nose... I never heard about that! :)
So, looking at the ultrasound, everything looks ok for now. Before the ultrasound, they took a little bit of blood - I was surprised because it wasn't a vital, she just withdrew some into the needle... I thought they would take more. Of course, because I took blood on Wed, she had to use my other arm and I knew it wasn't going to be good because she choose an outside vein... Nurses NEVER choose outside veins. You can see it better, but it never gives blood as well as those on the inside. She put in the needle and then is like, "Oh, that was a mistake" and started to move the needle around a bit. So, starting Saturday, I got a bruise. :) Actually - I was surprised - I'm a big wuss when it comes to needles (I don't cry, but I don't really like it), but I didn't really feel much for either shot. Does your pain level get higher while pregnant? I hope so :)

It was very cool to see the ultrasound (isn't it always?) and this was the first time that it looked more like a baby. The last ultrasound, we saw a blob and the heart beating (still VERY cool). This time, we got the close up and it really looks much more like a 'baby.' :) Also, he/she is moving!!!! Not as much as I thought, but kinda' these jumps every now and then. (seriously, it looked like it was being shocked with defribulatiors...) Then, it turned around and stuff - so neat!!! Our little guy/girl is jumping around! hehehehe!

So, when that all was done, we went into another room while the doctor (or whoever) looked at the ultrasound. Then, a councilor came in (I think her name was Mary) - SUPER nice women - and went over what everything is and how things look so far (good). It was very good because she really stressed how these are PROBABILITIES - there is always a chance for something to happen, but these test give us an idea of how at risk we are. If we are deemed to be high risk, we have the change to take further tests including the one where they take out the DNA. I *think* that test is pretty much 100% positive in those cases... My regular doctor said that if we find that the kid has Trisomy 18 and/or 13, she recommends terminating the pregnancy because the baby won't survive much after birth. They don't recommend terminating for Down Syndrome. I agree with that - everything I read says that you can't tell how bad Down Syndrome can be and it's not something life threatening. But, I understand that it would change your life COMPLETELY and so don't judge anyone who would. And my doctor didn't seem to either, which was very good...

So, now I am waiting for the genetics center to call with the probabilities for our baby. I'm positive with the ultrasound results and hope that everything will continue to go well! Wish us luck!!!!!!!

Week 12 Belly Shot and Baby picture :)

Here is my weekly belly shot (with week 11 and 5 next to it for comparison) and below pictures of our little guy/girl from the first trimester screening last Friday :)

So, I *think* I may be getting stretch marks. I'm not sure, but I have little red spots on my buttocks. :( I do have stretch marks (on my rear end again) from when I gained weight my first year of university so I guess it's too be expected. Hopefully it won't get very bad and I'm still not convience they are stretch marks, but I have a feeling they may show. I lotion up, but I know that the stretch marks come from deep in...

The other thing - my baby pictures are 2 ultra sounds and 1 3-D. They don't even ask me if I want the 3-D or not - they just do it! :) I'm not that crazy about it... however my mom - who didn't even have ultrasounds with us for the most part - thinks it's super cool because it's so in detail. I guess it'll look better as the baby develops a bit more!

Week 5 belly:



















Week 11 belly:




















Week 12 belly:




















Doesn't really look like that big of a change, huh? I actually think my weight gain this past week was very low. We'll see how things are this upcoming week... I don't think it's anything to worry about! I already seem to be showing earlier than some people!

Baby pictures:

Aug 3, 2009

Week 12: Dizziness!

Apparently, I'm pretty right on time for this! This weekend, I went shopping for a pair of maternity jeans and some longer shirts (I hate buying clothes that I will only wear for 6 months; well, again when I have another kid, but still- I'm trying to buy 'flexible' tops) and after trying on the clothes, I got so dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out! I had to sit down on the floor of the shop while F finished paying for the clothes. I then had to sit down and ate and had water for a bit before feeling better. I thought it was because we ate kinda' late on Saturday, but then I got a bit dizzy on Sunday as well! No where near as bad, but still kinda' dizzy! And this morning, I'm feeling kinda' dizzy, but that could be just because I'm tired :)

So, I opened my emails this morning and got in at least 2 of the daily pregnancy updates that this week could see the start of dizziness! This is kinda' the first week where I have been on track for my symptoms matching the emails :) This is what they say:

What to Expect.com
Week 12 of Pregnancy: Dizzy Spells

During pregnancy, progesterone increases the flow of blood to your baby, resulting in lower blood pressure and reduced blood flow to your brain — giving you that dizzy feeling all over.

Here's a quick tip: If you feel dizzy or faint, lie down or sit with your head lowered between your knees, take deep breaths, and loosen any tight clothing (like that button on your jeans you struggled to close in the first place). As soon as you feel a little better, get something to eat and drink.


And guess who's to blame? Yup — it's your old friend progesterone again, which causes your blood vessels to relax and widen around 12 weeks pregnant, increasing the flow of blood to your baby (again, good for baby), but slowing the return of blood to you (as always, not so good for mom). Less blood flow to you means lower blood pressure and reduced blood flow to your brain. All of these can contribute to that light-headed, dizzy feeling — especially when you get up too quickly — which is why slow and steady wins the race against dizziness.

Another cause of dizziness during pregnancy is low blood-sugar levels, which can occur if you're not eating regularly (so don't try to run…or even walk…on empty). And looking ahead to later in pregnancy, dizziness in the third trimester can be caused by the pressure the growing uterus places on your major blood vessels, especially when you're lying on your back.

Babies Online.com

While your morning sickness and tiredness may be even less frequent, you may be getting lightheaded or have headaches again. This is from the increase in blood volume. Remember the safety precautions regarding dizziness? Well, those can apply here as well. Be sure to talk about any symptoms or illness you may experience with your healthcare provider. It is important for you to communicate any concerns, worries, or questions you may have.

So, I have my next appointment with my doctor this Wednesday and I'll be sure to mention that. I'm going to mention how tired I have been, but I don't think it's anything abnormal. I will bring up how I have had low iron in the past, but again - I don't feel like I'm low now (I can usually feel when I am - I get very tired and I crave red meat :))
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Anyone have any good questions to bring up at this time? Here is my list for now. It's not so much questions as just stuff to bring up...


1. General philosophy: Don't do anything stupid - what will be will be. But - I do read stuff and trust my doctor to tell me things I need to know


2. Background:
*I choose my new doctor because she is close to my house and tied to the hospital there, so I thought - great! I can use this hospital when I go into labor. But, she prefers to use Fairfax INOVA hospital (better anesthetic people she thinks) which is fine, except that without traffic it takes about 20 minutes to get there and I'm due in Feb which can mean ice, snow, rain and/or traffic which could possibly bump up the commute time to 1 hour or so. Why is that a worry? My mother gave birth to all three of us (her children) in under 3 hours (the first in 2 hours) and so I'm worried that I may be the same :) I read that there is nothing conclusive about this so I don't know how worried I should be - any advice?
* I am for the most part a very healthy human with very few problems. I have only had constipation once, I can get low iron and besides that, if I get a fever- there is something MAJOR wrong (ie, internal staff infection or something like that - lol). So, many things that may be 'normal' to other people can be new to me - if I ask about something, please just let me know if it's normal or not- I will only ask about things that are new to me. More than anything else, I just like to know if it's something that other people have and so no worries! :)
* Outside the above - I have some physical problems that I put in a different category and can already feel causing problems as I gain weight, specifically. I have tendinitis in my ankles and shoulders and most of my cartilage has been worn away from my knees due to the repetitive nature of swimming (I know, it's good, but when you train these problems are pretty common). I also have a bit of arthritis in my knee. Because of this, when I gain weight I feel it in my knees and legs - I used to take Naxprofin (hmm, I spelled that wrong), but now usually just take Motrin if they bother me - is this fine when it starts to bother me with the baby weight? :) Do you recommend any braces?


3. Weight gain: so, I gained about 5 pounds that first two months and have gained around 2/2.5 pounds this past month. I think it's mostly because I have been so tired, but this month I'm moving more and I'm not eating bad or really that much more (however, before I would gain about a pound if I ate more than 1,100 calories a day - I'm 5'7''!! According to charts, I should be able to eat at least 1,500) Also, I had gained about 10 pounds between last October and this May. I kinda' question if I have a slow hypothalamus gland, but I think my main question would just be if I should increase my exercise as I get more energy - does she think that will help keep things more on track? What do you think?


4. Dizziness: Got it a bit this past few days - just fyi more than anything else J

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Day after update: My doctor wasn't concerned about my weight at all and said it's probably mostly water weight and gas... whew! Also, she said that I should just drink more water to help if I get dizzy, which makes sense because I don't think I drink as much on the weekend. I get up later and so don't eat and drink until later. I have to start changing that :)


Also, no ultrasound :( just heartbeat. It was in the 160s/minute so looking good! Tomorrow we go for the first trimester screening and I'll get my ultrasound then. I hope that from here on out I do get an ultrasound every time I go to the doctor - anyone know?