October 31, 2006

Head's Up!


Obviously this kid is its Dad's offspring as it has a horrible sense of direction!

The OB that I saw yesterday recommended that I try the external version, as long as I was comfortable with the accompanying discomfort. He said that on first time moms the success rate isn't as high because the uterus isn't as "stretchy" but he still felt optimistic about the procedure. Especially since Butterball shows no sign of engaging in my pelvis.

So we're scheduled for 2pm tomorrow, November 1st, in the Labor & Delivery ward at the hospital. They'll do an ultrasound to begin with to check to make sure baby is still bum-down and an NST to check fetal heart tones. If everything checks out okay he'll attempt 3 times to get the baby to spin. He'll grab the bum with one hand and "lift" it up out of the pelvic cavity. Using the other hand he'll try to make the baby do a forward summersault or a backwards one. Just depending on which way it seems the baby wants to go. If successful I'll be allowed to leave and they'll let labor start on its own, with weekly NST's to check on Butterball. If unsuccessful we'll discuss a c-section as they won't try to turn the baby at a later time. Either way, I'll stay monitored in L&D for a while after the procedure to make sure everything looks alright with both me and the little one.

I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed today. Mostly at the thought that if something goes wrong tomorrow then we'll be coming home from the hospital with the little one on the outside. Which means we'd better put the car seat in the car and pack my bag tonight, just in case. I also feel like there is stuff here around the house that needs to be done too. My OCD would flare up incredibly if I was to leave tomorrow knowing that my house is dirty and not organized. Obviously I can't get everything done tonight and tomorrow morning but I'd at least like it to be "presentable". I'm a freak, I know.

As for the other specifics of yesterday's appointment--everything looked good. My blood pressure was still elevated but without any other pre-eclampsic symptoms, the OB wasn't overly concerned. My weight is actually down 5 pounds from last week and the loss was attributed to fluctuations in water retention/swelling.
Baby is still measuring a little bit bit but nothing to be overly concerned with either. The OB said that I'd measure a little big ahead, based upon external measurements, becuase of Butterball being breeched. Overall the OB said that I'm doing great, all things considered. He did laugh though and said that he'd be surprised if I ever decided to get pregnant again, after the track record of my last 8 months.

Here's yesterday's 37 week belly pic. And although I won't post the bare belly shot here to prove this next statement, I've been fortunate to not get ANY stretch marks at all.

October 29, 2006


Check this out. It might take a while to load for some of you, but I thought it was pretty neat. It's easiest to see if you watch the tips of my fingers.

Silly me forgot to turn on the macro function on the camera though so its a little blurry. It's hard to take video of yourself!

I took the password off my photobucket site. Hopefully it will work now.

October 25, 2006

No Such Luck

Ultrasound shows baby is large for its size. Estimating weight to be 7lbs 8oz, head and abdomen circumference off the charts.

Amniotic fluid levels are good but on the higher side of the range.

Baby is still breech.

Blood pressure once again slightly elevated. No protein in urine.

Lots of words tossed around -- c-section, induction, external version.

Re-evaluation appointment on Monday to discuss options.


Um. Yeah.

This is what we woke to this morning.

I'm not ready for this change in weather. I guess that just means we're that much closer to bringing Butterball home. I've been saying the baby couldn't be born until after the first snow.

October 23, 2006

PIH not Pre-e

A call from the nurse on Thursday last week relayed the dianosis of pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), not pre-eclampsia like the doctor had originally thought. It just means that my blood pressure has gone up without the other symptoms of pre-eclampsia. I'm to continue monitoring my pressure here at home and go into the office if it spikes up or if it's high and accompanied by other symptoms -- headache, pain in abdomen, change in vision, etc.

It's been holding steady at about 130/85. Still high for me but under the values the office considers "high".

My 36 week appointment is on Wednesday and I'll have an ultrasound to check baby's size and position. Keep your fingers crossed for a healthy (but not huge) size and head down!

October 20, 2006

Butterball's Room

I figured that since Butterball's arrival is approaching quickly that I really should get some pictures of the nursery up for everyone to see. I don't want Grandma to see it for the first time when she flies to Idaho in a few weeks! The lighting hasn't been the greatest the past couple of days again -- it's been cloudy and grey here so I apologize that the quality isn't the best. The room isn't quite finished either. There is still a bunch of little stuff that I need to buy (hamper, laundry basket, storage baskets for the closet, etc.) and the glider isn't in the room. Once it does get moved downstairs it will go to the left of the window. For now it's going to stay in the master bedroom. When the baby first comes home from the hospital it will sleep in the bassinet of the pack 'n play in our room. So I figured I might as well keep the glider close to where ever Butterball will be sleeping.


I have tie-backs for the curtain panels but silly me forgot to buy something to attach them to the wall with. There will also be horizontal blinds on the window at some point too (hopefully this weekend). The quilt hanging over the end of the crib is the one that my mom made.

The bumper still needs to go on the front rail of the crib. I've just left it off for now in order to get better pictures of the crib sheet.

Close up of the crib sheet. It turned out to be much higher quality than I figured it would be. I also have a jersey sheet in yellow and some other crib sheets in white for backups.

The dust ruffle is hard to see because the mattress is at the highest position for now. I'm sure that it will look much better as the baby gets bigger and we have to drop the mattress down into lower positions.

The matching lamp that goes with the bedding set and curtains.
The way cute light fixture that I got on CLEARANCE from Home Depot for $15!
View of the closet. The nursery itself is actually quite small so there is a lot that will go into the closet and keep the room organized. Hopefully.

Up close shot of the diapering/bathing "stuff". And Logan of course. The dogs like to go into the closet and sniff all of the smelly baby products.

All of our homemade baby blankies/quilts. The three on the left are all from the same friend of the family. Two of which she made when I was a baby (the top and bottom) and the middle one is the new one she made for Butterball. I thought it would be really fun to be able to use two generations of quilts from her. The beige blanket on the top of the middle stack was the receiving blanket my mom used to bring ME home from the hospital!

And of course, the obligatory picture of the older "brothers". They love going into the nursery and checking out all the new stuff in there. Hopefully they'll adjust well (or as good as possible) when we bring the baby home from the hospital.

October 16, 2006

Not Much to Report

I managed to get an appointment for 8:30 this morning at the doctor's office. They took my BP as soon as I got there and it was 140/90. Down a little from where it was when I took it myself but still too high. 140/90 is what most places classify as the lower end of "high" blood pressure.

They put me in a room for a few minutes and then rechecked my BP again. Still 140/90 and by now they've discovered "traces" of protein in my urine. The doc came in (not my usual OB but another one in the practice) and after a few minutes of questions, he thinks that it's the start of pre-eclampsia. If my BP stays on the lower end though it will be considered a mild case.

They drew blood, instructed me on how to collect a 24-hour urine sample and then hooked me up to the NST for about 30 minutes to monitor contractions and the baby. As usual, the little stinker decided not to move for the first 15 and then started kicking up a storm. I had a couple of contractions that registered on the monitor but nothing that the doctor is concerned over. Overall, baby's heartrate looked really good and I was allowed to leave.

No official diagnosis until the bloodwork and 24-hr urine sample is analyzed. Doc said to come home and rest today, giving me a list of symptoms to watch for.

The fun never ends...

Thar She Blows...

I haven't felt the greatest for the past couple of days, so on a whim last night I checked my blood pressure. 146/84. Not good.

This morning I checked it again on the hope that a decent night's sleep (if that's possible while pregnant) would bring it down somewhat. Nope. 145/98. Definitely not good.

The on-call doctor didn't seem that worried and told me to call back when the office opens this morning and to make an appointment to be seen today. I'll update when I know anything more.

October 13, 2006

Big Baby

I had my 34 week OB appointment on Tuesday and I realized earlier that I still hadn't posted an update here for everyone.

BP: 120/68.
Weight: same as 31wk appointment, total weight gain so far is 28 pounds.
Swelling: "Much better" according to my OB, but still present.
Fundal height: between 38 and 39 weeks.

Yup. Butterball is once again measuring WAY ahead. My OB is slightly concerned and has scheduled an ultrasound for the 25th to get a better look at the baby. She said that it could just be increased amniotic fluid around the baby, but better to be safe than sorry.

Overall, my doctor is extremely pleased with how everything is progressing. Although she'd rather I wasn't still needing to take the Zofran daily, she sympathizes and won't force me to wean myself before labor and delivery. She's glad to see that my blood pressure is good, that the swelling hasn't progressed (and has actually gotten better) and that I've gained an appropriate amount of weight all things considered. Normally she'd be concerned that a patient hadn't gained any weight between appointments. Especially at this point in a pregnancy when typical weight gain is 1/2 to a full pound a week. But she think I am gaining weight but losing water weight at the same time so it's evening out.

One other concern though is that Butterball is still breech. Head still up high, stuck in my ribs just below my heart. At the ultrasound we'll check to see if baby has turned and gone "head down". If not we'll discuss options at that point. After a few long conversations with C (and many, many hours of reading websites and childbirth books) I've come to the decision that I want to go through labor and delivery med-free. I'm not trying to be heroic, it's just something that I believe in and want to do. A breech baby could seriously complicate this hope.

So in the meantime I'm drinking lots of water to keep plenty of amniotic fluid around the baby, going to the chiropractor to loosen up my back and pelvis and doing all sorts of crazy poses and natural remedies to try to encourage this little one to flip around. Let's hope that something works in the next 12 days and baby settles nicely into my pelvis for the remainder of its confinement.

A girl can hope, can't she?

October 11, 2006

Sober Conversations

I'm sure there are a couple of you who know immediately who this post is going to be about, before I even delve into it.

There are a couple of things that I don't talk about much, if at all, here on this blog. Not necessarily because I'm ashamed or embarrassed of them or because I don't want anyone to know. It's mainly because the issue can be so exhausting at times that it's not worth expending the energy to get it all "out" and written down.

One of those things being my dad and our relationship. To truly understand the situation you need to know him personally and to experience some of the interactions firsthand.

To give you some of the basics:
  • My parents divorced when I was 8. Mom had primary custody of the three of us girls.
  • Dad was (and still is) only involved in our lives when it was convenient for him, or when it made him look good--awards night at school, band concerts, graduations, weddings, etc.
  • He told me once when I was at Michigan State that he didn't understand much of what I did; he didn't understand why I wanted to do the things I chose to do. Because of that, he couldn't really support my decisions.
  • His temper is horrible. I've seen him do things that some people could only imagine.
  • And probably the most significant aspect of our relationship--he's an alcoholic. He'll never admit it but he is.
All of those things combine to make an extremely volatile situation, at times. He can be the most ignorant person and make the most ignorant comments. But because of his temper, many people never say anything to him about it. So he continues on as he is.

A few years ago, the two of us had a major confrontation that changed the dynamic of our relationship considerably. My sister, A, and I were down at the farm to see him. I was living in Utah at the time, had been out West for about a year. He started on my sister about something and being the over-protective older sister that I am, I immediately got directly between the two of them. Literally. I physically put myself behind him and her so he couldn't continue to talk to her like he was doing. The situation quickly escalated and it ended with A and I driving away with many things unresolved. It was the first time that I had stood up to him and I think it shocked him considerably. We didn't speak the rest of the time I was in Michigan and for months after I came back to Utah. Since then, he's been somewhat better with the things he says to me. Somewhat.

When my other sister got married in August, there was some really hurtful things that got said and done on his part. Since then, I've only talked to him a couple of times and the conversations have been really short.

I guess I should explain too that most of our conversations take place later at night. This is due to the time difference between Idaho and Michigan and due to his schedule. He's a dairy farmer (one that's too stubborn to hire extra help) and he usually works until 10 or 11 at night, easily. Most times, I don't even try to call him until it's 8:30pm here, 10:30pm there. Which means he's had all day to stew in his Natural Light.

Yesterday he called me out of the blue, first thing in the morning. He was outside feeding the young calves and got to thinking about me and the baby. Although not incredibly long, our 10 or 15 minute conversation was nice. It was actually light hearted and he asked me questions about my job, the house and the pregnancy. Usually he does all the talking--about the weather, problems on the farm, etc. Rarely asking many questions about us. Rarely asking questions about the baby.

I've thought all along that he'd be excited to be a grandpa. When I had the miscarriage in May 2005 he cried on the phone when I told him. He seemed genuinely concerned about my health and tried to follow all the infertility treatments I was going through. When I got pregnant this time, he seemed to withdraw. Perhaps he was afraid to show his excitement because of what happened 18 months ago. Who knows. But it's really bothered me that he's been so blase about the baby.

So yesterday felt really good to have a real, sober conversation with him. Maybe it will be the only one like it that I have for a while. But at least I have that one for now.

October 9, 2006

It's Official

In the 12 years that I've been of legal driving age, I've had driver's licenses from 4 different states.


I told C the other day that state #5 was not making its appearance anytime soon! This moving around is getting tiring. I can only imagine how much more difficult it will be with kids.

On the flip side though. C thought he was all big and bad because he only missed 2 questions on the written exam for his license. That's all I heard everytime we were in the car for the 10 days between when he got his and when I finally had the chance to make it into the County Office for mine.

It felt so good to have this conversation:

C: So, how did the test go?
M: Fine.
C: Did you pass?
M: Yup.
C: Didn't do as good as me, huh? (With a huge smirk on his face.)
M: Nope. Pausing for about 5 seconds. I didn't get any wrong.
C: You suck.

October 2, 2006

Baby Shower

My apologies for the delay. Every time I sat down at the computer over the weekend my brain went foggy and I just couldn't string enough words together to make coherent sentences. This morning isn't proving to be much more produtive but I know that I can't keep dragging my feet on this project.

So here's some of what I have...

Me trying to stay off my feet as long as possible before the guests started arriving. I asked everyone to not take any pictures below my knees, but I'm not sure how well they listened!

Me with the gifts about halfway through opening everything. No one thought to take any pictures of all the "loot" before we got started. As you can see in this picture, my legs are starting to swell up. I look forward to having my own ankles back after the baby is born!

The "gang". My 3 closest friends from High School and college. And Miss V, of course!

"Aunt" A, holding up the swing I got from my dad and step-mom. She hosted the shower at her house and I stayed with her the entire time I was in Detroit. Everytime I got up off the couch or tried to do anything, she would act like my mom and tell me to sit down! It was good though, I'm sure she kept my swelling to a minimum.

The beautiful quilt that my mom made. The color (yellow) matches the walls in the nursery perfectly. Must have been "grandma's intuition" as she picked out the fabrics long before C and I decided on a paint color.

Great baby gear that says Michigan State on it and has a cow! I figured that Bean would be our MSU "hook up". C wants to make sure early on that this baby appreciates its "roots"!

The whole family after the hub-bub had settled down. After feeling so huge in all of my sister's wedding pictures, I made the girls stand next to me and tried to minimize my width!

And of course, the star of the day--Miss Victoria! I don't think my mom won any points by sneaking her frosting when Kristin wasn't looking.

For those of you who were at the shower -- thank you so much for making the drive and spending your afternoon with us! It was great to see everyone and spend time together.

For my mom and sisters -- thank you so much for doing all that you did to pull the shower together. Thanks, A, for opening up your house to everyone. All three of you did way more than necessary.

And for everyone -- thank you for all of the gifts that have been bought and sent. C and I are so very lucky to have such wonderful friends and family. Your love and support are truly amazing! This baby is very blessed to have such amazing people in its life!