Monday, January 31, 2011

Just had my last NST

So today was my last appointment before my induction on Thursday. Everything still looks good. Still contracting, still have plenty of fluid, and baby is perfect. So all is going along without a hitch thus far.

My doctor came into the room and notices my contractions and says I'm not going to check you today because I don't want to know. Ha! She said if I want her to she will, but honestly I don't think I want to know either.

So the plan for Thursday remains the same. We will go in for 7 a.m. They will start me on my antibiotics. Apparently it will take 4 hours for that to be administered though. Once that first bag is in they will start the 2nd and break my water. Hopefully that will be enough and things will go as quickly as they did when I had the girls. The way I figure it the earliest we could have a baby is 2 p.m. on Thursday. Hoping I don't need any other help to get things going. My doctor said we could do a little pitocin with the antibiotics, but honestly I worry that things would go too quickly and I definitely wouldn't get enough of the antibiotics in before I have the baby. Least time spent in the special care nursery the better.

It's hard to believe this is all coming to an end. In some ways it feels like I just found out I was pregnant and in others this has just dragged on.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's a matter of trust

When we went through a rough time in the beginning with CJ and his failure to thrive I quickly began losing trust in our pediatrician. He had been our children's doctor for 4 years since we had moved here. I never experienced him with a newborn. I also hadn't done a whole lot of research. I didn't know anyone in the area to ask their opinions and there were only two doctors in town that accepted our insurance. The other one I called couldn't get us in for months and I needed immunizations for Kaitlyn (who was 18 months old). I didn't want to get her off track with that so because this other doctor could get us in pretty quickly I figured that was good enough. And I really did like him with the girls. I didn't start questioning his ability until CJ came along. Oddly enough at that time there were also some issues going on in the practice. It seems that the two doctors were splitting the partnership and things were going downhill in the office. By the time CJ was 3 months I was having serious doubts, but also didn't know who I could go to. I was asking around for a good doctor, but wasn't having much luck finding one who accepted our insurance. We were in the process of getting CJ into Birth to Three and the therapist had recommended a doctor to us. I immediately called her and immediately loved her. As a matter of fact I'll never forget this, but on Natalie's birthday in 2008 I spoke to the doctor over the phone about all of my concerns with CJ and she pretty much diagnosed him over the phone. Two weeks later we were in her office for the first time for his 6 month check up and sure enough what she suspected in talking to me was what she believe he had, acid reflux. Finally a feeling of relief. She took on all three children too. We found the perfect pediatrician. I completely trust her with my children's health. She has been there through CJ's helmet, rashes, numerous illnesses, and physicals. I know we found the right doctor. Wish we had found her sooner.

I discovered early on for myself that I had the wrong OBGYN when we first moved here. Again, not knowing anyone in the area or the area that well I went with the one OBGYN in town that accepted our insurance. I immediately did not like him. He had a very thick accent so was very hard to understand and he made me very uncomfortable. You don't need that in an OBGYN. It took some time, but I did find a new doctor for myself maybe a year or so later. It was a woman which made me more comfortable too. When I became pregnant with CJ I knew that she would be great. I also ended up finding out that a friend of mine is a friend of hers. What a small world. She has always been very open with me about things and never pressured me into doing things until I had time to think about it. When CJ was presenting breech we discussed options. She was actually pregnant at the same time and told me she didn't even know what she would do in my situation. I was the perfect candidate for a version, but should something go wrong we could be in an emergency situation. After doing research and discussing things with my doctor I did opt for a c-section which she was fine with. Now some might call it an elective c-section, but to me there really was no other choice. Doctors are moving away from delivering breech babies. Hospitals are moving away from it. For me to do it I would have had to find a different doctor and hospital. That wasn't a possibility at 36 weeks pregnant. Most doctors aren't going to take on a new patient. Especially with my blood pressure complications and gestational diabetes. I trusted my doctor to take good care of me and she did. We made the right choice. Had we done the version CJ would have been born early as he had the cord wrapped around his neck tight, twice. It would have been a very scary and bad situation. This was definitely the less stressful way for him to be born. I didn't feel pressured in either way. I mean my doctor had confidence that the version would have worked since I had previous pregnancies. If anything her choice probably would have been to do the version. So after that experience I always knew that she had my back and wasn't going to try to talk me into anything that wasn't right for me.

I know she's got my back now. She's not going to put me or my baby in danger. I completely trust her. That's important. She has been my doctor for at least 5 years now probably 6. She has been through a lot with me. She is willing to do what I want to do without trying to scare me though. I feel very well informed by her and ready to go into my induction on Thursday. We will start things off by breaking my water and we really have no reason to believe that's not going to be enough. Should it not be enough though then we will try pitocin. My doctor was very clear that some say the pitocin produces unnatural contractions which could put undue stress on my scar. However, her feelings in it and I tend to agree is the pitocin is used to make the contractions strong enough in a case where your contractions aren't doing what they are supposed to. So really I would need them to be that strong to have the baby anyways so if the scar can't handle that stress it wouldn't have handled it if I went into labor on my own. So the benefits of being in a hospital and closely monitored with strong contractions seems much more beneficial than going into labor on my own and perhaps not getting to the hospital in time should something happen.

It really is all a matter of trust. If you don't trust your doctor, then that's a serious problem. I most definitely trust my doctor though. She delivered my son safely and she will deliver this baby safely.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

One Week to Go

In just a week I will walk out of my house a mother of 3 and not come home for a few days until I'm the mother of 4. The actual reality of this is getting very scary. I mean sure I've been through this before. I should know what to expect, but really you never know what to expect. I'd really like to just skip over the whole labor part, do the birth part and have my baby in my arms. Unfortunately that won't happen. And of course there's anxiety. Fear of the known. You know how they say you forget the pain of childbirth? Well, that's not entirely true. Then there's the fear of the unknown. I don't know if I could end up with a c-section after all. And I flip flop on whether that would be better or not. I mean sure I won't be feeling the pain of the labor, but the recovery is miserable. I'd be in the hospital longer. I know so much could go wrong and I worry about that. In some ways it seems like this day has taken forever to get here and in others I can't believe where the time has gone. I will be happy to have the pregnancy over with because for the past several months I have been pretty miserable. It will be nice to have my body back. I'd say it will be nice to sleep, but I know that won't be happening. Maybe I should say it will be nice to sleep on my stomach again. Or it will be nice to not be in pain every time I move in my sleep. Well, you know when I do get to sleep that is. We are really down to the wire here. It still could be sooner. I am dilating and contracting after all, but I would like to make it to the 3rd. Better than scrambling for child care. Lets also hope there is no snow next Thursday. It's a tall order I know, but really I would feel so much better if all of the children actually went to school that day.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Monica's Musings #12

Time for some more of this and that from me...

*Last week we had a squirrel in the house. It was on our back porch and in our basement, but we couldn't really figure out how it got in. We knew it was having a heck of a time getting out. We ended up luring it out with a cracker and some peanut butter on a window sill with the window slightly open. That seemed to do the trick. Now, the only way we could figure it got in was because our downstairs neighbors like to leave the back door unlocked. It has been windy and the door has blown open when it's not locked so we think it was looking around for food, came in through the open door, and then got closed in.

*Our landlord found the thing rather amusing, but also thinks the 1st floor tenants should keep the door locked. So he told us to put a note on the door from him stating that the door should be locked at all times. We didn't end up doing that until yesterday though when Joe saw what we assumed were guests of there's walk right into the house without even knocking. Just walked right through the unlocked back door which gives access to the basement where there are plenty of hiding spaces for all sorts of unwanted people. They are still not heeding the recommendation of the sign on the door though so I guess the landlord will have to be notified so he can actually talk to them about this in person.

*CJ is getting excited about the new baby. Now that we have been buying things for her he's been talking a lot about the baby in mommy's belly. I keep asking him what we should name her because we still have not decided and he keeps telling us we should name her Forty. Although, the girls have been getting him to say Jessie now because that's what they want. Who knows what it will be. Possibly "Hey you".

*I had a conference with Natalie's Social Studies teacher and Natalie last week. It was pretty eye opening. She is apparently maintaining a B in that class so far which is great, but I know if she puts the work in she can do so much better. Her Social Studies teacher gives the kids every opportunity to get that A too. She can retake any test or quiz all she has to do is ask and make the time. She knew this. She doesn't want to do retakes though which is why she never told me about that. But now she knows that I know so hopefully we'll see some improving grades for her.

*Snow days. We've had way too many of those lately. Because of our weather CJ only went to school one day this past week. There was no school on Monday for Martin Luther King day, a snow day on Tuesday, a delayed opening on Wednesday (which means CJ has no AM pre/k), a normal day on Thursday, and another snow day yesterday. They've used 4 snow days in the past 2 weeks. Only 3 more to go before they'll start taking away from April vacation and they are forecasting another snow storm for Tuesday into Wednesday. This has been a strange weather year.

*Kaitlyn is very excited that she gets to sleep over at school on Friday. Her school had the most time read at the public library this summer so as a reward to those children who participated they give them a sleepover. Kaitlyn got the invite to join and she was so excited. Joe is going with her much to his dismay. Well, unless I go into labor then my friend will be with her. I hope she has a good time.

I guess that's about it for now. Most of our focus has been on baby lately what with me seeing the doctor now at least twice a week.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We Have a Possible Birthdate

I was talking to my doctor today about my pending birth. Because of my previous c-section, the size of this baby, my blood pressure, and possible gestation diabetes she does not want me going past my due date. So we talked about induction. I wasn't sure that was an option with the c-section. She explained the concerns about inducing. Basically the concern is with pitocin that it makes the contractions strong which could cause stress on the scar on my uterus which could then cause a rupture. However, we need the contractions to be strong anyways for my body to do what it's supposed to do so it really shouldn't be any added stress on my uterus.

So after discussing everything what it boils down to is a vbac has about a 1% chance of causing a rupture. They don't give me too much leeway before they'd go in and do a c-section though. So I would be monitored closely and if there is any drop in the baby's heart rate they would do a c-section. That's to prevent the worst case scenario of the rupture though. We have to wait until 39 weeks to schedule the induction because before that I'd have to have an amnio.

Now because I have been contracting so far right along and because in my previous pregnancy breaking my water has progressed things pretty quickly for me we are going to start out with that as the plan. So I will go in at 7 a.m. on February 3rd. Get my two bags of IV antibiotics that I need to have because of the Strep B infection that I am carrying. As long as I have two doses of antibiotic before my water breaks then the baby will not have to spend time in the nursery getting tested and monitored for Strep B and keeping her out of the nursery as much as possible is a huge goal of mine. So once I get that the doctor will break my water and then so long as everything progresses nicely we should have a baby a few hours later. And if not then she will add a little pitocin to make my contractions stronger. But either way baby should be born no later than February 3rd. So that's just 2 weeks away. And if you don't have a calendar handy that is a Thursday and all of my children have been born on a Thursday.

I am ready to have her at any point now. The car seat has been purchased and is installed in the car. We have a take home outfit for her. I got a baby wrap to carry her in and the diaper bag I wanted. So we're pretty much all set. Well, except for a name. We still have not decided on that. Hard to believe though there's only 2 weeks left of this, maybe less. I will definitely be happy when it's over and we have a healthy, happy, baby in our arms. I'm very hopeful that my vbac is a successful one too. I'm glad to have a plan, but am also prepared for the unexpected. After all I have been contracting stronger and more frequently lately so it really could be anytime now.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I want it, I want it, I want it...

So for months now I have been in search of the perfect baby wearing apparatus. This world is totally new to me. We've never been a baby wearing bunch. For whatever reason I decided though that this time I need to do it this way. I think it will help me to breastfeed better and longer which is a huge goal of mine. I think it will just be easier with keeping up with CJ. I think this will be the one baby equipment item that will get more use than anything else we've ever bought for any of our children. The more I look into this the more I see the benefits of doing this. I don't think Joe is fully in this with me just yet, but I think I can get him there. I found the wrap that I want. It's the Storchenwiege Wrap. Here it is:

It's made in Germany and it's good and sturdy. It would last a long time and I haven't found a single bad thing about it out there. People who have them love them. The thing that I'm not so crazy about and that Joe is definitely not crazy about is the price tag. So I'm trying to see if I can find one used in the right price range. However, I am thinking for the time being I'm going to give a Sleepy Wrap a try. I saw one today. From what I can tell this would be good for a newborn anyways. So to start off with I think we'll give the Sleepy Wrap a try and I will continue to try and find the Storchenwiege Wrap at the right price. Well, that and work on Joe to seeing that this really could be a good investment. I think he needs to see this whole baby wearing thing in action. I've been throwing a lot of curve balls at him with this baby. Really, doing everything completely different than we have in the past. I think we're just at a place where we just really need to simplify things. And having the perfect baby carrier, car seat, and diaper bag really should be all we need to have a happy healthy baby. No need to be messing with those baby chairs and swings. They take up too much room and you only use them for a few months. And if she doesn't like it then it's a complete waste. But what's not to make her happy about being close to mommy's heart all the time? I mean she'll feel like she's still in the womb. And lets face it after the issues we experienced with CJ and then losing a baby I think this is just what I need to do what's right for me and this baby. After what we've been through having her close to me while still being able to do everything else a busy mom needs to do just seems like the best of everything. So really hoping I can find and get me a Storchenwiege Wrap at some point in time.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

36 Weeks

I am 36 weeks pregnant now. My sugar has been good for the most part. And at most of my appointments my doctor has been pleased with my blood pressure. However, today I had a growth scan and NST at the hospital scheduled. I was supposed to do it without any children, but the weather had other plans. So all three children in tow I headed off to the hospital for my appointment. We started out with the growth scan. Everything looked good. Two weeks ago she was 6 1/2 pounds and now she is 7 pounds 4 ounces. The doctor assured me though that this is fine. She is not a super large baby. This put her in the 70th %tile. Should I go full term then she would end up being around the same weight as Natalie and Kaitlyn were based on these measurements. So there really should be no problem with me having a vbac.

Next I had my NST. While there the nurse took my blood pressure too. And of course I forgot to take my medication this morning. Baby looks good though. I am still having contractions. They took my blood pressure numerous times and it kept going up though. So the nurse had me pee in a cup and then asked me if I have a history of bladder infections. Well, yes I have had them in my life. I've had them while pregnant. Not all of the time. I guess the urine was showing that I might be fighting off a bladder infection though. But I guess there was also some protein in my urine which could be because of my blood pressure and it could be because of this possible bladder infection. So the nurse called my doctor who wanted me to reschedule my next appointment (which was supposed to be Monday) for tomorrow. Go home, take my medicine, and rest today. I was also given a clean catch cup so I can do a urine sample in the morning for them so they can figure out if I do have a bladder infection.

So I came home after getting myself preregistered at the hospital. Took my medicine, had some water, and tried to relax. Took my blood pressure and it's still high. This isn't looking promising. I have been feeling these contractions more. Maybe I'm more uncomfortable than I realize and that's messing with my blood pressure. I've had that happen before. I rescheduled my doctor's appointment for tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully things look better. It would be nice to go another week to officially be considered full term. I'm sure she will do fine if she were born now though. I guess we'll have to see what tomorrows appointment brings. I'm relieved that all is okay with the baby and hoping that this doesn't effect my own health. Hopefully the kids will be back at school tomorrow and maybe I'll feel a little more relaxed. The bickering between them definitely doesn't help matters.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New England Weather

I have lived in New England all of my life. So snow really comes as no shock to me. Honestly none of the weather really should come to a shock to me. As the saying goes if you don't like the weather wait a minute. I must admit we've had some pretty extreme weather around here recently though. And I guess from time to time that happens. We get a little bit of everything, but sometimes it's a lot of everything.

This summer we had a tornado. I had actually never experienced that before. It was kind of freaky. We've had some extreme heat followed very closely by an extreme drop in temperature. Again pretty typical of New England weather. And up until recently our winter has been pretty mild. It had gotten really cold and then it would warm up for a few days and then the temperatures would plummet again, but again all pretty typical New England weather. We strangely didn't have any snow until after Christmas this year though. Usually there's some snow on the ground at Christmas time. What was actually strange was to hear some down south friends talking about all this snow they were getting. Then right after Christmas we got hit with a blizzard. It wasn't all bad though. Nothing we haven't dealt with before. And true to New England weather we ended up warming up about a week later and much of that snow ended up melting. Only to be replaced by more snow a week after that. Hit by another big storm. And now an even bigger storm has just tackled us. The storm that completely crippled the south with 6 inches of snow moved up the coast and hit us last night into today dumping 20 inches of snow on us. That is a big snow fall even for this seasoned New Englander. However, as they were telling us of this storm I had this hope in my mind that it wouldn't cause any problems for the Thursday morning commute. It was supposed to start late Tuesday night which it did. Dump snow quickly on us and be done by Wednesday around noon. And that's exactly what happened.

So school was canceled for today understandably so. It was a rough snow day with kids fighting and bickering all day. I desperately need them to be back in school tomorrow. I've got an appointment that I can't change and really one that I shouldn't be lugging 3 children along with me to. When the snow for the most part stopped at noon though I thought oh yeah we'll be good for tomorrow. The kids will be back. No such luck. I watched the list grow to finally include our town in the closures for tomorrow. I guess because it's so cold and the roads are going to be icy that's why they've done this. And really canceled or delayed neither one really helps me as my appointment is first thing in the morning. This is life in New England though. I guess I should be used to it. So Joe goes back to work tomorrow, and I go about the things I have to do only with the kids in tow. Lets just hope they are more cooperative tomorrow than they have been today and we have no more hitting each other with hammers. Yes, that actually happened today. This winter which started out really slow is certainly shaping into a big snow winter for New England. Records were broken with todays storm they are saying. It will be very cold and very sunny tomorrow though. So see, if you don't like the weather just wait a minute. There really is something for everyone when it comes to New England weather!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Name that Baby

So to top the list of things we are totally not ready for when this baby comes pretty much any day now is a name. I think in the beginning we were really expecting it to be a boy to even things out. Not that we have a boys name chosen either or anything. Okay, well then there was the worry of losing yet another one. When we found out it was a girl though we spent some time discussing names. I insisted boy or girl this ones middle name must start with an "M". I guess that has been what has given us so many restrictions. But you see Natalie and CJ both have middle names that start with a J and Kaitlyn's starts with an M. So I wanted this one to start with an M. That we actually have picked out though. This little girls middle name is going to be Margaret. That's my grandmother's name and my cousin's name and it would have been my name had my cousin not gotten it first :). And no offense Margaret, but I must admit that growing up I sure was relieved you got that name. Of course I was always to be called Peggy and never actually Margaret either. I think Monica suits me much better though.

But anyways, the middle name has really restricted us I think at this point. It's such a long middle name. So I feel like we need to give a short first name. Joe likes Alyssa. Alyssa Margaret. Okay, say it out loud. It's really not all that bad, but it does look a little long to me. I want Alex or Alexa which Joe seems to have some sort of mental block over because he keeps saying something else when people ask. And when we discussed these names a few months back he didn't totally shoot down Alex, but now he says Alex is a boy's name and I'm not naming my daughter Alex. Ugh, this coming from a guy who once told me if we named a daughter Stephanie we'd have to call her Stevie.

Now the girls aren't much help as they like all of the names. And well CJ is even less help. I asked him the other day what we should name his baby sister and he told me, "Forty!" Ummm, yeah I think he's got some weird love connection with the number forty because that's how old he and everyone else on the planet is. Oh well, I guess at least he didn't tell us to name her Awesome since that is what he will sometimes tell people his name is. But you know the sad thing is I actually entertained the idea of naming her Forty and in my head going Forty Margaret, lol. Don't worry, I wouldn't do that to my child. We have joked that we'll just call her Four or number four or quad or something similar to that, but we won't. The plan is really to wait and meet her and then pick her name. This poor kid is going to end up nameless like I was when I was born though. The nurse actually named me. That's how the story goes anyways. I was named Patricia for about ten minutes before my dad decided I did not look like a Patricia. A day or so later the nurse came in and said you have got to name this baby. My parents were like we know. She said I looked like her daughter when she was born and my parents asked what her name was. It was Monica and that's how I got my name. So an interesting story I did get out of how I got my name at least. And maybe this little girl will be just as lucky.

But I would love to hear some suggestions of what to name this baby. The middle name is not changing. So it must go well with Margaret and not be too long. And perhaps after she is born if we still haven't decided I will post a picture and ask again what name suits her best. Girl's names have always been tricky for us. Then again though if she's a boy we are no where with that since we can't agree on a good middle name that starts with an M. At least we have a start here.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


This whole pregnancy I have been really very exhausted and in lots of discomfort. So over the past 7-8 months a lot of stuff around here has really gone by the wayside. However, yesterday and today I have been fighting through my exhaustion and pain and discomfort and getting all that stuff done around here. I completely cleaned out our bedroom yesterday. There were a bunch of boxes in there of stuff I had no place to put when we moved. I need a cabinet for all of my nick knacks. I got Joe to put all of those boxes in storage and worked really hard on cleaning up the room. I have now spent today washing just about every blanket and towel in the house. I spent an hour this morning scrubbing the grout in my bathroom and getting that all spic and span. Then I attacked the kitchen. Cleaned the counters and the cabinets. Got the stove nice and shiny and grease free. Cleaned out the sink, microwave, and crumbs from the toaster oven. I started cleaning the living room when I discovered that the kids had totally trashed CJ's room. So I got a little frustrated since my goal all day has been to get things back in order and his room was so out of order. So I ended up fixing that issue. Then went back to the living room. I do still have work to do in there though. I put clean sheets on my bed. Did some clothing laundry. I am now very tired, very sore, and very achy, but the house is really looking good. We have a place to put the baby when she comes home. Granted no clothes to put her in, but she will have a place to sleep. Hopefully my sudden urge to have everything just so will continue tomorrow so I can tackle the few things in my living room and finish up that laundry I have. Now a shower and sleeping in my clean sheets is sounding really good to me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's 2011...

and I am ready for this little princess to come already.

Well, not really ready ready as I've bought nothing for her. That's okay though. Physically I am so ready to get this over with though. I had a non stress test again today. Baby is good and active. She is head down. Always a good thing for this mama to see. The doctor has a question mark next to my Gestational Diabetes diagnosis because I opted out of the 3 hour test, but my finger sticks have all been relatively good. So either I'm controlling it very well with diet or I just don't have it. But this big baby has her thinking I do. Or I just make big babies :). I was contracting slightly today. I didn't feel them. Surprise surprise. I was completely clueless with the girls until they broke my water. I was feeling some slight tightening though, but nothing too painful. Maybe my body is just getting ready. Maybe I was dehydrated a little. I have another NST on Monday and then my growth scan and NST at the hospital next Thursday. I'm hoping they don't see this baby as being too big. Still not sure what's in store for me. I have a date picked out of when I'd like to have her. Natalie was born on her due date, Kaitlyn was 4 days early, CJ was 8 days early, so to keep with the theme there 16 days before my due date would work nicely which I figure is January 24th. So that's 2 weeks from Monday. I think I can go another 2 weeks.