Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Fun Moments of Pregnancy!

I've been meaning to write this blog for a while, but whenever I have time to sit down and write a blog, it's usually updating on the last appointment. So here goes...

For the longest time I was the only one who could feel her moving around, but eventually when Adam put his hand on my tummy he felt her! He was kinda surprised at how hard she could kick and how he could feel it.

We've been trying to hear her heartbeat with a fetal monitor that Adam's cousin gave us, but have not had much luck. We've heard some "cracklings" that we thought might be her moving around, but nothing that sounds like a heartbeat (even a irregular one). One day I decided to just hold it out in the air, and heard the same "cracklings" that we heard when it was pushed up against my tummy. His cousins said that they never really got it to work, and we haven't been able to either. But we have had fun trying.

Mom had really been wanting to see or feel her move, and kept poking/ jiggling my tummy to get her to move. But it never worked for her. But at one of our appointments that mom came to, she was moving all over the place. The ultrasound technician said at one point she felt a kick. Mom kept one eye on the screen (seeing her move around inside me) and one eye on my tummy, and she finally saw her move! She was so excited. I had been watching the monitor over the top of my belly and could see my tummy move, see if she had just kicked or punched me, and feel do it all at the same time. It was really neat, but ever since then when I feel her move I wonder if she's kicking or punching or dancing or what.

In one of my week-by-week pregnancy books, it said that you could hear the baby's heartbeat by now if you used a stethoscope (of course we don't have one), but said that sometimes your husband can even hear it if he puts his ear on your tummy. She was very active that night, but I told Adam that he might be able to hear her heartbeat. So he put his ear against my tummy and listened. Of course, it didn't take long for her to kick daddy in the head! But Adam said he could hear her moving around, and put his head back to listen again, only to get kicked again! He said it sounded like moving water, which I guess kind of makes sense. He hasn't really gotten into feeling her move, but he really seemed to enjoy listening to her move.

My brother has always been inquiring how his little niece is doing whenever he sees me. Mom told me that he wanted to feel her move too. So one Sunday when we were over there for dinner, I sat down on the couch after eating. It didn't take long for baby to start kicking her heals up. I told Jeff and he put his hand on my tummy and felt her kick him. He kind of laughed and smiled and asked if that was her. He thought it was really neat.

Well, that's as much as I can remember with this "baby brain" of mine. Hopefully, as new moments happen I'll be better about writing them down right away so I can remember them in greater detail!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Belly Pics!

All the belly pics that we've taken (starting the day we found out we were pregnant... had to have a remembrance of what I looked like pre-baby) are on facebook, but I know that not everyone that is reading my blog updates is on facebook to see. (And I'm finding out from word of mouth, that there are actually more than the 11 subscribers shown are reading it... if you're one of them, you can click the follow my blog link to be added). I've been really good at posting pictures of baby from each ultrasound, but not the pictures of me... so, by request, here are some of them.

The day we found out we were expecting!
4 Weeks + 2 Days

Nothing yet...
8 Weeks + 0 Days

11 Weeks + 6 Days

Button's a little tight on the pants!
16 Weeks + 6 Days

Still in my regular pants, but
loving the Belly Band!
19 Weeks + 1 Day

Sporting the "preggo pants"
24 Weeks + 3 Days

Monday, February 22, 2010

A New Nice Doctor!

When I got to the Woodbury clinic, Adam was there waiting for me, and Wendy, the receptionist knew who I was and had my arm band and sticker (for the pee cups) ready for me. Then I sat down and waited to be called in. I had remembered three questions that I had wanted to ask them when I was in the car. Of course by the time I sat down and started to write them down I could only remember two. Soon a nurse that I didn't recognize the called out "Sarah" and another girl started to stand up. Then of course I had to ask which one, to which they replied "not Sarah Gibson" (the other one's last name they tried pronouncing, but I think they butchered it by the look on her face).

Soon a familiar face of the ultrasound technician we had at our very first appointment called us back. This time I looked at her name tag and wrote down her name. Krista. She said that she was going to be doing a limited ultrasound (like we've been having), so they were just checking for signs of heart failure and her amniotic fluid levels. (All checked out good.) Then said that Dr. Calvin would be seeing us today. I inquired about Dr. Ledella, since that was who I had made the appointment with. She said that they had switched shifts between Abbott and the Woodbury office, but that he normally works out there, and could possibly be delivering our baby. She told us that he was a very nice doctor and when she delivered through MN Perinatal, that he was once of the doctors she had liked. She then went and got a picture list of all the doctors and highlighted all the ones that work out at Abbott, and told us the ones that she really liked, and mentioned one that she wasn't particularly fond of.

She then took us over to one of the OB rooms for my OB check up. The nurse (who we've had before, but of course I didn't get her name... she has long curly hair - Nancy -) asked me the usual list of questions, then asked if I had any questions or concerns. I told her that I had been having some nerve pain in my right leg/ back occasionally. She said it sounded like sciatica, and said that sometimes the baby is in a position where she is putting pressure on my sciatic nerve. I figured it was probably that nerve, after all the stuff my mom has gone through with her back. She said that if it was really bad that they could do something about it, but it hasn't bothered me that much. Then we talked about having to deliver at Abbott, and she suggested that we start having our appointments over there about 32-34 weeks along so that we can start getting to know the doctors over there that might be delivering our baby. So she said she would start the paperwork to get us transferred over there later.

Soon after Dr. Calvin came in. He said all looked the same with baby (no new news is still good news!). Then I asked about delivering her normally, instead of a c-section. I told him how her cardiologist said he didn't see a problem with it at this point, but that most OB's don't like to because they can't monitor her for fetal distress (she already has that heart rhythm). He seemed to be okay with it. He said if we wanted to try that, then he would support us in making that possible. That made me very happy. So the plan (at this point, but who knows how many more twists & turns this road will take) is to deliver her normally when she's ready. But of course, if things change or she takes a turn for the worse, I still understand that Dr. Gremmels may want to get her out via c-section so he can fix her heart.

Giving us the "thumbs up"
"I'm all good in here, mom!"

If you tip your head to the right, you can kind of see her face looking right at you. Her chin is the little knobby on the left and the roundish slit on the top middle is her eye.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Big Heart

Mom came with me again to the appointment with the cardiologist at United. We had Patty (the lady from Saint Bernard's) again, but baby wasn't in a good position to get 3D's, and I don't think they had a lot of time. Dr. Gremmels came in right away to take a look at her heart, Patty was manning the ultrasound machine, and two other nurses were in there observing. I know it's a good thing that new people are getting trained in (one of them was new, but not the other), but I didn't like that many people in there. With four of them plus mom and I, it was kinda crowded and I started getting really hot.

Dr. Gremmels went over a lot of what he had already told us, but I think he was showing the other two people in the room. He said everything is still pretty much looking the same, except that her heart is a little enlarged now. But he said that that's normal when you have a low heart rate. The heart is trying to compensate for not getting the blood out fast enough to the body. Mom asked a lot of questions before Dr. Gremmels left about the surgeries, and how many they do each year. If she's not doing well right after she's born, they could end up doing two heart surgeries on her by the time she's a week old (the first for a pacemaker, and the second for the shunt to re-route blood so more can go to her lungs). Otherwise she will have one surgery when she is about a week old (they would combine the two surgeries into one), then when she's 6 months old, and again when she's about 3-4 years old.

If you tip your head to the right, you can see her face.

Her little leg & foot that she likes to
kick mommy with all the time!

Her little hand (she also likes to punch mommy)!

Monday, February 8, 2010

No New News is Good News!

Four days after our ultrasound with the cardiologist, we had another ultrasound. Adam and I met in Woodbury for both the ultrasound to check her amniotic fluid levels, her heart rate, and to check my glucose. Before we started the ultrasound, I asked the technician - Karen - if I could drink the stuff for the glucose test before the ultrasound, so that we wouldn't have to wait as long after. The unflavored sugar water wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Everyone I had talked to said that it was nasty, but the nurse said it tasted kind of like flat Sprite, and she was right. It definitely wasn't good, but it wasn't horrible either.

Her pretty little face!
Her umbilical cord was in front of her face,
but she cropped it out as best she could.

Folding her little legs just like a lady!
I really need to get better at remembering some of the people's names that work with us, but we had the same ultrasound technician that we had at the last appointment with Danilenko ("scary doctor"). I think I said at that point that she wasn't good at getting pictures, but this time she was a lot better with regular ultrasound pictures, and she even had time to do some 3D's! I'm sure a lot of it has to do with if baby cooperates or not. And today, she did alright, though she definitely likes to cuddle into my uterus (must take after her mommy with liking to cuddle!) I think she might have actually been sleeping for once at this ultrasound, because she didn't move around all over the place. After the tech got one 3D picture of her face, she turned and cuddled her entire face into my uterus though, so we only got one picture of her face. But we got 3D pictures of her legs and her spine too. The tech said she wasn't very good at 3D's, but I told her that she can practice on us anytime she likes!

After she got all her measurements, and took some 3D pictures, she went out to let Dr. Ledella know that we were ready to be seen by her. She came in and said that nothing really has changed since the last ultrasound (4 days ago...). She still has two different heart rates, no extra fluid in her body, and the right amount of amniotic fluid.

Then she sent us to another room to wait the last 20 minutes to my blood draw for the glucose test. I asked them to call with the results either way tomorrow, as I have been kind of nervous for this test. Diabetes runs in my family, and they say that that increases your chances of having gestational diabetes. If I don't pass this glucose test, then I have to take the three-hour glucose test (where you drink the sugar-water and they draw your blood once an hour for three hours), which I really don't want to have to do, as I hate needles. If I don't pass that test, my glucose will have to be monitored, and they will put me on a special "diet" (I put it in quotes, because it's not a diet to loose weight, it's a diet to keep your blood sugar levels low.) I would be concerned about going on the "diet" because my friend told me that she stopped gaining weight once they had put her on this "diet," and with them already being concerned about me not gaining enough weight, I don't want to have that on top of it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Second Cardio Appointment

Mom picked me up by school and we went all the way into Minneapolis to Abbott Northwestern for the fetal echo and growth appointment. We had two techs this time, because one of them had just started and was on her second day working with them. I can't remember the new one's name, but the one she was following's name was Paula, and she was from the East coast (which was totally obvious when she said aorta and atria!). They were both very nice, and Paula got a few good pictures of baby.

Baby's profile
You can see her little heart in her chest!
The cardiologist came in and looked at several of the pictures that Paula had taken, and then looked at it "live" with her. We found out that she actually has two different heart rates. I can't remember which was one higher or lower, but the ventricle (on the bottom) and the two atria (on the top) had different heart rates (one was 28 bmp and the other was 128 bmp, if I remember correctly, and I think the bottom ventricle was higher). The cardiologist seemed somewhat concerned, but he said if she can make it to 30 weeks without any more complications, that they would be able to deliver her, if a complication did arise, and still do the surgeries (the shunt to get more blood to her body instead of her lungs, and the pacemaker to fix the irregular heartbeat/rate). However, if more complications arose before that 30 week mark, they wouldn't be able to do anything, but let her, hopefully keep developing inside me. He said that delivering her and doing the surgeries before that 30-week marker, gave her pretty much zero-chance of survival. But after that 30-week mark, her odds were much better. So right now we're praying for no more complications (hopefully for the rest of the pregnancy... and her life... but for sure until that 30-week mark).

After a couple minutes, Dr. Gaziano, as mom described him, a grandfatherly fellow, came in to look at her growth. He said she was just slightly above the 10th percentile, for 24 weeks- 5 days, and called her petite. Mom and I commented, "Well, look at her mother!" And mom explained that pretty much my entire life, I have been in the lower percentiles for height & weight. I also mentioned that according to my charts, I calculated my due date to be June 1, not May 22, and asked if that might have something to do with it. He didn't quite seem to have an answer, but just acknowledged what we said. Then he started telling us that we needed to get my care switched over to their system. I told him that I had already, but I try to schedule my appointments in Woodbury, or United if I have to, and try to avoid venturing into Minneapolis. He was a very nice doctor, but I don't think I would like to see him again for this pregnancy. With all of the complications, I would like to stick with someone a little more sharp. But for any "normal" pregnancy, I think he would be a fine doctor to have.

Once he left, I laid on the ultrasound bed with jelly still on my tummy, and towels covering my tummy, waiting. We thought we were finished, but no one had said anything. They just kind of left us hanging. After about a half-hour or so, mom went out into the hall to find Paula, the ultrasound tech again, to ask if we could leave or if someone else was coming in to see us. She didn't realize that Dr. Gaziano had come and gone, but once we explained that to her, she said we could go. This is the second time that we have been "forgotten about" with Minnesota Perinatal. (The first time the actually forgot we were supposed to see someone else and tried to send us on our way). I know miscommunication happen once in a while, but twice is too much for me!