Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Childbirth Preparation Class" No. 1

Katy Miller (the same Katy that co-taught the "Coping with Labor" class) is teaching our three-session "Childbirth Preparation" class. We scheduled the class for Wednesday nights, because Adam wouldn't have to get up to go to work (since he was only working Tuesdays and Fridays). But one of the other guys at work got injured and now he has to work Tuesday through Friday for the next couple of weeks. Needless to say, after getting up at 3am to go to work, coming home to shower and leave for school, then coming home to grab dinner and head to a childbirth class, he was very tired.

Since this was the first of three classes, we went around the room and everyone introduced themselves. We were first, then the following two couples also had a pregnant woman named Sarah as part of their duo. There was actually another Adam as well later in the introductions.

This week we learned about signs of labor and the stages of labor. We also watched another video of a woman giving birth. I don't know why, but this time, it started to make me a little nervous about the whole childbirth experience. I still believe I can do it, but I'm a little more nervous about it. I still really hope that I can avoid a c-section, if at all possible. We talked a little bit about relaxation techniques, but most of that was covered in the other class. Katy did mention that they have laboring tubs, and asked how many people enjoyed relaxing in a warm bath. I raised my hand, then she said, "Good, all of you will find that really helpful and will naturally relax in the laboring tub." We also were able to find the birthing ball (just like an exercise ball) that was my size, so that we can ask the nurses for that size when we go in.

The last thing we did before we left was a relaxation technique. Katy played some soft music in the background and turned off the lights. Then she told us to start at the top of our heads and relax, by the time she got to eyelids, I was already at my shoulders relaxing. I think I might have to remember this for when I'm in labor.

Last Appointment at Woodbury

Krista pulled me back right away for the ultrasound, and mom wasn't even there yet, so Wendy sent her back when she got there. It took her a little while to get kicking, but once the apple I ate got to her tummy she was kicking away! Krista gave her an eight out of eight, but before Gayle took us to another room for the OB check and heart monitoring, mom asked Krista if we could see if she has the goofy toes or not (when your second toe is longer than your big toe... it runs on my mom's side of the family, though mom says she has "perfect toes" because she doesn't have it... Adam's second toe is also longer than his big toe). Krista moved to see the bottom of her foot, and it turns out her toes take after her daddy's! (Poor girl! Now grandma is going to make fun of her!) I thanked Krista and said I hoped to see her at Abbott again possibly.

Baby's Foot (Though you can't tell from this picture,
her second toe is longer than her big toe...
justlike her daddy's!)

Gayle came in and commented on my skirt. I told her I wore it swing dancing often, but it still fits me now! She took my weight, then hooked me up to the heart monitor (baby didn't get any points again). While I was hooked up she went through all the OB questions, then asked if mom or I wanted ice water or M&M's (how sweet!) She said Dr. Ledella would be in in about ten minutes to see us. About twenty minutes later, Dr. Ledella came in. She said baby is still stable, and commented about how it was our last appointment there. I thanked her too, and told her how great she had been. She gave me a hug, and we said goodbye. I kept telling everyone I wanted to take Wendy with me, because I already knew how horrible Abbott's scheduling department was, and Wendy is so wonderful. A couple people said they had heard that about Abbott, so I could take her with me, as long as I brought her back!

Our daughter, the Drama Queen!
(her hand on her forehead, like woe is me!)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another 8 out of 10!

Mom met me at Woodbury today. Wendy was back from vacation, and we met a new nurse named Deb. She pulled us back and hooked me up to the heart monitor for the non-stress test part of the biophysical. This time she gave me a button to push when I felt baby move, so that it would put a little tick mark on her printout. She again scored a zero.

Then Julie the ultrasound technician took us to one of the ultrasound rooms, and gave her an eight for that part of the score. She did a couple of 3D's for us, but not nearly as many or as good of ones as Krista gave us last time. But baby was being shy and had her hand in front of her face most of them time (at one point it was a foot).

After the ultrasound, Dr. Calvin came in, asked if we had any questions (which we didn't), and we were on our way! It was a pretty quick appointment for all that they did!

Mom wanted to kill some time before she had to be somewhere, so we stopped at Panera Bread just up the block and had a sandwich and yummy chocolate treat!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Amazing Ultrasound!

Dad meet me at the Woodbury clinic at 8am. We were the first patients of the day, but Wendy, the receptionist, was on vacation, so we weren't greeted by name. This time instead of having a "limited" ultrasound (where they check her heart rate, amniotic fluid levels, and maybe a few other things), we had a "biophysical profile." Baby can get up to two points in each of five categories, for a total of ten. She got 100% on the ultrasound categories (small movements, large movement, breathing, and amniotic fluid levels) for eight out of eight.

Krista did the usual testing for amniotic fluid levels, looking around baby and measuring the amount, and gave baby two points. Then she did a quick head to toe scan of baby, and showed us that her lungs were practicing breathing, and gave her another two points. When she was looking at her head, she said, "You might not believe me, but these little lines here are hair on her head." You can kind of see it on the picture of the cross-section of her head.

The little lines are hair on baby's head!
She's not going to be bald when she's born,
like her mommy was!

Once Krista had those points assigned, and we saw (and felt!) baby kicking around and moving her little arms (another two points), she decided that she would use the 3D ultrasound (live this time instead of still pictures!) for the last two points. She looked mostly at her face, seeing baby's mouth open & close, and her eye brows moving up and down in different expressions. It was so amazing to see the different expressions she could make. She really is her own little person, developing her own little personality!

3D of baby. Her eyes are slightly opened.

My new favorite! You can even see her eyelashes!

Her two little legs and fist (right above her knee).

After the ultrasound, a nurse that I had not met before, named Deb, came and brought us to another room. She hooked me up to a fetal heart monitor, and a contraction monitor, for a non-stress test. She said Dr. Ledella was debating whether or not to do this part of the test for her, because her heartbeat is so strange anyway. But they decided to do it anyway. Once Deb had the monitors all hooked up, she pulled the cart over next to me and said, "With her heart, this alarm's going to go off a lot. So when it does, just hit this yellow button." It was weird watching the printout record of what her heart rate was. It would be hanging around 60 bpm, then suddenly jump to around 120 bmp, because she moved or something and the monitor could only pick up one of the rates at a time.

While I was hooked up to the monitor, Deb asked all the questions that go along with the OB part of the visit. Once she finished, she said she was going to let it run for another ten minutes, then Dr. Ledella would come in. Twenty minutes later she came back, and unhooked everything, and Dr. Ledella followed shortly behind her. Looking at the printout, she said that I wasn't having contractions (I haven't been feeling any either!), and baby didn't get any of the points for that part of the test (which no one was really surprised about). Her heart was too difficult to monitor for this type of thing. But baby's final score was 8 out of 10! I figure that's a "B" and still passing! Dr. Ledella also commented (and seemed surprised) about how well I was doing. I'm not sure if she meant she was surprised with how well baby is hanging on in there, or me emotionally.

On my way out, I set up two more appointments at Woodbury. The lady that was filling in for Wendy thought I had to be seen on a Friday again, but I explained that I've had appointments on Friday, and then four days later, on Monday, have another appointment. So she asked the nurse, who, of course, okay'ed it. Next appointment on Tuesday for another profile! (Hopefully we'll get Krista again!)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Coping with Labor" - Our First Class

We had our first childbirth preparation class today at Abbott Northwestern. I was very excited, as it means that we're getting closer to having our baby! Adam wasn't so excited, because he didn't know what to expect.

I learned lots of different breathing techniques and positions to labor in. We were found out that you are supposed to change positions every thirty minutes and empty your bladder every hour. Adam was told (I'm not quite sure he learned...) how to support me in labor.

When it came time to set up our "nest" (as they called it) on the floor, we set our pillows & blanket down on the floor to "save" our spot. But we went over to Katy (one of the educators, Cindy was the other), to ask a question about the location of the birthing center (where I will be) and the NICU (where baby will be) and where her heart surgery will be done. When we turned around our spot had become overrun by other people's "nests" so we moved to the back.

Once we were all settled into our "nest" they showed us different techniques to try and clips of a video called "Kristina's Story." Adam kept making comments & making me giggle. Katy was standing in the back while Cindy was presenting some material, and smiled at us and called us the trouble makers in the back.

At one point they gave us ice cubes to hold in our hands as "labor pains" and to practice breathing through it, while our support person supported us. There was an extra ice cube that we ended up with, so instead of supporting me through the pain of holding ice cubes, Adam thought it would be a much better idea to take the other ice cube and try to stick it down my shirt, and flick the cold melted water at me. Of course I'm trying to practice breathing though the "pain," but trying not to laugh while he is screwing around and picking on me. Then they said it was our support person's turn. Adam had to hold the ice cubes, while I was being supportive. I, the much nicer one, rubbed his back and told him how much I hated him for being mean to me. And when it was all over, he threw the ice cube down my shirt. And that was pretty much the end of class.

I learned what a sweet husband I have. I only hope he makes it through labor and delivery alive so our daughter can meet him! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Long Wait & No Pictures :(

Adam and I met for our appointment at United today with the cardiologist. We were called in right away by the ultrasound technician, Barb. She looked at her heart quite a bit and took her heart rate a couple times. Her heart rate was 59 bpm for the atria and 109 bmp for the ventricle. We waited and waited for Dr. Gremmels to come, but he wasn't showing up. So Barb went to see if anyone had seen him, but nothing.

So she looked around at our baby some more. Her face was buried into my back, and she couldn't get a good picture of her. After a little while, she went to check if Dr. Gremmels was there again, but still nothing. So she came back and looked at her heart some more, then pulled out the 3D probe to see if baby would cooperate and roll over to get a good 3D picture, but she didn't.

Finally after an hour and a half, Dr. Gremmels came in. He looked at her heart, and said still nothing new or concerning has developed. We have about another week and a half until they would deliver her if she did take a turn for the worse. Since she was holding pretty steady, he said that we would be okay waiting another four weeks before we saw him again.

When he left, Dr. Ahanya came in and said that whatever I'm doing, I need to keep doing, because she's holding her own quite well. Since spring is in the air, and my allergies are ever-so wonderful now, I asked him if I could start taking my allergy pills again. He said that, with most drugs, you're just not supposed to take them during the first three months, but after that it's okay. There are a couple drugs (like Acutane), that you can't take at all during pregnancy. But allergy pills are not on that list!

On our way out I tried to set up another appointment, but I don't think their receptionist is as good as Wendy at Woodbury. I told her I need another cardio appointment with Dr. Gremmels in four weeks (which is what it said on the sheet that Dr. Ahanya gave her). I asked her if Dr. Gremmels would be at United or Abbott, and she didn't know, and didn't know where to check. Then she tried to set me up with someone else, and I explained to her (about four times) that I needed to be seen with Dr. Gremmels (he is monitoring her and knows what her heart is looking like, he will be the best one to see changes, and he is the one that will be telling the surgeons what she needs done). Finally she figured out that he would be at Abbott in four weeks, and she can't make appointments at Abbott, so the appointment line will call me later.

On another note, mom and I finished painting the base coat in the nursery! It's a yellow called "Cornmeal." I'm going to see if I can "steal" a projector for the weekend from school and use it to draw out the picture below. I think we'll paint it above the crib.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Looong Wait...

Since I didn't have school today, I waited for Adam to get home from school, and then we turned around and left. He got home a little late, so we turned around and left right away, thinking we might be a little late for the 2pm appointment. We got there with about three minutes to spare, but after sitting there for about twenty minutes, Wendy, the receptionist told us that ultrasound was running behind. She suggested that we could leave and come back about 3pm, but Adam was content reading his book, and I was fine reading my magazines.

Finally about 3:15 we were called back with a different ultrasound technician that I had not met before. (I think her name started with a "J" -Julie-). She was very nice and measured our baby girl (she's right on track for her growth according to the May 22 due date!). We saw baby kicking around and it looked like she is now sucking her toes! We've seen her foot up by her head before, but I'm pretty sure it actually ended up in her mouth this time!

She spent some time looking at her heart (I think just because she was interested in it, most of the time the technician's don't spend much time there). She took her heart rate, and it was up to 104 bpm! She was more active before and during the ultrasound, so I'm sure that helped get her blood pumping. When she asked what the cardiologist called her heart condition, I couldn't really give her an answer. I don't think Dr. Gremmels gave the heart condition a specific name, but her whole condition he called heterotaxy.

At the end, she asked if anyone had done 3D ultrasounds for us. I told her they had, but she is more than welcome to do some too! Baby cooperated for one picture, but she wouldn't move her hand out from in front of her face, so we only got one good one.

When she finished Dr. Ledella came in and said everything was looking the same and that she wanted to schedule another appointment for two weeks out to do another type of ultrasound (we've been getting "limited," but since she's farther along now, they'll do one that's a little more involved). I can't remember what it's called right now though -biophysical profile.

When we were making our appointment on our way out, Krista (ultrasound technician) saw us and said that she was going to try to grab us, but they were so busy back there. I think everyone that hears about her condition "wants in on the action." It's such a rare condition that I think they want to get to see it first hand. And I think they remember us well too, because when we walked in Joan (the genetic counselor that we saw at 13 weeks, and only that one time) remembered me by name and told Wendy I was there.

On another note, I had a dental appointment this morning, and apparently for a pregnant woman, I have really good dental hygiene! Dr. Kraby was really impressed with how my teeth & gums looked.