Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Disappointed, But Still Okay

Well I suppose an update is in order. Don't panic--it's nothing horrible! Most people already know this, but I feel like I should update this anyway. I had the amniocentesis this morning, fully prepared to learn that Julien's lungs are mature and that we could go ahead and induce tonight. Things didn't quite go as planned. We learned that his lungs are NOT fully matured, which is unusual for 37 going on 38 weeks. We were slightly shocked and very disappointed. We have EVERYTHING ready to go for baby's arrival. They scheduled two more NSTs (non stress tests) within the next week and have postponed the induction for next Wednesday evening. I was pretty upset. I am in a lot of physical pain due to Julien being so low and putting pressure on everything down there. I panic if I haven't felt him move in awhile, so I was very much looking forward to getting him here a week earlier than planned. Of course I don't want him to be in the NICU hooked up to machines because his lungs aren't ready, but I also don't want something worse to happen to him in my belly. It's so frustrating. All I could think about was how there was no way I could do this for another week! But I have to--no way around it. There's a reason, right? There's a better time and day for him to be born. God knows what He's doing. I'll try not to question His reasons.

I've got to mention how horribly awful the amnio was this morning! I was nervous, that's for sure. But I did get calmed down enough to get it over with. Unfortunately, that didn't matter. As soon as she got the needle through my belly and it began to poke the uterus, I hunched over and gagged! Every time she tried to get it through, I gagged and eventually started throwing up. Zac got to hold a bed pan for me to puke in, lucky him. They said I have a very sensitive uterus HAHA...they wanted to know if I wanted to stop, but if I stopped then I definitely wouldn't have been induced tonight. So I went to my happy place and they finally got through the uterus to get a sample. It was so uncomfortable and weird. My belly was so sore afterward, and they hooked me up to monitor the baby's heart and my contractions. It's still pretty sore and it hurts to stand up. So after all that, Julien won't be coming tomorrow anyway--of course! haha...So that's my amnio story. It was great fun.

Once again, I'll keep this updated. Thanks everyone for thinking of me and praying for me today--you'll get another chance soon enough!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Next week is Julien week!

So, major update.

I had an ultrasound today, which revealed that Julien is doing well, is still a boy (I got to take home a great penis shot! lol), and apparently has lots of hair already! But it also revealed that the placenta is very large and "matured". They said it's a grade 3 placenta and has some calcification on it. So basically, it is almost like it is much older than Julien is. Like it's 40 weeks along and Julien is only 36 weeks. It's very strange--I've never heard of that until now. The problem with an "aged" placenta is that it can begin to no longer function. That's bad, because the placenta is pretty much what keeps the baby alive. If it begins to deteriorate, that means baby isn't getting the nutrients/oxygen he needs.

Soooo since the recommendation was made to this already terrified preggo girl to induce next week, when I am exactly 38 weeks along, I readily agreed. My doctor, who is considered one of the best, if not THE BEST high-risk doctor in Colorado, said they'd need to do an amniocentesis the morning before. It will show if Julien's lungs are fully developed, because if they aren't then we'll have to wait. But at 38 weeks, I'm thinking he'll be ready.

I am so afraid of the amnio! If you don't know what it is, it's a gigantically long needle that they will poke into my belly to extract some amniotic fluid. I've heard that it makes the uterus contract and CAN be painful, although some say it's not so bad. Either way, I'm scared. Please don't poke Julien! That's also a scary thought. They use ultrasound to do it, though...and like I said, they are very skilled doctors. Still.....I always swore I'd never get an amnio. Too risky, I always thought. Unnecessary...but seriously, what option do I have? No way in hell would I risk another stillbirth. I've got to just do what I need to in order to get him out here safe in my arms.

Anyone willing to pray that Julien decides to come early on his own? That'd be amazing....although, not typical with my pregnancies. Time to work on some natural induction methods and make last minute preparations for baby's arrival!
Love this picture. It's totally how I feel right now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Watching Closely

From now until I deliver, I'll be going into the doctor's office to have two non-stress tests per week. Basically, I get to sit in this huge comfy leather chair while they strap a fetal heart monitor and a contraction monitor onto my belly. There's a basket full of snacks and juice that I can pig out on, which makes the baby active so they can get a good view of his heartbeat. So far, I've been twice--one last week and one today. The next one is Thursday, and after that it's every Monday and Thursday in October. I actually enjoy going, because it's so calming listening to Julien's heart beat. It can take up to an hour depending on how active he is, but so far I've only had to sit for about 20 minutes because they have been able to get some great info very quickly on how he's doing. I don't enjoy driving downtown twice a week, but that's just because I'm a small town girl trying to make it in the city...haha that's a song, right?

So today I met a nurse who hasn't worked with me yet. She asked me about Jonas and when that happened. She told me how sorry she was, and that she also had a full-term stillbirth 31 years ago. She said she went on to have two healthy children after that. She said there's nothing worse than what we've gone through, and she understands everything I am going through right now in these last few weeks of my subsequent pregnancy. She said she just delivered a stillborn baby the other day at another hospital, and the girl just looked up at her and said, "I don't understand! I can't understand this..." Such a reminder of how I felt when I found out. I was the same way. Questions like, "Why me? Why so late in the game? This isn't did this happen...what did I do wrong?" I felt like I was in another world. This COULDN'T be my life! Oh that horrible disgusting pain that I only rarely take myself back to these days, because I literally feel it all over again. It's so easy for me to talk about my baby Jonas, but it is SO hard going back to that painful moment of finding out--even harder than the moment I gave birth to him.

She showed me the printout of his heart rate and explained what they look for. Each time he moves, the heart rate should go up just a little bit and then quickly come back down. Julien's heart rate was just like they want it, so that's definitely reassuring. She said that if they move and the heart rate stays the same or shoots down and that happens frequently, then the baby could be in trouble. There could be problems with the cord. She said that if our babies had been monitored like this, then perhaps something could have been done. The sad fact is, Jonas' heart rate WAS monitored for 30-45 min. once a week for about 8 weeks. It's standard practice in German hospitals even if you're not high-risk. It's so confusing to me--why didn't they catch anything? Did they just not know what to look for? That along with ultrasounds every week those last couple of months...what was the point? I know....frustrating questions that don't really mean anything right now. What happened, happened. I don't blame anyone. But who wouldn't think of these things?

Something else stuck out to me that the nurse said today. She said that her sub pregnancies just felt different. This pregnancy does feel different to me. When I was pregnant with Jonas, I really didn't buy much and like I said I didn't have a shower. We didn't take a tour of the hospital. It was an unplanned pregnancy, the result of Zac returning from his deployment. ;) I was terrified of having two boys who would be less than 2 years apart. Zac was scheduled to deploy again shortly after the birth, and I didn't know what I would do in Germany without my family there for support. Lots of worries, but I was still happy about it. Towards the end, I did have that very brief thought that something would go wrong. I remember where I was when I thought it. I was driving in a traffic circle on the base.

But with this pregnancy, even with all my fears, it has been so different. I have bought a lot of new stuff for Julien. The other day I was talking to Zac about it, and we both have a good feeling. We know that he is going to come home with us. I am constantly aware of his movements, but I wasn't with Jonas...I didn't believe that being "paranoid" about kicks would do me any good. This time, I KNOW the paranoia is a good thing. It's good to be concerned and to overreact if necessary. It's better to be safe than sorry. I've had a few instances where I couldn't remember when I felt him last. I poke at him and talk to him and drink water--eventually he starts moving. If I'm REALLY scared, I have that wonderful fetal doppler where I can actually hear his heartbeat myself. It's been great!

So other than the usual aches and pains of pregnancy (heartburn, knee pain, pelvic pain, back pain, insatiable thirst, always being hot, trouble getting comfortable at night and when I finally do having to pee 10 times a night, always being out of breath, stretch marks, weight gain, crazy emotions, big feet), I'm feeling pretty good! I'm trying to update this as often as possible since this week I'll be 36 weeks and I feel like this is a major event that is unfolding on my blog. I know lots of people are praying, and so I want to give regular updates. :)

Just for fun, a picture of me before life got TOO complicated. :) 2006, age 22
And Zac, around 2003
And this is us with Joss this summer. I was about 24 weeks pregnant.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I'm 34 weeks, going on 35 weeks on Thursday! I have been feeling very optimistic lately. I'm getting more and more convinced that Julien will arrive here safely. The clock is ticking, and I've almost got everything ready to go for him. The diapers are washed and the crib is ready to go. Took a tour of the hospital, had a baby shower, packed the diaper bag and hospital bag, and have been organizing the apartment like crazy. Just a few things left to do!

The baby shower was great! Thanks Krista and Brianna! And thanks to all my friends/family who could make it and who gave such great gifts. It was really special. Oh and thanks for the ice cream cake, which added about 5 lbs. to my weight in a week. ;) My sister has some pictures from the shower, so once I get them I will share a few.

I started going to a prenatal chiropractor last week. She is Webster Technique certified. The WT is great for moving babies into the best position for labor, especially if they are breech. That isn't why I started going, but it's a bonus. I've been having some pelvic pain. Things are stretching pretty far and very easily down there. It hurts. It feels like all my pelvic bones are bruised and it's like I've been kicked down there by a horse or something--not cool! So she did a thermal scan of all my vertebrae, and she showed me a color-coded image of my spine and what was out of place. Red is bad, and of course my entire neck and shoulders were red. She told me I have way too much stress there and I need to loosen up-HAHA...I'd have to agree. :) But unfortunately virgin margaritas aren't doing it for me! So anyways, she's been working on all my bones and it's amazing! The WT makes the baby move a lot because she is lining things up in there that are off-kilter and creating more room for him. I LOVE all the movements--it's very reassuring.

The hospital tour really impressed me. There are DVD-VCR combos and flat screen tvs so I can finally watch my Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion VHS! lol...There are jacuzzi tubs in the bathrooms and I'm planning on spending a LOT of time in them. Room service too! I was so happy to hear that I do not have to be hooked up to a fetal monitor the entire time I'm in labor, which will allow me to get up and walk around. I've experienced two types of labor/delivery--the pitocin (induction)-IV-fetal monitor strapped to belly-epidural-lying in bed for 25 hours birth, and the free to walk around-labor in tub-16 hour labor-easy recovery birth. I'm REALLY hoping for the latter type of birth, only shorter since it will be my third. I really don't know how it will go, just as no woman can plan her birth experience. Obviously, I just want him here safely and I'll do anything to make that happen.

The postpartum rooms have beautiful mountain views, which I think will be so peaceful and so surreal for me after giving birth to my rainbow baby. I'll never forget the view we had the day that Jonas was born. It was a typical rainy German day. So cold and so dreary. The curtains opened up to the German hillsides--so green, but surrounded by fog and a gray, wet sky. It looked exactly like the way I felt. Some sun could have done me well, but there was none to be found for at least a month. Such dark's still so difficult remembering what happened and how crushed I was inside.

I find myself begging God to keep Julien safe and to please, please let me get to take him home and keep him and feed him and bathe him and swaddle him...when I think about the worst, I think that no--there is absolutely no way I could go on anymore. This is it. This is my last pregnancy. I can't handle another one. So please God...protect my little boy.

I was in Sidney last weekend for the last time until I have Julien. I spent some time alone at Jonas' grave and decorated it with some Fall flowers and a scarecrow. I told him to watch over his little brother. I told him that he was not being replaced and that we'd always love him. And finally, I told him that the next time we visit, he'd get to meet Julien. :)Joss leaves a pine cone for Jonas each time he visits. :)

Josiah loves to visit his brother at the cemetery! But it's so hard catching him when it's time to leave!