Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 29

It's interesting go back and read my updates from the same week of pregnancy from over two years ago. I was also pregnant with twins then, so there is quite a bit of difference. Check out week 29 from 2011 for an interesting comparison.

How far along? 29 weeks, 0 days. Still hard for me to believe! And survival chances are the same as last week, still 95%.

How big is baby? About 2 and a half pounds, similar to a butternut squash, and a bit over 15 inches long.

Cravings/Aversions: Still the same, nothing unusual.

Belly Button: Starting to actually pop out. This is when it just looks so weird.

Movement: Move, baby, move!! I think this kid will enjoy gymnastics classes one day.

Leg Cramps: And let me also add in Restless Leg (and other limbs) Syndrome. Leg cramps are definitely back, the restlessness has never really gone away. Was commenting on this on Facebook (after a particularly bad night) and got many suggestions from friends, many of which I had tried and some of which reminded me of things I had been doing but had let fall by the wayside. So I knew I needed to build up electrolytes again: potassium for the cramps and magnesium for the restlessness, plus other electrolytes are just added bonuses. I checked out the Vitamin Water at the grocery and (because it was on sale) decided to try it. I was surprised that it actually tastes good. I've only had two so far, but I feel better than I've been feeling lately. So, we'll see. Maybe this will help some, maybe not. I still think I'm just more prone to this during pregnancy, regardless of what I do.

Sleep: I've definitely crossed that bridge into laborious territory. It's not been easy the last week, getting up multiple times during the night, unable to get comfortable, leg cramps, you get the picture. One positive I've realized lately is that I haven't had any issues with tendinitis this time around.

Weight gain: approaching that 20 pound mark, but still not there yet. I'm wondering if I'll make it to the end of this pregnancy with only 25 pounds gained. That would nice. Not sure it'll happen.

Ultrasound: None since the last update and none planned for the foreseeable future.

Appointment: Had an appointment on Monday. I'm measuring a couple weeks ahead, but no reason for concern (probably due to having had a previous twin pregnancy, i.e., I'm already rather stretched out). We also chatted a lot just about how things are going, the Vitamin Water, work, and who was going to deliver first. For now, my doctor will continue my care, but if she delivers before I do the MFMs will handle my care since I already know them and have never met any of my doctor's partners. She's due before me, but was late her last pregnancy so is expecting the same to happen this time (that's what I gathered anyway). We'll see what happens. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if I went early, I've pretty much been expecting that since the beginning.

Following my appointment I had to do the third trimester part of a preterm labor study I'm participating in. So I was in the office/building for about another 30-45 minutes after my appointment was over. I was in the lab for a little while, had to give blood and I sat there while I filled up a tiny cup of spit (not the easiest thing to do). While I was in there, another patient came in for a blood draw. She didn't appear to handle it well and was sitting in the back afterwards. I left shortly after that and went to the bathroom before leaving the office. I came out of the restroom to find the girl from the lab passed out on the floor and a nurse standing over her. I had no idea if the nurse just happened upon her or if she was with her when she passed out. So I told her that I had seen her in the lab and she had just had a blood draw. The nurse asked me to stay with her while she went and got more help. So I stuck around for a while to help and make sure she was okay. They eventually got several nurses there, someone called her mom for her, and they were looking for my doctor who eventually got there as well. I don't know if she was pregnant or not, she was very thin so if she was it was pretty early in pregnancy. I stuck around for a while but by that time several nurses and the doctor were there, I didn't feel like I was really going to be much help. She was conscious, but definitely out of it. I did eventually leave, but I felt kind of bad about it. I knew I wasn't being of much help by that point and I didn't want to be in the way. I pray that she was okay after a while. I do plan on asking my doctor about her next time I see her. I just want to make sure she was okay.

The Big Brothers: They still enjoy giving my belly kisses and have started putting their hands on my belly the way they see their daddy do. I don't think they've felt anything yet, though.

We went to the library a couple of weeks ago and got a few books. They love these four books so much that they haven't really looked at their other books at all. The Nascar counting book is a huge favorite! We also got an "I Spy" book that is popular with both of them and a Sandra Boynton book about Little Pookie. Ethan calls the Little Pookie book the "no" book (which can get a little confusing when I don't realize that he's saying "no" in reference to the book and not something I just asked him). Little Pookie answers "no" to lots of his mother's questions. When reading it, I read the questions and wait for Ethan to answer. The funniest one is when Little Pookie says "No, thank you." The boys aren't putting multiple words together yet, so he always just says "thank you" in his cute little voice. And yes, I realize that is two words, but the boys say it like it is one. I don't feel right counting "thank you" as putting words together yet. The fourth book is a Sesame Street Babies book with a picture of Elmo ("Melmo") on the front. I expected this to be the most popular book of the group we checked out. I was wrong.

They got to go to a local bookstore with Hubby this past Saturday. They fed the ducks at the pond out back (which they LOVE doing) and then went inside for a Paddington Bear story time. They got to make little Paddington Bears out of toilet paper rolls (or actually, Hubby made them). When they got home I came out to help them get out of the car and found them both holding their little toilet paper roll bears and giving them kisses.

We also went to Oktoberfest at our parish on Saturday evening. We had brats, sauerkraut, potato salad (which was really good!), and strudel. The boys had hotdogs and chips, Peter wasn't crazy about the sauerkraut but Ethan ate it up. We checked out the various booths and kids rides (the boys aren't interested in the kids rides yet) and we played the Cake Wheel for a little while. Peter loved the Cake Wheel and got very upset when we left it. He kept trying to pull me back to it. We ended the evening with a funnel cake, which the boys loved, and headed home. It was a busy Saturday.

One of the boys' newest words is Geico. I don't totally remember how this came to be. I think they were fascinated by the gecko on TV and they somehow picked up the word Geico from the commercial. Amazingly, they say it very clearly, especially Peter. In addition, they found the Geico logo on a page of the Nascar counting book (on one of the driver's uniforms). I think part of the appeal of the Nascar book is finding the Geico guy under "10 Race Car Drivers." I also learned that there is a book at school with a picture of a gecko in it and the boys both say "Geico" when they see it. I ran into their teacher at the library and she told me this. I had to laugh!

Names: Nothing has changed. Still waiting on Hubby.

The To-Do List: Referring back to last week's update I haven't really accomplished much.

I have met with one pediatrician. Kind of on the fence, but I also have limited options due to my HMO university insurance.

We've made some decisions on the child birth classes we are going to take, now we just have to register for them.

And that's about it. our bigger to-do list includes things like filling in the pond in the backyard (happening this week), several painting projects, replacing the sink/faucet/disposal in the kitchen, and probably 50 gajillion other things.

Prayers: Continued prayers for several friends in difficult pregnancies. Also prayers for my Catholic mom prayer buddy, A. And, some prayers for Hubby and I and our growing family. Not pregnancy related, just in the process of discerning some things. Thanks!!

So 29 weeks! That means 11 weeks to go. Maybe less if I go early. That's just insane!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 28

Time for another update!! Lots about the pregnancy, the baby, and some updates on the boys. Enjoy!

How far along? 28 weeks! Hello, third trimester!! So hard to believe we are here. Last pregnancy, this was the first goal that we hoped I would make. Chances of survival at this time is 95%. This is such a great place to be.

How big is baby: According to my sources, the baby is about two and a quarter pounds and 14.8 inches long (roughly the size of a Chinese cabbage). That kind of shocks me!! I can't believe baby is already that big!

Cravings/Aversions: Still nothing. I feel great!

Belly Button: Just when I think it can't possibly change much more and it's got to pop out at any, it continues to widen.

Movement: So much moving around! I think I can tell when baby is head down versus not depending on where I feel the most movement. Hubby has been feeling baby moving and kicking around a lot. Peter won't touch my belly when I ask him if he wants to feel the baby. I think it freaks him out. Ethan will put his hand there, but he's not patient enough so he hasn't felt anything yet.

Cute story: I was feeling the baby move around a lot and wanted to take the opportunity to see if the boys could feel the baby. Of course, I stopped feeling much movement at that point. I had pulled my shirt up just a bit and I gently shook my belly to get the baby to move some. Well! That was all Ethan needed to see. He proceeded to put both his hands on my belly and shake, laugh, and do it again. He never felt the baby, but he was having fun.

Leg cramps: They're back!! I've had several recently. I seem to be getting them in the morning anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half before I usually get up. And many of these I seem to catch just as they start. This is good for Hubby, because then I don't wake him up. However, this past Sunday morning I got another doozy of a leg cramp. Hubby had to help me but then as soon as he let go, I swung my legs around to get out of bed and it started again. I could feel the pain in my calf throughout the whole rest of the day. Especially walking up or down the stairs. Ouch!!

And I won't even mention the restless leg issues. Those are still there too.

Sleep: Definitely starting to get a little harder to get comfortable.

Weight gain: I'm happily ignorant at the moment. And I'm okay with that!

Ultrasound: Tuesday was ultrasound day and it looks like it may be my last one. Cervical length was right around 3 cm. This is the bottom of "normal" but at this point in the pregnancy, it's actually a good place to be. I asked lots of questions, one of which was: when does the cervix start to shorten naturally for a woman in a normal pregnancy (i.e., no history like mine). The answer: usually starting around 28 weeks. It's usually a pretty slow process. In my case we have no idea what it will do. I also asked about the progesterone I am taking and was told I will probably stay on it until about 34 weeks. I was expecting it to be a few weeks past that, but 34 is doable. Overall, it was a good appointment. Got to see the baby again (still head down), verified that the placenta has definitely moved out of the way of the cervix, and took a couple 3D pictures.

Appointment: Next one is this coming Monday. I have several new questions suddenly. Another tidbit of info I learned at my ultrasound appointment was that Dr. M is also expecting again and due just before me, like one week! I kind of wondered at my last appointment with her, but I wasn't sure so didn't want to ask. Very happy for her, but wondering what that means. I told Hubby tonight I'm either going to be delivering with a very pregnant OB or she'll have already delivered and I'll end up with either someone I don't know or maybe (hopefully?) either Dr. O or Dr. H, the MFMs I'm already familiar with. I also joked with Hubby that we might need to have another baby after this one just so we can actually deliver at least one child with my actual doctor. LOL! He didn't find that as amusing as I did.

The Big Brothers: Besides just always being incredibly cute, they are also learning to love football and showing off their Gamecock spirit (courtesy of Peter's godparents):
Watching the disappointing game against Georgia

Brotherly love in front of our house.
Thank you, Craig and Anne, for our Gamecock shirts!

They also love playing on their bikes on the back driveway.
Peter works his way back up the hill

Ethan showing off his cool bike
Names: I'm just waiting for Hubby at this point. I'm done discussing it.

The To-Do List:

  • I have one appointment set up with a new-to-us pediatrician. I also just learned that a new pediatrician has been hired in the practice. So I may also set up an appointment with her. Plus there is a family doctor I'm still considering. So some progress is being made.
  • I'm looking into birth classes and have some ideas. Need to just talk with Hubby more about our options.
  • Stroller: been put on hold. Temporarily.
  • Cloth diapers are sold!
  • Baby carriers: haven't really done much research, but I know when the babywearing support group in the area meets and I think I'm holding off until I can get to that and see some various options. I really would like to try an Ergo, though. Just don't want to spend the money on it until I can really see it.
  • The boys, labor, what's going to happen? We have time. I hope.
  • Godparents: we know who we want to ask. Just haven't had the opportunity yet.
  • Baptism: still plenty of time.
New on the list:
  • Paint the boys' new room. We have colors picked out, which means we have a plan!
  • Buy mattresses for the boys' new beds.
  • Decide what to do with the baby room (paint it? don't paint it? take one crib out (won't need two!))
  • See if we can arrange to take a postpartum NFP class. I have spoken to someone about it. Just haven't followed up.
Prayers: Thank you all for the prayers, not just for me but for the other intentions I asked for prayers for. If you could still keep friend M in your prayers, I'd appreciate it. She had her baby girl (so cute!!) right at 35 weeks. Baby did really well. Mom had some difficulties and required an emergency hysterectomy. She's home now and recovering, but I know she'd appreciate prayers. Please also continue to pray for friend A and please also add friend L. Friend L is 21 weeks, has been put on modified bed rest, and has a placenta previa. She also has a young toddler at home. There are several other friends I have in difficult pregnancies. So prayers for all ladies in difficult pregnancies.

St. Gerard, pray for us!

That's the update this week!! Yay for being in the third trimester. Hope to have more to share next week.

Friday, September 06, 2013

What Every Catholic Should Know: 7 Quick Takes

Today I have a post up over at Catholic Sistas as part of the 7 Quick Takes series. In this installment I list (with the help of the other sistas) 7 things that every Catholic should know.

I tried to keep the list brief and added links and references to the Catechism. In many ways it should be a review or a way to build a bit more knowledge on something you already know as a Catholic. The intent was not to address things that Protestants don't understand about our faith or to provide Catholics with answers to questions from their Protestant friends or family members.

Quite simply, what should you as a Catholic really know? That's the goal of this post.

The list could be a lot longer, but I only had 7 spots. So it is what it is. But that doesn't mean you can't add to the list. Come on over and check out today's 7 Quick Takes post, Catholic Catechesis installment and leave us comments with what else you would add to the list. Add any references too if you can easily find them.

This, hopefully, is a great post to file away somewhere to refer back to when you might need it. Especially with additional comments added on.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 26

Wednesday morning was crazy. Read on to find out why.

How far along: 26 weeks, 1 day. I found my book The Preemie Primer and have started reading through it again. Chance of survival at this point is 85%, which is great news!!

How big is baby: According to, the baby is about 1 and 2/3 pounds and roughly 14 inches long, about the size of an English cucumber.

Cravings/Aversions: Still none. Doing well.

Belly Button: Sort of stating to pop out, but still rather flat. Hubby commented the other day that it isn't so much a belly button as a belly hole at this point. Thanks dear!

Movement: Lots and lots. This child is doing somersaults.

Leg cramps: None this week. I'm trying to stay hydrated, eat my bananas, and take my vitamins.

Sleep: Not too bad. I'm starting to wake up more during the night to use the bathroom. The progesterone may be making my sleep a little less comfortable, but it's not too bad yet.

Weight gain: I hate the scale at the doctor's office, it was about two pounds more than my one at home. I weighed myself on mine Wednesday morning and then got weighed again at my appointment a few hours later. According to my scale I'm up around 14 pounds. I'm going with that since my starting weight was also done on my scale at home. Not too bad.

Crazy Wednesday: Let's start with the fact that I had to do the glucose test that morning as well. I called last Friday to double check when the lab opens as well as the main office to make sure I could get the blood work done before my ultrasound appointment at 8:45. I was told that everything opened at 8. Great! Plenty of time. But then that evening I found the paper about the test and it said there that the lab didn't open until 9 AM. I debated on whether I should take the chance or not, decided I didn't want to waste the drink only to have to do it again because I couldn't get the blood draw an hour after drinking it and so on and so forth. So I changed my plans. Instead I drank the orange sweetness in the car on my way into town. Got to the office and went to check in with the main OB/GYN office so they could get the order in for my blood work. It was 8:45 AM at the time and I just needed to know that they were taking care of it so I could go down the hall for my ultrasound appointment. I was assured they were and I left to go to ultrasound. (More on that appointment below). I finally got called back for my appointment at 9:00, told them I had to have my blood drawn at 9:20. So we did the exams, chatted briefly, and I left. The lab is right there so I got there right at 9:20 to discover that the lab person was not there. She showed up 5 minutes later and couldn't find any order for me in the computer. By the time she finally put me in manually, it was 9:30, time for my next appointment. I knew I was probably cutting everything a little too close but I should have known not to worry. My doctor is always a few minutes behind, so it wasn't a big deal. But still, I was watching my clock like a hawk all morning!!

Ultrasound: But now the important part. If you remember from my Week 24 Update I had previously had cervical length measurements of around 4 cm or more. Since normal is between 3 and 4 or higher, this was great. At 23 weeks it was around 3.5 to 3.7. Shorter, but well within normal still. At 24 weeks however, I was closer to 3.0 cm. I've been taking progesterone ever since and this Wednesday's ultrasound was the first follow-up since then. All I can say is that prayer is really working!! Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us. Amazingly I had measurements this time of around 3.4 to 3.7. Yes, that means longer measurements than the previous time. The cervix isn't normally going to lengthen!! And actually the longest measurement she got was right around 4 cm. It may be the progesterone, but I like to think that prayer has a lot to do with it too!!

During the quick scan of the baby we also noted that the placenta has moved out of the way of the cervix. Yay!! And the baby is currently head down. Baby has plenty of time to still move a different direction and back again, most likely several times. LOL! The tech also asked if I wanted a 3D image! I said YES, of course! I've had ultrasounds in this same office for 4 or my 5 pregnancies and have never known that they could do 3D images. They were so cool!! Such a cute little baby. The face reminded me a lot of Peter and Ethan as newborns. Awww!

Appointment: After ultrasound was the glucose blood draw and then my appointment. Appointment went fine. These are the easy ones. Baby's heartbeat was around 140 bpm. We also talked about possible follow-up ultrasounds. I could have stopped at this point but I feel better getting one more in right around 28 weeks. 28 weeks seems to be one of those milestones in pregnancy, so it felt like a good point to do one more. After that I'm okay not checking any more (it's not like I look forward to those ultrasounds with the fun wand that goes ... hm, hm ... you know where). So I'll do one more at 28 weeks and that will be it for cervical checks. We discussed a little bit about labor and birth, classes to take or look into, and that was about it.

Glucose Results: I was able to obtain the results of my glucose screening on Wednesday evening. My doctor emailed me the results and her exact words were "Awesome, passed." The number was 122, but I don't know what the scale is. Either way, it's a passing score so that's all that matters to me. She also mentioned that Hemogram/blood count looks great as well. So I guess that's good news too.

The Big Brothers: Oh, those sweet boys! They love giving kisses now. Not just to my belly, but now they are kissing their toys and stuffed animals, pictures of animals and other characters in their books, and other random things as well. They loved seeing the printouts I had of the 3D pictures of the baby. They are both just so sweet!

Names: No progress on a boy name. I have now given my husband two options and I'm done. He's got to pick one or come up with something else that I also like. Eventually maybe we'll agree on something. Or he'll just have to learn to live with one of the names I have chosen. It could still be a girl too and this would all be a mute point.

To-Do List: I think it is the same as last week. I don't think I've crossed anything off. If anything, I've probably added to it. Not going to retype it here. If you really want to look at it, check our last week's update.

Prayers: I so appreciate the prayers from everyone! I think I appreciate them even more now than I may have in the past. Not that I didn't appreciate them, but you know, sometimes they just strike you more than they do at other times. Anyway, if you could add two other pregnancy related prayer requests to your prayers I'd really appreciate it. One is for my pregnancy prayer buddy in a Catholic moms group I am in. We pair pregnant ladies up with non-pregnant ladies to prayer for each other's intentions. My pregnancy prayer buddy is trying to get pregnant herself. If you could say a quick prayer for my friend A for this intention I'd love it. And I know she would too. Also, just found out that another mom in the group who is around 34 weeks pregnant is in the hospital due to placenta previa issues. They are trying to keep things stable so she can get to at least 35 weeks. Prayers for my friend M are also greatly appreciated!!

That's all for this update. Next week's will probably be a short one again or maybe I'll skip it. I need to blog about other things, not just this pregnancy! My mom has specifically requested more updates on the boys.