Our Rainbow

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Amnio ~ 1.19.2012

I decided to write Rose's birth story in phases or I might never get it all written & posted! :)

We are doing well and I can't believe Rose is already 11 days old! She's a cutie and the adjustment to having a newborn in the house has been easier than I thought it would be. I'll start with the amnio on Jan. 19th and work my way to present time.

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 - Amnio
We went in to my OBGYN’s office on Thursday, January 19th at 10:00 am to have an amniocentesis performed to check baby’s lungs for maturity.  The procedure involves a long needle that was inserted into my belly to remove amniotic fluid for testing. The fluid contains fetal cells and various chemicals produced by the baby.  Based on the fluid, they determine baby’s lung maturity.
The ultrasound tech started out by looking at baby and attempting to find a good pocket of amniotic fluid to withdraw from.  She struggled because it appeared all or the majority of the fluid was low, surrounding baby’s head.  This was not good from an amnio perspective because they will not put a needle in near baby’s head. She left the room to go discuss with my Dr. and meanwhile I sat up because it was so uncomfortable for me to be on my back.  While we waited, Tim & I discussed our worry that they wouldn’t be able to perform the procedure and that the induction would be delayed. Baby girl was moving all over and I think it was at least 10 minutes before the tech returned with my Doctor. 
They took another look at the ultrasound and baby had moved just enough to give them a pocket of fluid up high, near my rib cage, next to baby’s butt. They wanted to move quick, in case baby moved again.  Dr. put an ‘X’ where they planned to insert the needle and just before they started baby moved her butt in the way.  I think that was the more nerve-wracking part - me worrying about baby.  I asked the tech what happens if baby moves while the needle is inserted and she said that babies don’t like it so they move away from it.  I had visions of my baby being poked in the butt by a needle & that didn’t sit well with me. My Dr. was determined and he pushed & prodded baby to move over.  That was pretty uncomfortable since baby’s butt was up in my ribs. Finally he was able to move her.  
They quickly made a new ‘X’ and almost without warning stuck the needle in.  It was difficult to see the monitor and I didn’t want to watch the needle (although I did see it before he started) so I closed my eyes the whole time. I felt the needle break the skin and it stung.  It wasn’t a short sting; it stung the entire time. I then could feel as the needle went through the layers and into the amniotic sac.  It was a strange and uncomfortable sensation. I remember taking deep breaths and trying to remain still. I was breathing through my nose and I think the tech thought I was holding my breath (I wasn’t) because she kept saying to breath. 
It lasted as long as it took to fill the vile with fluid.  Dr. showed me the sample and it was slightly cloudy with a few particles floating in it. Someone had told me once that if the fluid was cloudy that was a good sign and if it was crystal clear that meant the lungs might not be mature.  I’d say the fluid was somewhere in between.  I asked my Dr. if he thought one way or another based on what he saw and he wouldn’t say.  He didn’t want to get our hopes up just in case but he later told me (after delivery) that he had a feeling it was good fluid.
They put a band-aid on my belly and said they should have results by 2:00 pm and would call me when they were in. They hooked me up for a NST to ensure the amnio didn’t put baby into distress.  That lasted approx. 1/2 hour and baby looked good.
From Our Rainbow
Tim went back to work and I went home and waited with anticipation.  I was really tired so I tried to nap a little.  A few times my phone rang but it wasn’t the Dr. office. That only made my anxiety worse! Finally at 1:30 pm I received the call.  The nurse said baby’s lungs were mature and that I should head to the hospital for admittance at 6:00 pm!  
I quickly called Tim to let him know then family & work. I had my bags packed for a month but there were a few last minute items to toss in so I finished up that and waited for Tim to come home so we could eat dinner and go!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A few iphone pictures

I have much to blog about but for now I'll share a few pictures from my iphone.  We spent our first night home from the hospital last night and all is well! Baby Rose is fitting right in at home and we can't stop looking at her. She's a beautiful little rainbow!

When I'm more rested and Rose allows, I'll update with her birth story and more photos from my 'real' cameras.

Most importantly, she is happy & healthy and we're loving her to pieces!!

facebook announcement
From Our Rainbow
good morning mommy, hello world! 1.21.12
From Our Rainbow

From Our Rainbow

From Our Rainbow

From Our Rainbow

From Our Rainbow

leaving hospital
From Our Rainbow

enjoying her home :)
From Our Rainbow

Friday, January 20, 2012

She's here!!

It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counter balance of color, energy, and HOPE. (unknown)

Rose Maria

6 lb 12 oz

20 3/4 in


10:49 am

She looks much like her sister! I'm unable to load a pic from my phone right now & baby needs to be fed. Will share a full story/update later!

Our Rainbow is here!!!! And we are in love.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Go time!

Posting on my phone from the hospital so this will be short...

Had the amnio today (hurt!) and found out around 1:30 pm that her lungs are mature!! Yay!!

Was admitted to the hospital at 6pm & Cervidil has been put in. (that was awful!!!!) I almost passed out from the discomfort.

I was only 1cm, 30% effaced & -2 station. Hopefully the Cervidil will do the trick for a smooth induction (pitocin) in the morning.

Contractions are much more frequent now 2-4 min apart & starting to feel uncomfortable though not painful yet. Baby girl still active as can be and doing well.

Will update tomorrow!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Outside Maternity Photos ~ Is it really mid-January!?

Yesterday I had my last haircut before baby's arrival then we headed over to the park where we had wedding photos taken 10 years ago! I brought along my tripod and set a self-timer for a photo of us together and had Tim take some photos of me & baby.  This is hopefully the last weekend I'll be pregnant during this pregnancy so I wanted to get some photos.

Normally in Nebraska one would not be outside in mid-January without a heavy winter coat, scarf & mittens.  The temps are usually in the negative range and there's snow on the ground.  This winter has been strange.  Although it was a bit chilly we still managed to tolerate being outside without coats on just long enough to get some photos.  It looks more like fall!!

From Our Rainbow

From Our Rainbow

From Our Rainbow

From Our Rainbow

From Our Rainbow

From Our Rainbow

From Our Rainbow

From Our Rainbow

36 Weeks

Last Tuesday was my 36 week ultrasound appointment. Great news is that she is still head down, facing my back, just like she needs to be for delivery! She is now measuring right on track for 36 weeks and according to their measurements she is weighing in at 6 lb 12 oz!! (this can be off by 20% in either direction though)

Because of how she is facing it was difficult to get a good face photo but we did get a couple half-decent ones. I asked about the cord and whether they could tell if it was near or around her neck and it didn't appear to be.  There is some cord in front of her face but not near the base of her neck. That relieved me a little. The tech said she had great amniotic pockets that should make the amnio a little easier.  The cool part of the ultrasound was when she opened her eyes!! No picture of that but it was fun to see.

It sure is hard to breathe these days- especially lying down for the ultrasound. We were almost done then the tech accidentally hit a button and cleared out the recorded measurements so she had to start over.  On the bright side, we had more time to watch baby girl on the monitor.

My Dr. did his first check of my cervix and much to my disappointment- not even a little bit dilated or effaced. Boo.  I thought for sure there would be some change going on, especially based on how I'm feeling these days!! It seriously feels like someone kicked me between the legs.  Baby's head is putting lots of pressure down there but apparently not enough to make any progress (yet).

I'm starting to get more anxious about labor & delivery and all the "what-if's" and unknowns/uncertainties. The nurse scheduled my induction so if baby's lungs are mature after the amnio on 1/19, they will admit me to the hospital at 6:00 pm, give me Cervidil (to ripen cervix), then pitocin Friday morning.

I'm nervous about the Cervidil but originally my Dr. said we'd use Cytotec which seems more scary based on what I've read online.  Then again, there are risks with everything.  He said he uses both so he was fine with using Cervidil.  Out of the two, I prefer to use that one because it can be removed if needed (compared to Cytotec which is a pill).

Then there's the chance of a failed induction (if my body isn't ready and doesn't respond to labor). If that happens, my induction may be rescheduled a few days later. The thought of that really stinks but I agree with my Dr. on it because wearing out my body/uterus would not be good postpartum (risk of hemorrhage, etc.).

I'm hoping since this is my 2nd full term pregnancy and labor that my body will quickly "remember" what to do and take well to the induction.

Before we lost Sofia I was very much against inductions.  I felt (and still do feel) that the best time for baby is on baby's terms - when they are ready, they will come.  It's tough because I still feel that way yet I also feel that I'd rather not risk losing another baby at 40 weeks for unknown reasons.  It's hard when your own feelings are contradictory. I just want her to get here safely and ALIVE.

I had a NST (non-stress test) again on Friday and baby still looks great and met her required minimum of 3 fetal heart rate accelerations in the first 20 minutes. (Which just means she adjusts well to movement, blood flow, etc.). At one point I had a contraction (not painful) and it was off the chart.  C'mon, contractions, let's get regular & get this baby out!!! I'd love for it to start naturally (preferably before the amnio!).

Here are the two latest ultrasound photos:

2D- This is of her face.  It's hard to see, but she is sideways (forehead to the right).  The large white area is her cheek & her eye is just above that.  Only half her face is visible.
From Our Rainbow

3D- Smooshed face photo. I think her nose was squished up because it looks different in this picture compared to previous ones.
From Our Rainbow

Monday, January 2, 2012

Catching Up! Already 35 weeks!

Wow do I have a lot to catch up on for this blog. At the beginning of this pregnancy I thought for sure I would be updating this constantly, documenting my pregnancy every step of the way. Little did I know that I would become too busy and otherwise exhausted to maintain my blogging.

Anyone who has been pregnant knows the first trimester drains you of all energy and when you aren't working you just feel like sleeping.  Once the second trimester hits, you are still small enough to maneuver around and a burst of energy comes back.  This means hurry up & get things done you weren't able to accomplish in the past three months! Then you grow and suddenly the third trimester hits.

That's where I am now, feeling huge & ready for this baby to be born! Others have said subsequent pregnancies are harder than the first and I agree.  My pregnancy with Sofia was great- I was happy the entire time and excited at each new phase & milestone. After suffering the loss of her at 40 weeks then another loss (miscarriage of Sam early on), this pregnancy has been different.  I can't complain too much but the nervousness, anxiety & worry this time has been hard. The first trimester I worked myself into a frenzy at every Dr. appointment, expecting the worst.  I was surprisingly calm during the 2nd trimester.  Now, as baby's arrival approaches, I find myself back to that scary place of worry & fear.

My last ultrasound was at 32 weeks.  Baby was measuring a week ahead (33 weeks) and to my happiness, she was no longer breech! (STAY THAT WAY, BABY!!!!) I had a different person who did the ultrasound this time and she was fun to talk to, although she made me cry... She asked about our loss (Sofia) and how far along I was.  When I told her, she teared up and started telling me about a good friend of hers who also lost a baby in 2010.  Turns out that baby is buried at the same cemetery as Sofia (she died a few months earlier, during the summer) and that BLM is also pregnant & due in January! We had lots to talk about.  We have seen her baby's grave and at Christmas time Tim fixed the wreath that had fallen down at her stone.

I started my NST's (non-stress tests) at 33 weeks (Dec. 20th was the first one that week).  I go in twice per week for these.  The first one was a bit nerve-wracking because it took some time for the nurse to get the heart beat.  I knew baby was OK because I had just felt her move in the waiting room however once you've been scarred like we have, all rationale goes out the window.  It literally took 5 minutes to find the right spot!  Little girl has proven to be quite mischievous at each appointment.  She clearly does NOT like to be monitored as she kicks and moves away from it constantly.  The good news is, so far at least, the results have been "perfect" and there were plenty of movements for me to record.

A good friend & fellow photographer took some maternity photos of me (and a few with Tim). It's hard to set a self-timer and do it myself so I appreciated her doing this for us.  Here's a link to a few of the photos on her site: click here

Today I am 35 weeks and feeling pretty darn uncomfortable. I'm not sure if baby has officially dropped but let's just say when I sit, she (my belly) rests on my legs. I think she's dropped. I think/hope she is still head-down but it's hard to tell. I'm looking forward to the ultrasound next week to know for sure. I've been having braxton hicks contractions for much of the pregnancy (just feels like my belly is super hard/tight) but lately they've been more uncomfortable. I really wonder if my body is getting ready and if I'm dilated at all. I had another pregnancy massage last Friday - the kind with the belly cut-out on the table (padded for comfort). It was great.  I was in need of another one by end of day!

Acid reflux is something I didn't experience with Sofia. This time- even water does it. Bleh. Not fun to wake in the night with a dry mouth, take one of many pee breaks, drink water, then have to sleep sitting up so the water stays down. My hips and everything hurt so much more this time. So bad that I'm nearly in tears some days. I suppose my body never really recovered from a full term pregnancy before diving back in.  I don't regret it at all and it is all worth it. I told Tim though, not sure I'm ready to have another one any time soon!!  This body needs a break!!

My actual due date is Feb. 6th but the plan is to do an amnio at 37 weeks. It isn't set in stone, but we're shooting for the amnio on Jan. 19th. If her lungs are mature, we will induce the next day, Jan. 20th. I requested to be admitted to the hospital on the 19th for monitoring rather than come in the morning of the 20th and my Dr. was OK with that.  Now, if her lungs are NOT mature, that means I will have to wait until 39 weeks for the induction. Please, oh please, have mature lungs!!! Not sure I can handle waiting until 39 weeks.

Early on in this pregnancy I was given a gift from my cousin's mother-in-law.  (Side story- this woman sadly lost a grandchild years & years ago. She was babysitting the child when the baby died from SIDS) She gave me a religious book called "The Original Mothers Manual" By A. Francis Coomes, S.J. It was a very thoughtful gift and honestly I had set it aside for awhile.  Recently I pulled it out and read from it. Here is one prayer I thought was fitting:

For an expectant mother
Dearest Mary, I look to you now for the help of your maternal love.
You understand my trials as an expectant mother. You bore Jesus in your womb. You know the doubts and anxieties that beset me; you know the bodily suffering I endure.
Like you, may I turn all these sorrows into joy. You overcame anxiety by a loving trust in God; you overcame doubt by gentle resignation to his will. Your motherhood lifted your mind above earth and kept it close to God.
So speak to Jesus now with me, beloved Mother, as I seek prayerfully to learn to bear the trials of motherhood with joy.
Mother of Perpetual Help, 
Pray for me!

Photo update:

This is old news by now, but here's a couple ultrasound pics from 24 weeks:
Her right arm is in front of her face:
From Our Rainbow
Her left hand is up over her head:
From Our Rainbow

Here is my 'belly art' from the baby sprinkle (smaller version of a baby shower). My sister-in-law held the shower & had this as an activity. My mom drew the outline around my belly profile.
From Our Rainbow

Before Christmas I went out with some friends from work to a pottery place where you can glaze pre-made ornaments. One of them I made for baby on the way:
From Our Rainbow

Here are the most recent ultrasound pics from 32 weeks. (Next ultrasound is next week, at 36 weeks)
face profile:
From Our Rainbow
Her nose is smooshed and it looks like she might have a dimple on her chin but it could just be the distorted ultrasound pic.
From Our Rainbow
We think she's pretty darn cute- big lips & all!!
From Our Rainbow

Here's me on Christmas Eve:
From Our Rainbow