Tag Archives: bump

…Hello third

29 weeks

Nicely zooming into the third trimester. We have insurance, we have an OB, I feel great (although my body is giving up a little) and we have a high risk doc monitoring us (but all seems to be well)… yes, quite a bump ride to get here 🙂

New Obstetrician

Just a small bit of politicizing and I will move on, I promise: Look, I’ll even put a spoiler so you can skip past my bleeding heart liberal views if you like – just scroll right down until you see the ‘end spoiler’.

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Hmmm… well, I finally found a doctor who would give me prenatal care. Due to Texas’ wonderfully sensible state laws… I could not have health insurance sponsored by the state (I am technically a state employee) for 2 months. And due to health insurances reticence to cover any ‘pre-existing conditions’ (which I do understand) I couldn’t get temporary care. Wonderful. To those like the genius Ron Paul (and I use the term ‘genius’ in the same tone as ‘wonderfully sensible’ above) who say:

Know this: your views are as old as you. You do not understand that we now save lives (and a heap load of money) initially through learning to enact preventative care programs, and then latterly through increasing the efficacy of those programs by enacting screening programs. Some would say NIH are investing vast sums of frikkin’ money on developing the best early markers with which to screen for diseases… so we don’t end up in emergency care. But you know – what do public health researchers know?

To Mr. Paul I say: My ‘routine doctor visits’ for the last 3 weeks have come in at over $3,000 (holy smokes). Covering the 6 week gap would obviously have been even more expensive. Do you really think it is reasonable to expect couples to find that money over the course of a whole pregnancy?? And what happens when you expect them to over a short period? No healthcare. Which is what I, a public health researcher, chose. Aye.

So no OB wanted to care for me as I had had a ‘gap in care’ until I stumbled upon the lovely Dr Boswell at Texas Children’s (Women’s Specialists of Houston sub branch). OK, no more politicizing for the whole of this post.

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Gaily I went off to see Dr Boswell, where we discussed (1) my signs of early labour, coupled with (2) my battered cervix (a colposcopy, cone biopsy and laser treatment in the past) which means it could either (a) not open at all, or (b) act like a pressure-triggered trap door at the slightest pressure like… er… a growing baby, tripled with (3) a septum (large piece of fibrous tissue) across my uterus, which means some of uterus is ‘cut off’ leading to more pressure overall as space becomes a premium. All-in-all she felt this combination of things may not be a good thing. So… off I went to Baylor to a high risk OB / GYN.

Woo-hoo extra ultrasound. This is Firework lying at the bottom, face up, flexing his muscles like his douchey Mum used to.

So the high risk OB did a whole anatomy scan, which (shutting my ears to the crusty side of me that wants to listen to voices saying that scans are not a good thing) we thoroughly enjoyed. Firework did not, he kicked and wriggled away, and kept PURPOSELY putting his hand in front of his face so we couldn’t see it. Git.

We did get a picture of the young ‘un though. He obligingly acted like his Ma in her pre-pregnancy days and flexed his muscles for larks (I used to be a body builder). I am suspicious that he was also acting like his Dad and showing off to any passing nurse. Hmmmm. He was also quite big at 3lbs when they would expect 2.5lbs. Good lad.

Anyhoodle. We discovered that FW, like the MMA fighter we would love him to be, had just kicked aside my septum and made himself some nice room. And that I have one hella long cervix (4.8 cm at 29 weeks, when they expect ~3 cm) which should hold him in tightly. Of course, you can’t go to any doctor and actually come out feeling healthy: they did find that I have vast amounts of amniotic fluid. Vast amounts, but not quite vast enough to panic.  Usually they suspect a baby with no stomach, or a genetic abnormality: but much searching found no evidence was found of such.

Personally, I am not worried. Back in my initial scans they said I had a giant uterus. No one was concerned then, and I am not now. I go back in 2 weeks to see if the fluid is increasing, decreasing or staying the same. Alrighty then. They did say that big ol’ amounts of fluid are heavy are so preterm delivery is more likely, but hey – nothing we can do about that now. So basically in the ‘will I give birth too early, or have to have a C-section in the end’ battle it is just a battle between:

Big baby and his excessive fluidy surrounds

vs.

scarred up (movement resistant) big ‘n’ tuff cervix.

I could deliver hella early or basically not at all and need a C-section (which TERRIFIES me). I am removing myself from the whole thing and tired of the medicalization, and – while I LOVE my whole OB practice, especially Dr. Boswell – just letting them poke me and prod me while I mentally skip through fields of daisies and ignore them and see what happens. THEY can fuss and worry, I can deal with the birth as it happens.

How I am feeling

29 weeks, 4 days

Other than that, I am blessed to be feeling super well. My bump has remained pretty small (in the clothes pictures I angle it to look nice and big) which has made it easy for me to sleep and move about and not feel icky and encumbered. I do generally sleep very well (even on my stomach sometimes) and can quite forget I am preggo.

My body is starting to give in though: my feet are swelling like balloons, my hips and legs often hurt if I try and run anywhere (like for an elevator) and I do get pretty tired pretty early (which does allow for DELICIOUS 10 hour sleeps). Also, as Firework and his home are very large (all that water) and I am pretty small still (a situation I like to call ‘bloody ideal and I am glad I worked on my abs for so long’) my insides really are squished. Really squished. But again, as FW seems to be getting all the energy he needs, I am happy my appetite is controlled and I have been able not to gain a whole heap load extra so far.

Weight gain at 29 weeks: 14 lbs. Just back from a road trip though (mmmm… ice cream) so I wouldn’t hold me to that trajectory at the next update 😉

Finally

FW is breech! Which is OK for now, but I am going try spinning babies alongside being better at doing my Bradley exercises – why not?

28 weeks, 3 days looks like:

This when in clothes!

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My blogging absence…. meet Firework

Big Fat Positive

Big Fat Positive

I have been way too sporadic in my blog posts of late – and most of you know why. Welcome Firework – due November 5th. Of course, blogging seems like the ideal pregnancy activity, except that every moment not spent sleeping / fighting nausea I have spent trying to keep up to date with my work (have I managed? 90% there. I am getting better). Most people know about little Firework, but superstition stopped me revealing on my blog until 12 weeks (although the pics on facebook are somewhat of a public giveaway). Anyway –  a blogger’s tradition and a little Q&A to meet Firework.

Dates

LMP was January 30th, Firework was conceived on Feb 14th, and I found out I was pregnant 6 days before my next period on Feb 24th.

Why I tested so early?

Because it was Wes’ birthday 🙂

How I found out 

Well, I had had some weird early pregnancy symptoms – a 4-day headache, a pain in my lower back like I had been kicked, and my *ahem* went a weird dark red /purple colour (yes! really! it freaked me out and I was like ‘is this normal? Did it always look like this? Surely I would have noticed?’), plus I felt a pretty sharp implantation pains (I always feel ovulation as well). I knew the very earliest I could test fell on Wes’ birthday, so I figured: why not? It was the first month we had tried, so I bulk bought a pack of pregnancy tests, promising myself that when I got the inevitable negative I wouldn’t test until I was late, and then not again until I was late the following month. I didn’t tell Wes as I didn’t want to seem like a ‘crazy baby lady’ 🙂

Woke up before Wes on his birthday – POAS (peed on a stick) – put it down, set a timer and made myself leave the room. When the timer went off came back, and could not believe I saw a (very faint) pink line..

Barely visible first test (yes, I still have it)

Barely visible first test (yes, I still have it)

How I told Wes

I waited until he woke up, then found him drinking milk straight from the carton. I just went up to him and said “You know how we aren’t doing presents until later? I have an early one for you” and showed him the stick

What Wes said

He was overjoyed. Said it was definitely the best birthday ever. We are not really criers, plus were in a bit of shock. He smiled and was happy and asked how I was feeling (which back then was pretty normal).

How Wes has been

Awesome. He was cooking me dinner every night until I started throwing it up. He asks me every single night if there is anything he can bring me (and will travel for random stuff) and is more than happy to run about after me, just because I “can’t be bothered to get off the sofa”. It’s kinda true what they say: women become mothers when they are pregnant, men become fathers when the baby is born. It is so true, but it works, because while I worry and fuss about the baby, Wes worries and fusses about me. He hates seeing me sick, and can’t do enough to make me more comfortable. He’s a great father-to-be.

Emotional meltdowns:

Just three (I think that is less than usual). One: Early on when I was trying to let a drunk Wes into the house and I was struggling to find the key on his ring and he said “it’s the same as on yours” which was absolutely. the. meanest. thing. ever. Luckily some rational part of my brain decided that perhaps there were worse things, and before Wes could see I ran to the back of the house to ‘read in peace’ i.e. sob myself to sleep.

Two: I walked to breakfast with my friend Stella, giving a small heave on the way. They said the wait for breakfast was 40 mins, I was not happy but agreed. After 1 hour of waiting I put my head between my legs and sobbed uncontrollably. Stella took it well – offered me chocolate and space – and we were seated pronto. I got my ginger pancakes and all was well.

Three: I went into the boot (trunk) of the car and the lid-thing came down and hit – OK, tapped – me on the head. I started crying and didn’t stop for 40 minutes at the whole injustice of the thing. Wes remained calm, amazing sympathetic (if slightly bemused) and bought me crepes.

My parents:

Have been awesome. So excited – Mum is knitting a shawl and when I mentioned that I was waiting for payday to buy new bras that fit, my dad (DAD)whispered to my Mum and she said “we’ll get you some”. They have sent out  Dairy Milk, and my Dad (I repeat: DAD) rummaged around BHS for 32E bras for me 🙂

How the first trimester has been

Shiiiiiiiity (pardon my french). The first 6 weeks were fine – a lot of tiredness and mild nausea that just made me feel nice and pregnant and I thought was cool. I was actually more productive at work as I had stopped training for the 1/2 marathon when I found out (yes…. this is why I didn’t run) and was well rested. Then the real morning sickness hit, and I couldn’t keep liquids down, was throwing up at home, at work, out of the car…. I couldn’t focus at work, as I was just fighting waves of nausea…. I couldn’t keep down protein or vegetables, only cake, pasta, fries, bread, some cheese – which made me miserable. Then the Dr convinced me to take anti-emetics and my life came back. Now I am tired and sometimes nauseous, but my life is back. Now I quite enjoy it.

Exercise / eating

Yeah… I had this plan that I would go fully paleo when pregnant. Not at option when you can’t keep protein of veggies down. I also couldn’t therefore really lift, and after this epidemiological study decided not to run. Yes, Dr.s do say that it is fine to keep running, if your body is used to it, and yes, there have been many women who ran throughout pregnancy with wonderful, healthy pregnancies. And I applaud any women who decides to keep her fitness routine going. It is a personal choice and seemed to me that you were told not to run if your pregnancy was ‘high risk’ – however it also seemed to me that you only know if you are ‘high risk’ if you have signs of impending miscarriage, and sadly, by then, sometimes it is too late. So, for the first trimester only, as I didn’t know if there were any problems with the pregnancy or not, it was swimming only weeks 6-10. Now I have added heavy lifting back in (slightly lower weight for things like squats, absolutely no compromise in form, and no lifts above the head), and with my ob/gyn’s clearance will go back to running, doing couch to 5 K, hopefully this week.

Oh, and diet. Honestly? Atrocious. I crave carbs and sweets and often it is the only thing that quells the nausea. I start with a super healthy breakfast and so my best to stay that way – but I tail off when the nausea hits again.

Weight gain

1.5 – 2 lbs. Hopefully no muscle mass loss, as my strength has not taken a hit. That being said, I am a whale very early on bump-wise though – check out how quickly my belly ‘popped’.

5 weeks - 134 lbs

5 weeks - 134 lbs

11 weeks - 135.5 lbs

12 weeks - 135.5 / 136 lbs. How did this shoot out??

Scans

We got 2 scans, one at 8 weeks where we saw the heartbeat (and Firework looked like a squished frog). This was when we chose to tell everyone.

Squished froglet

And today, we had a nuchal scan (all looked good) at 12 weeks. Apparently I have a huge uterus – every u/s technician comments on it. It wasn’t always big, just grew very quickly. It’s a good thing – lots of room for Firework to move around. But Firework chose today to scrunch his / herself into the very smallest corner and hide away. The u/s technician tried to goad Firework into moving, but poking my abdomen repeatedly with probes and fingers, but this just made Firework scrunch up and hide even more and kick his / her legs (which was incredibly cute) while sucking his / her thumb (ditto on the cuteness). Firework is like Daddy: shy and likes to hide out in their own space. My invasive / exhibitionist genes are not showing yet 🙂

Scrunched child

Cravings:

Loads: berries with cream, mini eggs from Britain, ketchup, donuts (so bad for donuts), buffalo wings, oranges, ketchup, watermelon, ketchup, chips (fries) with malt vinegar and ketchup. More Ketchup.

Best thing I have bought for pregnancy so far:

My belly band is pretty rocking. But I am in love with a rented doppler. I was told not to get it, as some people say it is impossible to hear the heartbeat on your own early, or to distinguish it from other sounds such as your own heartbeat, or your pelvic blood flow. I called the company, and they said that if you are slim, you can hear it from 10 weeks – and it was just $25 a month, so I went for it. I heard the heartbeat the first night! It was easy to distinguish my sounds from Firework’s: my heartbeat and thus blood flow is 66 bpm – Firework’s is over 140! It is a little harder to distinguish between Firework’s blood flow and Firework’s heart beat, but hear you have 2 options: (1) listen for two separate but similar sounds or (2) accept that both are equally signs of a healthy baby. I didn’t use it too often – not a good idea in the first trimester, but lest there are any doubters, I did listen to the heartbeat and measure it as 154 bpm – and the Dr measured it as 155. So – proof that for me it worked. Here is little Firework’s heartbeat 🙂