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Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

Checking in quickly here… I’ve been writing a bit elsewhere, but I miss this space and I realized how helpful it is to have the journal of my previous pregnancy experiences to look back on as I don’t remember much when I try to think back on my own.

So here we go again… 19 weeks along (I think… I can’t seem to keep track this time), due March 3rd. Definitely not the “princess pregnancy” as number one was… I sort of feel like I’m being dragged kicking and screaming into pregnancy, mostly out of fear and dread of last time’s complications.

I’ve ditched the Ashtanga for a while and I’ve become a regular at the level 2/3 vinyasa classes at a yoga studio in town. (GASP) I shudder when I think of how far I’ve strayed from my once-dedicated ashtangi roots… but I realized that one of the main reasons I fell from my yoga practice last time around was how much of the ashtanga practice you have to modify or give up as pregnancy changes the body. Primary series turns into one half-bend after another, and in my second series poses, well… there goes pasasana, shalabasana A and B, dhanurasana, bakasana b, ardha matsyendrasana, bharadvajrasana…  I was practically in a state of mourning last time around. And while there’s still several poses in the Vinyasa classes that I’m modifying or skipping completely, I don’t feel that huge sense of loss as I did with trying to continue with a daily ashtanga practice.  I’m happy where I’m at now, and I think that by keeping up with some form of a regular, physically demanding yoga practice through the next 5 months, it will be that much easier to come home to my ashtanga self-practice after March.

This time, I keep looking for the reasoning behind avoiding certain yoga poses instead of blindly adhering to the advice. Why give up handstand if you have an existing, controlled handstand practice? Why give up backbends and dropbacks if they still feel good?

On the “being pregnant” front, this whole high-risk thing sucks. I’m on weekly progesterone shots to keep the pre-term labor at bay. I was warned they “might make you a little grumpy” and HOLY HELL was I angry all day Tuesday after that shot. Could be partially placebo effect, but shit. Stay out of my way on Tuesdays from here on out until baby #2 comes in March. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll invest in some aromatherapy oils to get me through those mood swings without committing crimes of rage.

 

 

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Nothing too new to add here… Life is crazy and work is nuts and stress is always present, tying knots in my stomach and shoulders. But it’s all wonderful. Yoga practice? I took some deep breaths in the car yesterday. That was my yoga practice.

I had this moment on January 1st when I said I would do WoYoPracMo, then did really good for the first week, practicing every day, feeling sore and exhilarated and recommitted. And then I had a week of horrible back pain and stomach pain and I fell off the wagon. Again.

Not sure what’s up with the stomach… I’ve had some sort of pain basically since I was pregnant, although it was extremely localized up until the past few weeks. A tender spot about two inches below my belly button and two inches to my left. After the pregnancy, I just figured maybe it was scar tissue healing from the C-Section. Now since its been so long, I’m not so sure, so I’m getting it checked out. Yes, people. It takes me a year of discomfort before I seek medical help. A whole year.

The back pain is a combination of weakened abdominal muscles and hoisting a 20-plus-pound wiggle-worm around in ways that are definitely not orthopedist-recommended. We don’t call him Squirmin’ Herman for nothin’. Actually I’m pretty sure that the root of it all came from moving around after the surgery, as I vaguely remember this same aching in the same spot in my mid-back as I was hunched over my stitches for several weeks…

So yeah, no yoga lately. Maybe I can make the second half of January.

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hmph.

I had my first post-partum appointment with the OB yesterday.

My blood pressure was high.  I’ve always had perfect blood pressure, even through the pregnancy. After the C Section, there were a few BP checks that were a little high, but nothing too alarming.

The doctor wants to see me again next week to check my blood pressure. She asked if I had any questions.

“When can I start practicing yoga again?”

“Not until after your blood pressure drops.”

Hmph…

My placenta was very small, and she’s not sure what caused it. Could have been my body attacking the fetus from the get-go. My future pregnancies will be considered “high risk” with biweekly ultrasounds from 20 weeks on.

Future pregnancies? Hmm… Go through all this again?

Maybe we’ll adopt.

Ash is doing really well, he’s one ounce away from 6 pounds! Yesterday he took 3 full feedings in a row by bottle, followed by a really great breastfeeding session. The light is on!! The nurse said I should get my carseat installation inspected at one of the checkpoints, and anticipates that we’ll be asked to bring the seat in sometime this weekend. Once you’re asked to bring in the carseat, that’s pretty much an “any-day-now” sign, and then it’s just a matter of getting a discharge order from the NeoNatologist!

I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to bring him home. To hold him without the entrapment of all the cords and tubes, to hug him anytime I want regardless of the time of day, with or without a hospital gown between us, to sleep (or not sleep…) right next to him instead of 30 miles away. SO EXCITED.

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Welcome, Baby Ash!

Ashland Eir (pronounced “Air”)  was born Saturday, December 27 at 11:11 a.m. via Cesarean Section. He was 5 weeks premature at birth, weighed 5 lbs, 2 oz, and was 17.5 inches long.

He’s beautiful.

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So here’s the rest of the story, for those who have been following along. The results of Friday’s amnio came back, and showed that the lung development was complete. I didn’t know this at the time, but the restriction of blood flow through the cord had almost doubled since the ultrasound that was done on Monday morning, so they wanted to move things along in a hurry.

I was given Cervadil at about 6 pm on Friday night. The nurses call it a “Barbie tampon.” It’s basically a strip that they insert up next to the cervix that has a string hanging from it. Normally, you would wear it for 12 hours, and it works to soften the cervix and start contractions gently. It kicked me right into gear, and I started having contractions basically on top of each other.

They pulled the Cervadil at 8 pm, believing that labor would continue, but instead it slowed way down, and I was having contractions about 10 minutes apart through the night. They figured the next day would be a big labor day, so they gave me Ambien to have me rest.

Some time in the middle of the night, about 4 nurses rushed into the room, flipped me over, and gave me an oxygen mask. The baby’s heartrate had crashed to about 70 bpm (usually is between 120 and 160) for about a minute before slowly climbing back up. There had been a few other similar decels earlier that had caused some alarm, but the baby had always recovered very quickly. This one was a little more worrisome. They monitored me very closely for the rest of the night, without another incident.

When we woke up the next morning, the nurse came in and informed us that we would be having a C-section that day. My doctor was on vacation still, and the doctor I had seen the day before was no longer on call, so I was going to have yet another new doctor that we hadn’t met performing the operation (my 6th OB in 10 days). I had so many mixed emotions at this point. On one hand, I felt like I didn’t get much of a chance to try labor. And the doctor who was making these decisions for us hadn’t even met us or been in to read our chart for himself.  On the other hand, I was so afraid of the danger that labor could put my baby in, I was relieved for the C-Section. In hindsight, I know that if my doctor had been the one to tell me I needed a C-Section, I would have been okay with it.

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They prepped me for surgery, and I went in at about 10:30. It was all very scary to me, my first ever surgery, but the doctors and nurses were all very nice and joked and made it a very jovial and cheery place. My husband came in after they laid me out on the table, and he held my hand during the whole thing.

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I could feel all the pushing and pulling of my skin and organs, just no pain. Very weird. Then at 11:11, they pulled out a wiggly little blue thing and started singing Happy Birthday. The NICU nurses were ready, and started working on him. Almost immediately, I heard him crying. Tay went over and took pictures.

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They wrapped Ashland up in a blanket and brought him over for me to see.

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We got a quick family photo before they whisked Ash away to the NICU and finished stapling me together.

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We were both overcome with emotion. The rest is kind of a blur, but they took me away to recovery while Tay took the grandparents in one by one to see Ash. Once I could wiggle my toes, they wheeled me up to the NICU for a quick visit with the baby, and then off to our new postpartum room for some R&R time.

I didn’t get to see Ash again until the next morning.

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He’s breathing on his own, but not doing well with food. They’re feeding him through a tiny feeding tube, although he spits up much of what he’s fed. So they supplement through the tiniest IV you’ve ever seen.

Tonight was a good night. We fed him through a small bottle, some of my breast milk supplemented with some formula. He kept it all down for the second feeding in a row… I’m hoping we are turning a corner.

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Moving right along…

Today has been an eventful day so far.

I had a good morning.

We found a pull out chair for Taylor to sleep in last night, so I got to see him right away when I woke up.

The rain clouds cleared, and this morning was bright and sunny. Plus the hills are getting green.

When the nurse came to get me for my shower, she commented on how fit I was while I changed into my hospital gown (always nice to hear when you’re 8 months pregnant and have been laying in bed for a week. Plus, it offset the guilt I was feeling for eating that pound of peanut butter fudge yesterday).

I got to walk ten feet down the hall to the shower rather than being pushed in a wheelchair.

I remembered to bring my razor with me so finally got to shave the parts of my legs that I can still reach.

I found my own little way to rebel that makes me incredibly happy: After the nurse hands me my towels and I close and lock the shower door, I turn on the shower, and start marching in place. I figure by the time I finish my shower, I may have walked at least a quarter of a mile. Which is a lot, when you’ve been forced to lay in bed all day for a week. Plus, it lifts my spirits. Try it sometime. It’s completely impossible to keep a straight face while marching, naked, in your shower. Especially when you have a giant belly sticking out in front of you.

I got to walk myself back to my room rather than pulling the “help” cord and waiting for the nurse with the wheelchair.

The neonatologist came and took another ultrasound. I think I mentioned something about irregular bloodflow through the umbilical cord before. So it looks like the blood is being slightly restricted somehow through the cord. And the doctor is concerned that the later I go into labor, the less likely that the placenta will be able to support the baby through a vaginal delivery. They don’t want me to have a c-section (and they know I don’t want one if I can help it), so he took an amnio to check the lung development of the baby. The fluid was a darkish amber in color, probably due to last week’s bleeding. Not normal, but the doctor didn’t seem too concerned about it.

So now I’m awaiting the results of the amnio. If the baby looks good, then they’ll induce. Today, maybe.

I MIGHT HAVE MY BABY TODAY!

Eek!

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Merry Christmas!

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This is definitely not a “normal” Christmas for us this year. The nurses couldn’t find a cot for Taylor last night, so he slept at his parents house.  Christmas morning, I lit up the little Christmas tree my parents brought for me and ate my hospital breakfast while watching CNN. Both parents and Tay’s grandma should be here soon for our little Christmas morning. And my mom and Tay’s mom have planned to cook and bring Christmas dinner here. And that’s all we have going on.

I’ve been having small contractions since I woke up, but nothing too exciting to report in the way of baby-having progress. Which is good, I think. I would have been okay having Baby A on December 23, but I really didn’t want him to have a Christmas Eve or Christmas birthday. And since I’m not thrilled with the doctor who is on call tomorrow, I’m not really wanting to go into labor any time before the weekend.

My ultrasound is tomorrow, and that will determine what’s in store for me over the weekend… either a c-section, an induced labor, or more waiting. In the meantime, I better ask the nurse if she could help me spiffy up the room for my guests!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday filled with family and love!

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35 weeks

Yesterday morning I woke up and immediately started crying. Not a good way to start the day. I was homesick and frustrated and wanted to be in my own bed next to my husband. Even though he was sleeping on the floor right beside me, it just wasn’t close enough.

Then later that morning, I finally saw my own doctor. I could have hugged her, it was so great to see her face. She ordered some bloodwork and an ultrasound, and said that depending on the results of those, I was most likely going home that day.

I didn’t get my hopes up.

She and the ultrasound doctor came and went. The baby is looking great, however the bloodflow through the umbilical cord is irregular and that along with the low amniotic fluid makes them nervous. They left to discuss my fate, but I had been told with strong certainty that I will not be going home until the baby is born. Which may be before Christmas.

Despite the Terbutaline (found the correct name for it), I was having contractions all morning. Not extremely strong or regular, but they were there. I continued to have them through the afternoon, and finally, around 5, the nurse poked her head in and said, “The doctor is taking you off the Terb, and she’ll be in soon to see you.”

The doctor came in and here’s a summary of what she said: The baby is doing well for now, but the concern is that the womb will not be a great home for the longer term. So they are taking me off the anti-contraction meds to see how things progress on their own. If the baby responds unfavorably to my contractions, like he was a few days ago, then I might be having an emergency c-section. Otherwise, I should be able to have the natural birth I had hoped for.

I continued having contractions through the evening, about 7 minutes apart, and we were starting to get a little excited. One of the neo-natologists came in to tell us what to expect with a 35 week preemie and to answer any questions we might have. Basically, we’re over the hump, but the baby might need some help breathing. Also, there could be some issues with jaundice and with heat regulation. Feeding will possibly be a challenge as the sucking, swallowing, breathing mechanics might not be there yet. So the average 35 week old baby spends between 5 and 10 days in the NICU before going home.

My contractions came to pretty much a dead stop at about 10 last night. They started up again this morning, and are still coming about every 7 minutes or so… Now we’re just playing the waiting game. I would like to have the baby today though, because my doctor is going on vacation tomorrow and won’t be back until Monday. And she doesn’t think I’ll hold out until Monday. So think baby-having thoughts for me today, please!

We went to sleep last night and were awoken at 3:30 this morning and were told we needed to switch rooms. This is a very busy time on the L&D floor. Apparently many folks induce labor at this time of year to get the tax deductions for 2008 or to have the baby before Christmas, so I’m now sharing a room with a very nice woman who needs all of your good thoughts a lot more than I do. She’s just 21 weeks with twins, and one of the twin’s sacs ruptured 5 weeks ago and is leaking fluid. They’re fighting the clock, trying to get the babies as much time in the womb as possible, but now she’s beginning to have contractions…

So send her some baby-staying thoughts. But keep sending me the baby-having thoughts too. 🙂

I still haven’t done my Christmas shopping. 😦

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