Friday, May 25, 2012

24 Weeks & 2 Days: Bed Rest Day 30

I have survived one month on bedrest!!! Go me!! Hopefully 3 more months to go :) 24 Weeks is also a first goal of most on bed rest... viability, meaning a healthy baby has a chance of survival born at this age. This isn't my first goal however, my first goal is surpassing Emoree's gestational age at birth (33 weeks & 4 days), but this baby needs to be at least 5lbs! This week has been a little easier... my friend Nicole took me out to lunch one day, and I've also picked up an old computer game which is my absolute favorite... Might & Magic 6. The game is 15-20 years old but still pretty awesome, and keeps me entertained for hours home alone.

I had an appointment on Wednesday, my only doctor's appointment this week!! It was supposed to be just for a cervix length check and a visit with the fetal cardiologist, but it turned out to be hours longer. First off, cervix length is good... back up to approx 2.5-2.6cm!!! Fetal cardiology went well, they mentioned they are keeping check on her aortic pressure to make sure something doesn't close off, not sure what that was about, but this week it looked good. Also, Anya weighs approximately 1 lb 4 oz!!!! Right on target for her gestational age. No pictures this week, she was facing back, little stinker!

My appointment was extended with a visit upstairs to Labor & Delivery. During my ultrasound, I mentioned to the fetal cardiologist that I am in between transferring OBs right now, and I think I have a UTI, so I was asking what she reccomended I do since I know UTIs left untreated (besides being painful) can lead to pre-term contractions, so they took me up to L&D. They put me on a contraction monitor, and decided to do a straight cath draw (ow!!) to test for a UTI. Turns out I don't have a UTI, so no explanation for my symptoms (which is alot better now, thankfully!), but they did leave me on the contraction monitor for over 3 hours because for the first 1.5hrs I was having small contractions every 10 minutes. They also manually checked my cervix twice, once when I was having the regular contractions, then again after they stopped to make sure there was no change in my cervix. They said it was soft, but closed. After 1.5 hours of every 10 minute contractions, they slowed down to about every 12-17 minutes, then finally stopped and they left me on the monitor for another hour to make sure they were gone before they sent me home. I also got to meet my new OB who happened to be in L&D that day, so she stopped in to meet me. My first appointment with her is June 4th. They also talked about doing steroid shots, to help with lung maturity, but that can wait a few weeks because this baby needs to get bigger first!!

Since my cervix length was better this week, and as long as I don't have any more contractions or pressure pain... I get to go to Ocean City, MD tomorrow!!!! Just one night, but that is enough for me to sit on a bench on the boardwalk and eat my Thrasher's fries w/ apple cider vinegar, while watching Emoree run around on the play equipment on the sand on the beach. Very excited!!!! Since I can't really do anything... I'm taking my SLR camera with me and Emoree will love to be my model :) If I tell her I am taking birthday pictures of her she will love it... after all, her birthday is in 5 days!!! She knows we are going on a trip, but she doesn't know where we are going yet. She will probably guess it though, because she talks about Ocean City all of the time.

24 Weeks: 191 lbs (+2.4 lbs)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

23 Weeks: Bed Rest Day 21

No pictures this week. The ultrasound tech I had today kind of sucked, and she couldn't get a decent shot of Anya's face. Good news is, my cervix measurement was 2.3cm today, so a step in the right direction. I thought all was okay, until the tech came back in and said the doctor wanted to see me. My first thought was, what could be wrong now? The doctor came in, and said that at their last team meeting there was a debate on whether or not to do a cervical cerclage on me, weighing the benefits against the risks. They really only have less than a week to actually put a cerclage in, based on my baby's gestation because 24 weeks is basically the cutoff. Even at this point, there is an increased risk of perforating my bladder, breaking the amniotic sac, and risk of infection. If I had a cerclage and went into preterm labor, there is a risk of uterine rupture with steady contractions. He also said with my unicornuate uterus, the baby is going to run out of room sooner anyway which will lead to pre term labor, and a cerclage will not prevent that. So at this point, I have no idea of they are actually going to do it...

I told them I had two tiny, irregular contractions yesterday, but nothing today. They put me on the contraction monitor for 20 minutes, and I did not have any contractions. They also decided that since my cervix is difficult to scan, they decided to do a pelvic exam to make sure my cervix wasn't softening or effacing. They tried to call my new OB that I have not seen yet to do it, but she was in L&D so she sent a resident. Luckily, my cervix was firm and closed. I guess I am lucky that for the health of my baby, I don't feel violated by multiple people probing and prodding me...

I've been a little depressed this week and very much stir crazy. I haven't had the urge to crochet. I had a down day yesterday, back to mourning that I will never get the chance to bring a healthy baby home from the hospital (at the same time I get discharged). I also just want to go out somewhere... And am very much looking forward to going out to lunch tomorrow with my Courtney!

Next appt is next Wednesday at 8AM, cervix check and fetal cardiology...

23 Weeks: 192.2 lbs (+3.6 lbs, from 3 weeks on bed rest!)

Friday, May 11, 2012

22 Weeks & 2 Days: Bed Rest Day 16

Just a quick update today! I had my 2nd cervix length check for the week this morning, and it is measuring 2.0-2.1cm! A lot better than Wednesday, when I was measuring 1.5cm (worse than I thought, I had seen 1.7cm!). So things are looking a little better today! Fluid around baby looks good too, and she is still head down, pressing her head right against my cervix (the tech tried nudging her to get her to move up a little!)

I am going to have a photo album full of pictures for this kid, before she is even born!!! To date, I have 18 ultrasound pictures of her. They have been printing me 2D & 3D pics everytime now :) The one on top she has cord across her face which slightly distorted the right side. The bottom left is a 3D image with her arm in her face, and the bottom right is a 2D profile image (head on the right, abdomen on the left).

I finished my work in progress from Wednesday, this light yellow hat is soo soft! It is one I plan to donate to the NICU. This is really easy to make and I may just make a few more like it with the rest of the yarn.

And a thank you to my favorite Michele, who came to visit me yesterday and brought me some yummy cupcakes she made!!! Thanks!!! <3

I decided to do a belly pic today too :-P

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

22 Weeks: Bed Rest Day 14

22 weeks pregnant today, and week 2 of bed rest. I hope I can make it another 15-16 weeks! I woke up to Anya kicking like crazy this morning, and that was pretty awesome. She never stops moving!

I had my glucose test on Monday, and just found out a few minutes ago that I failed the 1 hour test :( I have to call back to schedule the 3 hour test, which I will probably fail as well. I probably do have gestational diabetes, it would add just another "exciting, terrifiying" twist to this pregnancy! Monday was also my last visit with my old OB, so he copied my chart and gave the copies to me to take to my new OB next month.

This morning I had an appointment with fetal cardiology at UMMS, and a cervix length check. The ultrasound of Anya went well, her heart hasn't changed any. She "waved" hi (first pic), and was covering her face in the second :) She weighs about 1 lb now! Her heart rate was a good 151bpm. The tech said my amniotic fluid looked good, and Anya is still hanging out head down, like she has been for the last two weeks. After the measurement scan, they did my cervix length scan. I could tell right away, and I could tell the tech looked worried. Last week she said my measurement was 2.3cm, she looked up my scans to verify. Today, I measured at a scary 1.7cm. She asked me if I had been feeling pressure, and I said yes I did for a short amount of time yesterday. The next thing she said was even scarier... She said they were probably going to send me upstairs to L&D to monitor me for preterm labor. She left the room for what felt like forever, then came back and led me down the hall. They put me on a contraction monitor in office for 20 minutes, and in that time I did have one small contraction. The lady monitoring me wasn't concerned about that, ecspecially since I barely felt it. I thought it was just Anya rolling around and pressing on my skin, because it only felt a tiny bit tight. After being monitored, I waited an hour to see the fetal cardiologist. She did a quick heart scan, then told me to come back in two days for another cervix check, that we could not wait a whole week.

While I was there, they also set up my weekly cervix length appointments for the next six weeks, later in May I also see the pediatric cardiologist again, possibly the surgeon again, and I get to tour the NICU in a few weeks too! I have at least 12 appointments at UMMS in the next 7 weeks.

They also got a good "girl parts" shot for me today too :)

So what am I doing while on bed rest? Mostly, sitting in the recliner or laying in bed. I do get up frequently to pee, because it feels like my bladder puts pressure on my cervix if there is anything in it. I have been crocheting a lot. I've made a few things for friends (not pictured, since they haven't seen them yet, and some do read this blog!) and I am working on baby hats to donate to the NICU. I have made a few things for Anya too <3 I am not "cheating" and driving at all anymore, I am instead working out other arrangements for Emoree to be picked up from school.

We had to cancel our Ocean City trip completely :( I can't be in the car that long, or be that far away from home/hospital for an extended amount of time. Taking Emoree to the zoo for her birthday is still pending, I will rent a wheelchair at the zoo. I can't believe my baby will be 4 years old in 3 weeks! She is very much looking forward to her birthday party, she talks about it everyday. I have help to make it happen, since I can't set it up myself! I get to sit and tell people what to do, and I must say I am pretty good at that :)

I have been crocheting a lot lately :) Above is all of my yarn for baby projects!! All of it is baby yarn or simply soft (my favorite!) yarn. And below are a few of my completed projects:

This is my first loom knit blanket, it is small (about 25"x 25") and matching hat. The blanket I made with the idea of it being a good NICU isolette blanket, or car seat blanket. I also made Emoree a matching one too in a child size (not pictured).

This is my first loom knit hat <3

I made this one two weeks ago with scrap yarn I had left over.

I made this one yesterday... I actually made two (the other one is going to a special heart mom I know). I love this one!!! I saw a similar one on etsy and had to recreate it myself.

Three hats I've crocheted so far to donate to the NICU.

Last one, this is my work in progress. This is while it is still on the knit loom, it is going to be a baby hat for NICU donation, a little more than half way complete.

I might post a quick update on Friday after my cervix check!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

21 Weeks & 2 Days: Found a little hope...

After a long, emotional, depressing weekend last week, I found some sort of peace that I will be able to handle all of this, no matter which way the outcome turns out to be. I don't know where it came from, it could simply be that I had no more tears left to cry. It could be that I've looked into my options (and situations that aren't really options) just so that I would know the processes of what can happen, if that makes sense. If I understand what is going on, I am a little more at ease.

Earlier this week, I had my mind made up that Anya wouldn't make it. I talked about burial plans, and even layed there awake at night thinking about what I would dress her in when I had to say goodbye. I thought about her little hands and feet and how I needed to do hand prints and foot prints so I would never forget how tiny she was. Now I know I needed to have those plans in place so that I wouldn't have to think about it after the fact, if that ever were to happen...

Now I am in a much better place. Tuesday morning I got a call from the Perinatal Center that the preliminary amniocentesis results were good!! No extra chromosomal material, she has 46 chromosomes and is definitely a girl by DNA :) Yesterday morning I got a call that the micro-array test results were back, and all looked good: there are no mutations or abnormalities within her 46 perfect chromosomes! This means that her Hypoplastic Left Heart is simply a rare anomaly... that happens in 1 out of 100,000 babies, and makes up only 7-9% of all congenital heart defects.

Wednesday is about when I started feeling hopeful again. That morning I had an appointment at the Pediatric Cardiology dept at UMMS. They did another 1.5 hour fetal echocardiogram, and I got to meet one of the 7 cardiologists on the cardiology team at UMMS. She was straight forward with the facts and didn't sugar coat anything, but somehow she gave me hope that Anya can eventually have a normal life. She is just going to have a rough start. Once she comes home, typically 3-4 weeks (sparing any complications) after the Norwood procedure (1st, and most complex surgery), she will likely be on a feeding tube and I will have to monitor her weight, stats, and pulse ox daily. She is going to come home with a lot of equipment! Right now, I see the Pediatric Cardiology doctors once a month until I give birth, and then after Anya eventually comes home from the hospital they will need to see her once a week at least until her second surgery.

After meeting one of the pediatric cardiologists, the pediatric cardiac surgeon (who specializes in HLHS surgeries) was free to meet with me.. so we walked over to his office. I was happy to meet him. He showed us a 3D model of the heart and explained the surgeries to us again. He talked about his success rate, and how the national average is 75% successful, his for the Norwood procedure is 85-95%. He also mentioned there is a 10% mortality rate interstage, between the 1st and 2nd procedure. He said this number is decreasing however, with diligent home monitoring, home care nursing, and keeping up with frequent cardiology appts so that IF something goes wrong, they will know right away. For the 2nd and 3rd surgeries, he said he has never lost a baby during those surgeries. This made me feel a lot better :) I can picture us going through this now, and while it will be hard, I can do it! I asked about how he feels his success rate will vary with smaller babies, and he said he prefers babies to be over 5lbs (which is what I'm hoping for!), but if not he can do a "hybrid" procedure, where the first major open heart surgery is post-poned until the baby is a little bigger, and is kept on medications to keep the fetal shunts open for blood flow.

I had my cervix check this morning (which is why I delayed updating the blog until now), and bed rest seems to be working!!!! Two of the measurements I saw this morning said cervix length is about 2.4cm, which is stable, if not *slightly* longer than last time!!! While the tech was doing a quick heart scan before doing the cervix check, my mom asked me if we were going to go to Precious Previews (3D-4D imaging place) with this pregnancy, and I said no.. I get ultrasounds every week and I don't want to pay for 3D images... so when the tech was done scanning, she switched over to 3D and printed to facial shots for me <3 She had her hands in her face the whole time (like the one above, you can see her thumb and all her fingers!!), but then moved her hand for two seconds and we got the first one I posted, and you can see her facial features :) Her nose is a bit different than Emoree's!! (I'll have to find Emoree's 3D scans from around the same gestational age and do a comparison pic...)

So obviously I'm a lot happier now that we have a plan and know what is going on :) The inital shock has worn off. Over the weekend Emoree's Poppy painted the room where the potential nursery will be... and though I am excited about it, I'm not setting it up as a nursery until after I know Anya is coming home. For now, we are going to put Emoree's books and her bean bag chair in there, and it can be her "library".

My next appointments coming up are first on Monday, I see my old OB and do the glucose test (yuck), it is the first time I will be seeing him since the diagnosis and he wants to talk to me about it. After that is a fetal cardiology appt and cervix check on Wednesday.

I haven't weighed myself lately, my scale is downstairs and since I'm on bed rest, I'm not supposed to do steps!! My mom has been getting me McDonald's breakfast every morning before she goes to work (so that she makes sure that I'm eating, so she says), so I am sure I've gained weight this week for the first time in 20 weeks! I have "cheated" on my bed rest parameters... I pick up Emoree from daycare about 3 days a week and bring her home... but it's not like I'm up walking around the mall or anything!! That is the ONLY driving I do, my mom takes me anywhere else!

Update: I created a comparison pic!!! In these pics Emoree & Anya are 6 days apart gestationally, and look so different!!!! I assure you they ARE from the same donor and are full siblings!!