Monday, July 30, 2012

Finally done! Fickle 15 months, and viability week.

Just finished my last final today. My other 2 classes were extremely successful (as in my final grades were over 100...god bless community college and their extra credit.) My final today, I didn't need to do very well on to earn an A, so I didn't study, grade has not yet been posted but I'm pretty certain I pulled it off.

This concludes my pre-reqs- EVERYTHING- for the sonography program with the small exception that I need to pass a math test in lieu of taking college algebra again. I'm planning to start studying for that over the next couple weeks. It's been 10 years (!) since I took college algebra so I'm definitely rusty, but I did get an A and I'm fairly sure I can pull it off. If not, I'll try to get put on the waiting list anyway and take it online in the winter semester...which I would really rather not do.

Luke had his 15 month appointment Friday. He was in a bad mood and cried for most of it. But otherwise, he's right on track and doing very well. He has about 7 words, "hi" (saved for rare occasions like at 5 am when I'm sleeping), "bye", "that", "dog", "ma", "da", "stop" (my mom swears he's said this, now that I think of it, I say it a lot, so not that surprising), he has stopped saying "bad" to dogs in lieu of "dog" and "that", but bad used to be his favorite word so it apparently counts.  He's 27 pounds of gigantic baby (82%ile) and 33.75 inches (97%ile for height), so apparently it's not our imagination- the kid is tall. Last time his weight had dropped to like 50-something % when it has always been between 70's-90's before, so our ped was actually happy it came back up.

This is a tough age. It was my least favorite age group out of all of them when I worked in daycare. They are old enough to have their own Opinions, about almost everything, but too young to really be reasoned with or discipline much. Luke can go from a happy, laughing kid one minute, to pointing "that" at a bag of veggie chips..and no, he doesn't want A chip or a handful of chips, he wants to walk around with the entire bag. I try giving him a cup or ziplock bag with several chips, but that's not what he wanted "that!" bag of chips...cue throwing body on the floor and screaming because man oh man, we are cruel. We are averaging 2 or 3 meltdowns a day.

I reached the 24 week mark Friday. My back had been doing really really well considering how much I have to pick up Luke, but the last few days it's called uncle and has been hurting pretty bad. I'm probably just going to have to tough it out because I can't not change his diaper or put him in the carseat or whatever. I am trying to limit it though. Other than my back, (which honestly, is impressive that I made it this far without it hurting), nothing suspicious or dramatic to report. The baby moves a lot when Luke is laying draped across me and Luke is pretty much oblivious to it other than he has a fascination for looking at my belly.  So I guess we need to really start getting ready for this baby soon. We just had another name disagreement in the car, where Joe ruled out ALL names that start with a B, if we are going to use the middle name Joseph, because of the initials. I think that's dumb. So we will probably be naming this kid in the hospital.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

22 weeks updates

On Monday I saw my OB who was very happy with how everything is going. My blood pressure was normal and everything else seems relatively normal too. (I'm not crazy about the heartburn I keep getting, or how my feet keep swelling, BUT it is like the hottest July ever and I'm chasing around Luke all day who is not exactly sedate. And I had plenty of heartburn when I was pregnant with Luke. This is definitely *not* upper right quadrant pain, so I am not going to let it stress me out.)

Tuesday I had my growth ultrasound. I was 22 weeks and 4 days. Most of the baby's measurements were around 23 weeks and a few days. Even almost 3 years later, I still hold my breath a little as they do each measurement. I was 22 weeks and 3 days when I had my last growth ultrasound with Olivia. Her measurements were in the 18 and 19 week range. Since I haven't had an ultrasound in a month, I knew it was all too possible that this baby had slowed down growing too.

I didn't *really* think his growth is an issue at least for now, because I've gotten bigger, and I'm feeling his movements more strongly. I never really felt Olivia move very well, and I hardly even looked pregnant with her.  (In fact, one day shortly before I delivered, one of my co-workers commented on it. "I was just walking down the hall and seeing you standing there and was thinking, "I can't even tell she's pregnant".) But still, I remember going into that last ultrasound by myself with her, expecting everything to be normal, and even though the tech didn't/couldn't say anything except had me wait for the doctor, I could tell it wasn't good, that all of the measurements were way behind where they should have been. In some ways, that feels like a lifetime ago. And in some moments, especially when I am sitting there on the ultrasound table irrationally waiting to see if the baby is still alive (considering he had just kicked me) and if he was going to be big "enough", even in a different place with a different ultrasound tech almost 3 years later, it can seem so deja vu. Nothing like a pregnancy to remember some of the worst moments of your life.

ANYWAY, like I already mentioned, his growth is just fine. Almost everything is slightly ahead. There was one measurement that was *slightly* behind, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the heck they were measuring. It had the acronym/abbreviation of CER and it looked like they were measuring bumps on his head. (Which initially freaked me out a bit because I was thinking they were cysts or something). I have decided that there must not have been cysts because A) the tech didn't say anything looked abnormal. B) Everything looked so normal that the doctor didn't even stop in to talk to me. (We had Luke with us who was getting antsy, so I was more than happy to not wait for the doctor if they were just gonna say "looks good, see ya in a month." A quick google search tells me the "cer" may have been a measurement of the cerebellum but that doesn't seem right to be either except for that it was in his head. Anyway, that only measured 22 weeks and 1 day, but I've never even seen that measured before, and from having an extremely growth restricted baby, I know that's nothing to worry about. (I would NOT have been that laidback about it with Luke, probably, but luckily he never measured behind at all. In fact by this point he was a good 2 weeks ahead for almost everything.) The baby's estimated weight was 1 lb 7 oz, pretty good for 22 weeks, almost double Olivia's birth weight of 10.5 oz a week later. (And while I know ultrasounds can be notoriously inaccurate for growth, they were pretty accurate with both my pregnancies. Olivia was estimated to be 11 or 12 ounces. )
So here we go. Another week of normal, I will take it. We are getting very close to "viability". By this time with Olivia, so much was going wrong..her growth, the pain, the quad screen. All still normal, so I feel pretty confident we'll at least make it another month.

My OB wanted to get our repeat c-section on the schedule. I know my MFM was leaning towards skipping an amnio this time and delivering at 37 weeks exactly. Either option has it's risks. The amnio last time made my water break and it was not exactly very fun either. I am not that crazy about waiting an entire extra week and risking uterine rupture, but I know I will be closely monitored, and I know the risks of rupture are pretty low, and most importantly, my OB was really really happy with how the scar looked when she delivered Luke. (They aren't really worried about the normal c-section scar I had with Luke opening, they are more worried about vertical incision from Olivia-which will have had 3 years to heal by late September.) Plus, I am hoping that maybe breastfeeding will be a little easier and maybe we can avoid jaundice or at least limit it more by waiting a week to deliver. Delivering at 37 weeks with no amnio to make sure his lungs are ready makes me a little nervous too, and I am probably going to try to talk them into giving me steroids for the baby's lungs for "just in case". 37 weeks is the limit either way, so there's no point in doing an amnio if we wait till then, baby has to come out. So anyway, right now my OB has me on the schedule for the day I am 37 weeks exactly, October 26th. (Which would be cool if it worked out, Olivia was born on the 28th, Luke the 27th, this baby the 26th--all different months though hopefully.) If anything starts acting up medically or labor-wise (MFM does not want me to have contractions *at all*, OB is more mellow about that as long as there aren't more than one an hour), we'll deliver sooner. We are 0 for 2 with babies arriving on schedule (although Luke was only 5 hours early), so we will see how it goes.

I am also scheduled at a different hospital this time. With Luke, I was too nervous to deliver anywhere BUT the "Baby Factory" with a Level III NICU. With Olivia, I started out at a different hospital, and was transferred to the Baby Factory in an ambulance. Delivering Luke there and delivering Olivia there were totally different experiences. With Luke, I walked in the door and headed up the elevators while Joe parked (I didn't feel like waiting for him in the lobby with my water leaking, somehow he beat me there anyway). Even though there was something redeeming and healing about leaving the same hospital with Luke, that we didn't get to leave with Olivia, I didn't like a lot of the baby doctors or crap that they did. Like take 2 floors worth of babies to the nursery when the pediatrician was due in, undress them and let them scream their faces off while they waited for the pediatrician to check them over, assembly-line style. Luke was gone to be "checked over" by the pediatrician for easily 2 hours. Then the (in house) pediatrician would eventually come to our room and be a jerk about breastfeeding and jaundice.(I am still contemplating getting a new pediatrician who does hospital rounds, too.) I know those are not big things compared to how it would have been if we had had NICU time, but still, if I make it 34+ weeks, I would rather my baby be one of a few in a smaller NICU where they have pretty minor issues, than one of many with micropreemies and everything. I think it's going to be a little hard, somewhat of a trigger, to go back to that hospital where we started oh so naively with Olivia. I have only been back there once since (unlike the Baby Factory where I go ALL.THE.TIME).  But I think this place will be better and it will be nice to have one nurse for both me and the baby, little stuff like that. So, that's the tentative plan. Fingers crossed that it actually happens this way, this time, all normal and scheduled-like.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lots of Luke pictures

So these days, Luke likes climbing.

This probably was a bad idea to buy him. We thought it was being smart, giving him something appropriate to climb on, and while he does LOVE it, and spends a lot of time on it every day (why yes, it is in living room), it actually seems to have encouraged his climbing in general. (This picture is not recent, like April.) He also manages to find and hide all sorts of interesting things in there. If we are missing the remote or keys or a cell phone, we check in there first.

Also still a huge fan of all dogs. He especially adores tormenting our husky as often as he can, including climbing in the dog crate with him (which is big enough for both of them, comfortably, although we always pull Luke out much to his annoyance.) He is not used to dogs that aren't his size or bigger, and he is fearless around them.

We are into everything, all the time. Guess who found some ketchup and decided to help himself to a snack?

Visiting Olivia on Mother's day. (Yeah, it's been a long time since I've uploaded pictures!)

 Fridge magnets are a favorite toy.

And ravioli is a favorite food. (Bonus is he gets a bath after eating it, and he loves baths.)

We went to the zoo a couple weeks ago, when it was "only" 97 degrees out.

(Looking at the monkeys)

Watching the prarie dogs with Joe.

The new sea lion exhibit

Trying to escape.

(Disclaimers: Joe is responsible for this, I was in the bathroom. And there was no way he was squeezing his body through there, that was as close as he got. And there were no animals or exhibits on the other side of that fence, it was just a purely decorative area with plants.)
Clapping his approval for the prarie dogs.

Sweaty boys cooling off in the penguin hosue before we decided to leave.

And then last night we were going to go to my brother's baseball game, except it got canceled. We were only 2 minutes away by the time my dad called me to tell me it was canceled (a scheduling error, they had no umpires, so all the teams and everyone showed up and they didn't know it was canceled till game time.) I decided to just go and let Luke play on the playground for awhile anyway, until it got too dark or he got too tired or the mosquitos got bad. It got dark before he got tired.

Climbing up the slide. (Last week he climbed this slide on his own. But his shoes yesterday were too slippery for it and plus my dad is way too neurotic to even let him try.)

I also have a bunch of short videos...

Playing with my family's very old dog on the 4th of July.

Making a phone call. (He always puts phones/remotes/electronics on his shoulder like that to "talk")

Playing last night. Most of our playground fun is running up and down the ramp.

Okay that's all!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

God bless you

On Tuesday, Luke and I went on a store run to pick up a few groceries and misc. crap.  Luke has recently decided that he is 100% against being strapped in high chairs and carts. Thankfully he is MUCH better about going in the carseat most of the time- my new minivan seems to help with that, I think he can maybe see out the window better or I don't know. Whatever the deal is, all of a sudden he stopped the wrestling matches to get him buckled in the car which is freaking AWESOME considering it is July and wrestling a (screaming and surprisingly strong) 14 month old in his car seat when I am 21 wks pregnant and it is 108 degrees outside is really not my idea of a good time. So anyway, I guess the trade off of carseat compliance is noncompliance elsewhere.
So anyway, I immediately wrestled him into the cart and got him strapped in. Which made him scream but it was short lived because thankfully he is easily redirected with a 1-year old attention span. But about 10 minutes in, he decided to try to stand up (which he can always manage to do once he decides that's the plan, no matter how tight we get the strap), well this time I managed to get it so he couldn't stand up, but he did get his chubby leg wedged up which looked really uncomfortable and was making him mad. So I unbuckled the strap for half a second to free his leg and he pounced on that second to stand up and be carried. I thought I was almost done so tried to shop carrying him for a few minutes but ugh, that's exhausting. So back in the cart he goes, screaming and stiffening his body to thwart my plans, but I managed to get him strapped back in and entertained him by handing him a box of applesauce pouches. Happy again, babbling away and people watching.
As we were shopping, an older woman started talking to Luke and then me, asking how old he is, the usual stuff. (Thankfully not if he was the first or how many. I think people just assume in the summer when you are out over the summer with a young child in the middle of the day that it's the only.) Then she eyed me, "And you are expecting another one?" (Yep, guess it's obvious now for sure.)

I said yes but didn't offer anymore info because talking to random strangers in stores is not my idea of a blast and it can get into dangerous territory quickly when you have had your first baby die and are pregnant ("so you are due soon?" type crap.)

Surprisingly, she smiled at me and said, "Oh. It will be hard at first but so much fun when they are older! God bless you." And then she said, "I can tell you are a good mom because he's so laidback sitting there so nicely." (Hahaha.) I laughed and told her a few minutes before he had been screaming his displeasure about sitting in the cart, but thanks. She smiled and again said, "God bless you." and we pretty much parted ways. Somehow it rubbed off on me as a "glad it's not me/good luck" comment, which we haven't gotten too much of yet. I also sometimes kind of feel like I need to point out that we did this on purpose (although at least once or twice a day I wonder what we were thinking, usually when Luke's having a big fit). I know it's going to be hard. And I know we are super lucky.

Friday, July 6, 2012

21 wks

I pretty much am sucking this pregnancy. I didn't do a good job at taking belly pics with Olivia,but  I did them every week with Luke,and this time I've hardly even had time to think about it.  Oh well. FYI, I look pregnant. Luke and I were in Buy Buy Baby last week and even though I didn't really buy anything new baby related (water shoes for Luke), she was talking to him and said "oh are you going to be a big brother?" Thankfully, yes, I am not just looking fat, but I was kinda surprised she mentioned it, seems like it still could be risky territory especially since I was there with a 1 year old. (But at my brother's baseball game a week later, the lady we were talking to who lost her daughter seemed genuinely surprised, maybe because I was sitting the whole time though.) So I guess I am obviously showing, at least to some people.

It's still hard for me to wrap my head around that at this point with Olivia, I only had 2 weeks left. And at this point with Luke, I had almost finished packing my hospital bag. I just didn't know what to expect, but I did know that the baby would have to come out sometime in a hospital and that Joe sucked at packing stuff for me,(to be fair, his options were limited), but whether it was at 22 weeks or 36 weeks, I was going to want some stuff.  (Joe did better when I unexpectedly ended up there with the hand saga but thank goodness for my mom too.) Also, I think I partly did it for mental reasons. Olivia came when I didn't have a bag packed and delivering soon didn't even cross my mind when we went in to the hospital. I literally went in with my purse and a trashy romance novel. With Luke, I was hoping that maybe having a bag packed early would mean I wouldn't need it. That worked out well enough. This time, packing a bag is going to have to wait. I certainly don't have enough clean laundry at the moment to throw anything in a bag to sit there for x weeks (hopefully x months). And with a midterm this weekend and then two tests next week plus a toddler intent on destroying our house, packing a hospital bag is pretty low on my things that I need to do list. By August, my classes will ALL be done, so hopefully the hospital bag can wait that long. I am relatively confident that it will, although any sort of confidence makes me a little nervous like maybe if I trust this too much, something will go wrong, better to not actually expect to go home with a new baby in late Oct. just yet, we have a long way to go. So yeah, for all my talk of being more relaxed this time (and I am, by like a hundred times), there are definitely ALWAYS lingering doubts and nervousness. The nice thing is I don't really have the same time to dwell on it all like I did with Luke. Also, this is the point where they can't do much of anything, close to viability, but not there yet. Whatever happens the next few weeks with this pregnancy is largely out of my control regardless of how much I stress about it. I am ready to skip July this year, it's so fricking HOT and miserable, I want to be done with school, I want to be able to take Luke outside, I want to watch the Olympics, and most of all, I want to be at/past 24 weeks and still pregnant.  That's not too much to ask, I think.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Misc. updates

So at Luke's one year well baby visit (which was, um, 2 months ago...) they gave me the lab slip to get his iron levels checked and some standard thing for lead poisoning too. He had a bad cold that day so I wasn't compounding his misery with needles. (In fact, we had to go back for a shot or two a couple weeks later because I didn't want him getting them while he had a cold.) Then I ended up in the hospital and dealing with the hand saga, and then school started, and whatever, here we are two months later and I still haven't done it. (His pediatrician did tell me I could just get it done anytime before his 15 month appointment, but that's actually at the end of this month.) Anyway, yesterday we sucked it up and did it. Everybody says that shots are horrible but Luke generally does okay with them. But this, this sucked bigtime. It seemed like it took FOREVER for the two small vials of blood to fill while Luke *for real* cried with tears streaming down his cheeks. I managed to not cry (and I am pretty proud of that), but still, oh man that sucked. Hopefully we won't have to do it ever again. I told Joe next time he's doing it. (Although whenever Luke is crying, I want to be the one to hold him, so I probably wouldn't actually let Joe take him anyway.)
He is turning into such a little boy. He likes dancing and shaking his butt to the music on commercials or when it comes on tv (especially thanks to his Aunt Brooke who has encouraged and tutored him in butt shaking on the days when they watch him while I'm in school.) He climbs on everything, constantly, and is fearless. He is pretty tough, the other night at the baseball game he fell walking on concrete and didn't even so much as whimper, he got back up and resumed collecting sticks. Luke is pure boy, and loves all things sticks and rocks, dirt and mud. I managed to keep him contained and occupied for an hour at the baseball game in his stroller, but towards the end it was either let him out or leave because he was DONE sitting confined. I gave him my empty soda cup and he proceeded to spend the rest of the game sitting on the ground in a pile of dirt, putting sticks in the cup and "stirring" them around, occassionally stopping to clap his hands when he felt like it. ( He also really likes to clap, and sometimes during the game when no one is clapping at all, he would stand up and start clapping. It is awesome.)

  He also LOVES books, which of course I love as a former English teacher. He is constantly looking at books by himself or bringing us a book to read to him. His attention span is still really short so the books are pretty blah for the most part, except for the book about balls that makes me giggle a little. (It's called "Elmo loves balls". And goes something like "balls balls balls! Elmo loves balls! Balls can be big or small! Some balls are round, some balls are not..." Yes, I am immature.)

 Luke still calls all dogs "bad" which sounds like "ba" and points his finger at them. Occassionally we will be somewhere and he'll point at a person and say "ba", luckily only we know what he is saying. Even though he calls dogs bad he loves them and is fearless around them, which is not necessarily a good thing.

I saw my MFM (high risk doctor) on Monday. Blood pressure and everything was good. I've gained a bunch of weight but am not really swollen so she's not too worried about it. (Uh, I've been eating a lot of ice cream.) I don't have to go back and see her for 6 weeks, which is really nice. The only downside was she said she doesn't really want me outside unless I'm in a pool or walking to my car. Not that I am all that crazy about BEING outside when it's 108 degrees anyway. But Luke LOVES all things outside and could care less how hot it is. So we'll see how that goes. (That night I went to my brother's baseball game, it was still hot, but it was dark so I figured that was okay.) The next 4-8 weeks are the rough ones when I know we are soclose to viability but things could go horribly wrong in less than a day. Luckily, so far I'm not having symptoms of issues, and my quad screen was normal, hopefully baby's growth will still be on track when we go back for another ultrasound in 2 weeks, so there isn't a lot for me to actually worry about except for all the things that *could possibly* happen. But honestly, I have a one year old to chase around and entertain, and three classes to try to keep up with, so I don't spend a whole lot of time worrying about what could possibly go wrong. It would probably be a different story if I was having symptoms. But I'm not. I feel this baby moving a few times a day, I know 20-23 weeks is "nothing they can/will do about it anyway" territory, stressing over it isn't going to make a difference either.

I am much more worried that we will never come up with a name that we both like that we can agree on. Because we are so very not even close. Joe joked to my parents that he was going to say he hates everything I like so I will eventually give up and just name him Joe/Joseph/Joey. I am pretty adamantly against that because 1) Three Joe's in the family would be a lot. (My dad is named Joe.) 2) I don't really particularly like the name Joe for our next kid, anyway. 3) I am the one juggling a million doctor's appointments and ultrasounds with a busy 1 year old accompanying me, jabbing needles in my belly daily, not to mention all of the normal pregnancy issues, (and listen to Joe whine when he has a measly cold), and then get to end with a c-section....if anything we should be naming this kid after ME! 4) Now that I suspect that's his plan (which might have actually worked had he not said anything), I am adamantly against it!  It is extremely likely that we will use "Joseph" as a middle name, though. I don't have a problem with that at all. So that's where we are on the name front, nowhere. I may have to check out a baby name book from the library to at least maybe try to come up with some names I like, although I'm not sure I'll come up with anything in a name book that I haven't already seen online or on nymbler, etc. We may have to give up for awhile and revisit this later and maybe some names that I didn't initially love will grow on me. We may also just wait until he is born, but then I'm worried he may end up as "baby brooks" for a week as we try to agree on something, because I could totally see that happening. Joe and I are both really stubborn. We'll come up with something eventually.

Monday, July 2, 2012

In 21 years.

Tonight Luke and I went to my brother's baseball game (he ended up getting a hit in the last inning and scoring the tying run, and they won a few batters later. Luke did a lot of clapping and had a blast.) As we were sitting there, one of the mom's from the team came over and was talking to my mom and was doting on Luke. Then came the dreaded question. "Is this your only one?" My mom was funny and said "oh no, he's not mine! He's my daughter's" pointing at me. (Hahaha, Mom. Why would you be sitting at a baseball game for 15 year olds if Luke was your "only child". Besides the other obvious issue...) The lady persisted, "Oh, I know.Is he your only grandchild?"

My mom stammered a little then said no, and told her about Olivia. I probably would have just mumbled yes and changed the subject, then felt bad about it, had I been asked. So I definitely wouldn't blame my mom for doing the same, although I think she feels a little trapped when she's asked that in front of me. I don't like dealing with people I don't know and uncomfortable situations like that so I usually deal with it however seems easiest at the time, even if it's a lie.

To my surprise, the woman started asking questions. How many weeks? What happened? How long ago? I thought that was a little different, and then she sighed to me and said, "It doesn't ever go away, does it?" Then she told us she lost a daughter at 39 weeks, almost 24 years ago. I talked about how having Lucas now helps a lot, not that it ever goes away, but he fills my arms (literally just woke up and cuddled in my arm) and  fills my heart and is the cuddliest little boy ever and may still be sleeping in the recliner with me when he is 6. (We may need a bigger recliner.) Our daughter is still missing. Will always be missing. But Lucas makes me smile and laugh and fills my heart with so much love every day. The name "rainbow baby" is so very fitting. Not to mention, just having him helped ease some of the internal guilt and anger I had at my body for taking our daughter from us.

I have heard of these "encounters" happening all the time, with people who are more open about their loss than I generally am. But it's never happened to me aside from people saying they had a miscarriage, or knew someone who had a loss. And the situation was so random. It's hard for me to wrap my head around what it will be like in 21 years, I can hardly believe we are quickly approaching Olivia's third birthday. It is hard to believe it has been that long.