Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Benedict
 came to light on 8-15-2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013


I have almost done it. Sanity mostly intact!

In 19 days I will be going in for a scheduled C section. The perinatologist decided that I could go to 39+ weeks after all.  Blood sugars have been pretty well controlled. I get my cerclage taken out on the 1st then who knows what will happen. The doctor said that if my cervix happens to be dilated to 2 or 3 the morning of the section he would be willing to do what he calls a "mild induction" and allow me a trial of labor. If conditions are favorable I just might do that. Chances are better for the planned section.

I will be delivering at a swanky new hospital that opens just 9 days prior. I wonder if this makes it less likely that I will catch an antibiotic resistant infection. When the head nurse at the doctor's office told me that I was no longer eligible to deliver at the high risk hospital because MY BABY IS NOT HIGH RISK ,I was delighted. After everything with Titus. Kaiser sends its higher risk patients with babies that are likely to need NICU time to an out of network hospital. They are trying to send fewer and fewer people there as they open this new hospital. They said even if he has low blood sugar and jaundice like his older brother, they will be able to deal with it without NICU care. He should be rooming in with me.

I still have polyhydramnios but the fluid is slowly receding. It has gone from the all time high of 33 to more recently measuring somewhere around 20.  I will get a growth scan on the same day that they remove that stitch. Not looking forward to the cerclage removal. I hear that it is awkward and painful and that they do nothing but stick a needle in your nether regions to numb it. Odd that I needed a spinal and narcotics to put it in and that removal is just an office procedure.

I have some mild SPD which means painful thighs, hips, groin. My belly rests on my thighs. I am slung so low. I don't know if it's because this baby is head down for a change or if my old abs just can't support the weight of this baby and fluid.  I am 36.5 weeks and pretty sure he weighs more than 6 lbs. Could it be closer to 7? I should have a better idea at the growth scan on Thursday.

Getting anxious about leaving Titus for 3 or 4 days. That's the worst part. I wish he could come with us. I have not yet spent a night away from him.  My mother is taking time off of work to stay with T at our house. I know he is in good hands but it is still not easy.

The baby preparations are staying at a minimum. I have been in no condition to do a proper nursery. He will sleep in a simple bassinet next to me. There are a few drawers for his clothes. When he is older e can share a sleeping room with his brother. The other room will be their play room/ toy room. My kind blog friend in Australia has sent some quality cottony summer things for the newborn. Which is great because I had given all my smaller things away. Trying to go for quality over quantity this time.

Today's big activities should be the construction of the bassinet and the packing of a hospital bag.

I have a counseling session set up for Tuesday with the clinical social worker that works out of the perinatology office. She only sees people with high risk pregnancies. She should "get it" more than others have. I hope its a good match. I have been prescribed zoloft by the peri, to be started now. According to him. I want more information about safety. He said if its a choice between a little zoloft now or me needing to be admited for PPA a couple of weeks after the baby arrives, the zoloft is a better choice. I am going to speak the the counselor about it. Who knows, maybe this time I won't have post partum mental health issues, but I won't count on it.

My breasts are leaking colostrum. I am not sure that this ever happened when I was carrying Titus. Hoping this is a sign of a milk supply to come.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weighing in

I have been trying to come to terms with all of my pregnancy complications. Combined and compounded.

1. Even though things are holding steady for now, I still have the cervical competency issue. That could go to hell at any time.

2. Polyhydramnios is not resolving with better controlled blood sugars. The weight of the litre or two of surplus fluid is making it difficult for me to breath. Extra weight also = extra pressure on my cervix. Which is the last thing it needs. There are all sorts of risks associated with polyhydramnios. Preterm labor being one of them. I think cord prolapse is somewhere on that list. An amniotic reduction is likely in my future. That makes me nervous too with its risk of infection, triggering pre term labor, etc.

3. I can't even remember if I told you that I now have a gestational diabetes diagnosis. This is causing a great deal of excessive amniotic fluid. At least they THINK that is whats causing it.  There are all sorts of other nasty things which can cause "poly". The gestational diabetes is causing the baby to be extra, extra large. Which again puts extra pressure on the old cervix. I worry about the health of the baby, head and tummy are measuring about a month ahead.

4. I am on insulin for my GD. It is my understanding that insulin does a number on the placenta. For that reason my MFM says this baby is coming out at 38 weeks (assuming I don't literally pop before then).  People who have had a previous C section may not have an induction. Which means another planned C section despite my desire for vbac. Lord, I just wanted something normal.  I worry that the diabetes will necessitate a NICU stay, even if we do make it to 38 weeks.

5. Due to the extra fluid and big baby, last week my 29 week tummy measured 37 weeks. I am just as big as I was full term last time, with 8 weeks to go.  This sucker is heavy to lug around. I get out of breathe just taking a load of laundry out of the dryer or sweeping the living room. The ultrasound tech told me that it is very much like being pregnant with twins or triplets. With my continued restricted activity I feel pretty much 100% useless. As a mother, wife, house keeper, you name it. This has done a number on my self esteem for sure.

It is an effort to sort out my paranoia and anxiety from real dangers here. I am thinking that I will need to write it all down and present my concerns to the doctor when I have the next growth scan this coming week.

There are some good things going on. Titus delights daily. He can now sing twinkle twinkle little star. He has become so much more physical, he wants to climb and run and tumble. I have constant company because I still can't lift him. So I am a lot less lonely than I have been in a year or two. I am still sleeping reasonably well. Despite the heavy belly. Last time I was an insomniac wreck by this far along. Titus seems to be finished cutting the worst of his teeth and is sleeping through the night for the first time in... forever.

My actual weight gain is very reasonable. 10 lbs @ 29 weeks and the midwife reckons that a good portion of that is fluid. I was over weight to start and with the GD, a lower weight gain is a good thing. After having spent 2 weeks in bed I am still pleased to be up and about as much as is reasonable. I wear a brace for pelvic support while walking. I can take two brief walks per day. I am also allowed to do some light swimming which I need to start doing a few times per week. Seeing the dietitian has improved my overall nutrition. The insulin has provided me with much improved mental clarity. I had no idea how run down and gross I was feeling. I am still not sure how I passed the first 3 hour they gave me and failed the second. I guess GD comes on later and quick in a pregnancy.  In retrospect I think it is quite possible that I developed it a bit later in my pregnancy with Titus.  He had two of the classic newborn symptoms. Low blood sugar and a bad case of jaundice. Although he was not a big baby. I will be delivering this babe at same place as last time (no water birth with the midwife at the low risk place, sniff sniff)  They have a NICU if need be.

Doing my best to balance family life with anxiety and discomfort without feeling like a massive burden on everyone around me. Trying to stay as playful and agile as possible for Titus.  My daily routine consists of 4 finger prick glucose level checks and 2 injections of of insulin into the tummy. I have to eat 6 times per day and feel like everything revolves around my gestational diabetes. I have no idea how people do this and work. It is all consuming, at least at first.

Here we have a recent picture of Titus. An image of my massive belly, and the most recent ultrasound pic of baby August.

I will leave you with these.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Here are a few recent pictures of Titus along with one of his brother thrown in for good measure. Keep in mind that T has been really ill on and off the past few months so there are not a lot of smiley pics, but I will try to get some.

Friday, May 3, 2013

I got the urgent cerclage on Tuesday of last week. I expected that the procedure would be uncomfortable but did not anticipate that it would also be humiliating. From the rather large suppository that the nurse had to administer shortly before the operation to having my bare legs and butt hoisted in the air with the bright surgery lights focused right on my vagina.. it was horrible. These were no ordinary stirrups. I asked the anesthesia nurse for something baby safe and mild so I could zone out. He gave me a little Versed and that took the edge off.

Back in the recovery room I started feeling uterine pain before I could feel my legs or feet. As the day progressed I would cry. At first they tried a bit of fentanyl, but it devolved into Dilauded.  Luckily by the time I got home I only needed one pain pill and the cramping stopped once I got in my own bed. I do not think a cerclage is this painful for everyone. My theory is that the further along you are and the less cervix they have to work with the worse it feels afterwards.  I had some cramping and a bit of bleeding for a few days afterwards, but not too bad.

I spent 8 days as flat and horizontal as possible. Started to develop what my Aunt thought was the beginning of a pressure sore on my tail bone. She was a labor and delivery nurse for over 30 years so I think she was probably right.  On Sunday we had company from out of state. It was a rather solemn affair. They had planned a trip to Oregon for some time. Rented a house up on Mt. Hood. The plan had been that I would pack up my men and join them up there for a few days. Of course with the bed rest all we could do was have a quiet visit in my living room.

Yesterday I went to have my cervix scanned to see what the stitch managed to accomplish. My cervix went from measuring 1.7cm to nearly 4! It could still take a turn for the worse. The dynamic (fickle) cervix could decide to funnel down to the stitch later on. Or further. But for right now I am off of bed rest and on restricted activity. I may not look after Titus on my own because I can't lift anything. Not even a 20 lb toddler. I can however leave the house, go float in a pool. Take a short walk. putter around the house, and continue to rest a lot.  The peri tells me that he wishes there was some sort of drug or potion that he could give me to just put me to sleep until 28 weeks when the scariest  time is over. He said either for me or for him because he does worry about me quite a bit. I am sure he has seen these situations end in so many ways.

I will take my little victory.

Not able to participate in due date groups.  Last time when my baby had health issues other folks baby shower dramas or heart burn issues seemed  trivial. It feels that way again.

This baby is still looking healthy. Next week I will have another cervix scan and we will revisit my activity level. The following week (26) we will have the cervix scan and a full growth scan. That should yield some of the fancy 3D pictures like the ones they took of Titus at the same age. I bet August is still measuring big.

Today a friend is taking me to lunch. A very much needed break in the sunshine. Being sprung from the house. This friend lost her twins at 23 weeks due to cervical incompetence. She understands a little better than most what is going on in my head. Today we will not talk about that though, just enjoy our steamy bowls of beef noodle soup and some salad rolls. It is supposed to get to nearly 90 F in Portland tomorrow. Rather unseasonably hot. That is about 31 c for all you non Americans. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I wish I had some good news to share. My cervix was scanned again yesterday afternoon. It went from 2.8  a couple of weeks ago to 1.8 cm yesterday. According to the doctor "a considerable amount of funneling".

The doctor put me on bed rest for the duration of my pregnancy. I am also doing vaginal prometrium at night. Looks like we will do a cerclage this coming monday.

I don't feel like writing about how I feel about scrambling for care for Titus. Or how we will afford it, or being in bed for a long time, if I am lucky. No energy for that right now. I will update if there are any changes between now and Monday.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

fever and arrrg

Over 3 weeks ago Titus came down with a cough. Then a fever, then screaming and 104 in the middle of the night. We took him to the ER and he had pneumonia in addition to an ear infection. A 10 day course of antibiotics and we thought he was mostly better. Then this past Saturday the coughing an fever started in again. Another trip to urgent care and no pneumonia this time but an ear infection in the same ear. Another 10 days of antibiotics.   Around the same time that he came down with his crud, I started in with a fever, body chills, aches, crusty virus eyes. Then a painful cough. This was on top of the bronchitis I had already been fighting for several weeks. I also took a course of antibiotics. Almost a month after that second infection and I am still dealing with green mucus and low energy. This is some seriously nasty shit. I probably had a virus and a secondary bacterial infection. I continue to wake up coughing in the night. Having to steam my sinuses open in the shower each morning.  Caring for a sick toddler while you are also very ill and pregnant = misery. Brian helped as much as he could with a slightly milder version of what we had. He missed over a week of work.

Titus coughed so hard that he vomited up his substantial dinner last night. Several times. The coughing and puking kept him awake past midnight so it is now 8:30 and he is still snug asleep. Poor little poo poo. I will wake him soon because he must be awfully dried out. Daycare baby home sick today too with a fever of 103 an screaming. She seems to introduce some new sort of nastiness every few weeks. My mother calls her Typhoid Mary. Luckily cold and flu season is drawing to an end, and little "Mary" will soon be cared for by her grandmother. I have loved having her here and the company of her mother on a daily basis. Takes some of the loneliness out of being cooped up indoors with little ones.

I had an anatomy scan a week ago. Good news, baby looks robustly healthy. No heart issues seen. No short limbs. In fact, everything was measuring big. 20 weeks 2 when I ought to have been 19 weeks 1.  The tech went back and looked at the dating scan from 7 weeks as this was the second time baby that she had measured my baby large. The dating scan was done by the radiologist at another clinic. The perniatologist shrugged it off by saying that they do bad measurements over there. I know that it isn't possible for me to have been any further than 19 weeks 3 that day. They have not mentioned changing my due date. Bad news, my cervix is measuring short. 2.8 cm at 19 weeks. Normal for that point in pregnancy is more like 4. Anything under 3 is not so great. Anything under 2.5 is cause for concern. The MFM will image my cervix again in a couple of weeks. If it is shorter he will prescribe vaginal progesterone and either restricted activity or bed rest. Hoping it holds steady at 2.8.  I understand that bed rest is a very special sort of hell. I did one week of self imposed bed rest when I had the sch while pregnant with Titus. This would probably mean months of bed rest. Not good. DHS has a heads up. I told M's caseworker that I will be totally out of commission if my cervix continues to shorten and that M will need to move. They are talking about moving him in the next 3 weeks anyway. To his Dad's apartment. That is a long post for another day. The doctor said that my history of a full term baby works in my favor in this situation and they will just keep monitoring the old cervix closely. He said if I am ever worried before a scheduled scan, that I may be seen earlier. I do like him.

Oh, the baby is a boy. I know that in the IF community that disappointment around the sex of the baby is not really cool. I have it though. I wanted to be a mother to a girl. I am owning it as something "normal" that a person who had not been through infertility and loss might feel. I feel blessed and lucky for my Titus and this belly baby. I also wept when I knew that I would not have the daughter I have been dreaming of my whole life. Titus will have a brother less than 2 years his junior. They will be one grade apart in school. The brothers will share a room on our small house (assuming we don't move) and have the other bedroom for a play room. We are still fine tuning a name. Contenders are August and Augustus. Middle names considered are currently Daniel and Benedict.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I missed my last midwife appointment. Brian can generally stay home with Titus & or the daycare baby while I go but he was unable to this past week. Now I have no idea when they will be able to squeeze me in.

I did pass my 3 hour glucose tolerance test. Much to the surprise of my midwife. I passed easily. Still trying to watch the sugar and carb intake.

I have been fighting an upper respiratory infection for over 2 weeks and now a sinus infection on top of it.  I had a couple of colds while pregnant with Titus but nothing like this crud that never goes away. I should be getting my energy back but I just feel run down. Run down by a cement mixer. Nausea easing but not gone. I am just about 17 weeks.

We have the average amount of drama going on with social services and foster child. They are letting things go on which I feel compromises the safety of the little boy. Long unsupervised visits with an addict father who has recently had dirty UAs.  Feeling impotent and on edge. In better news, M celebrated his 6th birthday on Friday. His social skills have improved quite a bit since he arrived in July. He was thrilled with his small gifts and home made cake. In a few years it will have to be video games or laser tag. For now 6 is simple and sweet.

We see the perinatologist for an anatomy scan on the 28th of this month. I am really curious to see if this baby will have the same short arm and leg bones that Titus did. They will attempt to do an echo cardiogram.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The midwife appointment on Thursday went reasonably well. I started out telling the midwife that I was nervous because the first time I made it to 12 weeks there was no heart beat on doppler, OB went and got the portable ultrasound machine and we discovered a non living fetus. The second time I made it to 12, no hb on doppler, frantic scrambling for the ultrasound and Titus was fine. She said she was going to use the doppler anyhow because "it will be so reassuring for you to hear it instead of see it". She was wrong! She tried for ages and could not find that lovely galloping sound.  Another scramble for the machine and then my bladder was so full she was struggling to find anything. finally found gestational sack but it was so blurry. After some amount of fiddling she was able to point out the heart beat and then we saw a fair bit of movement. These portable office machines are nothing like the fancy ones they have in radiology or perinatology. This was what I was trying to explain to the daft cows in my so called online buddy group back in 2011. That quick scans from the OB or Midwife to check for fetal heart tones were not going to yield the same sorts of images or print outs that a planned scan with a proper machine would. Ugh. That was when they started accusing me of faking my pregnancy. I am still mad about that. Bunch of bitches. But I digress.

By the end of the appointment I was feeling pretty confident that I did have a live fetus in there. Since the appointment was an early morning one, and I had not yet eaten anything they had me pop over to the lab to do a very early 1 hour glucose test which I failed miserably. Not quite high enough not to have to do the 3 hour but not far off. I now have to do the GD diet (which she wanted me on anyhow) until I can schedule the 3 hour with a Kaiser lab. This might be a week or so. Very busy right now and Titus has his surgery on Friday. I have an NT scan on Tuesday. Titus sees the pediatric endocrinologist on Wednesday. I am also doing day care all week and juggling those appointments with family to help out. I don't mind the GD diet too much. Right now. I bet it would get old by the end of a pregnancy. Pleased that they she did order the test early. I can now eat as healthy as possible and make sure to get my exercise in. The healthier I am the better my chances of a vbac. 

I still worry about miscarrying. In fact I was just imagining going to the NT scan on Tuesday by myself, only to find no heart beat. I am not sure that fear would go away even if I had 5 more babies. A part of me feels like I cheated fate by bringing Titus into the world, and that I won't be so lucky again. I know it isn't logical. That is just one of the many ways recurrent miscarriage messes with your head. Trying to keep positive and look forward to a healthy infant and birth. I like to take virtual tours of the hospital I will be delivering at. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

I have not  been in for a fetal heart tones check. I am watching another baby during the day and it is just not very feasible. I would either have to take both babes with me (logistical nightmare) or bow out for the day.  If I wasn't feeling so very sick the need would be greater. As it is, my 12 week midwife appointment is coming up this Thursday. I will be very surprised if anything is not as it should be. 

Foster son "M" is still in limbo. We will be done with foster parenting once he moves. I feel like we gave it a really really good run. I have no more energy for dealing with the system. I have been worn thin by the indifference of his particular caseworker. Deaf stone wall. Our certification worker paid us a visit last Friday. We found ourselves saying over and over "we just want the caseworker to do her job". We were informed that she does not like us very well because we are critical of her work. Boo hoo. Just do your damn job lady and there will be no problem! The case transferred to her in October and she did not open the file until December, and then she got it all wrong. Couldn't figure out that the grandmother had already bombed a home study. Informed us a few weeks ago that she does not have a plan for M and will not until the permanency hearing in April. Not any definitive action mind you, just a plan. An idea of what might happen, something to aim for. Meanwhile M has been in care for over 2 years. He does not even remember his life before entering foster care. Caseworker is supposed to pay us a monthly visit at home. She has not been out once. 4 months behind. They continue to give him visits with his father as if reunification is right around the corner. Confuses the hell out of the poor kid. They even let him spend the night with his Dad around Christmas. I dealt with the repercussions of that for days afterwards. He came home and shit his pants. The boy had never had a soiling accident before that. He is almost 6 years old.|
I have been invited to a girls lunch and spa visit on Sunday. Just what the doctor ordered for the grumpy, frumpy, pregnant lady. I will be sure to update on Thursday no matter what the news.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I could use a live baby check right about now. The midwife has told me that I may go in any Thursday and she can give me a quick scan but I was busy yesterday. I feel such a disconnect from this pregnancy. Not nearly as emotionally attached to it as others. Like I don't really believe that there is a little life in there. It's funny because I thought I would be more attached to a pregnancy after having Titus. Because I know that I can grow a fetus in there that lives and turns into a person. I saw him just about every week between 7 and 15 weeks.  This one I have only seen once. Even though all the bleeding with T was scary, it somehow made it all seem more real.  This is as normal as it has ever been for me and it feels abnormal!

9.5 weeks and I THINK all is well. My breasts have ballooned to pornographic proportions. Well, with the 36 year old sag its more like national geographic. I barfed x 3 on Wednesday. All the usual first trimester complaints, which I am thankful for. I know the nausea will get worse before it gets better and that can be frightening. Constant nausea can send you into a pretty dark head space. Luckily the sun is shining and that is very helpful to me. It's cold but I know that spring is around the corner and so is a return of regular energy levels and wellness.

NH asked about our Christmas. It was a lovely one. A normal, regular, dreams come true sort of Christmas. There was the awkwardness of dealing with our foster Son's birth family and his emotions around the holiday, but it was manageable.  And there were mounds of gifts and a sweet smelling douglas fir tree. Family came 'round. Brian made a boozy figgy pudding and I was still well enough to eat it.  My youngest brother, the one that nearly tore his arm off falling out of a freight train in the fall of 2011, has had a strange and sort of wonderful change of circumstances. He met a girl. They got married in a hobo wedding under the Broadway bridge here in Portland. She got a job and he got financial aid and started school. His wife is only 22 and has a 6 year old son. Her parents had been raising him from the start but her father fell off a cliff while hiking last summer. He died. Her Mother is now a widow at age 46.  My brother and his wife are now taking part in raising that child. They are all sharing a house and making it work. All that to say, that part of my Christmas involved getting new family members. My new SIL , her son who calls me Auntie Emily, and my brother's MIL who is closer to my age and a lot of fun.

Titus has just started walking. He is 14 months old. Did I mention that I am taking him to see the pediatric endocrinologist next month? He is still so small and they just want to be sure that he is doing OK. He is currently 28 inches and 18 lbs. That visit happens just 2 days before his surgery to re repair his penis. Other than all of that he is a healthy guy. He likes to climb and push things around the room.  He likes to ride a knee horsey. Still adding words. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sick & Ill

I have come  down with a dreadful cold virus. I ache all over, sore throat, sneezing. I can barely function. The cold seems to have triggered my nausea. I have taken the baby sitting job (due to end in July) my friend is really counting on me and I feel totally incapable of even taking care my own children. Brian stayed home today but can't again. My friend looking into getting an alternate sitter for tomorrow but no promise. I feel as though if I am unable to rest, something bad might happen to the pregnancy. And all the usual upsetting thoughts about something going wrong with the pregnancy. I know this will pass but being ill and pregnant and paranoid and inept has to be one of the worst feelings.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

fighting chance

I went in for a "real" ultrasound done by a tech in the radiology department at Kaiser today. It was short and sweet. Except for the unforgiving ultrasound wand. Baby measured right on target and we had a heart beat of 150. I do not feel like we are clear for take off as I have lost them later than this, but I do feel like this gestation #7 has a fighting chance.

The midwife put me on a diet. Fair enough. She wants me to watch my carbs & weight because of my high risk for gestational diabetes. She also wants me to exercise to be as fit as possible for a possible vbac. I must admit the thought of giving birth the natural way at the hospital with a midwife and little medical intervention would be a dream come true. But that is getting ahead of myself. One baby step at a time.

If I make it as far as the anatomy scan I will be seen by the perinatologist. Looking into the new maternal blood draws that test fetal dna. My hospital is behind, the midwife is looking into it for me.

Pregnancy again feels like swimming against the current. Having to go over my complicated history and even the details of my pregnancy with Titus was tiring. Sad.  I like and trust my midwife and I think that means a lot.