Saturday, August 29, 2015

3rd trimester

It's official.  I've surpassed all previous pregnancy milestones and duration.  I'm in the 3rd trimester.  Honestly, I thought it would feel more different than it does.  It's feels remarkably similar to the end of the 2nd trimester.  Maybe that is simply because once we got to the half way point, all indication was we would reach this point.  It's not a big surprise, though my heart still had it's doubts.  But medically, things were stable enough that it was fully expected that I would not deliver until the 3rd trimester.

It's exciting to have something normal.  (well, normal-ish given the frequency of my contractions)  To be doing things like scheduling my cesarean for mid November, to be applying lotion to my ever stretching itchy skin, to see new numbers on the scale never seen before.  And yet, it makes me realize how much I missed out on.  Funny how that works, how my mind can take such a blessing and make it about something else.  To take what God has given me and continue to compare it to what everyone else has.  Something is wrong with that.  It's not all the time, or even most of the time, but I hate that I couldn't reach this point with Reagan, Warren and Dean.  That my body seemed to fail time and time again as I couldn't provide them the best environment they needed to grow.  Though I know in my head that God watched over them, that He protected them, that His plan is good, it doesn't make it easy to know in my heart that I didn't fail my children.  All 3 of them.

But, things are moving forward.  We're cleaning out and painting another nursery, we've assembled another crib, and we're working really hard to teach toddler boys the meaning of the word "gentle."  I'll take some advice/expertise on that if anyone has some :).  Overall we are excited and ready to become a family of 6 as we wait for November to come!

Friday, August 14, 2015

26 weeks

I am now 26 weeks pregnant.  AND upright.  Wow.  Now, that is big.  I remember taking our maternity pictures at this point with the boys, standing briefly between contractions around the hospital, trying to keep a glowing smile on my face while wanting to cry out in pain.  I remember getting back to my room and being so exhausted from my wheelchair ride and time spent standing, getting an extra shot of terb that night and wondering if we had just made a huge mistake.  I love each and every picture we have, and I'm so grateful that our photographer was able to capture those moments and help create a background that looked nothing like the outside of a hospital I wasn't allowed to leave, creating some semblance of normalcy.  We were reassured several times that those few minutes would not have impacted the timing of our labor, so I have to trust in that.  Regardless, this time around, at 26 weeks, I'm sitting upright on my couch at home.  I'm taking my boys to the pool and swimming with them.  I'm getting things all ready in the nursery, making a mobile and bedskirt, helping put together a crib, deciding on the wall color.  I get more than my allotted 30 minutes of sitting time.  It's really quite wonderful to have something so "normal," something so many women take for granted.  God has been so gracious to us with this pregnancy, with this sweet little girl growing inside of me.  And, minus the whole morning sickness for the first 20 weeks part, I'm starting to see how people might actually enjoy being pregnant, being in awe and wonder at what is happening instead of living in constant fear.  I am trying to get over to that side, trying and struggling and failing, but God is working.

We are now 6 days away from when the boys were born, 6 days away from the moment our OB said very calmly that I had done everything I could, and he was going to take them "tonight."  So much terror in that moment as my mind flooded with all the things I should have done or things we should have tried or ways I had, once again, failed my children.  As I approach what will be the last of these milestones, the last moment to remind me of what went wrong in previous pregnancies, the last trigger for flashbacks and nightmares, I am thankful for these little reassuring kicks and understanding doctors and the prayers of our friends/family who are lifting us all up.  And I'm so ready for the moment when all I have ahead of me is something new!  

Saturday, August 1, 2015

24 weeks and contractions

We have now hit 24 weeks.  This was a HUGE milestone with the boys.  The nurses celebrated with us, the doctors celebrated with us.  It felt like a little party was going on all day.  Viability.  Of course this little bubble was burst when our neonatologist came in and gave us the scary statistics on quality of life and disabilities if survival even happened.  Nevertheless, we had officially made it to our first goal.  With this child, even though there hasn't been months of complications, even though we were never once told she wouldn't make it, there's a little piece of me that just celebrates getting to the 24 week mark.  And it's a milestone that didn't have all the usual anxiety surrounding it.

So, I excitedly anticipated this 24 week point in pregnancy without the baggage that surrounds most of my other milestone points in pregnancy.  That made me all the more thrown when I started having more contractions.  I knew to expect them at 21 weeks with the stress of that moment and what it meant for my previous pregnancies.  But at 24?  No stress contractions should have occurred.  Yet I found myself downloading a contraction counter again and, sure enough, every 8 minutes.  Hmm...  I called the doctor.  When I finally got a return call, it was with instructions to rest and drink some water.  Awesome.  Very feasible with two two-year-olds at home.  Sure kids, get some dinner, put on your bibs, and play quietly while Mommy rests.  I was told to call in 2 hours with an update.  Two hours later I was still rocking Warren who, for some reason this week, has decided to start hysterical screaming after being in his crib for 5 minutes.  I didn't even bother to call.  What would I report...I haven't done anything you asked me to and I don't have a clue how frequently my contractions are coming?  That seems useless.  When I called before, it was during the end of naptime after I had been doing exactly what you prescribed and when I was able to monitor things.  Sigh...

As the night when on, contractions got closer together but not more intense, so I considered that to be a good sign and decided to forgo the trip to labor and delivery.  With Warren and Dean, I started getting contractions like this weeks before my first trip to the hospital.  Irritable uterus, they said.  I think that started around 17 weeks with them, so 24 this time around seems about right.  Regardless, a whole night resting, drinking lots of water, and peeing seemed to do the trick and I'm back down to my usual amount of contractions this morning.  Plus Andrew took the boys to the park after being gone for a few days so I can stay and rest.  Such a quiet morning.  I forgot how peaceful it is to drink my morning coffee while sitting down without little boy temper tantrums.  Add to it, Baby Girl seems to be enjoying the moment of calm and is kicking away.  I have to say, there is nothing better than little baby kicks as a gentle reminder that God is sustaining her (and me) in a way that I know is far bigger than me or my doctors.

Less than 3 weeks and I'll officially be the most pregnant I've ever been :)