Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday - AHHHH my sweet bed has found me.

35 weeks today.

Well, Thursdays are my doctor day and just like the last 2 - I was there ALL DAY (9:30am-2pm) with this one. This child is going to send me to the nut house. 

When I got to the doctor they put me right on the monitors for my non stress test (NST). I was armed with Kool-Aid and a Poptart to get that little sucker moving so I didn't have to go over to the hospital again.

For twenty minutes that kid didn't move AT ALL. Turd. Her heart rate was steady but barely even moved - which isn't good. The nurse took the printout to the doctor who came in and said, "You're having an ultrasound." But, from the time the nurse left until the doctor came in, little Emma was going NUTS. I told him she was moving again and he looked and said she looked good now. Whew.

So,  I go back for my appointment. He measures my belly. STILL NO GROWTH!! I'm still 30 stinking centimeters (should be 35). My belly hasn't grown in 4 weeks and I had no weight gain from my last appointment (even though my scale at home said 2lb.)

I can tell he's going back and for in his head between: 

1. The baby is just small because I'm small.
2. What if something else is wrong?

He says - "Get dressed, I'm sending you to Allegheny General for a special ultrasound." He then walks out of the room leaving the door OPEN. That was interesting.

Finally a nurse came in and said that I was to go down to AGH to see a perinatologist who specializes in these sort of things to get a higher level ultrasound. We would see what she said and then, "discuss delivery options."

Enter lump in throat.

I call Matt and tell him he should probably come home because who knew if they were going to send me right to be induced if the ultrasound showed Emma in distress.

The appointment there was extremely fast. Baby looks good...She's SMALL. She's gained some weight since last week and stands (or swims) at about 4lb 13oz and in the 12th percentile. It looks like my placenta is functioning well, the cord is functioning well, and her heart beat, movement and fluid are all great. GREAT.

Concern: Her belly is what's measuring small. This can indicate lack of nutrients. So, they'll keep doing what they're doing. If she doesn't stay on HER growth curve (meaning a half pound of weight gain a week) she's coming out. Even if I do make it to 39/40 weeks the perinatologist wants to get her out. We want to leave the baby in as long as possible, but not too long. We have to weigh what's safer for Emma and if I'm full term - she might as well come out to be monitored.

So, I'm pretty calm about the whole thing. Matt never even made it down to AGH, but it was nice to have him here when I got home. He set up my pillows and my computer in our bedroom so I could lay here while he went to get Hannah from school. He's a good husband.

Lastly, Emma looks just like Hannah on the ultrasound. Big old lips and same button nose. It's so calming to see that precious face on there and know my beautiful second little girl is doing okay. She just likes to give people a run for their money. I guess I'm okay with that.

I'll post her ultrasound picture later. I think Matt took it with him to show Hannah. Thanks for all your prayers and concern.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Family Friday - Updates

These are two front pictures of just Emma's face. The top of her head is to the left. Her big Terebessy lips are to the right. We couldn't get a good 4D shot because her arms blocked her face completely.

Well I went in for my 34 week appointment and ultrasound yesterday.

Little Emma is...well, little.

In three weeks she has only gained about a half a pound. I was so hoping for a pound and a half.

She's about 4lb. She fell from the 37th percentile to the 18th percentile. This is concerning.

Good news? Everything else is good: Her heart rate, her movement, fluid levels, placenta - all look very good. This hopefully indicates that Emma is just a small baby.

The decided to do a non stress test (NST) at the office to monitor the baby's heart rate and fetal movement. Emma kept moving away from the heart monitor causing them not to get a good reading so I had to go over to the hospital AGAIN. I was there from 10:30am - 4pm. She looked good other than one heart rate dip to about 70. They think she might have just stepped on her cord briefly.

Here's the plan:

I will have appointments weekly with NSTs each time. As long as those are consistently good, at 37 weeks (3 weeks from now) I will have another ultrasound at which time they will determine whether Emma is safer inside my belly or outside. I may be induced then.

How do I feel? I was really hoping she was going to bigger than she is, but my ultimate hope was that they'd let me keep her inside for a couple more weeks, and I got that so I'm leaving it in God's hands. I am, however, extremely annoyed because my husband has forbidden me to exercise even though all the doctors said I still can. I'm completely miserable about it and I don't want any comments from the rest of you about how you agree with him - because I just don't wanna hear it! :)


As for our firstborn, she's doing well right now. Her persistent vomiting is currently on hiatus. I'm extremely disappointed in our pediatrician as I feel like she went way overboard with her suggestions as to what it could be and was trying to scare me. She spoke way to bluntly in front of Hannah saying she could die from a twisted bowel.  After taking Hannah to the nutritionist, they found that she has a parasite and gave me a calming spray to help with her anxiety.

If, after a month, Hannah does not show improvement, we will move forward with the doctor's suggestions for an upper GI and blood work. At this point, to me, that just seems like overkill.


I am looking forward to spending time with my family at Open Mic night tonight and at Zoo Boo tomorrow. There's lots of fun fall stuff going on and I'm loving the crisp cool weather.

Lots of love to those of you who care about all this stuff :) Thank you for your encouragement and prayers and stories of success. It is so helpful to know that I'm loved.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wellness Wednesday - Hitting home

Oh this is so hard for me to write about. I don't like to write about my "emotions." I can show my emotions and I can give factual information - but when it comes to admitting weakness...ick.

There are two issues at hand here and one maybe causing the other.

You all know we've been worried about the baby's size. I have an ultrasound tomorrow morning at 10:30am and would appreciate your prayers for lots of growth and a healthy looking Emma. As of my last measurements, the size of my stomach hasn't grown in 3 weeks. Hopefully that doesn't mean the baby hasn't grown.

My nutritionist heard of what was going on and called me. She is one of the most amazing people I've met. People wonder why I'm so obsessed with Health Horizons in Oakmont...It's because they care about PEOPLE, not MONEY.

Anyhow, apparently she had the same thing happen with her fourth pregnancy. Her midwife told her to rest. Well, she had three kids at home and it was the middle of summer. There was no chance of her taking a two hour nap in the middle of the day. So she told me she began resting as soon as she put her kids to bed at night, every night and from then on, the baby began growing well again.

I know I'm over-doing it. I can't help myself. I just can't stop doing things. No one is telling me I have to stop exercising, but that I need to rest. There is something in me that's overtaking common sense.

These are the things I think about constantly every day:

How much weight am I gaining? (I'm eating plenty and gaining normally)
The house needs to be clean and organized.
I need to have food prepared for after the baby is here.
I need to get my work done.
I need to get the budget updated.
I need to get my scrapbook caught up before Emma gets here.

These are the things I focus on after I get Hannah to school and before I pick her up. When she's home - we have a whole routine that I'm focused on. I don't sit.

Anyhow Dr. Palombini told me I'm probably running off adrenaline and that I just need to find time to relax in the middle of the day. I told her that when I sit down in the middle of the day - I fall asleep for two hours - and that just confirms what she's saying.

Here's the part that's hard to share. After two afternoons spent in Labor & Delivery for dehydration and contractions on top of all this growth stuff, I told Matt that part of me just wishes they'd put me on bed rest. It would free me from the overwhelming pressure to constantly be getting things done. Do I really want to be on bed rest? Of course not. I guess I just wanted permission from a doctor to stop.

Pregnant people who act like invalids drive me crazy. I don't want to be physically limited because I'm pregnant. Maybe that's flawed thinking. Too far one-sided. Too extreme. Obviously it is, because I've reached my max. And today, I was given permission to stop. Now granted - I do this to myself. My husband, family and friends have been giving that permission (and telling me I'm nuts) for months. I just needed to hear it from a doctor.

This won't be easy for me. I'm not going to stop exercising and I'm not going to stop my cleaning routines. But I am going to make time to lay down and relax in the afternoons. I have to.

In the evenings, I'll let Matt take over a little more. He already takes over with Hannah once he gets here, but I always feel like I have to have her bathed and in her jammies when he gets home. He's more than able and willing to do that stuff for me.

So there you go. I'm not superwoman. I'm a weakling who has just aired her flaws in cyberspace.

(Wanna know what I'm thinking? I hope I have time to rest AND make a double batch of that mexican casserole tomorrow.)


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wellness Wednesday - Is this pregnancy over yet?

I went to the doctor's for a routine check up this morning.

Last night I had two dreams -

1. They told me something wasn't right with the baby.
2. I got stuck in an elevator (I hate elevators!)

Hence the start of my day...

I drop Hannah off at school. I haven't been feeling well, and while waiting for my appointment I had 8 contractions.

After running ANOTHER test for preterm labor - he says the baby is still small and that he wants me to go over to Labor and Delivery at the hospital to be monitored while we wait for the results of the tests.

My measurements were the same as 2 weeks ago - but he said that doesn't necessarily mean it's accurate since two different doctors were measuring me.

I was 30cm - and I should have been 33cm.

So I go over to the hospital - and see the same nurses who tortured me with needles last time.

All the while I'm thinking - I have so much to do today - and no one is giving me ANY explanation as to WHY the baby is small.

Finally - we determine that I will NOT go into preterm labor based on the test results. I am mildly dehydrated AGAIN, and that I need to start going in for weekly ultrasounds. The problem would be (if she's not just a small tyke) that the placenta is not giving my little one enough nutrients to grow for whatever reason. If at anytime, Emma hasn't grown since the previous week's measurements - they're taking her out immediately...Um....yikes.

The doctor on call at the hospital said that Emma's size according to my LAST ultrasound was small but not excessively small.

So I left the hospital and I'm continuing on with life. On my way out, I asked the nurses where the STAIRS were!

Please pray this little girl keeps growing strong.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Scrumptious Saturday - Italian Herb Bread

Nicki at Domestic Cents has THE GREATEST bread recipes. I highly recommend you head over there to check out more than just this one I got from her listed below. She has a great blog too!
This bread is absolutely amazing I can't stop eating it! I'm going to try to make shredded Italian Roast beef and make sandwich buns from this dough...YUMMY!
Italian Herb Bread
(adapted from allrecipes)

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp. white sugar
  • 2 tbsp. (or 2 packets) active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • cornmeal

  • Dissolve the sugar and yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes until it appears slightly foamy and creates small bubbles (this is proofing).
  • Stir in 4 cups of flour and beat it until it’s smooth. Then let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Beat in the salt and herbs. Add remaining flour, one cup at a time, until it forms a firm dough.
  • Knead until it is smooth and springy. This is going to take about 8 minutes or so if you knead it by hand. It needs to be very smooth in order to have a fantastic consistency.
  • Place it in a greased bowl and turn it over so that the dough is greased all over (you don’t want it sticking to the bowl). Cover dough with a cloth or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for one hour.
  • Punch it down gently and divide into 3 balls. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets (be sure you pick two that will fit in your oven at the same time) then sprinkle lightly with cornmeal (cornmeal is optional, but I like it). Form dough into either long or round loaves on the cookie sheets. Use a very sharp knife a cut a few slits in the top of the loaves. Cover and let rise about 30 more minutes.
  • Bake in a 450F degree oven for about 20 minutes. The top should be golden brown and the bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped.

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