Friday, October 31, 2014


Our one Halloween picture. I couldn't take the girls trick or treating this year per doctor's orders. So we snapped a quick pic and I staying behind passing out candy. With Omar driving everyone to school and back. I feel I hardly get to see my babies. It's so hard not to be Mommy and in charge but they had fun trick or treating with their Daddy. :-) 

Bed Rest

Well, it looks like things weren't going as well as I had thought this pregnancy. Unfortunately, earlier this week I was put on bed rest. I have preeclampsia.  I thought after  having two healthy pregnancies in a row it meant I was predictably having another, but as it turns out my record for getting preeclampsia is now 2 out of 4.  :-(

The thing is it was so unexpected, unlike Elena's pregnancy I didn't feel something was wrong this pregnancy . I have no swelling and my blood pressure is always good.  But on a routine urine strip test for protein they noticed a trace of protein. Though not usually a cause for alarm, they had me do a 24 hour urine culture and then they called me that I needed to go to the hospital for more monitoring and testing because the results were elevated for protein on the 24 hour test.   I maybe should've taken that as a clue that heading to the hospital meant things weren't right but again aside from typical aches and pains I felt fine so I headed to the hospital optimistic. 

It wasn't till I arrived that I realized it was not just a routine screening. I was admitted to labor and delivery (though they made sure to tell me it didn't mean I'd deliver that day), put on a gown, given a room in triage and had continuous monitoring of contractions, baby's heart rate and movement and my blood pressure.  I also got some blood work to determine if my kidneys and liver were functioning well. That's when I realized, oh, I am here in case I need to be admitted and can't go home.  They even had me register!

After the testing and monitoring was over, the Doctor came in and said I had mild preeclampsia and had to remain on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.  The biggest shock and disappointment was that she told me that I would be induced on week 37  IF my blood pressure stays normal and everything else looks good between now and then. Unfortunately, the outcome of preeclampsia is that it predictably gets worse and the onset is sudden (that's how it went with Elena) and that is the reason I have to get induced early in order to not allow it to get to that point.  The doctor was so reassuring and spent sooo much time talking to me, way more than at a regular appointment.  I asked if this meant I would have a scheduled C-section but she recommended that I continue as planned with a VBAC because I have successfully delivered that way and I can do it again.
The induction will be different than Elena's. I can't have pitocin because of the previous caesarean so my induction will be with a foley ball--a method I heard was used with my friend that I'm not looking forward to. 

Lots of thoughts, fears, concerns have gone through my head. I feel worried about not being able to  keep baby boy in full term. I am currently only 33 weeks.   I'm afraid of the full blown preeclampsia because of my traumatic experience with it during Elena's birth. I remember the side effects of the magnesium sulfate for both baby and me, the recovery, the crying and just feeling awful for a long time.  But I am optimistic. I am so glad to be at this practice because of their philosophies about birth.  I just read that they have a "gentle C-section" approach that favors family involvement, immediate skin to skin contact and nursing and just knowing that a caesarean is a possibility, I have comfort in knowing that they are going to do everything possible to make this a good child birth experience even if it does end up being a cesarean delivery. Also, I am being monitored weekly now with a sonogram, non stress test and Dr. visit.  While annoying and inconvenient, I know this will give me earlier warning of  things going downhill than with my pregnancy with Elena and will hopefully mean less complications and interventions in the end.

For now baby and I are doing well. My blood pressure is great, fluids look great and baby is moving a lot. The doctors say it's only a matter of time that the preeclampsia will affect us, we just don't know when that will be.  For now, I will rest, pray that we make it full term, and leave the rest in God's hands.

Getting monitored at the hospital--32 weeks
 The start of bed rest--32 weeks
 Weekly monitoring--33 weeks

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A little pick me up...for me

Once again the comments about my large size have begun, and my sensitive pregnant self can't help but feel disheartened with the belief that everyone is right and I will not make it to December, my due date.   It's difficult to hear these kinds of comments, "that I'm BIG, that the due date must be miscalculated and if I think I'm gonna make it to December"...yada yada yada, because no mother wants to deliver a preterm baby.  Elena, my first, was a preterm (through induction) baby and though her complications as a result were fairly minor it still took an emotional toll. The possibility of that happening again makes me anxious and question whether this 5 foot petite body can truly hold a baby full term.  I begin to believe all these comments for just a moment until logic sets in, and I realize that other people's predictions and superstitions aren't logical at all! 

Most recently my OB said that the biggest predictor of when this baby will come is not earlier Braxton hicks contractions, how I feel, or anything else. The single predictor for when this baby will come is the history of when my previous babies made their debut.  :-)   So for my last two not medically induced pregnancies, my body naturally welcomed two baby girls (2 years apart) at 39 weeks.  Turns out my body CAN keep babies in full-term! 

Well, this conviction didn't come as easily as it may sound.  As I was moping about how upset these comments made me feel, I decided to dig through old photos and compare them to see if there was any true difference between my size now and my size in previous pregnancies. Along the way I found this post from my pregnancy with Karina and it is about this same issue again; reading that was a relief but I was even more relieved when I saw the previous pregnancy pictures and I pretty much knew there was not much difference between my pregnant self then or now.  To give myself ultimate proof and really feel confident about "making it full term," I decided to take current photos replicating everything as much as I could.   The images are what really made me feel better.  I just happen to look big early on which  I already knew.  But isn't it amazing what photographs can do?   

My take away is that yea I look big but hey, that's okay because that's what my body has done 3 other times and it is totally normal for me.  :-)

And there, is my pick me up for the day and hopefully or not hopefully for future days .  :-)   Good night.

 31 weeks pregnant with Karina
 31.5 weeks current pregnancy
(bigger, zoomed in photo)
 31.5 weeks this pregnancy
32 weeks pregnant with Marisa