Archive for the ‘pregnancy’ Category

16 week check up!

Last week, I had my 16-week check up for Baby #4.  These 2nd trimester appointments are blissfully uneventful!

They check my weight (up a pound).

The check my blood pressure (fine).

They took blood (to check my iron levels).

They listen to the baby’s heartbeat (140s).

Then we say “Good Bye” and see ya next time!

That’s pretty much how it goes.  Next appointment will be my 20-week appointment, which will be a little more exciting since it’s the big anatomy ultrasound.  However, since we already know that it’s a boy, that small piece of guessing isn’t there.  Since I’m considered “AMA” (Advanced Maternal Age), my ultrasound will be done by the perinatologist instead of the normal ultrasound technicians.  Either way, it’s a glimpse at our newest one!

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Iron Woman!

My iron is low, low, low.  They re-tested it at my 12-week appointment and I’m not making much progress.  Since oral iron pills aren’t making much of a difference, it’s on to iron infusions.

Which consists of 5 appointments over the course of 14 days, each about 48-72 hours apart.  Each infusion is by IV and takes about 2 hours.

Today was my first appointment and it didn’t start off very well.  You do it at the hospital and they just put you in a regular room while you get the treatment.  I’ve never had problem giving blood or having an IV put in, but it took 3 tries by 3 different nurses in 3 different locations to actually get blood.  It took an hour by the time I checked in and actually got a good vein, but then it went fine.  It did take 2 hours to empty the IV bag, but it wasn’t painful.

I just rested in the hospital bed, watching TV.  I think I even took a nap for a bit.  The great news about them being done at the hospital is that I can go in just about any time — in fact, my next appointment is Christmas Day night at 8:00 p.m.  I can put the boys to bed and head on over.  Otherwise, being gone for 2-3 hours is kind of disruptive with a young family!


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12 week check up!

Had my 12 week check up today.  Pretty uneventful.  My blood pressure was good.  Baby’s heartbeat was strong – in the 140s.

What has been eventful:

  • After my 8 week check up (and blood work), they determined that my iron levels were low.  Really low.
  • I was already on a prenatal with iron and a separate iron pill.
  • So they increased it to add another iron pill in, but to be taken at a different time of day.  And to take it with orange juice, when possible. Gotta get those levels up!
  • We had an appointment with the genetic counselors at a related perinatal office last week (because of the whole “Advanced Maternal Age” thing).  They did an ultrasound and everything looked great.
  • The perinatologist thinks upping my iron won’t really help – that the body just can’t adequately absorb much more than I had been taking.  So he ordered more extensive blood work at my 16 week appointment.  He also said that his office would do my normal 20-week growth ultrasound.

So now I pop more pills and hope it takes!

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8 week appointment

My OB that has delivered our 3 boys is no longer handling pregnancies.  Sad day.  I knew that after I delivered Samuel, but didn’t think it mattered – we are definitely in the state of “overwhelmed” and were not planning on more children – certainly not right away.

But it looks like that decision was made for us!  So when I got the positive test, I went looking for a new doctor.  I found a new doctor that was available (man, a lot of the OBs where I wanted to go didn’t have any openings).  Let’s call him Dr. W.  (Cause his last name starts with a ‘W’.)

Another bad thing happened since I delivered Sammy – I turned 36.  So, now there’s no confusion – I’m officially “Advanced Maternal Age”.  Cue more blood tests and extra eyes on my case.  Basically, he’ll order a couple of extra ultrasounds and blood tests later in my pregnancy.

He did the ultrasound, saw the heartbeat, measured me at 8 weeks, 4 days, so he set a due date of June 26th.  Considering how surprised we were to need an OB, we had no better idea of dates.  So sounds as good as anything else to us!

But everything appears well!


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This time, it really is a baby.  We’re not as surprised as, say, Mary & Joseph were, but we’re still pretty darn surprised.

Last week, Jeff and I were supposed to meet to go over our budget.  I had an inkling that maybe I should take a test (fully expecting it to be negative), so I did.  Positive.

No way, I thought.  I’ll take another.  Positive.  Right away kind of positive.

But, still, I thought.  That might be a fluke.  I better get another test — the digital kind of test.  Nothing can be unclear about a digital test.  No ambiguity there.  So I run to the store, get another test, take it.  Yup.  Totally pregnant.  Oh boy.

A Summary Of This Moment In My Life:

  • I am the mother to 3 little boys.  A 3 1/2 year old.  A barely 2 year old. And a 6 month old.
  • We are 2 weeks into an 11 week remodel where we lost our kitchen and master bath.
  • Where they shut off electricity for big chunks of days to install new fuse boxes.
  • Where they turn off water often to install new plumbing and move pipes.
  • Where they’ve roped of 6 feet of our living room to better contain the construction.  And where our kitchen table was moved into the living room.  Giving us about 60 square feet of space to actually live in.
  • Because of that remodel, my husband’s “office” has been moved into our bedroom, causing there to be more furniture in there than there ought to be.
  • Dust is everywhere.  You just can’t contain that stuff!
  • My sister moved to South Carolina last month, causing a big void in my life.
  • That same sister was my babysitter, causing us to hire a nanny.  Which isn’t going super well.  Mostly because of the construction in the home.  So we’re switching to a daycare, something I wanted to avoid.
  • My OB, who has been my doctor for almost 2 decades, has stopped taking pregnancy patients to focus on other areas of her practice.

The good news?  It’s a baby!!!!

In June, This Will Be A Summary of My Life:

  • I will be the mother of 4 little ones.  A 4 year old boy.  A 2 1/2 year old boy.  A 1 year old boy.  And a newborn.
  • The remodel will be over!
  • We will have a master bathroom that I can shower in.
  • We will have a finished basement with an official bedroom.  And a mancave.  And a living room.
  • We will have a kitchen that is fully functional – a working oven & stovetop, a microwave, and a fridge.  Appliances that aren’t in our entryway!
  • We will have our living room back.
  • We will have order back in our life!

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As shown in the previous post, our 3rd child, Samuel Aaron was born this week – on Tuesday!  Here’s the promised birth story.

(Note: It’s a very girl-friendly post, so if you don’t like reading things like ‘dilated’ and ‘cervix’, this would be a good post to skip.  No hard feelings!)

Monday, April 6th

The story really starts here.  Or, maybe really the night before – Sunday night.  At bedtime (10:15), I started feeling contractions and wondered “Is this it?”  I really wanted it to be it.  I tried to sleep, but couldn’t.  At 11:45, I got out of bed and tried to sleep downstairs on the couch as it’s much firmer and really quite pleasant to sleep on.  At 1:15 am, the contractions were every 5 minutes, but not very hard and not for very long.  I finally fell asleep around 2:30 am.

I wanted to see the doctor that morning, but we kept playing phone tag, so eventually, I just went to Labor & Delivery.  I was dilated to a 2 and maybe 60% effaced and they had problems picking up the contractions on the monitor.  They had me walk around for an hour, then checked me again.  No difference.  Went on home.  Disappointed.

Tuesday, April 7th

11:00 am – No contractions or anything that morning, but I did have a regularly scheduled OB appointment.  Dr. B checked me – I was still at a 2, but maybe 75% effaced.  Some difference, but certainly not much.  She said “It could be any time, you never know, but I don’t think I’ll see you again today.  And, oh by the way, I’m out of town this weekend, so if you do go into labor, it’ll be with the on call doctor.”  Bummer.  Went on back to work.  Disappointed.

2:00 pm – I had a big presentation at 2:00 that day.  If I had been gone, someone else was prepared to give it, but they were really hoping that I’d be there for it, so that they didn’t have to.  I was.  I gave the presentation from 2:00 to around 3:00.  I left work around 3:30 to go pick up my niece & nephew from elementary school and head home.

3:45 pm – In the carpool line, I started feeling STRONG pains.  At first I just thought: “Man, what’s that baby doing?  Those are some big movements!”  Since I had seen the doctor that morning, I didn’t think it was the start of anything real.  I was wrong.

4:30 pm – I got home, started dinner.  Dinner prep was painful!

4:45 pm – Jeff gets home and informs me that his doctor thinks he has Strep Strain C, which would explain why the antibiotics he had been on for the last week didn’t seem to make much of a difference.  They started him on a different antibiotic, but suggested that if I did go into labor before he had been on them for 24 hours, that he wears a mask.  Okay, great – so tonight would not be a good night to have this baby.

5:00 pm – I loosely timed the contractions and sure enough, they were like 3-4 minutes apart, really painful and about 45 seconds in length.  I tried taking a quick shower to see if the heat would help (or if maybe my water would break like last time).  No help.  Decided to call the doctor.  She told me to come on in – it was the only way to know if it was real or not.  Called my sister and arranged to drop off the boys.

5:50 pm – We left for the hospital.  Given the false alarms from the day before, I wasn’t fully confident that I was in labor.  So I suggested we stop by our church to drop off some books for Jeff’s Bible Study since he was going to miss it that night.  The church isn’t even on our way to the hospital!  It isn’t super far off the path, but it did cost us about 20 minutes for that detour.  (I was actually even tempted to tell Jeff to go to Bible Study; he could meet me at church afterwards, but I thought better of that suggestion).  Had Jeff known that I was really in labor, he never would’ve agreed to even dropping off the books, but when your wife is in ‘maybe labor’, doubting it herself AND she suggests that you meet your obligation, you kind of go along with it.

6:30 pm – Got to the hospital.  Checked in.  Nurse asked her questions, started an IV line.  Asked me my pain level (a ‘7’).  Hooked up monitors, saw that yes, these were definitely contractions.  Asked me my opinion on epidurals (love ’em) and questions about my last 2 labors.

6:50 pm – So she decided to check me.  After checking, she looked right at me, paused and said “Well, you’re at a 9.  And your bag of waters is just hanging really low right there.  You’re not going anywhere.  If I would’ve known that, I would’ve checked you sooner.”  A few calls to other nurses to help prep the room (3 more nurses filed in!), to Dr. B to tell her to get in, and to anesthesiology.

7:07 pm – Anesthesiologist arrives.  Asks his questions.  Tells me his next steps.  I’m thinking “Yes, yes, I got it.  This is a serious deal.  Just get the medicine in already.  Please and thank you.”

7:13 pm – Epidural in and on the FIRST TRY!  Both other times, it’s always taken them 3 attempts.  YES!  Relief within a few minutes.

7:34 pm – Dr. B arrives, checks me, agrees with the nurse and breaks my water.  Gush!

7:45 pm – I stopped dilating and even went backwards a little bit.  I guess my bag of waters was so low that it was helping to keep the cervix opened.  With it broken, everything closed a bit.  Not much, but it wasn’t going to be a matter of minutes like we thought.

8:30 pm – My contractions had gotten further apart (thanks to the pain meds) and baby hadn’t descended fully.  After waiting a bit to see what happens, she checked me again.  He was face up instead of face down like she prefers, so she had me push while she tried to turn him.  I don’t think I had much control, but it took about 3 sets of 3 pushes and she was able to turn him.

9:04 – One more set of pushes, he dropped down and came on out.  It is a boy!  Samuel Aaron is born!


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I’ll post the birth story later, but here’s a picture of our 3 sons!

Samuel Aaron was born last night at 9:04 p.m.!


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