Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Get this kid OUT!

Now before you go judging me and saying "the baby will come when he is ready" or "You still have 2.5 weeks" or "don't rush it", listen to my side of the story! 
Monday morning I went to my usual weekly pre-natal appointment. I was sure I would have made some progress because I had been having some pretty intense contractions throughout the past week. I was also sure that Hezekiah had dropped, because there was some pretty constant pressure in my pelvis and I was peeing even more than usual. Unfortunately, there was NO progress. No dropping, no dialating, no effacement. My Dr. was a little concerned because she said at this point she would have liked to see him at least drop and be preparing for birth. She then measured to see how big he is and she just looks at me and goes "Wow. That is big. He has really grown A LOT this week huh?" She even commented on the stretch marks that are now all over and weren't there last week. Well turns out, according to her measurements, he was measuring at 42 weeks (I am 37) . She ordered an ultrasound to make sure this was correct and check to see if it was just excess fluid... and if it wasn't, to make sure he had enough fluid. 
The ultrasound tech looked at me and assured me that is was probably just extra fluid and no worries. That was until she started the ultrasound. She kept re-measuring everything to be sure that it wasn't wrong. This baby is HUGE. His head is measuring at 43 weeks, his body at 39-40, and he is in the 91st percentile for weight at almost 8lbs! Basically, if he continues to grow at this rate, he could be over 11lbs. if he is born at full term. As for fluid, he has just the right amount (not too much, not too little).
It was kind of fun to see him since our last ultrasound was at 20 weeks. He is a chunk, with every available space filled with fat. We got to see his face, his hands and feet, and even checked out his heart for awhile. The ultrasound tech seemed impressed with how "mature" his heart was at this point and his development is great. 
Now, we are just waiting to see what the Dr. says on Monday at my appt. He is perfectly healthy staying in right now, we are just worried that he is not going to be able to come out. If I am still not progressing by Monday and if the Dr. determines his head to be too big for my pelvis, we may have to consider other options to get him into this world.
Brad is thrilled because we wanted a fat, healthy baby. I am also happy that he is so dang healthy, I am just on the uncomfortable side. I guess this is what I get for having such an easy pregnancy. As for now, I am sitting, waiting, moving as little as possible (I am so big it hurts), and just hanging out hoping this little guy decides to come today. Wish us luck! 

Don't let the smile fool you...I am not feeling happy about this haha. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thoughts for 9 months

Saturday marked the 9 months pregnant point. Wahoo. In a way, I feel a little cheated though. All of my life I was told that women are pregnant for 9 months. Maybe I was just naive, but when someone says 9 months, I don't expect them to mean 10. But, alas, here I am at 37 weeks pregnant, still 3 weeks from my due date, and well over 9 months. That's not fair. 
I do have pictures of me at 8 months. And, I have a bad camera phone picture of me at 9 months...but let me just spare you the pain of seeing me this large. If it helps you imagine, I look similar to this: 

We moved this weekend, and much to mine and Brad's surprise, I didn't go into labor. I have this bad habit of over-doing things, so we were pretty sure I would put myself into labor moving boxes and such that I shouldn't. We did have a really close call Monday night, but a cold water bottle, bath, and laying down made the contractions stop. Hezekiah seems pretty intent on coming out though. He has dropped down pretty low and I have way more Braxton-Hicks contractions than seems normal...but the Dr. says all is well. We are hoping he holds out a little longer though so my Mom can get here. Neither Brad or I want to do this without her. 
As for the labor, I am a freak and am really excited. I know I should be scared or something, but I am excited to see this little guy and I am really excited to use the hypno-birthing and relaxation techniques Brad and I have been working on. I have had so many people tell me I am nuts (including my Dr.), so I can't wait to prove myself to them. I know it won't be a walk in the park, but it is like playing in a championship game: you know it is going to be hard, but it is going to awesome! 
Now for some thoughts on pregnancy in general. I am pretty sure I will write a fuller, more in depth list after I have the baby, but for now, this is what is on my mind:
  • Stretch marks. Regardless of how much vitamin D or cocoa butter lotion you use, if you are going to get them, there is no preventing it. I lathered myself in stuff daily, but these last few weeks of growth have proven futile for my poor belly. Oh well, they are like a cool tiger stipe tattoo, right?
  • Bug Bites: My belly is a bug magnent. I have managed to get a spider bite, some other strange bug, and 3 mosquito bites on my belly in the last month. Boy are they itchy. Having stretched skin makes the itch un-soothable. Shoot. Hopefully Kai doesn't come out with little bumps all over him from everything that is biting me.
  • Shoes: I wore my heels and cute shoes up until this month. It was probably stupid of me to do because my feet were so sore, but I was too vain to give them up. I have officially given up. I now wear what we call my "camping shoes" everywhere I and I don't even care. I look goofy, but they feel good so oh well. They look sexy with a skirt, just saying. 
My super trendy camping shoes
  • Maternity clothes: I guess this is another instance of my naivety, but I didn't realize that you could grow OUT of maternity clothes. I was so proud of the fact that I didn't have to wear maternity pants until 7 months, and that I could still wear most of my shirt until 8 months...but those days are long gone. Last week I put on a MATERNITY shirt, only to find that it was too small: too short, too tight, too low, waaaay too much exposure. Brad's clothes and I have become best friends when I am in the house. Who knew I could get that big. 
  • Waddle: I totally thought that the pregnancy waddle was something that women exaggerated a little bit. I mean, I know you are big, but waddling is a little excessive, don't you think? I apologize to every woman I ever thought that about. I waddle. I more than waddle; I scoot and teeter. Once those hips start popping out, there is no helping it. I sometimes check behind me to make sure a little line of ducks aren't following.
  • The belly gravitational field: The belly has a gravitational field all of its own. Try as I might to eat like a dainty woman and keep myself clean, my chest and belly are ALWAYS covered in food, dirt, random stuff like lint and makeup, etc. There is no way to keep it clean, though it always fun guessing how long into dinner it will take me to be wearing my food. 
  • Wide load: Sometimes, I feel like I am driving a wide load truck. You can't really control where the belly goes. I am always knocking into things and people without meaning to. I have no depth perception when it comes to how far away something is from my belly. Brad thinks it is funny. 
Those are my thoughts right now. Pregnancy, so far, has been a fun, new, wild adventure. I can't wait for Kai's birthday, not only to end this adventure, but start a new one. The count down is on!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Moving...again

So we are moving in about a week. I know, it feels like we are constantly moving, and honestly, we are. This will be our fifth move in the three years we have been married. Kind of excessive, I know, but we like it like this. 
I'm a weirdo. I love moving. I love de-cluttering and going through my stuff at least once a year. I love selling off everything we have and redecorating in each new place. It helps you learn to not become attached to things. I also love meeting new people. Yeah, it is hard to constantly be starting new friendships, but it is exciting too. This move is only like 10 miles down the road so there won't be too many new changes though.
The changes to look forward to in this move: 2 bedrooms (which means a nursery), a washer and dryer, a view of the beach on our back patio, only 1/2 a mile from Brad's work (which means a car for me), 2 miles from the beach, a park less than a block away for Keeva to play, a great area with tons of nightlife and awesome restaurants, and a hot-tub (post baby I am sooo excited for that part).
Well, in honor of moving, I figured I would post pictures of our current apartment that we are moving from. We will definitely miss the vaulted ceilings because they let in so much light and make it look about double the size, but we will NOT miss the neighbors and the actual lack of space. 
View from hallway entrance into living room and dining room

Our computer nook/office area

The living room 

Here you can really see the vaulted ceilings well 

From the dining room: to show the porch and vaulted ceilings again

Kitchen. I LOVED the cupboard space

Dining room with record player and our other orange wall

Monday, February 6, 2012

Nightmares and Dreams

Ever since I was little I have had the most vivid dreams. There are so many times when I wake up and have no clue whether they were real or in my mind. Poor Brad has had to deal with a very angry me on many occasions accusing him of things that I am convinced happened, but I only dreamed. 
Pregnancy has made my dreams even more intense. I was never told that crazy dreams were a symptom of pregnancy, but I looked it up and evidently the hormones do induce some nuts dreams. They range from psychedelic to just plain freaky and erase my mind weird. 
Having such vivid dreams and little ability to separate them from reality makes nightmares more than terrifying. When I was a little girl I would sit in my room sobbing until my mom came and explained to me that it was all in my head. I am not sure if it is the subconscious stresses of our upcoming move, the delivery, or just everything on my plate right now in general, but the nightmares are back with a vengeance. Even a simple nap is greeted with dreams so real it takes me the whole day to shake and convince myself that it didn't actually happen. I have to go through the checklist: my baby is okay, my husband is alive, my family is all alright.  I just need Hezekiah to hurry up and get here so the nightmares stop! In the mean time, I have been watching funny/adorable videos of Keeva to get my mind off of them. I thought I would share. 
Until Kai is here, Keeva is the star of the home still...I wonder how she will feel when cameras turn to him instead. :) Okay, truth is there will probably still be plenty of pictures and videos of her still haha. 
Enjoy: 

video
Keeva being an over-happy puppy

video
Barking at the crazy Youtube dog

video
Keeva being destructive as usual


video
Swinging. This is why we need a baby. 


COMMON DENOMINATOR: Leaving Keeva alone for the day tends to result in funny videos. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Feeling Blessed

Many of you know that  a little over three years ago, I was diagnosed is an auto-immune/vasculitis disease called Behçet's disease. Since that diagnosis I have had "outbreaks" of the disease about every 5 months, sometimes resulting in a hospital stay but usual just treated with heavy steroid treatment and antibiotics. When we received the diagnosis, I spent hours on end reading everything I could about Behçet's so I could be prepared for my future. The interent is a wonderful tool, but it can devastating and terrifying too. I learned that it an is incredibly rare syndrome and that is it even more uncommon for a caucasian woman to have. Because of this rarity, little is actual known about how it effects me and would play a role in my future. Among the research, I found a lot of people claiming that I would be in pain the rest of my life, never live to my full potential because of muscle and skeletal weakness, lose my sight, and even not be able to have children.
The last part was most devastating. I talked to my doctor and confirmed that yes, there was a pretty good chance that I would not be able to have kids. Part of the nature of the disease is that my immune system declares war on healthy cells in my body. It turns on itself and thinks that everything is a foreign invader. This is why pregnancy was unlikely. If my body rejects its own cells, an ACTUAL invader (baby) would be the first thing it would be likely to attack. It hurt to hear, but over time, Brad and I accepted this possibility and planned to adopt in the future. In the back of both of our minds we kept hope though that the lack of knowledge about the disease would mean I had more of chance, and that maybe we would be blessed with a miracle.
Fast forward to about 6 1/2 months ago. It had been almost 10 months since my last Behçet's outbreak and even with the stresses of graduating and moving, I had stayed really healthy for a change. I started to get terrible migraines that caused blindnes and slurred speech. The doctors went through a series of blood tests and even an MRI to see what was going on. As I waited patiently in the exam room, expecting to hear my good luck with health had run out and the Behçet's had progressed to veins in my brain (which could happen), a giddy nurse rushed in the room grinning and told me the doctor would be in in a second. The doctor came in and explained some of the test results. He told me I was experiencing something called cluster neurological migraines and oh, that I am also pregnant but not to worry because the MRI couldn't hurt the baby, and the migraines are probably from the pregnancy hormones.
I was in shock. I couldn't even comprehend what he was saying. I walked into the hall and called Brad who was waiting to hear the test results. I had always thought that if I ever got pregnant I would plan some awesome way to tell him; that is would be something we would remember forever. But instead, I just blabbed right there on the phone without any warning, to which he responded "Really? That's awesome! I will talk to you when I get home loveyoubye," and he hung up. I guess he was as shocked as I was. I next met with the OBGYN who confirmed with 2 ultrasounds that I was indeed about 8 weeks pregnant and that the baby looked healthy and all was well.
I should have been relieved, and I was beyond happy, but I knew we weren't in the clear. I had read horror stories about women whose Behçet's flared up while pregnant and because they couldn't take their steroid regiment they ended up hospitalized and lost the baby. I also knew that even WITHOUT an autoimmune disease, the chance of a miscarriage in the 1st trimester are about 1 in 3. I made Brad swear not to tell a soul until we passed the 1st trimester. Needless to say, he was a little too excited to keep a secret, but it turned out okay because we made it through the 1st trimester. Not only did we make it through, but I felt amazing! I was healthier than I have ever felt in my life. I didn't get sick, I lost a bunch of weight, I had energy; life was good.
The second trimester came before I knew it, but I was still scared. I couldn't shake the thought that at any moment Behçet's could strike and take this baby from me. At 14 weeks we found out he was a boy, and at 20 weeks we found out he was a HEALTHY boy. He was growing fast, his heart looked great, and all was well with him. It all felt like a dream. How could I be this lucky? The doctor explained that there was 2 ways my body could react: 1 it could have gone into attack mode and we would have lost him, or 2 the pregnancy hormone that usually suppresses women's immune system durring pregnancy could suppress my immune system to the point that I go into a "remission" while pregnant/breastfeeding. My body seemed to be choosing option2 by some amazing miracle.
The holidays came and went, and now here I am in the third trimester, only 6 weeks from my due date. I guess any normal person would count their blessings and just accept that all is well, but I am a worrier. I feel so grateful that we made it this far, and I know that my body is doing awesome in baking this little guy. He is moving so much and growing more and more everyday, but the stress of what COULD happen is still in my mind. I made the mistake when I was first diagnosed of reading about a woman with Behçet's whose baby was born covered head-to-toe in sores and so sick that it needed medical intervention to survive. I couldn't help but to wonder what I had doomed my baby to. Is he going to be okay? When these thoughts come, I have to remind myself that Behçet's is rare, and even more rare for caucasian women. There is little research on how it effects women like me, let alone during pregnancy. There is even less research about how it effects their children. One woman's story is not an indicator of how I will be. There are too many variables to even compare myself to her, and I have had the pregnancy from Heaven, so who's to say it won't continue that way into labor?
In all of the stress of these thoughts and worrying about what is going to happen, I received an update this morning from a blog I follow on Behçet's research. I love how the Lord works: when I am having a hard time, the timing of this other person's post was perfect. The post was about a new study that was released at a recent conference for vascular diseases. The study followed 15 women with vascular diseases (8 had Behçet's) and their pregnancies. The study group is small, but with so few of us they were probably lucky to find that many. Basically, the findings were that if the baby lived past the first trimester, they were born healthy babies to healthy moms. Only 2 of the Behçet's moms even had an outbreak durring their pregnancy and it was early on and NONE of them had babies with complications. This might be the most relieving and happy study I have ever read. I know most people don't even care, but to me those babies give me hope and make me feel like the chances of Hezekiah having problems are rare. Such a blessing! The only interesting thing to note, is that almost all of the babies were born before 40 weeks...so I maybe will have an early baby?
I know this was long, but I had to write it all down before I forgot how I have been feeling. I know that everyone deals with their own trials and fears, and it is sometimes good to be reminded that we are not alone, and the future is not as scary as it may seem. I am so grateful to be carrying this little boy and I can't wait for him to be in my arms. I am also excited to have a wonderful successful labor and delivery and healthy baby so that someday when some scared girl is researching Behçet's disease after a diagnosis, she can see what I went through and know that it is possible for everything to okay.... actually, better than okay: perfect.

If you are curious about the details of the study that I am talking about, the abstract can be found HERE