Thursday, April 30, 2009

31 weeks, 5 days: Ultrasound & Pre-natal appt. update

We went to the doctor for another follow-up ultrasound.  If you recall, four weeks ago we had an ultrasound that showed that Jacob's kidneys were still enlarged and also that he was a bit large for his gestational age.  Well, today we got some good news and some not-so-good news.

First the good news: Jacob's size isn't as concerning to the doctor as it was last time.  She said that he is weighing around 4 lbs 12 oz (which is slightly higher than the 90th percentile, but not so bad that she is concerned). She, again, explained to us that this is no indication of when he will arrive - early or late or right on time. Looks like he might just end up being a big baby!

The not-so-good news: Jacob's right kidney is larger than it was four weeks ago.  (The left one is still dilated but not much more than it was last time).  The doctor said that she is concerned because they cannot confirm what the obstruction is that is causing the dilation of the renal collecting system in the right kidney.  So, she referred me to a specialist who is going to perform a more thorough ultrasound tomorrow afternoon.  I am not sure if it is going to be a 3-D ultrasound, but that is a possibility.  I am hopeful that we will get more specific answers tomorrow and from there we will be able to know what the course of action will be.

In other news, I also had a regular pre-natal appointment today.  The doctor said that everything was good.  I was worried that I might have a bladder infection because of some mild pain that I have been having in my lower abdomen, but thankfully my urine test came back clear so that is not the case. The doctor seems to think the pain is basic ligament stretching and nothing more.  My blood pressure was good at 120/84 and I have gained 4 lbs., for a total of 19 lbs. I was worried that 4 lbs. was a bit much for two weeks, but the doctor didn't even mention it so I am going to assume she is not concerned at this point.

We have a busy weekend planned as we head to Richmond tomorrow to tailgate at the Nascar race on Saturday (we are not going to the actual race on Saturday night, just tailgating all day with some good friends).  I am very much looking forward to the trip and hope that it doesn't rain too much or get too hot!!  I will post an update about the ultrasound tomorrow when I can.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Showered with Blessings

Last Saturday, I had my first baby shower (I have two others planned in the next month - WOW!).  It was hosted by great friends of ours from St. Martin's, the church in Richmond that Keith and I were (and still are!) members of. We are so blessed to have great friends that would go above and beyond for us, even though we don't see them that often anymore.

There were so many great things about the shower - awesome food, clever games, homemade cookies & fabulous desserts, and wonderful decorations (including baby outfits hanging on a cute!)

Everyone was so generous and thoughtful with the gifts. I would love to show you a picture of every one of them, but that might be a little bit of overkill. Hopefully once Jacob is born, you will get to see all of the gifts being put to good use!  Until then, here are a bunch of pictures from the day (MUCHO THANKS to my sisters Katie & Karen for taking these pictures):

The hanging outfits were so cute!
Wow - that is a lot of presents!
This is a remnant of one of the games we played.  These little babies were frozen in ice cubes and the winner was the person that "birthed" their baby from the ice cube first. It was hysterical watching everyone try to melt their ice cube by using their hands, or putting it in their mouth, or (like one person did) sitting on it!  Hysterical!!
These trifles for dessert were awesome!  
I hate to admit it but I tried each one! YUM!!
One of the other games was to figure out what kind of baby food 
was in the jars that were passed around.  This is a picture of the plate that my sisters & mom used to keep track of each kind. 
Those of us that were brave enough to taste each one realized that 
some baby food (especially the "meat" kinds like ham and turkey) 
are pretty awful tasting!!
Some of the wonderful gifts we received:

Keith arrived as I was starting to open the presents.  
I had asked him to come so he could enjoy seeing all the 
awesome things we were given.

Our friend Jill (who organized the shower & should be a party planner!!) made this picture frame using an ultrasound picture of Jacob.  She asked everyone at the shower to sign the matte.  Isn't that a clever idea? (She is so smart!!)
Here are some of the WONDERFUL gals that helped host the shower.  
These women are so awesome!!  
Keith and I cannot thank them enough for all that they did for us!  
We are truly blessed!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Let the swelling begin...

I am not sure if you can tell by these photos, but needless to say, the swelling has begun!! A few minutes ago, I lifted my legs to put my feet up on the couch and I realized that my right foot and ankle are super swollen! It is weird to see it that way when it is not painful or really feeling any different. I guess this is just a glimpse at what is to come over the next 9 weeks. :(

P.S. Pay no attention to my awful looking toenails. I need to get a pedicure soon!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nursery Border

This past Sunday, my parents came to our house to help with some household stuff.  My dad helped Keith finish the garage shelving project and my mom and I put up the border in Jacob's room.  Like I said previously, my mom bought the border for us and offered to come help put it up.

Let me tell mom is a pro at a project like this!  She almost did the entire thing by herself.  I was there to "help" her, but really she did 99% of the work!!  

Mom - thank you SO much for all of your help.  The room looks awesome and we really appreciate everything you have done for us!! We love you!

Here is a close up picture of the border.  Don't you love the little bears with the different sport balls!?

Here are some pictures of what the room looks like now.  It's coming together so nicely!

Friday, April 17, 2009

30 Weeks

OMG....I can't believe I am 30 weeks pregnant today! I only have 10 more weeks to go (give or take a few weeks, I am sure!). I can't believe it! Time is flying by and I am loving every minute of it.

Well, that's not exactly true!! I am tired of having this cold and awful cough that I have had for almost two weeks now! The stuffy nose & sore throat are gone but I still have a dry, hacking kind of cough all day long! Oh, and nights are no fun as I am up every 30 mins or so with a wretched cough (and my nose tends to get stuffed up at night too). Pair that with at least two trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night and that doesn't make for a very restful night! I am hoping that it goes away soon but for now, I just have to deal with it. My aunt Sharon gave me some suggestions today (from her sister-in-law who uses only natural herbal medicine), so hopefully some of her ideas will help cure this soon!

Other than that, I am feeling pretty good. Jacob is starting to move more and more every day. It used to be that I could only feel a slight flutter inside me, but now the movements are becoming stronger and more frequent. He moves the most after I eat something and usually I can feel it best when I am either sitting or laying down. Keith has tried to feel the movements by touching my belly, but unfortunately, he hasn't been able to feel anything. I am sure it won't be long before the poking and prodding begins so I am ok with just feeling the flutters right now.

It is interesting/scary/weird/cool for me to think that I actually have a real, live, moving, developing baby inside of me right now. I mean, I have known for 6 months now that I have had a living being inside of me, but it just gets more and more "real" every day. I saw a picture of a baby born at 31 weeks the other day and I was fascinated that it looked just like a regular baby. I mean, I knew that preemies still look like regular babies, but it really brought home the concept that there is an actual functioning baby inside of me right now. And he has fingers and toes and eyes and hair (hopefully!) and boy parts (weird to think about that!!). WOW! It is truly an amazing and miraculous process!

One not-so-nice thing that has been happening to me (and I hesitated to even share this but hey, I am sure I am not the only pregnant woman to have this happen....or least I hope not!). The thing is with all of this coughing comes the not-so-nice side effect of not being able to control my urine when I cough. I swear it has gotten worse over the past two weeks! Last night I even had to change my underwear and pajama bottoms because it was that much! And, it happened even after I had just emptied my bladder! YUCK!!! Guess I need to start doing some kegal exercises on a regular basis!

We have a lot of fun stuff happening over the next week or so that I am really looking forward to. On Sunday, my parents are coming over to help with more household preparation stuff. Dad and Keith will hopefully be able to finally get the garage shelving project 100% complete and my Mom and I are going to put the border up in the baby's room. (My mom is so awesome - she bought the border for us so that we could get it up before we get too much stuff in that room. THANKS MOM!!).

On Tuesday evening, we have our first Childbirth Prep class. We will go for two hours every Tuesday for six weeks and then we will have one Breastfeeding class in early June. I am really excited about the classes! Also, next weekend I have my first baby shower! YAY! Some wonderful friends from the church we attended in Richmond are throwing me a shower and I am very much looking forward to it. It will be great to see everyone again and celebrate Jacob's impending arrival! (And, I am not going to lie - I am excited to see what cool presents we get!)

I will be sure to post pics and info about all of this fun stuff. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

29 weeks & 5 days

I had a pre-natal appointment today.  It was a quick in-and-out....I love that the doctor's office gets me in so quickly! My appointment was at 9:10am and I was out of there by 9:30am!

I saw Dr. Culver, who is the last of the doctors that I had never seen before. Now I can go back to seeing my "regular" doc again (and hope that she is available the day I deliver!)

Dr. Culver was very nice and informative.  He talked to me about some symptoms that I am having - back pain, numbness in my fingertips, and sporadic low abdominal cramping. He assured me that these are all "normal" pregnancy symptoms and that, unfortunately, I would just have to deal with them for now.  

I also talked to him about this awful cough and cold that I have.  He said that there isn't any medication that he would advise that I take.  He said that it may be allergies, not just a cold (but I don't necessarily agree with him....seems like a cold to me!)  I am just hoping that it goes away soon!

Here are some of the "numbers" from today's appointment:
  • Weight gain = 2 lbs.  Total weight gain is now 15 lbs (good!)
  • Blood pressure = 122/80 (normal!)
  • Heartbeat = 145 (good!)
  • Measuring = 30 cm (close to where I actually am....30 weeks on Friday!)
I am starting to look more pregnant too, which I am enjoying (although things like bending over and putting socks on are becoming much more difficult!)  I am not comfortable posting a "belly shot" yet, but here is a picture that Keith took of me after church on Easter Sunday.  I don't necessarily think it is a very flattering picture, but it will at least give you an idea of what I am looking like these days:
I am definitely poking out higher, rather than lower.  Not sure what that means, if anything! Although the stretch marks that I spoke about previously are lower and are starting to "grow". I am guessing it will all even out in the next couple of weeks.

Not much longer now...only 10 weeks left!! :-)  My next pre-natal appointment is in two weeks on April 30th. That is also the day that I have my follow-up ultrasound so it will be a busy afternoon.

Thank you for all of your continued good thoughts and prayers as we continue on this journey! 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Glucose Tolerance Test results

I just got a call from the nurse with my GTT results. I was feeling very anxious and worried but now I can be SUPER excited! I PASSED!!

My official numbers were:

Fasting - 83 mg/dl
One Hour - 164 mg/dl
Two Hours - 101 mg/dl
Three Hours - 129 mg/dl

The abnormal numbers (per the website) are:

Fasting - 95 mg/dl or higher
One Hour - 180 mg/dl or higher
Two Hours - 155 mg/dl or higher
Three Hours - 140 mg/dl or higher

Praise God that I don't have to deal with gestational diabetes!! Now, we just have to wait and see how Jacob's weight progresses. Maybe he is just going to be a big baby.

I have a regular prenatal exam scheduled for next Wednesday morning. I am on the every two weeks schedule now instead of monthly. I also have an ultrasound scheduled for April 30th so we can see how his kidneys are doing and also how he is growing.

Until then, I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter. We are leaving this evening to head to PA to spend the holiday weekend with Keith's family. I will be without internet access up there so I will try and post again after we return on Monday.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

28 Week appt. & Glucose Screening Test

Like I stated in my last post, I had a regular monthly pre-natal appointment scheduled for last Friday (a day after my ultrasound). I was scheduled to see another doctor in the practice that I had not seen before - his name is Dr. Heider. He was very pleasant and informative. All in all, the appointment went very well. Here are some stats from that appointment:
  • Blood pressure: 110/80
  • Weight gain: 3.5 lbs for a running total of 13 lbs
  • Jacob's heartbeat: 141 bpm
After I was finished with Dr. Heider, he gave me the paperwork to go down to the Lab, which is located in the same building as the OB/GYN office, to do my Glucose Screening Test, which tests for Gestational Diabetes. I had been told by a few of my friends who had already been through this, that it was pretty awful, so I was prepared for the worst.

I was pleasantly surprised when the Lab Tech handed me a small water-bottle sized container of fruit punch flavored liquid. I guess from what I had heard from other people, I expected it to be a gallon of liquid that I had to drink. Thankfully - even though I am not a fan of fruit punch - it went down very easily, didn't taste bad at all, and I was done drinking it in a matter of minutes. Once I was finished and handed the empty bottle back to the Tech, she wrote down the time and said that she would take a blood sample from me in one hour. I made my way to the seating area, found a interesting looking magazine (I think it was Redbook, but I can't quite remember) and sat down to wait an hour. Once the hour was up, she took a blood sample and told me that the result would be sent to the doctor the next day.

Yesterday, a nurse from the OB/GYN office called and said that my results came back and my glucose level was elevated - it was 166 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood plasma (mg/dL). She said that it wasn't super high but higher than they would like to see. A level of 200 mg/dL or over definitely means you have diabetes and she said that anything over 130 mg/dL means that the woman has to have a follow-up test called a Glucose Tolerance Test. This test is similar to the Screening test except I have to drink twice the amount of glucose liquid AND it is a three hour test. This time, after I drink the sugary stuff, I have to have my blood drawn one hour, two hours, and three hours afterwards. Fun times, huh?

I have this three hour test scheduled for tomorrow morning at 8:30am. I guess I need to bring a good book and just plan to hunker down in the waiting room all morning. I am wondering if they have wireless internet access in the lab....maybe I will bring my laptop and see if I can actually accomplish something worthwhile (ya know, like blogging or reading blogs or facebooking....those sorts of things. HAHA). Anyways, hopefully I will get the results back tomorrow afternoon or Thursday at the latest. I will be sure to post an update once I have the results.

Please pray that things continue to go well for Jacob (and me) and that all of this testing comes out normal. I will certainly do whatever I need to do to make sure that the baby and I are both healthy during these last few months, but having to deal with diabetes (if, in fact, I do have it) will not be fun!

Monday, April 6, 2009

28 Weeks & 3 Days

This past week, like all of the others, was extremely busy.  Lots of things happened but I just haven't had time to blog about any of them.  We were in Richmond from Friday night through last night - seeing old friends, spending time with my entire family, celebrating birthdays for Brian, Karen & Sierra and shopping for a new car.  

It was an awesome weekend and we had a great time, but now I am exhausted and really need some sleep.  I am also having terrible upper back pain today.  I think it is because I sat at my desk at work too much today.  I need to see about getting a different chair or taking a pillow to work so that I have more support on my upper back while I am working on my computer.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Like I said, a lot of things happened last week that I want to blog about.  Most importantly was the ultrasound that I had on Thursday.  This was a follow up to my mid-point ultrasound where the doctor saw that Jacob's kidneys were a bit enlarged.  They wanted me to come back last week so they could look at him again to see how they were doing.  Unfortunately, this most recent scan didn't show any improvement in regards to his kidneys.  The doctor did say that they have not become any more enlarged, but they are still appearing larger than they should be.  She is still not super concerned because she said that they were able to see urine in his bladder and there is plenty of fluid surrounding him.  They would, however, like me to come back in 4 weeks and do another ultrasound. I am fine with this, of course, but it seems like every time they do another scan, they seem to find something else that could be "wrong".

This time, when the technician measured Jacob's head and his body, she said, "wow, he is a big baby".  As she and the doctor both stated, ultrasound is definitely not 100% accurate, but they are a bit concerned with his size at this point.  From what they measured on the scan, they are estimating his weight at approximately 3 lbs, 5 oz.  That is about a pound heavier than he should be at this time!!  Of course, this concerned both Keith and me and we wanted to know what could be causing him to be so big. The doctor said that there are many different factors that can lead to "large" babies - the most common one being that the mother has developed gestational diabetes. Others could be simple genetics - if both parents are more on the "large size" then the baby could be too or sometimes babies grow a lot in the beginning and then taper off and become "normal" size babies by the end of the pregnancy.

As of Thursday, when I had my ultrasound, I had not yet had my glucose screening test (which is a test for gestational diabetes).  Most women have their test between 24 and 28 weeks and I was scheduled to have mine on Friday after my regular monthly pre-natal exam.  The doctor said that knowing the results of this test would help to narrow down the reason for Jacob's weight being so much more than it should be.  I was really nervous about getting the results of the glucose screening test back because I REALLY don't want to have to deal with diabetes while I am pregnant.  I have not known anyone who had it, but it just seems like it could make the last few months of my pregnancy even harder, especially from a diet standpoint.

Since this post is getting long - and I have a lot more things to talk about and I am getting super tired - I will continue this in a different post....tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jacob's Furniture

Last Saturday, my parents drove from Richmond and Shaun, Katie & Pierce came over to help us put together our nursery furniture. Like I said in a previous post, we were blessed to be given all of the nursery furniture as a gift.  It was awesome that we were able to get an entire matching set (and the fact that we didn't have to pay for any of it made it even better!).

My mom and Shaun did an awesome job putting all four pieces of furniture together in a matter of a few hours.  I, sadly, only screwed in like two screws the entire day!  Shaun & Mom were a great team and we owe them a HUGE thank you for all of their hard work.  Katie & Pierce also helped with the furniture.  (Dad & Keith worked on two other projects...that will be another post!)  Pierce was having fun collecting all of the screws, nuts, and bolts. And, my mom allowed him to help with the power screwdriver a few times.  He really enjoyed it...he is such a little helper!  Like father, like son! 

Here are some pictures from the day:

Katie, Shaun & Mom putting the crib together
Pierce helping "Mimi" & "Daddy" with the screws
The dresser - all finished
The crib (minus the mattress) and the changing table
The bookcase & glider

The room is now all "furnished" and ready for Jacob's arrival (of course, it will continue to fill up as we add the bedding, clothes, accessories and all of the baby necessities!)  At least now, the room is starting to look more like a nursery!