Wednesday, June 24, 2015

21 weeks and ultrasound

I don't have a lot of time, but here's a quick update.  We had our big ultrasound today.  The one they told us would take an hour.  The one that, last time with the twins, took more than an hour, and we got tons of pictures and saw them in 3D.  This time, it took 10 minutes, we got 4 pictures (two showing he's a boy (YAY!), one of his foot, and one that's completely unrecognizable), the tech said something on the order of "everything looks good, the exit is that way" and that was it.  Is that normal?  Did we get a lot of special treatment last time since it was twins?  I don't know.  It seemed weird.

I called the OB on Monday and they recommended a stronger antacid and having a snack with protein before bed.  So for two nights now I've been taking Zantac and having whole wheat toast with almond butter before bed, and I feel amazing.  The problem is that I have no idea if the underlying issue may have cleared up without taking the risk of going without the meds, and I don't feel like doing that right now.  So, I figure I'll keep doing it for a bit and then experiment without the meds for a day or two.

I've had terrible upper back pain, caused from tension I believe.  So I'm getting a prenatal massage tomorrow.  I was in so much pain last night I could barely function, although today is better.  Still we're going backpacking this weekend, and I can't risk not being able to carry a pack and canceling the whole trip for everyone.  Plus I think I deserve a massage once in a while, so there you go.  I'm really looking forward to it.

My kids started swim team yesterday.  For their age, it's really more like swim lessons, and they've had so many lessons so far that they're obviously way ahead of most of the other kids.  I'm worried it may be a step back for them, but too late now, and I think they'll have fun anyway.  And they'll get to compete in a swim meet if they want.  They're also still doing indoor soccer, but most of their friends are switching to regular AYSO in the fall.  I've been leaning against it, because they'd be on two different teams which means two separate practices and two separate games each week, but if all their friends leave indoor soccer, then I'm not sure they'd enjoy it that much anyway.  So now I'm starting to lean more in favor of it.  And I have to decide soon, since the last day of sign-ups is tomorrow.

Last update - we decided we'd like to seriously consider an au pair, but we can't find any from Italy.  We're going to start our own search soon, because we REALLY want an Italian-speaking helper.  It looks like I may have more work starting up soon, and if it continues into the fall, with two kids starting school and a newborn on the way, not to mention all the holidays that our family usually hosts, I think I'm going to need the extra pair of hands.

So ... there are my thoughts.  Now I've got to get this place cleaned up a bit before leaving for swimming then soccer then library, then friends over!!!!  We're way too busy!

Friday, June 19, 2015

So ... yeah

Wow, pregnancy has been going along swimmingly this time!  Maybe I said that too often!  Because holy cow, things came to a crashing halt this week.

I started having low back pain and something that felt like sciatica earlier this week.  Actually, now that I think about it, I started having foot cramps last week, too, to the point that I had to stop kicking once in a while when I was swimming, and couldn't kneel and sit back on my feet in yoga.  So yeah, starting to have some body aches.

Last night I woke up several times during the night with weird stomach pain.  I thought I might vomit.  I felt really, really bad, but mostly managed to get back to sleep.  At 6:45ish (maybe?) I sent my hubby in with the kids when they woke up because I was feeling so awful, and while I didn't think I could sleep anymore, I also couldn't face dealing with them just yet.  I ended up sitting up in bed, because that felt better, just trying to cope with the pain and uncomfortableness and nausea.  I was supposed to go to my mom's today, too, and seriously thought about cancelling (which would have been awesome, but I felt a little bad about it).  It would get better, then worse again.  Weirdly, despite the nausea and cramping stomach, I also felt hungry.

I finally started looking up my symptoms via Dr. Google, and I realized I was probably having heartburn or acid reflux.  I've had heartburn before, when I take painkillers on an empty stomach, and this is a little different.  It's not a burning sensation, much more a crampy feeling that gets worse if I lay down.  Still, I popped a couple tums and it cleared up pretty quickly.  I took a few more after lunch when the pain started up again, and I had to take one a little while ago, around 6pm, because the pain was coming back pretty badly.

It seems awfully sudden to just start like this, but I dunno.  I've decided to push on through the (unfortunately very busy) weekend, taking tums as needed, and if things haven't improved by Monday, I'll call the OB/midwife.  I really hope things improve quickly.  I certainly don't remember anything like this last time, but maybe I am just forgetting.

I have been thinking of a few questions, though, and realizing a few things.  I will be missing the last "Meet the Doulas" information session before my due date, since we'll probably go to Italy.  It also just occurred to me that with a VBAC, I probably won't be able to deliver with a midwife, but it's worth asking.  I also don't know if a water birth is possible with a VBAC, so I need to verify that, as well.

So ... please send me some positive thoughts that whatever is going on clears up soon, or can be managed with some pregnancy-friendly medication!  Thank you!

Monday, June 15, 2015

20 weeks tomorrow

Wow, we've been busy, and I've been feeling run a little ragged.  My to-do list keeps growing, my motivation is lacking, and I'm always tired.  Mostly I'm trying to get things more organized around here (as always), and I've got lots and lots of projects going on at the same time.  Bulleted list?

  • I need to get our guest room cleaned up and organized.  This has been happening, but slowly.  I've used it as a base to sort through the piles of maternity clothes I've got (which reminds me, there's a donation pick-up tomorrow), for my sewing projects, for furniture I've bought and we might not keep, Christmas wrap (that needs to find a method of being stored somewhere), etc.  It's a bit of a disaster, and we'll need it for guests and/or an au pair soon.
  • Plane tickets for a potential trip to Italy.  There are so many variables - dates, airlines (since many flights are not operated by the airline selling the tickets), layovers, total trip length, travel times, etc.  It's very last-minute and getting rather expensive, too.  Also, I'm trying to avoid missing too much of our pre-planned summer activities here in the states.
  • Organizing our house, schedule, and paperwork. I'm working on putting together a home management binder.  Trying to keep incoming paperwork under control until I get a chance to tackle our files and old paperwork.  Buying shelves and bins and things from IKEA to get the clutter under control and the kids things organized.  It's quite a job.
  • Still trying to figure out babysitting/mother's helpering, etc starting in the fall.  Au pair?  Grad student?  Finding someone from Italy?
  • Summer activities are pretty much taken care of!  The kids will be doing violin lessons and swim team, and maybe we'll continue indoor soccer, but I'm not sure yet.  They also have a week of summer camp with a friend, and $1 movies on Tuesday/Wednesday mornings.  I've arranged a babysitter to come once a week for my prenatal yoga, too.
  • Fall - we should be getting notification of if our kids will be in morning or afternoon kindergarten in the next week or so, and I need to decide if we'll do AYSO (my friend called it All Your Saturdays Occupied, which is my big worry).  Since teams are not co-ed we'd also have two separate practices each week, which might be a problem.  I'm feeling really undecided about it.  I also don't want to overdo the organized activities, so we'll see.
  • Fifth birthday party for the twins!  Their birthday is in 3 weeks, and I'm stressing a little about the party - mostly because I don't want to invite too many people and I don't want to offend anyone by leaving them out.  It's a tough balance, luckily most people are very understanding.

I had my first prenatal group appointment last week, which was pretty cool.  There were 4 husbands there, and one was pretty annoying, but everyone seemed pretty nice.  I was the only one who already has kids, so the midwife said she'd be asking me to discuss my experiences a lot.  Which is ok with me.  So far I've gained around 12 pounds (give or take), blood pressure is good, baby's heartbeat is good, and I'm feeling pretty great.  I've been getting a ton of exercise, eating pretty healthy, and keeping busy.  I admit that I'm nervous about all the usual things - the labor and delivery, breastfeeding, lack of sleep, etc., but I feel very positive about the pregnancy.  We have our big 20-week ultrasound next Wednesday, so I'm excited to see little Gecko.  He's been kicking up a storm lately!

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post was that the midwife I had seen told me that one of the differences between a TOLAC (trial of labor after c-section, hopefully leading to a VBAC) and normal labor is that they won't let you go as long before intervening (with induction or a scheduled c-section).  With that in mind, she told me that during the last month of my pregnancy I should start taking red raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil in order to prepare my body for going into labor in a timely fashion, and without needed to be induced.  I'm excited.  How wonderful to have a pregnancy that is so normal!

She also asked about my expectations for labor and delivery - if I wanted to use a birthing tub, for example.  I explained about my experience last time, and that I would really like to use a tub or a shower or whatever is available and she said that I should go into my TOLAC with the expectation of having things turn out the way I want, and a plan for what I want to happen.  I am not sure I agree with her ideas.  I often feel that high expectations tend to lead to disappointment.  But I do agree with having a plan for what I want, and being cautiously optimistic that things will go well, even if they don't go exactly as I'd like. I'm trying to keep an open mind.  I understand that she is saying that I need to take charge of my birthing experience so I can steer it where I want it to go, and I am on board with that.  I just know from previous experience that it helps to be flexible in order to deal with disappointment.

So ... in about 3.5 months, I'll start looking into red raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil.  Woohoo!