Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Our Last Week as a Papaya (Week 24)

Good morning all! Today has been a busy one! Lily and I made our first unscheduled stop by the doctor's office this morning. When I got into work, I started seeing blurry spots in my vision. And yes... I cleaned my glasses and it didn't go away! (Jay's always amazed by my ability to see through dirty spotted glasses.) I knew that spots in ones vision could be a bad indicator of high blood pressure so I googled it quickly, being very selective of what I read. In fact I read just enough to know that it could be nothing, but it could be something and that I should give my midwife's office a quick call and then a stepped away from the computer! I usually like to err on the side of calling anyway, since I figure they know a lot more than I do and can tell me if it something I should worry about or not. I get frustrated with the girls on my message board who are constantly posting things like, "What do you think of these symptoms? Should I call my OB?" Um... I don't know. I don't have any medical training. Plus you are PAYING THEM to take care of you, not me. And since I'm not one to call about every sneeze and sniffle, I didn't feel bad.

So, the nurse said it was good that I called. She agreed that it could be nothing, but could be something, especially given that I had a high-ish blood pressure reading last week. So, she was able to get me in to see one of the OB's this morning, since my midwife is at the hospital on call today. I was able to leave work without any issues, and tried my best to stay calm. They checked my urine for protein and sugar and took my blood pressure. I tried my best to relax while they were taking my blood pressure and use my HypnoBabies techniques to battle the anxiety. Amazingly... it worked! Blood pressure came in nice and low 108/68 which is where it should be. The nurse said I was probably either anxious or feeling rushed and that caused the high reading last week.

When I got in with the OB, she even told me something that I'd never heard before (learn something new every day!). She said that you can spot an anxiety induced high blood pressure reading because the top number will be elevated but the bottom number will still be low. And she showed me my history and the bottom number has stayed within a few points of 68 the whole time, which is GREAT! Somehow when they tell me the numbers I only tend to hear the first one and don't get the second one so I didn't realize that that number was staying consistently low. I also asked her if it were possible for me to "fake out" the reading, as in use my hypnosis to artificially bring down a high reading and make it look low. (Only someone with anxiety would find a way to worry about a LOW blood pressure reading!) She said that if the high blood pressure is in fact pathological (i.e. there is truly something going on in my body causing it to rise like pre-eclampsia), then no I would not be able to relax it away. She said it might show up as a mildly elevated, but I wouldn't be able to bring it down so much that they wouldn't catch that something was wrong. So this lets me know that I can safely use my hypnosis techniques to keep me nice and calm when they are taking my blood pressure which will help them get a more accurate reading.

I was really glad to have been able to meet this OB as well! I really liked her and we got a chance to talk about my hopes for a med-free birth. We talked about having the best of both worlds in their practice, where in you can have the low-intervention childbirth advantages of midwife care without having to transfer to the hospital in the event that there is a need for OB care. She even made the comment, "At least with our practice if interventions are suggested you know it's not just because it's 8 o'clock." I loved hearing this! When I decided to switch providers from my OB, I knew I wanted a care provider who, in the event that they suggested an intervention, I could trust wasn't doing it because of some arbitrary time constraints but it was because we had given my body every chance we could and it was truly time to think about medical interventions.

So, bottom line... the Dr said that most likely the spots were a fluke or something they see in pregnancy called floaters. They don't know what causes them, but they aren't harmful. She gave Lily and I a clean bill of health and sent us on our way! Yay!

Beyond this morning's excitement... Today marks Week 24 which is an exciting time. In the pregnancy circles we celebrate Week 24 as V-Day (or Viability Day). Today the chances of a little one surviving outside the womb shifts to the positive side. If Lily were to be born today, she would have a 50/50 chance of survival and that number will only go up from here on out! Not that we want her to come this early! We want her to cook as long as she needs, but its nice to know that we are on the down slope. We only have about 16 weeks left in fact, give or take! Holy Cow! I can't believe how much this pregnancy has sped up in the second trimester. Speaking of, only about 3-4 more weeks until we are officially in the 3rd and final trimester.

Lily is still officially a Papaya. But according to my phone app, she is also about the size of an ear of corn at about 12 in long. Wow! No wonder I'm showing so much and it's because more uncomfortable to sleep! Plus she's about 1.25 lbs. And seeing that I've only gained about 6 lbs (as of last week), things are looking right on track. Now before you get on my case about gaining weight being a good thing... I know that! And I'm not restricting calories or starving myself in any way. It's just that I was overweight to start with so I need to gain less over this pregnancy than others who are of average or underweight. My weight gain should stay closer to 15 lbs over all. And I suspect that most of my weight gain will be in the 3rd trimester as Lily keeps putting on her fat. All my weight gain number means is that I'm not gaining an excessive amount of body fat but only the amount of weight that I need to support Lily and her growth. My butt and thighs are thanking me. And I'll be thanking me after the pregnancy is over when I don't have an excessive amount of weight to lose.

So, what else is Lily up to in there?

"With all the rapidly developing senses in your baby, she should probably be able to sense what is upside down and rightside up.  Your baby's respiratory system is also rapidly growing, lungs are developing in preparation for breathing, moving amniotic fluid in and out of the lungs.  For now your baby still gets oxygen through your placenta."

So, how's Mommy been?

I've had my ups and down this week. We had a very busy weekend, went to the Renaissance Faire on Saturday and then went shopping/carved pumpkins/handed out candy on Sunday. I think I over did it a little. Plus I've not been sleeping very well lately. My growing Lily carrier (i.e. belly) is making it harder to get comfy enough to sleep. And when I don't get enough sleep, I have a harder time controlling my illness. I'm aware of the fact that this will only get worse as the pregnancy goes along and even worse after Lily is born. I'm trying not to worry about it! I'll figure it out as I go along. I left work early yesterday and got some good rest time in. Jay has also been helping a lot over the last few days, letting me pretty much crash out on the couch for the entire evening while he takes care of dinner, etc.

My monthly appointment went very well last week. I saw a new midwife and really liked her. I'm hoping to meet all the midwives since they rotate and I don't know who will actually be on call the day I go into labor. I went in with a load of questions left over from my hospital visit and was satisfied with the majority of the answers. I'm writing a whole other blog about the delivery and my quest to get the experience I want, but the main thing she said that I liked was that the majority of the mothers who really do not want an epidural successfully birth without one. The nurse at the hospital tour said that she estimated that 98% of the women who come through the hospital get an epidural. When I told this to the midwife, she said that that did not sound true for the midwife patients. This really made me feel good. Everyone is so quick to say, "Well, yes you can have a med-free birth AS LONG AS NOTHING GOES WRONG" so often that it sounds like "normal" births are the exception. But she said that was not the case as far as the patients she sees. Yay!

So, how's Daddy doing?

Jay's great! He still hasn't felt Lily move yet. Grr. I think it bothers me more than it bothers him though. I told him that it makes me feel selfish that I'm the only one that gets to feel her and he reminded me that he also doesn't have to feel her kicking his cervix or punching his bladder and he won't have to feel her digging into his ribs later on in the pregnancy so he's ok with me being the only one who gets to feel her right now. :-) Lily has made it very clear that she is not a circus animal and we should not expect her to do her tricks on command since she can be jumping all around but as soon as Jay puts his hand on my belly, she'll go completely ninja stealth on us! Either that or she really likes having his warm hand over her and just kicks in order to make it happen. In that case WE may be the circus animals. Hehe.

The rest of this week should be pretty calm. Our next midwife appointment isn't until the Monday after Thanksgiving. At that appointment I'll have my gestational diabetes test where I have to drink the super sugary gross drink and then they draw my blood to check my sugar levels. Not really looking forward to it, but not necessarily dreading it either. Thankfully, it won't effect my ability to eat as many wonderful Thanksgiving desserts as I want! If I fail the test, it might effect how many wonderful Christmas desserts I can eat, but I don't expect to fail. Thankfully, it's not a big deal as long as its caught. Just means a different diet.

Well, have a wonderful Wednesday everyone! Thank goodness the elections are over and we no longer have to be bombarded with all the candidates commercials! There's not much I despise more than a scewed, half-truth, opponite-bashing campaign commercial and that's pretty much all of them, both sides. SOOOO glad it's over! Now we can get back to the business of... arguing and getting nothing done. (I don't have a burnt out, negative view of politics at all! Why do you ask? Hehe!)

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