Thursday, January 19, 2012

Meeting the first goal!

29 weeks: on the inside

Yesterday I hit 29 weeks, which was my first goal this pregnancy.  It's funny, as I sit here admiring this lovely pregnant belly of mine, I can picture exactly what this little one would look like if they were on the outside, because I had my own 29 weeker. Babycenter reported that baby would be around 2.5 lbs and 15 inches long...yep, sounds about right. Kieran was 2lb 10 oz and 15 inches long when he was born. He was still covered in soft blond hair everywhere. His ears were set really low, still. His face was red and wrinkly and scrunched up. He had no fat on his body - he was literally skin and bones. Josh and I love to joke about his butt, or lack thereof - when you have no fat on your body, your backside is literally just a back and a hole! It was a funny sight to see, and I would always pinch his butt when he started to get some fat on there. It was just about two years ago, and still seems rather surreal.  I am 29 weeks pregnant now, and I cannot imagine delivering this baby now, even though it happened to me. It's just too early. I wasn't ready then, and I'm not ready now. But, I'm here at 29 weeks still healthy, with no evidence my body's turning on me this time!

29.5 weeks - on the outside

While the ultimate goal is a term baby (37 weeks), it is my understanding that most women who have pre-eclampsia multiple times deliver even earlier the next time - I'm proof of that, actually. With Maia, my pre-e was diagnosed at 37 weeks and I delivered at 37 weeks, 3 days. With Kieran, it was diagnosed at 29 weeks, HELLP syndrome at 29+4 and I delivered him at 29 weeks, 5 days. So to set an initial goal of 29 weeks meant that I would at least get to where I was before - familiar territory. At least baby would not be born any earlier, which would be out of our comfort zone and more risks for baby's health, of course.

Well, I made it to 29! When I hit 30 I think I may feel a little weight off my shoulders, and then I will continue to take it week by week. My next goal is 35 weeks. Why 35? Well, for some reason, I've always thought this baby was going to come in March. Hmm, could it be because both my other children, whose due dates were NOT in March, came in March? Maybe! But I just feel like it's going to happen. With the other two, I had no idea I'd have March babies. Maia was due April 5th, 2008, and I set myself up to go past my due date, as many first time moms do. She was induced due to pre-e and born March 18th. Kieran was due May 28th. End of May, how could I suspect a March baby then? When he happened to be induced March 17th and born that day, it was too weird. I remember talking to him during the induction and encouraging him to come out that day, so he could have his own birthday. So, 35 weeks puts me right at March 1st. But ultimately, I want to hit term - 37 weeks, which brings us to March 14th, I believe. Same week at my kids' birthdays, ha! If I go past term, it would be a HUGE blessing. Heck, if I go past 37+3 I will be the most pregnant I've ever been!

Having little goals like this is nice for me. It's something to look forward to, but also something to celebrate when I meet that goal. I have so much support and love surrounding this pregnancy and so many people rooting for us, so it's fun to share the "accomplishments."

28 week prenatal {seeing hard work pay off!}

Last week's prenatal was wonderful! It's so fantastic to sit for an hour and talk with the midwife and her assistant about...well, everything! Urine came back normal, blood pressure was at my normal-ish 128/70, and baby sounded good - once they finally heard baby, anyways. Apparently baby has the loudest cord they'd ever heard so all they kept hearing was the placenta!

I loved hearing that. It's little things like that that let me know things are going well, that my body is doing well. Loud cord means healthy blood flow to baby! One of the things that can happen with pre-eclampsia is restricted blood vessels. This time around the blood flow is good and LOUD - I will lay down and hear and feel the blood pumping in my veins for a few minutes! This is not something I can remember hearing or noticing in my last two pregnancies.

Another hint that my body is happier with me this time around is the little to no varicose vein pain in my legs. When I was pregnant with Kieran, I had to wear compression tights by 24 weeks because the veins behind my knees were swollen and painful. In December, around 24 weeks, I had some pain in my knees on a few occasions and was sure I was going to have to deal with them again. Both my mother and grandmother report having varicose vein issues get worse each pregnancy, so I thought that would be my fate as well. But I was hopeful that my healthy diet and healthy blood flow-promoting herbs & supplements would help - and maybe they have, because I haven't had any more issues! Sometimes they'll get slightly sore after being on my feet all day but that's understandable. It's just nothing compared to the pain I had last pregnancy, so I have been pleased about that!

The last thing I discussed with the midwives is my feeling that I am more in tune with my body since becoming more knowledgeable about a healthy, rounded nutrition intake and the protein needs my body has. If I do not start out my day with the 50g protein smoothie, I set myself up for failure. The few days I have waited to make it, for whatever reason (sometimes I run out of time on a crazy morning, but occasionally I've been too lazy) and I really pay for it I get lightheaded, tired and I just feel "off." I'm guessing that's my blood pressure rising and my blood sugar out of whack. If I have the smoothie right away, I am set up for success and stabilize my blood pressure, but if I have it at a later time, I find that I am not hungry or in the mood for it, so I have to have it first thing for it to really make a difference in my day.

So that's where I'm at now! 32 weeks is my next appointment, then every 2 weeks for a bit. I said to Josh, "I'll be 32 weeks at my next appointment!?" I never made it past 29 weeks 5 days last time, so here's hoping!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

update on last few prenatals

I have my 28 week appointment coming up and I realize I haven't updated on my last few prenatal appointments. I wanted to mention a few things about each one.

16 week appointment: This seems like a long time ago now! But the interesting thing about this appointment was that when I tested my urine, it showed up as having protein in it. (If you see a homebirth midwife, you test your own urine with a urine dipstick that measures different levels. It's super cool because you compare the colors on the stick to the jar and see if anything's off. )
I thought - what!? Protein!? My midwife mentioned it could be a bad catch, but I suspected that protein showed up because I had just had my protein smoothie and about 16 ounces of water by appointment time at 10AM, and not much else. I was interested to see what would happen at the next appointment.

20 week appointment: Another 10AM appointment - my mother-in-law came to this one, as she was in town. Josh, my MIL and myself were both able to hear baby through the fetoscope, so that was fun! At this appointment, my blood pressure was a bit higher than normal. Usually it's 120/70, this time it was 132/72. This time, I realized that I had not yet had my protein smoothie that morning - ran out of time before preschool drop-off, I think. My urine tested fine, but the blood pressure was a little high, so we talked about how the high protein diet does help keep BP down. My midwife mentioned she'd rather see a little bit of protein in my urine from having had a lot of protein, versus a higher BP.

24 week appointment: This appointment was in the evening, though just before dinner. I had had quite a bit of protein throughout the day, and was interested to see how everything would pan out. This time I had no protein in the urine sample and a beautiful blood pressure - 124/68, I believe? So that was exciting!

Tomorrow I say "HELLO, THIRD TRIMESTER!" Yay!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My favorite high protein snack.

Venison sausage + cheese + crackers. Mmm! Venison sausage has 24g protein per 1 oz! Plus the 7g/oz of cheese and we are talking one high protein snack!