One Last Ultrasound Picture

Julia at 37 weeks

We went in this morning to check up on Julia, and everything looks good!  She is head down, which is awesome, and facing generally up or to the side, which is fine.  I am totally effaced, not dilated, and generally looking ready to give birth soon.  The midwife said that I could reasonably go into labor any time now.  This is FANTASTIC news, as I remember hearing “no, not anytime soon” over and over with Hazel until we hit the 42-week mark.  I am so, so ready for this baby to be here.  In the picture above, she’s looking right at the ultrasound wand with her hand tucked up under her chin.  Can you see it?  It took me a while to see her face because I was searching for a profile.  Her face looks so shmushed!

The House that Sickness Built

Dudes, we have been sick up in this house.  I mean feet dragging, no appetite, taking really hot showers just so you can cough up stuff sick.  First Hazel came down with something respiratory and nasty.  After she spiked a fever at 102 I took her in to the doctor, who diagnosed her with a sinus infection.  Ok, not too horrible – two missed days of daycare spent on the couch watching movies and hanging out with Corduroy (her bear).  Kind of nice, actually, to have her home and snuggly with me, although it sucked that she was feeling bad.  The doctor prescribed an antibiotic and a strong cough medicine, and within a day of the first dose she was noticeably better.

And then I got sick.  All during this pregnancy it seems like I’ve kept a cold, or a sore throat, or a stomach bug.  My immune system has just been in overdrive since last June (yep, I’ve been pregnant since JUNE), so any tiny virus or bacteria that was on anyone’s anything has made me deadly ill while everyone else sailed merrily along.  At Christmas, in St. Louis, I got a pretty bad virus that presented like the flu.  The doctor there told me that no medicine would help, so I just weathered it out for two weeks or so.  Last week I felt the same – absolutely fatigued, no appetite whatsoever, hard cough, difficulty breathing, and no voice.  I didn’t go to a doctor here, expecting s/he to tell me the same thing I heard at Christmas.  When I visited my midwife, though, she sounded concerned at how hard it was for me to breathe and prescribed an antibiotic, saying that if it had been a cold it was now a bacterial infection in my lungs or chest.  I just finished the z-pack yesterday, and while I still have a hacking cough I am otherwise better.

I was looking forward to getting back to normal this week, but that’s not in the cards.  Hazel woke up with a rash on her face and lightly sprinkled across her chest; by our 11 AM doctor’s appointment it had spread all over her body, even to the soles of her feet and in between her fingers.  It was FREAKING ME OUT.  She’s never been sick like that before, and I swear every time I took her in to potty I could see it growing down her legs.  The doctor told us it was either an adverse reaction to the antibiotic she is on for her sinus infection or the hand, foot, and mouth disease, which is just a virus that makes a small fever and a rash that covers those parts of the body.

Since it got worse this morning she’s actually gotten a little better.  It’s not in her mouth and it looks a little better on those last parts of her affected, so I think it was a reaction against her antibiotic (which we gave her like normal this AM before the appointment).  I feel so sorry for her little body!

So that’s what’s been going on in the Confer household.  We have been sick, and Amos has had to make very small, very boring dinners.  I am still knitting for the breast cancer shop, although I’ve put it on hiatus until after Julia is born.  I have had some special requests via email, so I’m still working on those!  It’s been awesome, you guys.  I’m so happy people are willing to pay for these things – we’re going to raise a killer donation for the walk!

Tomorrow we go to have another ultrasound, hopefully the last one, to double check my little acrobat’s position.  We are 99% sure she’s head down, but my midwife suspects that she’s also facing up (as in facing out the same way that I do, not back into my spine like normal).  This isn’t such a big deal except that it is usually the reason behind “back labor,” which you may have heard of.  It’s supposed to be more painful.  My midwife says this is because the baby’s spine contracts down along my spine, with all those nerves getting a constant pressure during the labor.  That sounds more painful!  Anyway, I don’t really care as long as we avoid a c-section!  Tomorrow I’ll put up a picture, maybe even a video of the ultrasound!  About three more weeks (and hell, maybe less if I’m lucky)!

 

27-ish weeks

Dudes, I can’t believe it’s only been that long.  I feel SO BIG.  I don’t know how we’re going to last another 13-15 weeks together!  Today I went in for the nasty glucose test (results pending, but I feel confident that all will be well) and my last ultrasound before Julia goes overdue (again, feeling pretty confident that will happen).  She has shifted position so that her head is down and her feet are up, just like everything should be.  Hopefully she’ll stay in this position until she is born. 

This is the best picture from today.  She’s looking right at the ultrasound wand, so you can see two dark spots which are her eyes and a vague outline of her nose and chin.  All through the ultrasound the midwife was trying to get a clear view of her genitalia just to reconfirm that she’s a she, but Julia had a foot jammed right in the way almost the whole time!  Right at the end we caught a quick glimpse.  She was so sweet; it’s fun to think about bringing her home from the hospital in the same blanket that held Hazel, me, and my mom and wearing the same outfit that both Hazel and I wore home.  I’m ready to see this baby now, for many reasons.

Incidentally, this morning Hazel told me that Julia was in her belly, “right there,” and that Julia was also eating all her food.  That child doesn’t know how close to the truth she really is!

 

Sigh

So things are both hectic and the same.

My mom's in town until Sunday, which is cool.  It's a great excuse to shop around, plus she's always up for an afternoon nap, which is a bonus.  I mean, who likes to nap alone??

The bad news came from the doctor yesterday.  Apparently I'm still in no-man's-land with this child, with a cervix more tight-lipped than an old lady at a pride parade.  That means I've made no progress, with the bonus of not being able to induce this week either!  The doctor told me that it looked like the inducement wouldn't work to open the cervix, it would just really hurt me, and that my chances of a c-section would be greatly increased because of the failed/sluggish inducement.  I spent all last week gearing myself up for the totally artificial, extra painful inducement, only to have that option snatched away as well.  As you might imagine I'm pretty upset about it, but what are you going to do, right?  

The plan now is to have an ultrasound this morning to check the amniotic fluid and make sure she's still doing ok, then wait it out until Monday afternoon.  At that point they administer a hormone to get the cervix into a more workable condition, and Tuesday morning they would start the pitocin drip.  At that point we've waited just about as long as possible, so even if things are in the same shape as now we wouldn't risk her staying in there any longer.  

Did I mention the ultrasound tech estimates her weight at 8 lbs 3 oz?!?!!  That's TWO POUNDS extra in just like 3 weeks!!  If she had come out last week she might have only been 7 lbs!!!

I'm not happy at all with how things are going, but I'm trying to stay kind of positive.  After all, she's healthy, and plus I apparently have the strongest-willed cervix this side of the Mississippi.

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Baby Update — Updated!!

This week I've had an ultrasound and been to the doctor, which has left me with all kinds of new info about our Miss Hazel.  She's looking about 6 lbs, 2 or 3 oz., which puts her at the 46% (which is normal, it means she's neither too big nor too small).  Her head is down, and she's a little further down that she was, but that's not saying too much.  She was literally tight-rope walking on my ribcage!  So I have a little more breathing room and she's getting more into position, just not at the labor-is-imminent point yet.  Also, we determined from the ultrasound that she has hair!!!!  That is just the cutest thing to me, I can't get over it!  




I added some text to the photo because I know they can be hard to decipher, especially if you're not used to looking at these images.  It was so hard to get a photo of her, and this was the best we could do!  She was all curled up on her side with her hands really close to her chin, and the tech just managed to get a quick snapshot before she moved those hands back up under there.


On the flip side, I have a little not-as-awesome news.  Not bad news, just not awesome.
I tested positive for GBS, which is a naturally occurring bacteria that lives in the vagina.  It's totally normal, about 30% of women have it, and apparently causes no symptoms, infections, or anything gross with me.  It can, however, be dangerous for the baby; as she passes through on the way out she could pick it up and have a serious infection.  The good news is that all I have to do is have an antibiotic administered during labor, which is easy, and this usually takes care of the problem.  My midwife today said of all the cases with GBS in her 12 years of midwifery she's only had 1 infection in the baby, and the baby was fine in the end.  We do have to stay in the hospital for 48 hours afterward, which isn't a huge deal, but is kind of lame.

The other thing is that I have to be tested for preeclampsia.  I've been having headaches, nausea, and some pretty decent swelling, so the midwife ordered the test.  I'll know for sure really soon, on Thursday I think.  The cool thing about being this far along is that I get all the results for tests super fast, lol!  I'm sure it's nothing; the two major red flags, proteins in the urine and elevated BP, I don't have, but she wanted to check just in case.

**NO PREECLAMPSIA!  I knew it would be ok, and it was! **

As long as that test is fine Amos and I are headed to Ithaca for our anniversary this weekend!  We will have been married a whole year on Monday, the 28th.  I can hardly believe it!

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Saturday Baking

Amos is on a roll (haha, get it?!?!). 


All this kid wants to do is bake bread.  This recipe is the same as the one we use for pizza crust except he chilled everything; the flour/salt went into the fridge and he used ice water instead of room temperature.  This bread is only flour, salt, and water, with some poppy seeds on these particular baguettes, and it is seriously delicious.  The baguette on top is shaped like a wheat chaff, and there's a slice cut so you can see the airy crumb.



And the piece de resistance, cinnamon buns!!  Amos asked me late Friday night what kind of bread I would prefer, and apparently I mumbled "dessert bread" before falling asleep, so this hottie made cinnamon buns the next day.  Inside is a cinnamon, sugar, and pecan streusel, and on top is a thinner fondant.  We didn't put much icing on because that's how we like it, and I think the little drizzle is pretty.




In other news, I think the baby has dropped a bit!  I've noticed a gradual change, particularly a pressure lower down instead of up inside my ribs, and I can feel her booty down lower instead of her normal position.  Amos today kept commenting on how different my bump looks.  Tomorrow we can get some confirmation via ultrasound, exciting!!

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Baby Update!

I had another check-up today.  I'm going once a week now, and these visits are picking up in exciting news.  For months it's been like a revolving door with me; seriously, I'm in and out in the span of 15 minutes.  Now I go and we get to check on all this exciting stuff, seeing where she's at and having her kick at the nurses' hands!

Unfortunately I don't have any excitement from this visit, though.  My cervix is soft, but closed, and the baby's still at station -5.  For those of you who don't know, and really who knows about that except preggo's or women who have had kids, station refers to where the baby's head is in relation to my bony pelvis.  The scale goes from -5 being at the very top, to 0 when labor usually starts, to 5, which is when the baby's head crowns right before she's born.  The good news is I get another ultrasound on Monday!!  The doctor wants to check on her size and get a more accurate feel for how low she is.  The OB said she was sure the baby isn't really big, maybe around 6 lbs., but wants to get a better idea.  I personally feel that she's a little small, and of course I'm worried that being a smoker before I knew I was pregnant is affecting her, even though the doctor assured me that's not the case.  I can't help but worry just a bit though!

The good side to being so far away from labor still is that I'm cleared for travel!  Our first anniversary is coming up quickly on July 28th.  I can't believe we will have been married for a year already.  I love Amos and am so excited that we can celebrate our anniversary with something special instead of just staying at home!!  We are planning to spend a weekend in Ithaca, home to Cornell and, I've heard, tons of other awesome stuff.  There are a bunch of cool restaurants and shops on their visitor's website, so I am really looking forward to a change of scenery.  Especially if it involves delicious food and kitschy merchandise!!  :D

I have been doing quite a bit in the business and DIY arenas, also.  I'm not quite ready to talk shop just yet, but expect an update/new post by tomorrow to show off a couple of new crafty things for the baby.

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Last Twenty-Something Week to Post!

I'm at 29 weeks, people, crossing the linea negra to the thirties on Monday!  I can hardly believe it.  Sometimes I feel like she can't get here fast enough, other times I want to delay the pain for ALAP (as long as possible…that should be the new ASAP).  I went to the doctor today and everything is fine.  I don't have gestational diabetes, yay, I gained another mother$&%!ing six pounds, which puts me right around a hot 20 lbs. total, lame.  Next Tuesday I get to have another ultrasound to make sure the placenta is out of the way and just to check up on cutie pie in there.  So new photos next Tuesday!!!  She has gotten so unbelievably active in the past couple of weeks it's amazing.  Amos and I can see her moving in there, which is both weird and cool and earned me the nickname "Ripley" around the house.


My first week of maternity leave couldn't have happened at a better time.  Monday morning I woke up with a sore throat, which quickly escalated into a full-blown upper respiratory infection.  I'm at the runny nose/stuffy ears/stare at you with my mouth open phase.  Tomorrow night I'm supposed to hostess, so I hope I don't look like a zombie then.  That isn't attractive when you're trying to eat dinner, although I don't think I'm contagious, since Amos is untouched by the sickness.

All the house projects I wanted to do have been put on hold, obviously, but next week I'm going to TOWN on her part of the room.  We are so close to having everything done that I can't wait to get it all set up and take some photos.  Oh and I got my hair cut today, nothing drastic, just fixing it up so it can continue to grow longer without looking all choppy weird layers, but seeing as how I've got the zombie face I'll post a photo later.  I LOVE the new hairdresser I used and will use her until the day I die…or actually probably till the day we move.  Anyway I love her!

Sorry for the stream of conciousness post…being kind of stuck in the house/in my brain for the past few days has left me a bit loopy, and Amos won't talk to me anymore since I've made him rotate Junior and Shrek 2 in the DVD all week.  Whatever, both those movies are hilarious!  ;)

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Yay! My Baby has Ovaries!!!!!

The verdict is in, and the judge ruled in my favor. 
It's a girl!!!
A very active girl, with long fingers according to the technician.  She was moving all around, opening & closing her mouth, waving her hands around…it was so adorable.  I might have cried just a little bit.
Check out the bottom right picture – she is sucking her thumb!

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Six Days

…until we go for the ultrasound!!!  I am so excited, I'm trying to remain calm but dudes.  I am freaking.
I am dying to know what this baby is!  I think, in a way, it will make it more real for me.  I haven't felt any movement yet, so knowing the sex and seeing the baby on the screen will really cement it for me I think, even more than hearing the heartbeat (which was still pretty bitchin').

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