Thursday, August 28, 2008

Diagnosis: Tension Headaches

I saw Dr. S today about my headaches and neck, back and shoulder tension. Dx: Tension Headaches. She gave me some practical tips for the tension: neck stretches and the dreaded "E" word....exercise! I've been prone to tension headaches in the past, but not as chronic as I've had them lately. Dr. S prescribed me a medication that is safe to take during pregnancy that works for tension and migraine headaches. I hope the meds work. I'm hopeful. Most importantly, Baby D is doing fine. We heard his/her heartbeat today and it was still nice and strong. Other than that, Dr. S commented on my weight. I've lost another couple of pounds. She asked how my appetite has been, and I told her it's been pretty good. She said she's not alarmed by my weight loss, but just wanted to be sure I'm eating. Good visit.

Oh, Dr. S said I can resume sleeping on my back. YAY!!! Apparently I don't have to worry about side sleeping until I'm around 26-28 weeks, so I guess you can't believe everything you read. I will be sleeping on my back tonight and for the next 11-13 weeks. Hopefully that helps relieve some of the tension!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ouch!

For the last two weeks I've been waking up in pain. My back, neck and shoulders are so tight and tense, which leads to awful tension headaches! I think this stems from me trying to master sleeping on my side since I've reached the stage in my pregnancy where it is recommended. I'm a back and stomach sleeper, so this sleeping on my side thing has been a pain....both literally and figuratively. I notice that when I sleep on my side I sort of shrug my shoulders, so I think I'm all tensed up when I'm sleeping. I've tried new pillows. I officially have enough pillows sitting on my side of the room to create a pillow menu. I even purchased a $50 pillow on Monday night that ended up getting tossed on the floor around 4:45 am. Nothing is working, and I'm so tired of being in pain! Sunday, Trevor and I splurged on massages. I had my first prenatal massage, which was interesting. It is the first time I've had a massage lying solely on my back and side. I was worried that my massage therapist wouldn't be able to work out the kinks if I wasn't on my stomach, but she worked her magic. Afterward she commented on how tight I was. Good, so I wasn't imagining things. I felt better after leaving, but woke up all stiff and sore on Monday. Surely I can't get prenatal massages everyday for relief. We'll go broke!! Maybe I need a spinal adjustment??? I've never had one, but lately I feel like that may be the problem. Dunno???

I think I can handle the tension, but the headaches are a different story. After taking Tylenol five out of six days recently, I started to get concerned. I called Dr. S yesterday and her nurse called back today. Dr. S wants to see me in her office tomorrow morning. I'll be there. I hope she can help me figure out what's going on and give me some suggestions. This is getting really annoying! But if it takes a headache a day to bring a healthy Baby D into this world, bring it on!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Trimester in Review

Now that I've started my second trimester, I thought it would be a good idea to do a "first trimester in review." All in all, I had a great first trimester! I've heard some horror stories, so I feel blessed with the way my first trimester went. Besides the fatigue, and the two weeks of awful nausea, I felt pretty good. Initially, I tried to exercise at least three days a week, which helped tremendously with my energy level; however, once the nausea set in, I couldn't muster up the desire or energy. I'm looking forward to a much more active (and energetic...fingers crossed) second trimester.

What really made the first trimester a success is the fact that I have such a wonderful husband! Trevor was amazing!! Not only was he completely enthralled with the pregnancy, but he was diligent about keeping up, via his book, with what was going on with me and the baby. That was (and still is) so sweet! Trevor also picked up the slack around the house!! There were so many days that I just wanted to crawl in bed and sleep, and I did. Trevor was great about making sure the laundry was done and that the dishes were washed, where needed. Trevor willingly made grocery store runs to get me pickles, crackers, Sprite, ginger ale, and whatever else I needed to stave off my nausea. He also gave me foot rubs and/or shoulder rubs whenever I needed them, and even when I didn't. Heaven!! But what I think I enjoyed most was our nightly walks around the neighborhood during the early days of the first trimester. My doctor advised me to limit my exercise to walking until further into the first trimester, so Trevor walked with me. I know he would have preferred to go for a run, but he walked and kept my pace. I'm so thankful that the Lord blessed me with such a wonderful and supportive husband!!

I had a great first trimester. I'm looking forward to the next two.

Hello, Second Trimester!!

Dear Baby D,

You did it! You hung in there and crossed the second trimester threshold. YAY!!! This just confirms the fact that you want to meet us just as much as we want to meet you! We're 1/3 of the way there, and it will be February before we all know it! Daddy and I love you very much, and we CANNOT wait to hold you in our arms.

Love you,
Mommy

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hospital Tour

Dr. S has privileges at two hospitals, which makes the decision of where to have Baby D pretty easy. Today, Trevor and I toured the labor and delivery unit of hospital #1 after church. Upon arriving to the designated meeting spot, we quickly realized that we are planners. I was clearly the "least pregnant" woman there. Some of the women looked like they were ready to deliver any day now. Honestly. I really wondered why they were JUST taking the tour, but who am I to question it. Anyway, we had a chance to see a labor and delivery room, the transition nursery (where Baby D will be taken approximately one hour after birth for his/her first bath, a check-up and whatever else they do to a newborn baby), the ante-pardum ward (where women stay if they are put on hospital bed rest before having their baby), the nursery, the C-Section triage and prep area (I hope I don't have to see that area of the hospital when the time comes), and the post-pardum ward. We weren't allowed to see the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), for obvious reasons, but hopefully Baby D won't have to spend any time there. I'm just glad to know that hospital #1 has a NICU if it were necessary. I would be devastated if my baby had to be transported to another hospital in order to get NICU treatment. All in all, the hospital was nice. I guess?? It was clean, modern and everyone seemed nice. The hospital has won a lot of awards that meant nothing to me. I'm not really sure how you rate a hospital. It's a hospital after all. I'm interested in seeing hospital #2 so that I'll have something to compare hospital #1 against. Being the consummate planners that we are, I'm sure we'll be visiting hospital #2 sometime in September, and once again, I'll probably be the "least pregnant" woman there. Oh well! I'm just ready to check something off our list.

A First

I know this pregnancy will be chock full of "firsts", and I experienced one on Friday. I had my first EVER (i.e., in my whole life) nosebleed! It freaked me out! Lately I've noticed that when I wake up in the morning I'm slightly congested. I feel fine. Just a little congested, but it's a pregnancy symptom. Well, Friday morning I woke up, blew my nose and got started with my morning routine. Well, my nose kept running. Not a gushing, nasty run, but a slightly annoying run. So, I kept swiping at my nose with my hand. Well, after the third time of having to do so, I decided to grab some tissue. That's when I saw it....BLOOD!!! Now, because this was my first nosebleed, I had absolutely NO IDEA WHATSOEVER about what to do. I seemed to recall that when I was in elementary school I saw kids put tissue in their nose and hold their held back. So that's what I did. With my right nostril stuffed with tissue and my nose pointed toward the ceiling, I made my way to my nightstand to grab my handy pregnancy "bible", "What to Expect When You're Expecting" ("WTE"). I held the book up high so I could read it and turned to the two pages that address nosebleeds. According to WTE, I should have been leaning slightly forward, not with my head tilted back. So I promptly changed positions. WTE also recommended pinching my nose above the nostrils, but just below the nasal bone. I removed the tissue and did so. Within a few minutes the nosebleed was abated. Crisis solved. Man was that scary! I hope that was my FIRST and LAST nosebleed.

Friday, August 15, 2008

First Trimester Screening

Last week, I had my first trimester screening completed. Well, today I received a call from Dr. S' office informing me that my screening was normal. YAY!!! While the screening is not diagnostic, it provides a couple with valuable information about the risk of their baby being born with Down Syndrome and other birth defects. Such information is helpful in determining whether to go forward with more invasive diagnostic testing, such as an amnio. Even though my screening was within normal range, meaning Baby D is not believed to be at an increased risk of being born with a birth defect, many women still choose to go forward with diagnostic testing. The problem is that if the risk of a miscarriage associated with an amnio is higher than the risk of having a baby born with a birth defect, it calls into question the wisdom of having an amnio. I'm in this situation. Trevor and I are pleased with the results of the screening and have decided we do not want to proceed with the amnio. We will, however, do a second trimester screen which can detect neural tube defects such as spina bifida. The second trimester screen can also detect heart defects. Even better, the second trimester screen will give us another opportunity to see our little one!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Million Dollar Baby

No, not the movie. Rather, what we'll end up spending on (and preparing for) Baby D when it's all said and done! In addition to the normal baby essentials (nursery furniture, car seat, stroller, etc.), we also need some new furniture. Since we're turning one of our guest bedrooms into the nursery, we decided to turn our upstairs sitting room/game room into a pseudo-guest room so we don't lose sleeping space. We're replacing the furniture with a new sofa sleeper and chair. Man, sofa sleepers have come a long way! Trevor and I made a trip to Ethan Allen today after church. We read online that they have great sofa sleepers, and they do. Ethan Allen carries an Air Comfort (I think that's the name) sofa sleeper that is amazing! It has two mattresses, but the top mattress is an air mattress that you can inflate to your desired firmness. I think the unlucky guest that draws the short stick will thank us. The great thing about Ethan Allen is that just about any sofa can be made into a sofa sleeper, so the choices are endless. But, it's Ethan Allen. 'Nuff said! Baby D, you're well worth it!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Feeling Better

When I was experiencing morning sickness, people would tell me that things would look up around Week 12. I was skeptical because I started with the morning sickness so late. Well, Week 12 is truly the charm! I feel so much better!! My appetite isn't real strong yet, but it's getting so much better. (I guess the weight gain will soon follow - dang!) Also, the nausea is virtually a thing of the past ~ thank you, Jesus!!! As for energy, that's getting better, too. Yep, I'm feeling better!

I had my second prenatal appointment on Thursday. This appointment was really all about me. I was poked, prodded and pricked ~ lovely. All is well. Dr. S and I listened to the baby's heartbeat. Nice and strong ~ 160 beats/minute. YAY!!!! Oh, Dr. S isn't concerned about my 8 lb weight loss. She's confident that the weight gain will come as my appetite increases and as the pregnancy progresses. My goal is to stay at the low end of the spectrum - no more than 25 lbs! (fingers crossed....) As long as the baby is strong and healthy, I personally wouldn't mind being one of those women that lose weight during pregnancy. I'm still trying to lose my law school weight. Dang law school!!!

Friday, Trevor and I had a chance to see the baby because I had my first trimester screening done. It is made available to all women and is a useful tool in deciding whether to get an amnio or any other invasive testing. The screening involves a nuchal translucency (NT) scan that measures the amount of fluid under the skin on the back of the baby's neck. (i.e., another ultrasound) All babies have some level of fluid, but a Down's Syndrome baby has a higher volume of fluid. I'm happy to report that Baby D's fluid level was normal, thus the risk of the baby being born with Down's is low. Again, YAY!!! The second part of the screening involved an alphafetoprotein (AFP) test. AFP is a substance made in the baby's liver, so the test measures the amount of AFP in my blood stream. Elevated levels of AFP indicate the possibility of various birth defects, including, but not limited to, Down's, spina bifida, Edward syndrome (Trisomy 18), etc. The results of the AFP will be paired with the results of the NT scan. We'll know more in about a week, but Trevor and I (and our doc) aren't really concerned. Trevor and I pray for (and over) our baby daily, so we believe that this baby will be perfectly healthy!

During the first trimester screening, we heard the baby's heartbeat again. 171 beats/minute. Again, nice and strong and where it should be at this stage of the pregnancy. I think the baby was trying to get a nap in, but the doc kept jabbing at my stomach (ouch!) to get the baby to move around. Baby D was a little annoyed, but he or she cooperated. :- )

Monday, August 4, 2008

Couvade Symptoms

A.K.A. "sympathy symptoms." I think that's what my husband is experiencing. It all started early in my pregnancy when (1) Trevor started experiencing fatigue. We chuckled about it. Now he, like me, (2) often feels a little nauseous halfway through his meals. (3) He's gained weight (or so he claims), albeit one pound and a few ounces. (I, on the other hand, have lost 8 lbs since finding out I'm pregnant....I'll be talking to Dr. S about that at my appt on Thursday) (4) Trevor also has the munchies. Saturday night we were watching something on TV; don't remember what? Anyway, someone on the show/movie was offered chocolate cake and milk. At the end of the show/movie (still don't remember what we were watching), Trevor declares that he wants chocolate cake! So, we jumped in the car and drove approximately 20 minutes to a restaurant that has the most amazing chocolate cake. When we got home, Trevor poured a glass of milk and enjoyed his chocolate cake. Internally, I chuckled. Well, this morning Trevor's "sympathy symptoms" were confirmed. When we woke up I asked him how he slept. He said his sleep was "okay, not great." When I asked why, (5) he said that getting up twice in the middle of the night to pee really interrupted his sleep. I cracked up! You must understand that my husband NEVER wakes up in the middle of the night to go pee. Yep, couvade symptoms! Ha ha ha.....

Obsessed?

I think I'm becoming obsessed with becoming a new mom....if that's possible??? I've always enjoyed mindless TV. Hey, after being "on" at work all day long reading statutes, contracts, case law, etc., the last thing I want to do when I get home is "think!" Thus, the addiction to mindless TV. In fact, I'm a reality show junkie. The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Amazing Race, Project Runway, America's Next Top Model....and the list goes on. Well, that trend has continued into my pregnancy, only now my new reality TV vices are The Baby Story, Bringing Home Baby, and Jon and Kate plus 8. (All on TLC) Between reading about pregnancy and babies and watching pregnancy and baby related shows, I think I'm becoming obsessed with this motherhood thing. I really don't feel normal anymore and I don't know what to do about it. I wonder if I'll ever feel "normal" again...whatever that is???