Thursday, August 30, 2012

22 Weeks - How I'm Feeling Update

How far along? 22 weeks! What's viability? 24 weeks?  Of course I intend to be pregnant for much longer, but once you hit viability our hospital will send you straight to L&D rather than keep you in the ER for pregnancy related issues. Avoiding the ER is always good, although I hope to avoid the hospital entirely utnil the the birth (wouldn't mind avoiding it then as well. lol).

My first naked belly pic! Whoa!
Any pregnancy news? Last weeks contraction, running updates, and crazy hormones were covered last week in this post.  Last week I was having issues swelling after eating salty foods, but I've increased my water intake and lessened the salt and seem ok. Had a strange lotiony discharge yesterday and went to the OB to have it checked out. It's a yeast infection, and only 10 days since I finished my BV treatment! Ugh, Glad it's minor, though.  Mon/tues I ran 4miles a day without any walking breaks and felt great, then yesterday I could barely walk 3miles.  I guess it's the typical ups and downs of pregnancy. I'm taking today off and will try again tomorrow. 

Maternity clothes? I'm still uncomfortably in my prepreg sweat pants, PJ pants, and gym T-shirts, but that's it. Pretty much all maternity, all the time. Still not big enough in the shoulders to fit into the maternity shirts I had with DS. It's weird because I'm pretty much in line with how much I weighed at this point back then. A lot!

Weight gain? Didn't gain any weight this week. PHEW! So, that means I'm still up 17lbs.  It's a lot, but I'm glad it's slowing down a bit.

Sleep? It's been good. Sleeping deeply with usually only one potty break at night, and I'm generally am able to get right back to sleep.  The only issue has been my crazy weekend PT job.  Because it's 3rd shift and I still have to watch DS during the day, I generally go 48hrs with only 3hr sleep.  We're trying to find a way for me to quit, but it just doesn't look like that's going to happen.

Movement? Thank goodness I have my doppler. Somedays he moves a lot, and somedays I hardly feel him. On those slow days, it's great to listen to the heartbeat and know all is well.

What I miss? I always miss my second child. Today I saw an Oktoberfest beer in the store and was excited for a brief moment before I remembered I won't be partaking this season. Enh, I'd rather be pregnant.

Food cravings? French fries with barbecue sauce, chinese food, and pizza. yum! I try to limit all of those, though. I'm enjoying making a big salad everyday with green leaf lettuce and lots of veggies.  It fills me up and I hope it replaces some of my unhealthier choices.

What I'm looking forward too? As more and more people learn of my pregnancy or are getting used to it, I'm looking forward to the excitment that comes near the end of the pregnancy.  The shock on peoples faces when they see how big I've grown.  Some people get annoyed, but I like constantly being asked when I'm due and if I feel like he's coming soon.  It makes me happy to know people are as excited as I am.

Baby Prep accomplishments? Last week I finished all the work that needed to be done in DS's room.  Next week he starts preschool! So exciting! It's only a few hours in the morning, 3 days a week, but I'm hoping I use the time without him to really work on the house.  I might use it to catch up on cleaning next week, and then the guest room still needs to be painted.  I'll be so happy to have all our renovations complete!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pitocin Post Fallout - My thoughts on the Birth Community's Response

I'm sad about how my researched post on pitocin worked out.  I guess I was reaching out for support on my pitocin sensitivity or the possibility that I was overdosed.  When I posted it on a few due date clubs it's amazing how many people left a comment like, "I had Pitocin a billion times and it worked great for me."  If I had been complaining of a tylenol sensitivity would they have said the same? Would they have said, "I've taken tylenol loads of times and I've always been fine."  I admit I take offense to comments like these.  What is the point of a drive-by comment like that?  To give me comfort?  No, it's to defend the use of Pitocin.  But Pitocin needs no defense.  It exists in our birth system and is widely available to everyone who needs or just wants it.  I wish I'd known more about it, and for this reason I thought others might want to know more about it. 
however, even if I had known more about Pitocin before the birth of my son, I still might have consented to it.  At that time I would have had no way of knowing about my sensitivities.  It works really well for some people and not as well for others.  The same is true for most drugs in existence.  Why the debate on this one?  Why would you go out of your way to tell someone who had a problem with Pitocin that you had no problems with it.  Pitocin could have killed my baby, and people responded that their baby had no problems.  Is that not similar to going out of your way to tell the mother of a child with birth defects that your child is healthy?  Or perhaps they were just pointing out that their body was strong enough to endure the pitocin without harming the baby and mine wasn't.  Thanks, that's already occured to me.

I think it's pretty clear I suffered side effects from pitocin.  My side effects are listed as possible side effects in the package insert provided by the manufacturer, and yet many people doubted me.  Again, would they have doubted me if I was complaining of a tylenol sensitivity? Of a food allergy?  I wonder if they believe that Pitocin is the only drug in existence which has no side effects, or if they think I am simply not able to judge whether or not I suffered them.

So strange how polarizing just the word pitocin has become.  I witnessed women turn against each other as the birth debate found a small new battleground on my forum posts.  It seems when a woman feels she has to have a c-section for whatever reason, someone tries to talk her out of it.  Trying to talk her out of a c-section is a way of dissapproving and disrespecting her decision.  It's OK if someone wants to have major surgery just because their doctor told them to without doing any of their own research.  Adults are allowed to make whatever decisions they want to, and if she and her family are comfortable with their decision, they're likely to be comfortable with the outcome.  Making a woman uncomfortable with her decision is likely to worsen her birth experience or make her feel she forever has to defend it.  I've seen women who run to the defense of anyone who mentions the word section, you can tell they have major insecurities and this is the only way they have to feel better.  Do they have insecurities because they regret the section or because they're so tired of people questioning their decision?

I feel that I need to have a natural birth for my own emotional and physical health.  Do I have proof that an epidural will give me back problems or spinal headaches so severe I will be unable to breastfeed or care for my baby? No, but I am very prone to those types of problems, I've already experienced side effects from a commonly used birth drug, and I've seen women go through those awful things.  While I don't have proof that Pitocin would be so bad for me the second time around, I do have proof that it's certainly in the realm of possibility or even a likelihood.  Even if my side effects were caused by an overdose as opposed to a sensitivity, I'm delivering at the same hospital with the same doctor.  I think it's possible the same thing could happen.  Yet, when I say I need to do an unmedicated birth there are people who doubt me.  Just has a woman who has decided to have a section is immediately doubted.  I wish we'd all accept each others decisions.  I'd like to have an unmedicated childbirth with as few interventions as possible.  That feels like the right way for me to do it.  I don't think that's how it should be done by everyone, and I completely respect if you've made a different choice or have no plan at all.  Birth is scary.  Birth is hard, and we're all very different people.  Why shouldn't we all handle it differently?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

21 Weeks - How I'm Feeling

How far along? 21 weeks! Now I'm closer to the end than the beginning!  Of course, that's assuming this baby is no later than his big brother.  Isn't he cute! We got great profile pics at our ultrasound on friday.

Any pregnancy news? Had my 20 week anotomy scan last week! It went great and we were able to confirm boy. It was awesome. Also, Hardly any heart palpitations this week! Yay! This almost certainly means they were a side effect of stopping metformin.  We did get my thyroid tested and it was normal.  I also experienced my first Braxton Hicks contraction this week.  I covered those events and an update on my running efforts earlier in the week in this post.  My latest issue is swelling after eating salty foods.  I never swelled in my son's pregnancy at all, so not only is it surprising to have swelling issues, but to have them so early is disappointing!  I think part of the issue is not drinking enough water in the morning.  I'm already dehydrated by the time I'm having the salty food.  I realize I also need to cut back, but I love salty!  So far all these odd symptoms haven't lasted very long, so I'm kinda thinking it will go away just as everything else has.

Maternity clothes? I'm still uncomfortably in my prepreg sweat pants, PJ pants, and gym T-shirts, but that's it.  Pretty much all maternity, all the time.  Still not big enough in the shoulders to fit into the maternity shirts I had with DS.  It's weird because I'm pretty much in line with how much I weighed at this point back then.  A lot!

Weight gain? Up 17lbs! Weight gain is out of control.  This is common after stopping metformin, but still depressing.  I'm eating healthy, I'm still running 4 miles a day, and the pounds are just packing on.  Hoping my metabolism soon adjusts and

Sleep? It's been good.  Sleeping deeply with usually only one potty break at night.  I generally am able to get right back to sleep.

Movement? Thank goodness I have my doppler.  Somedays he moves a lot, and somedays I hardly feel him.  On those slow days, it's great to listen to the heartbeat and know all is well.

What I miss? I always miss my second child. I was just thinking about how much I missed him yesterday, but I love being pregnant.  I was also thinking as difficult as it's been for us to get pregnant, I'm not sure I ever want to practice any kind of birth control again.  Not sure DH would ever agree to this plan!

Food cravings? French fries with barbecue sauce, Spicy V8 juice in the microwave w a beef bullion cube and a splash of soy sauce, pretzyls, pickles, and pretty much all things salty. Got to change my diet!

What I'm looking forward too? At this point not looking forward to the birth. My feelings about that go back and forth, but I am looking forward to more months of being pregnant. I'm curious how my health will be, and whether I can keep working and running.

Baby Prep accomplishments? I did fix up DS's room and I think we can pretty much declare that complete until it becomes a bit closer to January and it's time to get out DS's old clothes for the new baby.  The guest room still needs to be painted and in a few months it will be too cold to air out the room while I'm painting it.  I've really got to get on that, but it seems like such a big job so I'm struggling to find the motivation to get started.

That's all for this week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Adventures in Pregnancy: Palpitations, Contractions, Exercise, and Hormones

I feel like my weekly posts are chopping up my little adventures in pregnancy and not allowing me to document the big picture.  I wanted to do a regular update like I did before the weekly ones.  I need to do these more often!

It's becoming clear that my heart palpitations were due to me stopping the metformin.  It's a diabetes drug, but I was on it to treat PCOS.  It helps increase fertility for women with PCOS as well as reducing the risk of miscarriage.  The new research is saying that PCOS women who are overweight, at high risk for GD or insulin resistant should stay on metformin the entire pregnancy.  I'm none of these things, and metformin can interfere with weight gain and in a round about way can negatively affect breastfeeding so I wanted to get off it.  I ended up staying on it a month longer this pregnancy than with my son.  I now realize the heart palpitations started to increase during the week I was on the lowest dose, and increased even more after I stopped it completely.  At their peak I was having 20 to 30 a day, but that was only for a few days.  Now they're down to none or 2 to 3 per day.  During the week I was having them the doctors kept debating having me wear a 24hr take home heart monitor.  I'm glad we didn't do that since things seem to be adjusting on their own.  I did have my thyroid checked with a blood test.  Metformin can regulate the thyroid, and a crazy thyroid can cause heart palpitations so it was reasonable to get that checked.  I'll find out the results on 8/21.

I got my first Braxton Hicks contraction! Never had one my first pregnancy, and was really surprised to get one last night.  It was so strong!  It was certainly as strong as an early labor contraction, except without the pain.  It was also longer than I thought they were.  It lasted more than 10 seconds so I had time to have entirely too many ridiculous thoughts.  My mind was like, "Wow that's tight. OMG it's a contraction! I'm having a contraction! How is this happening? What's causing this? Oh I can't take the tightness anymore," and then it was over.  Quite comical in hindsight.  I researched and found that they're common starting at about 20 weeks, and more common in 2nd or 3rd pregnancies with active babies.  I qualify for all those things.  In some ways I'm happy they're starting this soon because I'm hoping they'll get this uterus prepared for a quicker birth, but in other ways I'm concerned I won't be able to do as much exercising or fall hiking trips for fear of causing contractions.  As with any pregnancy adventure, I'll just have to wait and see how it goes!

Many more 20 Week Anatomy Scan Pic's coming Thursday!

My running has been going so good.  I'd had to reduce trips to the gym because DS was going through a clingy phase.  Last week I finally decided to just go anyway.  I was hoping that with repetition he'd just get over it, and that's just what happened!  He cried a while the first day, less the second, and not at all the third.  Why didn't I try this earlier! ha.  I'm up to three 10 minute intervals of running, with 5minutes in between.  This usually results in me going over 4 miles.  That's actually farther than I used to run before I was pregnant!  I don't think I can increase my speed without increasing my heart rate past what's recommended by my doctor.  I know her limitation of 150bpm is outdated advice, but when I go higher than that for an extended period of time I get palpitations, so I'm following my doc's advice and listening to my body by staying under (actually, I stay under 157).  I am interested in increasing my distances though.  It would be amazing to hit 5 or even 10 miles while pregnant.  I'm in desperate need of a maternity support belt, but having a hard time choosing a brand and getting around to ordering.

Oh the hormones! I don't know if it's due to coming off of metformin, but I've been particularly weepy lately.  Crying takes it out of anyone, but particularly a pregnant woman.  I went to bed early all last week because of crying every day.  It takes it's toll!  It's not just over commercials or silly things.  I worry about my marriage, friends, friends kids, strangers and whoever.  I feel for people.  Things hurt my heart and I cry.  It's so hard being an emotional wreck all the time, but at least I can be thankful it's only while I'm pregnant.  I know people who go through life this way and I can't imagine how exhausting and stressful that would be.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

20 Weeks - Halfway through! Let's celebrate with Heart Palpitations!

How Far Along? - 20 Weeks. I'm halfway there! While I still have some definite apprehensions about the birth, I'm so looking forward to having a baby. Every time I see a baby when I'm out, I can't wait to have that again! 

Any Pregnancy News?  This week has been filled with a new and exhausting weekend work schedule that may be too much for me, as well as heart palpitations.  I've worked 3rd shift on Sat/Sun nights for over a year, but usually DS goes to a sitter on Sunday mornings so I can get a few hours sleep.  Since DS is about to start preschool, we can't afford that anymore.  This weekend was the first time I got up Saturday morning, stayed up all that night, all day Sunday, and all night Sunday, before getting a few hours Monday morning and then finally to bed Monday night.  It was REALLY rough.  I've been having heart palpitations throughout this pregnancy (the sensation that my heart is doing flipflops in my chest and I can't breath), but they really increased over the weekend.  I went to the doc Monday afternoon to investigate a possible UTI (turns out I just have BV, yuck), and I mentioned the heart palpitations saying I was having about 10-15 a day.  I was advised to keep a log of them over the next 4 days and we'd re-evaluate at my anatomy scan on Friday.  Turns out I was underestimating the total a bit.  I had 21 on Tuesday, and then only 8 yesterday on Wednesday.  I think I had at least 20 on Monday as well, so I'm concerned the lack of sleep is just too hard on me.  I'm concerned they may restrict me from going to the gym even though it doesn't seem to affect them, which would be sad because I love that so much.  They also mentioned the possibility of a wearable take home heart monitor for 24hrs. I hope not! All will be revealed at my appt tomorrow morning.
Maternity clothes? Thank goodness my mom took me shopping last week for maternity clothes.  It's been great always having clothes that fit this week after having an "I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR" clothes crisis every morning for the last month.

Weight gain? 13lbs. Wowza! 3lbs in a week! But, I'm totally off metformin now.  So far, every time I've reduced my dose I've gained a few pounds really quickly.  Hopefully now that I'm completely off it my weight gain will slow just a little bit.  I'm 2lbs under where I was at this point in my son's pregnancy, but I was off metformin 6 weeks sooner that time.

Sleep? It's still good, but rolling over is now a more painful and weighty undertaking.

Movement? Enough to let me know baby's still kicking, but like all mom's I do worry if he's moving enough or as much as others.  I feel movement at least 5 or 6 times a day.
Gender? It's a boy! So says the NT scan. Will be nice to have a confirmation on August 17th.  That's tomorrow!
What I miss? I'll always miss my second child.  Being halfway there really gives me confidence, but having the heart palpitations makes me nervous about how the birth experience will be.  After researching for my post on pitocin last week, I'm especially wanting to avoid any kind of induction.
Food cravings? Been eating everything in sight! Maybe that's the real reason for the 3lb gain. lol. 
Aversions? At this point I can't believe there's something I wouldn't eat.
Labor signs?  Nothing this week! Though I mentioned last week I may have had some BH contractions then.

What I'm looking forward too?  Last week I was all about mentally preparing for the birth.  I think I did a little of that with my research this week.  Now I'm more ready to take a break, and look forward to having a baby!  I was even looking forward to breastfeeding again which is something that I've been feeling anxious about up until this point.    

Baby prep accomplishments? The furniture in the guest room and DS's room is almost done being re-arranged.  Now DS's room is in serous need of some vacuuming, and just a bit of re-arranging needs to still be done in there.  I also want to move his clothes into his 'big boy' dresser so I can begin putting baby stuff in the baby dresser as they appear.

Pre-baby home improvement to do list:

  • A few more painting touchups, mostly covering scratches and marks on doors. (small jobs) DONE
  • clean out what will be the guest room (big job) Almost done
  • sell weight bench and treadmill (becoming a bigger job than it should) Done
  • paint over wood paneling in guest room (huge job, wood paneling in DS's room took 2 coats primer and 3 coats of paint)
  • rearrange all furniture upstairs to furnish the guest room and create more room in our bedroom and DS's room. Almost done

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Detailed Look at the Side Effects of Pitocin I Experienced During Childbirth

This is not a post on the dangers of pitocin (synthetic oxytocin), or an outline of it's risks, or a debate on whether or not it should be used for labor induction.  I considered whether to bring up recent studies showing new dangers, or provide a complete list of risks other than the side effects I experienced, but I decided against it because that would be inserting my own opinion or me trying to manipulate.  This is about my personal experience, and my research will simply explain the events that unfolded in more detail. 

I posted my Son's 49hr Hospital Birth Story last week and shared it on a few different social media outlets.  Since my son was born with breathing problems, was sick with croup as a child, and later developed asthma, I've always blamed these problems on pitocin knowing the increased risk of fetal cardiac/respiratory issues associated with this drug.  I received a surprising number of comments challenging my beliefs, even in forums supposedly dedicated to natural unmedicated childbirth.  This prompted me to do a lot of research not just to defend myself, but with an open mind to know the truth since I'd never really researched it before.  One commenter even said her son was born with the exact same breathing difficulty at birth when pitocin wasn't used until postpartum.  Maybe I was wrong, perhaps pitocin wasn't to blame at all, and not nearly as risky as I thought.  But, what I found DOES indicate that pitocin was responsible for his breathing problems at birth, and may be responsible for his asthma as well though that is certainly up for debate.  What I found was so scary and shocking, I'm now facing my next birth with the knowledge that I'd rather have a c-section than risk pitocin again.  Knowing what I know now, I don't think there is a situation in which I'd agree to antepartum pitocin again.  I now realize my son or I could have died from the complications we suffered from this drug, and while I know many women have found success with it and believe they had no complications from it, this post is about what did happen to me and could happen to anyone. Get informed, get your doctors opinion, and then make your own decision.

Pitocin Indications and Usage
I didn't go far to find the information I needed.  The following information is included on the information insert that comes with the drug.  That info packet is provided online by the manufacturer, I invite you to read it yourself.  Every vaccine and drug, whether given at the hospital/doctors office, picked up at the pharmacy, or purchased over the counter comes with a package insert of information. You should read them!  It's not all medical jargon.  Due to lawsuits, most of them are very easy to read and understand.

Let's begin with a picture of me after about 36hrs of labor but before pitocin was started compared with a picture taken about 14hrs after pitocin was started.  I continued to receive pitcocin after the birth, so I'm not sure if I was still on it in the 2nd picture or not, but I believe I was.  This was almost exactly 6hrs after the birth.
Swell much?

Later when I saw these pictures I thought I was just blinking at the camera flash as I'm prone to doing, but there are 9 pictures and I look the same in all of them.  I'm swollen up to the size of the house. 

Instances when pitocin should not be used

I knew pitocin caused swelling for some users and didn't really think anything of it even in the years after the birth.  I knew I wanted to avoid pitocin for my next birth, if possible, because the swelling slowed my recovery, but I didn't think it was a life-threatening complication.  Had I received or asked for the package insert included with the drug, I would've learned that women have died from pitocin induced water intoxication (also known as hyponatremia) caused by the antidiuretic effect of the drug.  I was swelling because sodium levels outside my cells dropped, and so water was moving into my cells to correct the imbalance, causing them to be larger or engorged with water.  Had this continued, I would have experienced fatigue, and then a headache as my brain swelled and filled my skull.  I might have experienced alterations in personality, muscle spasms or weakness, before I dropped into a coma and died.(Source)  It would be overly dramatic to say the second photo is a picture of me getting closer to death, but it's indisputable that I was getting more unhealthy by the moment.  I think I'm an especially good example of this type of swelling because if I'd had a typical 8hr birth people might argue the swollen face/body was just from all the pushing and the exhaustion of labor.  In my case, the first picture was taken after 36hrs of hard labor, and the second more than 6hrs after the pushing was over.  It wasn't the labor or the pushing, it was the pitocin.

Listed under the overdose heading in the package insert is uterine hyperactivity "due to strong (hypertonic) or prolonged (tetanic) contractions," and it goes on to list the host of complications that this can cause, including fetal hypoxia.  During labor, the fetus gets oxygen by running blood through the umbilical cord to the placenta where it picks up oxygen from mom's blood (though their blood doesn't mix) and it goes back through the cord to the baby to it's heart and circulatory system (Source). During labor, a woman's body controls it's contractions so as not to exhaust the baby or the uterus.  Very long labors have periods where contractions space out to allow mother and baby to rest before starting up again.  Pitocin bypasses that natural control by keeping contractions 'regular', and the package insert says that in cases of overdose contractions can come more often and last longer.  Any fetus experiences a drop in blood flow during any contraction due to constriction, but longer, more intense contractions reduces the amount of blood flow even further, and with contractions right on top of each other the baby has no time to recover.  They can suffocate to the point of brain damage or death.  Both fetal brain damage and fetal death are listed under normal adverse reactions in the package insert.  Fetal hypoxia is listed in cases of overdose. 
12min after birth, before the nurses realized the was a problem

After 7hrs on pitocin, my baby was born with rapid breathing as if he was out of breath.  He had to go on the monitor for an hour, and the pediatrician was called at home.  If this happened after only 7hrs, what would have happened after a few more hours? or after only one more hour?  If I were to agree to pitocin during my next labor, would the baby experience the same reaction after the same amount of time? After less time?  What's the safe amount of time to have pitocin and still get a healthy baby?  The package insert indicates that overdose can't always be judged by a specific dosage, but should also be judged by the patients sensitivity to the drug.  Was I given an overdose?  There are no answers here, but my baby and I had a hard time with pitocin and I don't think our story is that unusual.  One might say they were minor issues, but I now realize they were the early stages of major complications.  I'm thankful they didn't progress further, and I think it's clear that I should avoid pitocin in the future.  This is the right choice for my family, but it doesn't mean it's the right choice for every woman.  I wouldn't presume to tell anyone whether they should use pitocin or not, and of course I'd never tell a woman to blindly follow a doctors advice, nor to ignore it.  Get informed, get your doctors opinion, and then make your own decision.

P.S. Always ask for and read the package insert for any injection, vaccine, pill, drug, or capsule of tylenol no matter if you receive it at your doctors office, hospital or at home!

I should have known this post would be trouble! Here's my reaction to the Pitocin Post Fallout.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

19 Weeks - How I'm Feeling Update

How Far Along? - 19 weeks! yay! We're at the beach this week and having a great time!
Maternity clothes? Yep, just about all maternity, all the time, but I still can wear oversized gym shorts and T-shirts.  Finally went shopping at a real mall and my mom bought me all sorts of new clothes.  I finally have size small shirts!  I got four shirts, a pair of khaki pants, and a pair of new balance sneakers.  It will be great to go through a pregnancy with decent shoes. I'm so appreciative of my mom!

Weight gain? 10lbs. That's the same as last week, but since then I lost a pound and gained it back.  I think I'm adjusting to the quick 3lbs gain I had after reducing my metformin dose. We're going down again so I expect another small gain in the next two weeks.

Sleep? We've been at the beach and the days have been exhausting so sleep has been pretty good.  DS has gotten up a bit at night, but he goes back to sleep in seconds.  I do have to pee every time I wake up, but I still wake up rested.

Oh Pinterest, you make me think I'm artsy.
Movement? Last week I was randomly able to see baby move from the outside. I was feeling a lot of movement that week, so it was worrisome that movement dropped off a little this week. I think it's partly because I'm busy and not eating as much, and also the baby moves more when I'm sitting.  Thank goodness I have my doppler.  The reduced movement would really worry me otherwise.
Gender? It's a boy! So says the NT scan. Will be nice to have a confirmation on August 17th.
What I miss? I'll always miss my second child.  At the beach it's easy to miss adult beverages, but I also had fun this week writing in the sand making all sorts of fun sappy pictures to commemorate the pregnancy.  So, I'd def rather be pregnant than be drinking.
Food cravings? Really wanting my mom's milky way cake she used to make in my childhood.  While we're here she's going to make it again for me. :) It takes lots of chocolate and 6 milkyway candy bars.  I have no idea the recipe.
Aversions? Still zero desire for fish, but had crab cakes yesterday and they were delish.
Labor signs?  Since I've bend doing this my answer has been, "NO" but I can't really say that anymore.  Nothing to worry about, but this weekend my 'gas pains' were about every ten minutes for about two hours.  I knew I was dehydrated and I chugged 48oz of water in the next four hours and didn't do any heavy lifting at my job.  It was just a one time incident, no bleeding or mucus or anything. Just one of life's little reminders to take it easy and drink more water.

What I'm looking forward too? While I'm not yet ready to say I'm looking forward to the birth. I'm now looking forward to mentally preparing for the birth. Preparing for a natural birth is a lot of emotional work. I began by writing out my son's 49hr hospital birth story this week. It was interesting to read what I wrote over two years ago. I was also able to do a lot of research this week one the side effects we endured from the pitocin and I'll probably write a post just on how pitocin treated us next week. I know that it's a necessary and useful drug, but some people have side effects. Some babies die. My baby and I had side effects, and my baby could have died or suffered brain damage. I'm glad the drug exists for people who are happy it exists because women should have options and be able to make their own birth choices. Personally, I won't be agreeing to it again. I'll be reading hundreds of birth stories, and just getting in the birth mindset again. I haven't yet read Ina May Gaskin's 'Guide to Childbirth,' and I also want to read 'Mindful Birthing' by Nancy Bardacke.   

Any pregnancy news? I was trying to measure the fundus myself the past 3 weeks and always getting a week ahead.  Decided I must be doing it wrong.  In researching that, I read that the fundus should be at your belly button at 20 weeks.  I checked it this morning and it's a finger over the belly button today, so I think I really am measuring a week ahead.  Not worried, just curious and eager for my next scan.  Also, After accidentally forgetting to take my second dose of metformin three days in a row.  I decided to call my doctor and ask about weaning off it completely.  That has always been in the plan, but I guess I was thinking about doing it next week or the week after.  It will be a relief to be off it, and I'll end up being more careful about my sugar intake.  When on metformin it's easy to say that the drug will help control my sugars so there's more room for error.  That's not really true, but it's still been an oft used excuse for me.  The doctor agreed since I'm not overweight nor insulin resistant, so I'm down 500mg this week and then next week I'll stop taking it.

Baby prep accomplishments? The weight bench is gone! We finally just put it out at the end of the yard for either trash pickup or a scavenger to pick up.  I don't think it lasted more than a few hours before a neighbor picked it up.  Next project is to begin putting furniture in the room it's destined to be in, and to paint what will become the guest room.  We're really moving along, which is good because money that is beings spent each month on home improvements needs to be saved up for baby items.  After the pre-baby home improvement to do list is finished, I'll make a baby items still needed list.

Pre-baby home improvement to do list:
  • A few more painting touchups, mostly covering scratches and marks on doors. (small jobs) DONE
  • clean out what will be the guest room (big job) Almost done
  • sell weight bench and treadmill (becoming a bigger job than it should) Half-done
  • paint over wood paneling in guest room (huge job, wood paneling in DS's room took 2 coats primer and 3 coats of paint)
  • rearrange all furniture upstairs to furnish the guest room and create more room in our bedroom and DS's room. Already started
That's all for this week!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Son's 49hr Birth Story - March 2010

Here's my first child's birth story, my DS.  I've edited for grammar and added the number of hours into labor for my own reference in a few places, but it's otherwise unaltered from when I first wrote it.  I was terrified to read it.  I remember tearfully typing it out on my phone on many a late night nursing session, but reading it now was surprisingly painless.  It's a story I've told many times.  It's interesting how my perspective has changed.  It seems I felt I had no choice about a lot of things.  Only now do I realize how many other options I had. 

I wish I would have done this sooner. Already the memory has faded a bit.  The pain seems distant and I feel I could do it again. I certainly didn't feel that way immediately afterwards.
I'd had painless contractions the previous 2 weeks, but they didn't seem to help me any. On March 19th I was only dilated 1.5 centimeters, 80% effaced, and we set up another OB appt for the 26th.  At 2:04am on Wednesday, the 24th I awoke from a dead sleep with the worst contraction. Labor didn't come on slow and easy for me like they say. I was sound asleep, not in labor, and then all of a sudden seemed like I was right in the middle of it.  At the time, the pains were awful, but, looking back, I think I just wasn't emotionally ready.  I couldn't endure them in bed, although I did try.  At about 3am I gave up and went downstairs. The pain was debilitating, and even though I tried to clean the house as in my birth plan, I couldn't. I turned off all the lights and tried to endure in the dark, but I was nauseous with each contraction and continued to have diarrhea. This meant I had to have some contractions while on the toilet.  Eventually I gave up all hope of a natural birth. If the pain was this bad, I thought, then I wouldn't be able to do it.  I collapsed at the bottom of the stairs and called to DH for help. I called him over and over again, but he didn't wake up. I took this to mean he needed his sleep, and decided to take one of those pain relieving hot showers people talk about.  It was slow going to get back upstairs, and when I got there the diarrhea continued. The nausea was unbearable. I decided to try and throw up.  I didn't think there was anything in my stomach, but I was quite mistaken. I felt so much better afterwards.  I got in the shower, shaved, brushed and fixed up my hair, and felt great. I was getting used to the pains, and while they still hurt, I could deal with them so much better. I still had doubts about going unmedicated, but I don't think I verbalized them.  I was mostly appreciating how much better I felt after that shower.

Now that I was all ready to face the day, I decided to wake up DH. It was nearly 5am.  I sat on the bed and said, 'hey, how's it going? I'm in labor.' I was really nervous to tell him and didn't know what to say.  He just looked at me and I explained I was having real contractions every few minutes. I showed him my data from his ipod contraction timer app and we discussed whether or not he should go into work. We decided not. Of course, I changed my status on facebook (still heavily debated whether this was a mistake or not) and DH got to watch me go through some contractions. Having him watch me made me feel kind of self conscious of showing pain, and that actually made them easier.  Enduring contractions without a lot of physical drama (moaning, wincing, doubling over) made them easier to endure.  Throughout the morning we texted the world, I cleaned the house, and I nagged an obviously over-tired DH to constantly be doing something.
I hiked up a local mountain at 40 weeks pregnant.
A peice of cake compared to labor!

By 7am (5hrs into labor) I was refreshed by the sunlight, and as we were having unseasonably warm weather we decided to take a walk. From 2am my contractions had been 2 to 4 minutes apart, lasting 45 to 60 seconds without stopping. This confused us because we had heard the 511 rule to go to the hospital, but the birth was clearly not imminent. I decided to walk until 8:30 when my doctors office opened and then call them.  I felt silly walking in obvious pain. At first we stuck to the alleys and then DH convinced me we should walk on the sidewalks like normal people. Who cared what people thought. I still was self conscious, but it didn't slow my labor and allowed us to go farther away from home, hence a longer walk.

My mom began freaking out at around 7:30 due to word of mouth from my facebook status. I told her my plan had been to call her when there was news, which would be after I called the doctor.  I wanted to wait as long as possible to go to the hospital. When I called the doctors I accepted a 1PM OB appt, but after the nurse realized I was past the 511 rule (contractions under 5 minutes apart, lasting a minute, for more than 1 hour) she wanted me to come in immediately at 9. We ended up compromising with an 11am appt (9hrs into labor). We got home, packed the hospital bag, diaper bag, put the car seat in the car, and had a little something to eat. By then it was time to go.

It turns out the doctor I disliked the most was on call, but it ended up being for the best. I really wanted to go back home. I didn't think I was close and I didn't want to start the cycle of intervention with pitocin at the hospital. Doctor checked me, I was at 2.5 centimeters. I immediately said I want to go home, but apparently not soon enough. The doctor went on this rant about how if I wanted, I could hang in the waiting room for an hour and he would check me again. Eventually he stopped mid sentence and said, "wait, you want to go home?" I immediately said yes and he seemed surprised and relieved. He said that was probably the best thing and to call if 'something happened'. I questioned him about the definition of that, and he didn't really give me an answer besides the ever popular, 'oh, you'll know'.
I was really happy that I got to go home. My mom was not. I think she was shocked they didn't give me a c-section right there and then, lol. All day and all night she kept telling me to call doctor or hospital, but I knew the path to a natural birth can sometimes be a long one. I knew it shouldn't be rushed.  Mom may be in town for my next birth, but I'm glad she was 4hrs away for this one!
Wednesday was long, but manageable. The most annoying thing was I really wanted to be without underwear, but I kept losing pieces of my mucus plug. Gross, I know. I ended up carrying a towel with me and just having it under me everywhere I went.  We went for walks during the day. In the evening I played a lot of xbox. I took hot showers.  I began to get really tired. I'd been up since 2am, I think around 1 or 2am Thursday morning (24hrs into labor) I realized I had to go to bed, even if the contractions wouldn't stop. That is when the night became unbearable. I still couldn't endure a contraction lying down and they came every 4 to 6 minutes.  I would collapse in bed, only to be awakened 6 minutes later. I would then leap out of bed and lean against the dresser during the contraction, and collapse in bed again. This lasted until 5am (27hrs into labor), when Yerodin decided he was part of the problem. He thought I would sleep better by myself, and decided to go into work. He was right! Although, I still don't understand why.  He went to work, and my contractions spaced out to every 20 minutes. Those long periods of sleep between 5 and 8am carried me through the entire rest of my labor. I'm not sure what would have happened if I hadn't had them.

At 8am (30hrs into labor) I got up, had some toast, took a shower, and got on the treadmill. I didn't want to walk outside, in labor, by myself. I was trying to get the contractions back to every 4 minutes by walking.  They were down to about every 15 minutes by 8:30am when I called my doctors office. Luckily, my doctor was on call!  I was definitely wanting to go in. I knew they might send me to the hospital if I was still only 2cm, but it had been so long and didn't seem like I was making any progress. I wanted to talk to my doctor's nurse, not just the office personnel. They put me to her voicemail and I left a tearful message. She called me back and said she definitely thought I should come in and get checked, but that my doctor wouldn't be available until 1pm. I was fine with that because I was still hesitant about the whole early hospital trip. I planned to spend the entire morning on the treadmill trying to get those contractions more together. Alas, the nurse got nervous I guess and called the doctor in surgery. They cancelled the doctors lunch hour and decided to see me at 11am (33hrs into labor).  I called Yerodin home and we repacked everything. By this time my mom was freaking out about how long I'd been in labor, but I knew it was my first baby and natural labors just take longer. I wasn't scared of pain anymore. At this point I had grown so accustomed to the intense pain of contractions I was confident I could handle the worst. I was afraid that we'd go to the doctor and she'd tell me I was still at 2.5 cm after all that labor. I thought that might lead to me having a c-section just like my mother. We went in and did a non-stress test. All was well, and then the dreaded check. I was 5cm! I was thrilled. I felt capable of delivering a baby vaginally.  My mothers birth story would not be my own. The doctor recommended we go to the hospital and I agreed. Looking back, my expectations of what the rest of my birth would be were naive, but all turned out well because I had confidence in my self and my ability to give birth.
We took a while to find the birthing suite, but my contractions were still fairly far apart. Around 10 to 15 minutes or so. We got checked in, and I had to go on the monitor right away. Contractions in bed were brutal, but not as bad as my night time contractions. They were bad enough to kind of piss me off at hospital procedures though. To check me in I got an experienced motherly type nurse and a nurse in training. It was her first week as a nurse, and being an L&D nurse had been her dream. Her wonderment at it all made me feel lucky to be there, even though she didn't label my blood correctly and it had to be redrawn.  Throughout the hospital experience, my constant annoyance was the worry about the baby when I knew he was fine. I finally got off the monitor, but had to go back on for 20 minutes at the start of every hour to check on the baby. I knew he was fine. There wasn't a doubt in my mind so it all seemed so pointless.  During our 40min bouts of freedom I did laps around the nursery. DH got food at the cafeteria. (for him, no eating allowed for me, but I could drink anything I wanted. Even diet coke.)

At shift change, the nurses and front desk clerks told me they couldn't wait to see the baby tomorrow. At this point I'd been in labor so long I was surprised they'd assume I'd have a baby by tomorrow. I thought since it had taken 2 days to get to 5 cm, we had another 2 days to go.  Around 7pm (41hrs into labor) my doctor checked me and I was almost at 6cm. She wasn't happy with my progress. We'd been at the hospital 3 hrs and not moved a whole cm.  I said no to pitocin.  She said she'd check me again at 9pm and at that point I should really consider pitocin.  She also said there was a thing called uterine exhaustion, that my uterus had been working for a long time and could get exhausted and stop performing. I got into the jacuzzi tub, and my mom called. We talked about it for a while and I decided to go with the pitocin. I was ready to get this over with, and I felt like if they were going to make me do it at 9pm I might as well just do it now.  From the jacuzzi I told the nurse I would agree to pitocin, and the doctor agreed from afar. She never returned until I was pushing, but checked on my progress from afar.  I don't really blame her. She was obviously in for a late night and probably off sleeping.

The doctor had promised that we would keep the pitocin at a low level, and that we could turn it off and try something else later if we wanted. Neither of these were true, and I do feel like they intentionally told me that just to get me to agree.  It ended up being the best thing, so, maybe they were right. I don't know.

Right after they hooked me up to the pitocin I cried because I was so scared of what it would do. I'd heard of pitocin contractions and was terrified of what was in store. Then I got over it. When you're in labor you don't really have a choice. I dealt with it one contraction at a time.  The movie 'Mission to Mars' came on, and we watched it in between contractions. I stood next to the bed for them. DH would do counter pressure on my back. During this time I got a new nurse who was great. She was an annoyingly cheerful type. But later during the pushing stage her rapid push, push, push, and ever cheerful disposition was what I needed.
By 10 or 11pm (45hrs into labor) the contractions began to get really bad. That's when I started moaning, groaning, and saying "OW, OW, OW, OW." I think twice I had to pee and it was this mad dash to the toilet in between contractions. The nurse would have to whip me off the monitor and I'd go with the cords and IV pole across the room and go as quickly as possible. About 4 contractions from 10cm. I began to say after each one that I couldn't do that again. It hurt too much. I'm so glad no one offered me pain medication during this time. I don't know what I would have done. My memory of the whole event from here on out is kind of sketchy, but at some point the doctor did offer me stadol. I immediately said yes, but when she brought it, I said no. I didn't want to be tired and it was hard to believe any drug could take away the incredible pain I was feeling. So, maybe I would have refused an epidural had it been offered. I don't know.
Next, I got this odd feeling during contractions. Apparently, it was the uncontrollable urge to push people talk about. That is not at all how I would describe it.  I was standing for every contraction. For some reason, during the contraction I felt the need to squat. The only way I can describe it is just an odd feeling. My legs would just kind of buckle and I'd squat slightly, then I would return to standing toward the end. The nurse saw me and said, 'don't push!'. I told her, "I don't think I am." The next contraction I did the same thing and she asked me if I was pushing.  I said, 'I don't know.' I still don't know if I pushed during that or not.  I got on my back between contractions and she checked me, said I was at 10 but with a lip. 
Eventually the doctor appeared and we did my first push. I was on my back on the bed. I never changed positions the rest of the time. Looking back, I think I should have pushed in the squatting position.  The nurse kept scolding me for arching my back while pushing. The doctor interrupted her at one point and said the baby was in an odd position and that was actually helping. My instincts were right. To me this means pushing while squatting would have been most efficient, but I was exhausted. I mean, totally beat. I hadn't slept in nearly 48 hours. In between contractions I actually fell asleep on the bed. I don't think my legs could have held me up. Still, I have regrets that I didn't try it.

Pushing us exceedingly difficult, and incredibly uncomfortable, but the pain of contractions goes away completely.  After I started I immediately thought I had been doing it for hours and it would never end. After what seemed like an eternity I asked if I was making any progress, and if it was almost over. The doctor said she knew it felt like a long time, but that I'd only been pushing for 10 minutes. That's when I became more goal oriented. I knew that this was going to take a long time, but eventually it would be over. My goal became to get to that point. I needed to survive until it was over. Push extra hard every time to make it end. 

I have to interject here and say that at some point, the doctor gave me some kind of nerve deadening injection which prevented me from feeling my vagina.  I could feel everything else, just not that.  I don't know what it was.  Just like with the stadol, I agreed to it at first, but when she brought it out I again changed my mind and refused it.  We'd been pushing for a while, and DH had now watched me be in labor literally for days.  He said he thought I should get it because the doctor said it would help me push better, and so I agreed. I was too tired to argue.

There's really not much to say about it, but I feel the need to repeat a thousand times how hard it was. At one point the baby finally turned to be able to come out easier, and everyone freaked out. I knew the baby was fine, but because they couldn't see his heartbeat on their little machine they were going crazy. There was talk of forceps, and they made me get on my side. I had to endure an oxygen mask the whole rest of the pushing even though it just took a repositioning of the belts to get him back on their machine. I knew he was fine the whole time.

The pushing took a little under 2 hours. The longest of my life. I couldn't feel him go forward at all with my pushing, but after each contraction I could feel him go backwards.  I was constantly asking how much longer and if I was even doing anything.  Then, finally, they started telling me it was going to be soon. They called in their help, and after each of the last 3 contractions they told me he'd be here on the next push. I saw/heard the doctor do an episiotomy. At that point I knew they were supposed to make a birth 20min quicker and I was thrilled she was doing it. I don't remember if he came on the next push or not, but he did come. It was such a relief to feel him slide out.  (2:48am, Friday, March 26th. 48hrs, 44min after my first contraction.)  I saw them raise him up to show me, and I knew he was mine immediately. He looked exactly like he'd felt.  The foot that had been kicking me and sticking out was still out a little from the rest of him. I guess I mean to say that even though I'd never seen him before, I recognized him immediately. They asked me if I wanted to do skin to skin or blanket. The blanket looked so warm and he looked so slimy I choose blanket under him on my belly. He was there for about 10min. I looked at DH and said 'we did it', he kissed me. I think before that he cut the cord. I was so exhausted my memory of this has faded.
(Video taken immediately after the birth)
They decided to take him over to the warmer. I yelled at DH to go with him and the nurses laughed at me because the warmer was just 5 ft away from my bed. They put a blanket on him and DH got to walk around with him and the nurses took their picture. (Nurses said he was 7lbs 4oz, and 19in) At some point I remember accidentally kicking the doctor in the head while she was trying to stitch me up. Even though I'd had an episiotomy, I had a 3rd degree tear as well.  So much for preventing tearing. I'm still glad I got it if it saved twenty minutes of pushing, but I don't know that it did.
I think the doctor did pull on the cord to deliver the placenta, but I didn't feel that at all.  I did feel the placenta come out. That was gross. Felt like the largest, slimiest blood clot ever. I wish I could have seen it.  I also wish I could have seen the cord.  Just curious about what they looked like.

The nurses then said the baby had mild breathing problems that they were going to monitor. His pulse ox was good, but he was breathing really fast. He was still crying a lot and all alone in the warmer. I feel like that was the problem. I think DH was too nervous to get in the nurses way and put a hand on him, but I thought that was all he needed.  They made me take a shower. I was fine with that at the time, but, looking back, I think that first hour after the birth was really traumatic for DS. I kind of blame our breastfeeding issues on that, at least partly. If I'd had the time to focus on him I know I could have fixed his breathing and calmed him.

8:30am After we nursed for the 1st time
I took the bloodiest shower ever, and did lunges in the shower to stretch out.  My muscles felt so tight. Then everyone left us alone, but promised to be back to check the baby's breathing.  DH collapsed on the couch. I stood next to DS in the warmer and put my hands on either side of his chest, holding down his arms. I told him it was OK, and he could calm down.  I was there for about 20min, and when they came to check on him, he was fine.
Swell much?!  Pitocin caused me to swell for the first time in
my pregnancy.  I don't show this pic often, but I wanted to
show what pitocin did to me.  This barely resembles me! 
It took me a long time to write this, just a little at a time when I had a free moment, and as the days passed I began to see things in a different perspective.  Why didn't I phrase it that the doctor lied to me about being able to go off pitocin if I changed my mind? Why did I say it was for the best that I went to the hospital even though it didn't seem like birth was imminent?  I made a lot of excuses to protect myself from what had happened, and as I began to realize the truth over the coming days, I was unable to continue the story, or draw any conclusions from it.  I shouldn't have gone to the hospital when I did.  I shouldn't have agreed to pitocin, or I should have at least waited as long as possible.  I should have demanded to breastfeed my baby instead of letting him scream his head off for an hour.  He spent the first hour of his life crying for me and I didn't respond.  I still have guilt over that.  I was not able to breastfeed for four hours after the birth due to both his breathing issues which I now believe were caused by the pitocin, and the L&D nurse saying we needed to rest.  This isn't a nightmare birth story, I accomplished a 49hr birth with no pain meds!  There's more good here than bad, but it's hard to overlook all the things I wish had gone differently, especially when I feel so much guilt over what happened to DS. 
Taken on the 27th at 7pm.  He already has his color and is
starting to look like himself.  Laying on my giant lap! LOL

I thought I'd be emotional and have flashbacks while reading this, but it was actually no trouble at all.  I hope that means I've made peace with what happened.  This is the story of how my son joined us!  Sometimes I feel like it's when my real life started, and while I hope my next birth is an improvement, this birth experience was an empowering gift.  Enduring that long labor gave me patience, taught me strength, and so many other things I probably don't even realize.  It even improved little everyday things like my ability to push myself during gym workouts.  It has positively effected so many aspects of my life that I would never say it was a bad experience. 

Now that I've taken a moment to remember this birth, I'm sure I'll spend the next few days and weeks processing and come up with some more thoughts, strategies, and goals for next time.  I know I can't control what happens, but I can control how I react to those events, and I want to make the best decisions I possibly can.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

18 Weeks - How I'm Feeling

8 weeks, then 11-17 weeks

How Far Along? - 18 weeks pregnant. What! Where does the time go?! I'm loving being pregnant and it's flying by! Seems like a big difference between this week and last to me.
17 weeks
 Maternity clothes? 100% yes for pants, shorts, and I still have no maternity shirts small enough.  I'm getting by with regular ones for now, but I won't for much longer. I keep waiting to gain more weight so they'll fit.  Now that I've stopped metformin, I think it's finally happening.

Weight gain? 10lbs. Eek! How'd I go from 7 to 10 in a week? It's certainly because I reduced my metformin dose. It actually happened almost overnight. I've been holding stead at 140lbs for about 3 days.  It's scary for any woman to gain weight, even while pregnant, but all the books say I'm at the upper end of on track for a 35lb gain. I think I need to gain at least 45 for a healthy baby, so I'm happy with my weight at the moment.

Sleep? It's been good, but I've been staying up too late. DS doesn't usually go to sleep until 10:40, then he's up at 7 or 8. If I kept the same schedule we'd be fine, but I always feel like I don't have any time to myself.  Last night I didn't go to bed until 1am, and tuesday morning when DS got up I couldn't get up with him. I heard him while I was in bed and just didn't move. DH told me he was up, and I was too tired to even respond.  So, DH had to get up early.  I hate doing that to him because he has to work and taking care of DS is my only job.  Major wife fail, but guilt gave me determination and I get up now even if I'm tired.

Movement? So exciting! This week I was randomly able to see baby move from the outside! I took a video since DH wasn't home and was so excited I posted it here on the blog.  I couldn't believe how popular it was! So glad everyone was able to share my excitement. 1300 pageviews here on the blog and over 400 youtube views. wowza! Thanks to everyone who took the time to watch!  It hasn't happened that strong again, but baby has certainly been moving a lot. I've got an active one!
Gender? It's a boy! So says the NT scan. Will be nice to have a confirmation on August 17th.
What I miss? I still miss my second child.  I still love being pregnant, and still missing going to the gym as much as I could before DS started this clingy phase.  However, we've been going for long walks everyday so I'm not without exercise.
 Food cravings? Really wanting a steak. Hoping if we go out for an anniversary dinner tomorrow I can satisfy that craving.  I've also been drinking hot V8 juice with a bouillon cube, tabasco sauce, and a splash of soy sauce.  Yum.
Aversions? Still zero desire for fish, but the thought of it doesn't gross me out or anything.
Labor signs? NO! I've heard people start having Braxton Hicks contractions this early. I hope I avoid them again! Never got a single BH contraction with my son, I just went into full blown labor one night. That would be fine with me again.
32 Weeks Pregnant with my Son
What I'm looking forward too? Being more pregnant! That's the same thing I was looking forward to last week.  I looked at some pictures of me from last pregnancy and I'm eager to get my giant belly back.  It might have been uncomfortable, but it was fun just because of the shock value.  I'm one of those women who strangers gawk at and think I'm about to pop at any moment.  When they ask me if it's twins or if I'm past due I can't wait to say, "nope, actually I have two months left." Teehee. 
 Any pregnancy news? I wrote a post this week on my progress becoming a pregnant runner.  It's going well! Also, I mentioned last week that I decreased my metformin dosage from 1500 to 1000mg. My doctor and I had a plan to wait until 20-24 weeks to begin weaning off metforming, but I'd been having some issues so decided to go off it earlier than planned.  As I feared, my weight shot up almost immediately.  I'm hoping it's just my body's kneejerk reaction to the difference in medication and I won't keep piling on the weight.  When pregnant with my son I gained 5lbs nearly overnight when I stoped metformin, but the gain steadied soon afterwards. 
Baby prep accomplishments? I made some progress on cleaning out what will be the guest room.  Including a laundry basket filled with misc cables, gadgets, and small electronics.  Going through that and sorting it out was a major accomplishment.  This weekend or this week I'll be able to photograph the treadmill and put it up on craigslist.  The weightbench hasn't sold. I'm going to call consignment shops tomorrow and see if it can be sold there.

Pre-baby home improvement to do list:
  • A few more painting touchups, mostly covering scratches and marks on doors. (small jobs)
  • clean out what will be the guest room (big job)
  • sell weight bench and treadmill (becoming a bigger job than it should)
  • paint over wood paneling in guest room (huge job, wood paneling in DS's room took 2 coats primer and 3 coats of paint)
  • rearrange all furniture upstairs to furnish the guest room and create more room in our bedroom and DS's room.
That's all for this week!