I would be Full Term today… but Baby A surprised us early!

Here’s his birth story:
I woke up around 1am on Wednesday, October 12th with contractions that weren’t real labor, but they were strong enough I couldn’t sleep through them. This had happened with both B and M leading up to birth, so I assumed it would stop by morning and thought nothing of it aside from maybe Baby A wouldn’t be another 39-40 weeker after all. But it didn’t stop, and contractions remained irregular every 10-20 minutes and too painful to rest and eventually carry on through. At 37 1/2 weeks I still couldn’t imagine it would turn into labor, but it wasn’t stopping and I was getting exhausted!
By 9pm that night they finally began getting more regular and intense, now around 10 minutes apart. It was a few hours later they had continued picking up and stayed under 10 minutes.  I spoke to the on call midwife because I was starting to be anxious about what to do with how unexpected this was and slowly things were moving.  I couldn’t believe it was really labor yet, but it was nearing 24 hours of no sleep or breaks and I wanted to go in and get checked out. I decided I’d feel better going in now and not waiting any longer, and it’s a good thing!  By the time my mom got to our house and we were ready to go just after 1am, contractions had been 4-6 minutes apart for an hour, getting very painful, and I was beginning to feel pressure.
It was a bit after 2am Thursday the 13th when we got to the hospital. I was at 5cm, 90% effaced, and -1 station, but since I was only 37 weeks they said they wouldn’t encourage labor, nor would they admit me to L&D unless I was progressing.  They said they could give me a shot of morphine so I could have some relief and sleep–I’d never heard of that being done and the idea made me uneasy, so I said nothing and just got onto hands and knees on the triage bed praying when the nurse came back I’d have progressed and wouldn’t have to worry about it.  They got an IV started and at next check I was 6cm, woohoo! Although I was still in disbelief that I was in labor, we went to our L&D room to await the anesthesiologist to come insert an epidural, which I’d decided to get because I needed to rest and have a break!  Birth plan out the window (not that I’d even written it down yet!), and I didn’t feel one bit badly about it.
Between taking their time in triage and another patient in front of me, the epidural wasn’t in and set to go until 5am. Contractions were so painful with so much pressure by then I had been afraid it would be too late and I didn’t think I could handle pushing without a break first. Phew! The epidural process was much different than the one I’d received 8 years ago, and it took correctly this time! Relief!
They had me turn on my side with my leg over a “peanut” so I could rest but my hips would stay open. Then I got the shakes so badly I couldn’t sleep anyway! But the pain relief was enough, and after about an hour of resting while shaking my water broke and I felt a lot more pressure. I was checked again for the first time since triage and was at 9cm with just a lip of cervix to go.
Another half an hour and I was sure baby’s head was crowning. Ouch! I felt a lot of burning pain, but still couldn’t fathom it was pushing time! Like really, was this actually happening right now?! My midwife (Sarah) said to push when I felt like it though, as hard as I could… 2 contractions and 3 pushes and he was out, much to my surprise! He was super slimy (B and M had been totally clean) and I held him with towels while we waited for the cord to stop pulsating, deliver the placenta (which took some effort from me this time), have the midwife dislodge some clots that were blocking things (also had never happened, and ouch), and to have a tear sewn up. I’d been hoping for no tearing, but despite the midwife’s perinial support the scar tissue hadn’t stretched enough. Bummer, but I’m actually not very sore!  From the start of what seemed to be active labor, he was born in about 9 hours.  I hadn’t expected him to take longer than M, but then I hadn’t expected him for another 2 or so weeks either!
A was 6 lbs. 11.8 oz. and 20″, pretty good for 37 weeks 4 days! Because he’s a bit “young,” he was slow to learn how to latch, he’s been pretty sleepy and not nearly as alert as B and M were, and at first he needed lots of skin to skin to help him regulate his body temperature and blood sugar. His first day he was pretty relaxed, but since then he’s started the wanting to be attached to me often and he will cry (he squeaks, aww!) if he gets too distressed. He makes little noises and roots when he wants me to hold him, before the squeak-crying starts, and while still in the hospital he required it be skin to skin only, he would not tolerate clothes in his way. Lol. He wasn’t very hungry at first (also new for me), but his latching began improving quickly and we’re gradually getting better with it now on Day 3.  We were able to go home after just over 24 hours, which has been great of course and B and M are so excited over him, but the hospital really was pretty relaxing in retrospect, ha!

GD and Stuff

Two weeks ago I found out I’d failed the 1 hour glucose test (168 and cut off is 135), but still felt hopeful it could be explained by the cold I had and having just had Tim Horton’s right before it.  But then last week I failed the 3 hour test too and so they told me I had gestational diabetes.

I was completely shocked.  I’ve never so much as been borderline in the 1 hour test before, and I have no risk factors for it.  It was never even on my radar.  I cried a lot.  It was scary when I read about the complications and I felt like it was my fault because for weeks I’d been knowing I should eat more protein.  Heck, I thought I had been eating more protein because I had like 2 greek yogurts a day.  But I eat pretty healthily most of the time.  I was really confused.  Over the weekend I was very afraid to eat basically anything because I felt like I could be hurting my baby.  I cried a lot and ate a lot of cheese and eggs and I don’t even eat eggs.

Earlier this week, on Monday, I had the 2 hour class with the diabetes educator and dietitian, and it made me feel SO much better about this!  Most importantly, I learned that you won’t have complications if you manage it from here on out, that it isn’t anything I have done; GD is caused by a hormone produced by your placenta that sometimes decides it wants to prevent your insulin from doing its job.  I also learned that the diet isn’t very restrictive at all; rather, it’s all about balancing carb intake with non-carbs.  And I learned that basically everything is a carb.  I always thought carbs were stuff like bread, pasta, crackers, etc. but turns out fruit, milk, yogurt, sugar, beans, starchy vegetables, and basically anything that’s not cheese, meat, eggs, or non-starchy vegetable (or coffee!) is a carb.  Wat.

I got the glucose meter where you have to poke yourself four times a day, which I was a bit nervous about because I HATE the finger pokes at the doctor, I have literal anxiety about it.   I mean, I’ve given myself dozens of subcutaneous injections, had a few intramuscular ones too, and I’d much rather do those than finger pokes. But the lancet depth can be customized, so it’s not bad at all!  Phew.

I’ve been tracking my glucose since Monday evening and following the diet and so far this is easy!  My levels, fasting and otherwise, have been significantly below the “goal” level.  I even just ate McDonald’s for lunch and it was only at 92.  I’m really interested to talk to the GD people at my follow up appointment in another 1 1/2 weeks.  I almost purport that I don’t have GD at all and just got those high readings during the tolerance tests because you have to drink that super pop, which is so not like my usual diet that my body freaked out about it.

Anyway, so far I think the hardest part about managing GD is having to eat on a schedule.  Not because it’s hard to do, but because I have to be mindful of it and it makes the days drag on sooooo sloooowly.  As if the last 10 week stretch here wouldn’t go slow enough.  It’s also been a challenge to get the exact diet they “prescribed” me.  How does one consistently manage to eat 60g of carbs for lunch and dinner, while also eating not carbs to balance?!  Like I went and ate a salad with chicken the other day, and then later when my glucose was like 70 realized the only carb in that salad were the apples.  Should’ve gotten some bread on the side?!

Tl; dr: GD is not nearly so scary or difficult as first imagined, and this has been another example of God telling me to chill because he’s got this and Baby A will be totally fine.

Third Trimester!

28 weeks stars today, 12 weeks to go, which is like… under 3 months.  Still seems a long way off, but it’s getting close to the time where the real preparation has to start.  Mentally I’m going until school starts, then I’ll have almost 2 months to do stuff like wash clothes, prep diapers (which, um, haven’t been purchased yet), and make freezer meals and padsicles.  Oh, and I knew I was forgetting something–mentally prepare for birth!  Kind of important.  I’m sure I have my affirmations from M around somewhere to read, and other than that I’m aiming to do the same thing I did with her and have everything go awesomely.

There are still a couple of things we need to get, too, but nothing pressing aside from diapers.  Swaddles (I’m determined to actually use them for once and have it help him sleep), burp cloths (aka cloths to catch all the milk that leaks out the side he’s not eating on for the first 2 months), nursing pads, and would be nice to get new baby towels and wash cloths.  The ones we have are from B and so old and used they’re basically sandpaper.  I’m sure there are a few other small things, but whatever, no big deal to get them as I think of them even if he’s already born.  Ah, it’s nice to not care about stuff.

Baby A is generally a pretty active dude, although the placenta moved posterior early in the second trimester so I can also feel everything up front like I could with M.  But like B was in utero, A doesn’t change positions.  His butt is always to the right and his feet to the left.  Sometimes he twists just slightly so his feet are forward, but not as often.  He gets hiccups frequently still, sometimes he annoys himself, ha.  He’s seemed noticeably bigger lately and his movements have gotten noticeably stronger in the past week to where it can feel uncomfortable when he pushes and shifts around.  He sure likes to be low, though.  His head is always in my hip (usually the right one), and so it gets uncomfortable quickly to sit up straight.  Oh, and I swear he loves food.  Like he gets excited often judging by his sudden wiggles as soon as I start eating something or even before it even gets to my mouth! Silly kid.


Update at 25 1/2 weeks

I see that I never posted anything after we had the 20 week ultrasound.  Probably because I’m so dang tired most of the time!  Today is no excuse, I had a very exhausting and stressful morning being out and about with kids who weren’t listening (because they’ve had enough summer now, why isn’t school starting yet?!).

gender announcement 2us 20w2d - Copy

We were very excited to find out that New Kid is a boy!  It took M a few weeks to not occasionally whine about it and say she wanted a “sister baby,” but she seems good now and I know will be after she gets to meet “brother baby.”

Everything looked good at the ultrasound, and has been good in the appointments I’ve had since then.  He was measuring a week ahead by weight (was already nearly 15+ oz. at 20w2d), so will be interesting to see if he’ll be much bigger than B (7 lbs. 6 oz.) and M (7 lbs. 3 oz.) at birth.  I don’t know what they measured at 20 weeks.

I’m doing ok.  I’m really hot all the time (stupid summer) and get tired and sore quickly when trying to do stuff around the house, so I can’t consistently keep up with normal chores and haven’t been able to do the extra projects I’ve wanted to do like at all.  Other than that no real physical pains or difficulties at this point.  I had wanted to do prenatal pilates this whole time, but I get low blood pressure symptoms really easily the last few weeks and just can’t, so I’ve been sticking to yoga whenever I think of it and have had the energy to clear a space off on the floor…

For the most part I don’t worry a lot about anything going wrong.  It helps to be past the viability point and the chances of him surviving especially without issues if he had to be born increase by the week.  But I still will get anxious if I’m not feeling as much movement one day as I did the day before, etc.  It seems like A (yes, he has a first name at least) still likes to be crammed down low as much as he can.  His head is often pushing against my left hip and he punches/elbows a lot down there.  Before his feet were always over to the right, but in the past few days I think he’s moved a bit more vertically so the movement I’m feeling has changed.  He doesn’t seem to like to stretch out, or maybe I’m too early to be feeling lots of stretching?  I don’t remember!  I can feel his tiny pokey feet sticking out under my skin on occasion, though, and he’s been getting hiccups fairly often since 20 weeks.

I had an appt. with the midwife this morning.  It took a few second to find his heartbeat because he was moving.  I could only feel occasional pokes way down low at the time.  She said it sounded good.  Instead of going back in 4 weeks at 29 1/2 weeks, I’ll go back in 3 weeks and come in early to do the GD test.  Ew.  Then I’ll be on to 2 week appts.  Crazy to think the third trimester is only 1 1/2 weeks away, but I so wish the end was much nearer so I could have him on the outside now!  B and M are excited too and ask and talk about him often.  M even gave him a kiss the other day, aww.

One More Week

Until we “find out who’s in there!”  Ever since I started feeling a lot more movement a few weeks ago I’ve felt more like I “know” this kid, but it helps a lot to be able to think of them in more a more concrete way.  Not just from knowing gender, but from seeing them on the ultrasound.  I’ve only had the one ultrasound and it was so blurry and they were just a little beanie shape then.

Not to mention one of my favorite things to do when I’m bored is browse Ebay and BST groups on Facebook and I want to know what I could actually be buying!  Plus we set the 20 week ultrasound as when, afterwards, we’d start keeping an eye out for deals on the bigger stuff we need… carseat, baby-putter-inner, cosleeper (because I want to try harder to get this one to not need to sleep ON me from the start), etc.

I think it was just before 17 weeks when I finally started feeling obvious and consistent little kicks and thumps.  They’re still almost always down really low and more towards the center.  The CNM confirmed at my 17 week appointment that I have an anterior placenta again (was like that with B, not with M, which was so much nicer).  So that explains things.  They like to stay wedged down there most of the time, at least.  On occasion these days I’ll feel something on a side or the top, but it’s much less obvious.  I can even sometimes feel them kick from the outside, that is when they don’t stop as soon as I put my hand there!

Starting around 18 weeks I started having some major lower back, posterior pelvic, and sciatic pain.  Some days have been so bad I can’t lift anything (I dropped M a few times during the night trying to move her because my lower back muscles literally won’t work), and I can’t stand up unless I can push or pull myself because things are so out of whack.  I had a few nights I could hardly sleep because it hurt so much, I could hardly turn over, and was having sharp pain in my thigh and lower calf from the sciatica.  I’ve started doing prenatal pilates a few times a week to help combat this, and finally got one of those giant exercise balls (must’ve sold my old one, we couldn’t find it!) and it has helped a TON.  Doing some circles on it loosens my pelvis back up and the pain is almost gone now.  Phew!  Every day was feeling like a battle and I would prefer to not have to do it every day for 5 more months.

Otherwise I’m feeling pretty good.  I’m 19 weeks 2 days today.  The anxiety has been much better since movement has become consistent, and all worries/fears I’d say are at a normal level for anyone.  I still have some nausea hanging around some days, but nothing bad.  Some days I don’t have much energy, but then I’ll get a day where I have lots and want to do ALL the things.

Things feel real and very unreal at the same time.  This entire thing feels so different, I guess because it’s such a different situation from B and M.  Still hard to believe it’s happening since it was such a surprise, but feels totally right too.  I’m not worried at all about adding another one.  The kids are really excited about it. ❤ ❤ ❤

They still argue over whether it’s a boy or girl.  B wants a brother, M wants a sister.  I used to feel strongly that it was a girl, but the last few weeks have felt strongly that it’s a boy.  At this point I think I’ll be surprised if it’s a girl, but I obviously have no idea!

One of Those People?

The stories you hear that stick with you and make you think, “Well, good for them,” are the ones where someone magically conceives naturally right before IUI or IVF, or after years and tons of treatments that were successful or not, magically conceives naturally.  Those stories that perpetuate the very incorrect and frustrating cliché of “if you’d just relax, then it will happen.”  And you can just think, “Yes, good for them, but that will never happen to me.”

I guess it just hadn’t happened to me yet.

I think last I checked in I was trying out Femara.  So in December it didn’t do a darn thing for me like it had the cycle before, following the last miscarriage.  I also posted about how I’d been feeling God telling me to WAIT.  I realized that I was trying as hard as I could and nothing good was happening and so yes, God, I will listen and STOP and WAIT.

In January I began to come to peace with having my two miracles and no longer pursuing a third child, and I even decided to maybe call it off completely and start preventing forever beginning the next cycle.  I was ok with all of that, and so I did nothing just like I felt God had been telling me to do for months, and I waited.

Then my cycle wasn’t ending and I was like what the heck, man, and I waited and waited and started feeling some hormonal symptoms and on a whim decided to take a pregnancy test just to rule it out.

You may be able to guess by now that it was positive, and not a faint positive like I get early on, it was POSITIVE.  What.  the actual.  heck.  Complete shock and I had no idea when I had ovulated.  Based on the darkness of my test I guessed I was about 4-4.5 weeks.

Typically at this point I’d be calling for bloodwork and scheduling an early ultrasound and taking the progesterone that I’d paid hundreds of dollars for to try and help the last baby, but I still felt God telling me to do nothing and so I did nothing.

I was already past the “chemical pregnancy” danger of the last two pregnancies, so that was at least a better sign.  And then at 5 weeks my symptoms completely disappeared and I was CONVINCED I was having another blighted ovum because why would I not?  I went a week feeling nothing, then some cramping, and was completely physically and emotionally prepared for the miscarriage to start and I knew I’d be ok with that outcome.

But it didn’t start, so I took another test to at least see if my hcg was going down and the test was basically as dark as a test can actually be.  I was really anxious and confused now, so I finally called to schedule an appointment with the CNM.  It would still be another week before they’d get me in for an ultrasound, so I made them do an hcg quant in attempts to quell my anxiety.

And then BAM the symptoms came back in full force.  I couldn’t eat and couldn’t even keep water down and spent one night up half the time puking harder than I ever have before and within 2 days I was back at the CNM getting a prescription for Phenergan (anti-nausea/vomiting) and IV fluids because I was dehydrated.  I also learned my hcg a few days ago had been 45,000.  I was like… so this baby is actually growing normally?  I couldn’t comprehend it, and I felt guilty because I’d actually been ok with not having another baby… but then one seemed to have miraculously appeared anyway.

A week later I had an ultrasound and we saw a baby measuring 7 weeks 5 days with a heartbeat of 163 bpm.  I spent the next several weeks too sick to be very anxious about it.  I’m feeling more like a human now, though my much needed Zantac is not working as well as it was.

I am 13 weeks and 5 days today, and earlier this week I saw the midwife again and she immediately got a heartbeat of 158 bpm with the doppler.  A baby is definitely growing in there, and sometimes I can feel wiggles.  I’m very slowly starting to come out of denial that we’re somehow having another baby, and I did nothing but give up and listen to God.

So now am I one of those people?

I don’t feel like this just happened to me because I relaxed and stopped trying.  I still had to go through difficulty on the journey to ultimately be where I am right now.  I suppose that’s how those people feel too?

Miracle Baby #3 coming in late October.  “Big” ultrasound is scheduled for in about 6.5 weeks!

Money and Peace

For the most part I can get over the fact that I need medication to decrease my risk of miscarriage, but the thing that I have a hard time not feeling angry about is when the thing that prevents me from doing all that I can is money.  Not that I don’t have the money, but that this stuff costs so much.

There is very little insurance coverage out there for fertility testing and treatments.  We were very fortunate to have had just about the best infertility coverage you could find when we were going through thousands of dollars a month in treatments.  We only had a $20 prescription copay (those injections were thousands).

Since we currently have no worthwhile insurance coverage (thanks, Obama), money has been what has set our limits, and that is very frustrating.  If it wasn’t a factor, I’d just be all like let’s do IVF again.  It’s our option with the highest chance of success.  I probably wouldn’t have said that 6 months ago, but I’m more determined now that this can have a happy ending.

It still may not, but I do not want to have to give up and quit and try to move on because I couldn’t afford a medication.  I thought that was going to be the case up until this morning, in fact, although I hadn’t entirely decided to give up.  Just a month or two until I could come up with the $93 to refill my Femara.

Someone told me that Femara is only $7 at Costco.  WHAT.  How can that be possible?!  I had to check into it.  I can afford $7.  Long story short, it’s true.  I refilled my double Rx for $7.56 this morning.  Today is the day I’d need to start taking it.

I would’ve been crying and jumping for joy if I didn’t have a peace about it.  I’d come to realize in the past few days that God isn’t trying to prevent me from trying to have another baby, he’s just helping me to be patient about it.  “Wait” is the word that has come up again and again in the last 6 months.

So with that in mind, I hope that I can continue to feel peaceful and patient this month.  I want to concentrate on Advent (which, coincidentally, means “waiting”) and Christmas with my family and not OPKs and symptoms.  They need to take a back seat.


P.S. While looking for scripture to have B read when we light our Advent candles, I came across this:

Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5

So look at that: I shouldn’t ever feel stupid for continuing to have hope.  This is how I’m able to still have hope.

“I Don’t Know How to Make Peace with My Infertility”

This was an article I came across today that resonated so much with me.  It is something I have continued to struggle with and do every single day.


This really highlights how it feels:

The agony of infertility runs so deep that I feel irrevocably changed by the experience — so much so that having a baby now almost feels beside the point. How will I ever heal? How will we ever be OK with the hows and whys and buts of it all? My heart feels mashed inside my chest. Could a baby really put it back together again?

And I have learned from experience that the answer is no.  Having M brought me a lot of joy, but it was a separate joy.  It wasn’t one that automatically erased all that had happened because it had been “resolved.”

It can never be resolved.  The pain leaves a profound impact on you, and there is no cure.  I can’t just have a baby no matter how much I want one, no matter how hard I try.

I haven’t entirely put this out there yet, in so many words, but we have been hoping to have another baby.  I’ve had two more miscarriages since this began, including one where I was maxed out on Clomid.  I’m on Femara right now, which I’ve never tried before but it’s expensive and possibly the last option.  Doing IVF again isn’t an option (unless maybe it were magically free).

And so here I am feeling crazy for trying, for hoping maybe this time everything will work out, but it’s not going well.  Sometimes I wonder why I should expect a different result?  I don’t know how I can ever come to terms with it.  It’s the most maddening, heartbreaking position to be in, and I know that it’s very likely at some point soon I’ll have to try to accept giving up and moving on.



I wanted to believe that you’d be able to stay
I was so afraid you wouldn’t, just like the others
I prayed for you, I loved you, and I hoped
I told myself it was ok and I waited
I nestled you into my heart, where you will always be
I wonder how I can let myself keep hoping
Even after you flew off to be with the rest
I saw snowbirds today
Beautiful gray and peaceful
I know you’re safe there with them
You all have each other

Now I Can Walk

ps 138 7

Five years ago today I was just beginning to see my RE.  I found hope in that.  I had been drug through over a year of disappointment and heartbreak.  I had been learning how to walk in such darkness, how to hold God’s hand and let him support me as I walked.

I had two more years of walking through that dark valley.  There were a lot of painful stumbles.  Finally I made it out to the other side when M was born.  She brings so much joy to our lives, and not a day goes by I don’t know that and remember.

She is almost 3 now, and I had several years of healing from that walk and never wanting to try it again.  Then somehow our minds changed, even before losing Flicker a few months ago.  I am three months into starting this walk again, not knowing how long I’ll be on it nor how many wounds I’ll suffer on the way.

There are days it is still hard.  I see cavalier comments, triggering announcements and pictures, and I hate being back here.  I hate that it has to be so hard for me.  I feel isolated again.

But now I have learned how to walk this path.  It is familiar to me.  I hold God’s hand and walk more confidently.  I know that I can walk through it and where the stumbles are.  I know that while I’m surrounded by these troubles again, by the familiar pain of waiting for a baby I’m already supposed to be having, that my life is safe.

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