Sunday, November 3, 2013

Slowing Down...

Yesterday I hit the 32 week mark in my pregnancy.
I also spent the evening in Labor and Delivery at the hospital.

Everything is fine.

But as I get further and further along... I am getting more and more uncomfortable.  I've mentioned before that I have an "irritable uterus."  What exactly IS an "irritable uterus?" I hear you asking.  Here are some explanations.

 Irritable Uterus feels like…
  • Braxton Hicks – regular or irregular, but, in general, more than 5 an hour and they onset in a frequent/regular fashion before you are full-term (can go on regularly for 1-3 hours at a time or more)
  • A constantly tight belly, which feels like one constant Braxton Hicks, may be harder/tighter when standing or walking, can last for 10 minutes to an hour or more
  • Regular or irregular painful contractions that feel like “the real thing” – cause real fear that cervical change may be happening, can be accompanied by cervical pain or pressure


Given my (quite extensive and drama-filled) history, my OB like to err on the side of caution.  When the contractions or constant tightness go on for too long, even with lots of water drinking and rest on my part, he prefers that Hope gets checked on the monitor in the hospital.  This happened in Gavin's pregnancy... and in Brian's pregnancy... and I was a frequent flier in Labor and Delivery all the way to the end.

During those pregnancies I got a lot of "side eyes" from people who didn't understand what this was like.  I suppose they thought I was being melodramatic by always running to the hospital.  I would also get lectures that I was "doing too much" "not drinking enough"  "stressing too much" - you name it. But the irritability I have can be brought on by peeing...having a full bladder...going from sitting to standing...and, to add one more thing I can't control - Hope's movements.  Hope is like an acrobat in my belly and moves day and night.  What can I do?

These trips to the hospital always produce a level of anxiety in me.  I often get flashbacks to Darcy's pregnancy.  I remember deciding that maybe I was overreacting.  The second I let my guard down - she was gone. Her death was caused by a freak cord accident.  So, you can imagine my anxiety with every trip to the hospital.

I'm sure I have also been looked at strangely when I have everything ready for the baby so early in my pregnancies.  I have had Hope's equipment and co-sleeper and pack and play and car seat open and in place for a couple months.  They are all washed and set up so they can "air out."  Her nursery is 90% completed.  The newborn clothes and blankets are washed and ready.  And soon I will have my official bag packed for the hospital.  I do all this way ahead of time because I know me.  And I know that the last couple months are difficult and I won't want to - or physically be able to - do all of these things. Between the irritable uterus - an extreme case of sciatica that has me wincing every time I step down on my right foot - and exhaustion... these last weeks for me are all about survival.  (And putting up our Christmas tree which is essential before I go!)

I'm slowing down.

I also officially went on blood pressure medicine a few days ago.  Having pregnancy induced hypertension in previous pregnancies - and being over 40 put me at greater risk for having it again.  This wasn't a surprise to me - and there's not a lot I can do about it.  I'm definitely careful about what I'm eating, drinking a ton of water, getting rest and keeping my stress level down as much as possible.  I've also been getting non-stress tests in my OB's office twice a week.

I had mentioned several weeks back that my scheduled C-Section was set for Christmas Eve.  I'm not stressing about that anymore.  The likelihood of me delivering before then is probably pretty high.

Thank you to all of you who continue to join me in believing Hope born!!  There are days that I look down and STILL can't believe that we're having a baby.  It's just unbelievable.  And now she's almost here.

We are so grateful for this new life.



19 comments:

  1. Kate,

    Prayers and love for you and Hope. I can't blame you for being anxious, you have been through so much. You look adorable! Hang in there Mama!


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  2. i am so excited for you kate, an for your family..dont let anyone change you carefulness even if you have to show up at the hosp. every day .. they will just have to get over it , your peace of mind is whats important.. love an prayers to you an family..ill be watching for hope..dee

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  3. Love your beautiful baby bump Hope. All the best in the next wks until you meet her. He's so lucky to be born into such a loving family. Take care.

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  4. My apologizes I meant she. :)

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  5. Christmas-time babies are a special gift. Much love as you count the days until precious Hope's arrival.

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    1. My and both my boys birthdays are within 2 weeks of Christmas. My oldest was due on Christmas Eve as well (he came the 30th) but it is super fun having December birthdays! Everyone is in the holiday spirit and we love it. All the best for you and Hope. You continue to amaze me daily with your graceful posts.

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  6. Continued prayers for you and your dear family as you prepare for the arrival of Hope. Do what you need to do for peace of mind, and to be sure that everything is good. Ask for help when you need it and try to rest when you can. And btw...you look adorable!
    Also anxiously awaiting Hope's arrival...but will be thinking of Gavin too.

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  7. Hi Kate, I have been reading since your post on Momastery, and have been hoping along with you all through this pregnancy. After a miscarriage myself, I was pregnant and due on Christmas Eve (of 2005)! Like you, I couldn't imagine having a baby that day. Apparently, she had other ideas. My water broke at midnight on Dec. 16, 2005 and our precious Natalie Claire arrived at 10:35 that morning. She is now a happy and healthy almost 8 year old! Hopefully, you will deliver a bit away from Christmas too, but as you and the rest of us who have endured a loss know, there are much worse things than a Christmas Eve baby. I will continue to send good thoughts for you across the miles from California!!

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  8. Sending love and joy and light and prayers and of course LOADS of hope for your sweet Hope to arrive safe and sound!

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  9. Hang in there. You look amazing in the photo. Beautiful and glowing. Rest when you can. I believe in Hope and I believe in you. Much love going your way :)

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  10. From one Irritable Uterus Mama to another..I feel your pain sister!! I too was a frequent flier of the L&D floor and also got those sideways glances. But after losing our precious baby due to preterm labor and incompetent cervix, I can never be too careful. You just take it easy and try to enjoy these last few weeks of your pregnancy with Hope.

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  11. Sending lots of love and i so understand you are anxious. x

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  12. I did not quite understand what was going on with my first preg. when we lost our son at 22 1/2 weeks. Sooooo I completely understand the concern you have and BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY!!! You were & are a great advocate for your kids and right now you are being an advocate for Hope. SO excited that you are 32 weeks. At the sounds of it, Hope may run out of the hospital. Brian better be ready!!!

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  13. I am so happy for you and you look beautiful. I have the same thing with my uterus so I can relate to the stress and the side-eyes! You are taking care of your family and following your intuition - there is nothing wrong with that at all! Ultimately who cares what anyone else thinks anyway?

    My offer for free maternity photos still stands but I am trying not to bug you or push you. You can find me on facebook if you are interested in them, you're getting to the perfect timing for the photos :)

    - Rhian Lockard

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  14. 'side eyes'? Maybe they couldn't believe what a hot rocking pregnant woman you were/ARE! This is the season of Hope. We don't want her here too early, but I can't wait!!!!! xoxoxoxo Jenny Page

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    1. ^^^^ This ^^^^

      So happy for you. HANG IN THERE!

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  15. I went thru the same thing with my son, the pain and fear is very real and very unpredictable. He was my first baby and I like you had everything ready by the end of October for a February birth! He was my miracle baby they said I'd never have and I just knew he would be here before they were ready. Sure enough on the day of Christmas Eve I once again was sent to the hospital to monitor for Ryan's movements and heart rate, I told them something didn't feel right, these pains were more but they sent me home. 11:30pm I went to settle in for the night and with my last trip to the bathroom my water broke at 33 weeks. Even upon arriving to the hospital I was still made to feel like I didn't know my own body, but thankfully my OB on call trusted me when 3 hours later I told them he was here. He's a Christmas baby and now that he is a healthy almost 3 year old he actually LOVES telling people about his birthday! Prayers and good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

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  16. I had an irritable uterus as well with my triplets and then with my rainbow baby and after having lost our daughter I was so nervous about every twinge during my last pregnancy. I always felt better when my doctor was overly cautious about things so I hope that helps you as well. Can't wait for news of Hope's arrival (but I hope it isn't for another 5 weeks or so) :)

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  17. 32 weeks!!! YES!! So happy for all of you!

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