Friday, May 31, 2013

Birth story & beyond

I've been meaning to post this for a while now, but I never got around to it. Here goes:

I ended up being sent for induction on the evening of Wednesday 5/15, because we had a non-reactive NST and my BP had increased. We were told to expect to wait in OB triage for 2-3 hours for a L&D room, but were moved to our room in a little under an hour. They started the induction with a gel at around 8 or 9pm, and we were sent to walk the hospital halls for a few hours in total in between being monitored. My cervix started out at 1.5 cm dilated, but every time they checked me I'd made progress. Those checks were seriously uncomfortable, I have to say. I had a lot of bloody show after them, too. Anyway, I was given loads of IV fluids and then I was started on pitocin at 5am on Thursday 5/16. My contractions had been regular up until then, but not that bad. Pitocin definitely changed that! I ended up having really bad back labor because the baby was sideways. I also found out when I was 3cm dilated that I definitely could not have an epidural due to the syrinx in my spine. I was miserable by the time I was 4cm, and that was a long way off from delivery! I asked for some IV pain meds around that time, which did help a little. My contractions were still very intense but the time in between was more manageable.

At 8:15am my OB broke my water, and that made everything progress more. I also had an internal contraction monitor placed so they could figure out how much pitocin to give me. A lot of my contractions were off the chart, it was crazy. My hubby was a great support, he applied counter pressure to my lower back which was where I was feeling the contractions. If he hadn't done that I don't know how I would have coped.

Once I hit 7 cm, everything was crazy. I was quiet in between contractions and made low moan sounds during them. I tried to focus on keeping my breathing regular and deep, but sometimes it was too hard to breathe through them. The next time I was checked I was 9 cm, and it felt like my body was pushing on its own during my contractions. We tried different positions, like lying on my side with a peanut shaped inflatable ball between my legs, but the baby's position made that one horrendous. I stood for a while "slow dancing" with my hubby but that was pretty damn unbearable too. I ended up sitting on my exercise ball for a while, which hurt a lot but I wanted to let gravity do some of the work. I think it did help because after that I stood up, had a really terrible contraction which made me double over, and then they checked me and I was 10 cm. That was at 5pm. I had to be catheterized briefly because I was completely unable to empty my bladder due to the baby squishing my urethra. Just as well they did that, because they got about 800 ml from me! At 5:15pm I started pushing, 3 times per contraction as directed. Honestly the pushing felt much better than just having to tolerate the contractions! It was really hard work, but I felt better knowing the end was somewhat in sight. My OB and nurse were amazing and really encouraged me a lot. They told me I was pushing really well and kept me updated on my progress. I remember my OB telling me that our baby had peach fuzz hair - pretty surreal, since he hadn't been born yet! I kept my eyes closed the whole time I was pushing; it wasn't really a conscious thing, I just needed to focus on the task without any distractions. I remember being worried that I'd have to push for hours, and that I wouldn't have the energy. I didn't talk between contractions at that point, except to let them know when I needed to push.

My hubby gave me ice water after every contraction, which really helped. My mouth felt so dry after each set of pushes, so that small thing was very much appreciated. He was right there by my side the whole time, holding my right leg and telling me I was doing great. I remember looking at him at one point and thinking he was going to cry. The whole situation was pretty overwhelming for him, I think. He always said during my pregnancy that he wasn't going to watch the baby emerging, and I would tell him he might feel differently about that when I was actually giving birth. It turns out I was right - he watched the whole thing! Just as well he's not squeamish!! He was amazed by my strength and determination to get the baby out. My memory of the actual delivery is a little hazy - I wasn't really out of it, but there was so much going on and it was all pretty overwhelming. I remember the push where the baby's head came out, and how weird that felt. Getting his shoulders out was difficult but it happened quickly. Then he was here! He was placed on a towel on my chest and my hubby cut the umbilical cord, then they took the baby to clean him up and get his measurements etc. He never left the room, I could see him and my hubby was taking photos for me. I just remember feeling in a bit of a daze, but so so happy. Our baby came out kicking and screaming, and the sound of his screams was the best thing ever.

My OB had done her best to make sure I didn't tear too much, which I was (and am) very grateful for. I did have a small tear, and I remember it happening but didn't feel any pain at the time. I guess all the pressure makes it impossible to feel? I don't know. Anyway I needed a couple of stitches, but nothing extreme. I remember watching my OB stitching me up but I didn't feel a single thing. I know they used local anesthetic but I didn't even feel them give me that, which surprised me. I think at that point I didn't care anymore, I was just so relieved the baby was out and I was desperate to hold him again!

My labor was timed from the moment the pitocin started - so 5 a.m. In total, I was in labor for 13 hours and 6 minutes, with 51 minutes spent pushing. It could have been so much worse, but back labor is no joke! I totally would have taken the epidural if it had been an option for me, but it wasn't. I will admit though that I was/am so proud of myself for getting through it without an epi. I'd never fully decided before whether I definitely wanted an epi or not, but I was open to having one if I needed it. My OB was seriously impressed that I did it without any real pain relief, especially given that this was my first baby and he was in a difficult position. She kept saying she couldn't believe how well I kept control and she was really surprised I wasn't screaming. There was a woman in the next room who delivered maybe 5-10 minutes before I did, who was screaming so loud it was pretty disconcerting. I just remembered from our birthing class that screaming doesn't really help, and that low moans help more. Plus I do tend to be pretty quiet when I'm in pain - at worst I might cry, but I don't usually get loud. I don't think I would have had the energy to scream, honestly. I just had to focus on what needed to be done. In my head I was rationalizing things to myself - it was kind of weird. I never could have articulated myself at that point, but I was aware of the things going on around me and I knew why they were doing certain things. Like when they catheterized me to empty my bladder, I remember thinking "oh good, my bladder won't rupture". I also thought "I bet this is going to be awful", LOL, but I didn't feel a thing. My OB used a numbing gel on me, which I was very grateful for. I'm sure it couldn't have possibly hurt as much as the contractions did, anyway. When my OB told me how brave I was, I remember thinking that it's not like I had a choice - the epidural was off the table, so I had to get on with it without the epi. If I'd had the option I would've taken the epi - so in my mind, not so brave! She came to visit me the morning after when I was in my postpartum room, and again told me how great I did and said that she was going to brag about me to her coworkers. Too funny!

Oh, she also ordered a spine MRI for me to check the syrinx out. I had it done 5/17, the day after delivery. I saw my OB on Tuesday afternoon and she told me the syrinx had shrunk down, which was a big surprise to me. I expected it to be the same or possibly a little bigger. She gave me a referral to a neurologist, just to get it cleared officially, but I'm not worried. I'm thinking it'll probably turn out that I could have had the epidural, but either way, I'm still glad I didn't get one (even though it wasn't by choice, LOL). If we have another baby in the future, maybe an epidural will be an option. If not, though, it's fine. I did it this time, so I could do it again. That doesn't mean I'm in a rush to, though!!

It's true that you forget some of the pain once the baby's here. When I think back to my labor, I just remember that the contractions got seriously painful. I remember struggling to breathe through the really bad ones. I don't look back in horror, though, and think I would never do it again. It was very painful, but it didn't last that long in the grand scheme of things, and it was so worthwhile.

My recovery has been pretty good overall. I had a lot of swelling in my legs, ankles and feet from all the IV fluids I was given, but that's all gone now. The bleeding hasn't been nearly as heavy as I expected; it was heavy in the very beginning, and I got through quite a few of those enormous hospital maxi pads, but most of the time now it's just like spotting, and I'm only 15 days postpartum. To give you an idea how bad the swelling was, when I left the hospital 2 days after giving birth, I hadn't lost any weight whatsoever from when I entered the hospital. That was pretty depressing! When I had my appointment 12 days postpartum, I'd lost between 15 and 16 pounds. I only have 4 or 5 pounds to go and then I'll be at my pre-pregnancy weight. I could stand to lose a lot more than that, though, if I'm honest.

Breastfeeding was challenging in the beginning, but we're doing well now. At first, before my milk came in, we were doing OK. When my milk came in on day 3, it got much harder because it was almost impossible to get a good latch due to engorgement. Luckily I already had a breast pump, so I used it a few times and that helped. The advice is not to give the baby any bottles until breastfeeding is well established - a lot of people say a month or so - but my nipples were very sore and cracked at one point and I'd pumped so my hubby gave him a bottle of my pumped milk. I'm happy to say it made no difference to breastfeeding, except to give my nipples a chance to recover a bit.

Our air conditioning at home broke down completely when our baby was 4 days old. We live in the Arizona desert, so it was a bad situation! We had to wait on the replacement part, so ended up going to a hotel for a few nights and boarding our dogs. Staying in a hotel with a newborn was very stressful - when the baby cried at night I felt terrible, in case he was waking everyone else up, and the amount of stuff you have to take with you for an overnight trip is just insane. We were very glad we'd bought portable baby gear, because otherwise it would have been even worse! There was one time in the hotel that we ended up giving pumped breast milk, because I just couldn't get the baby to latch on properly and he was getting so upset and so was I because I tried for absolutely ages. Since then, though, we've been doing really well with nursing and I haven't pumped at all. I think I will pump though, just to have a back-up supply in case we ever need it. It might be useful!

Baby boy had his 2 week check-up yesterday, and we were very curious to find out what he weighed. At birth he was 6 lb 11 oz and at his first appointment (6 days old) he was 6 lb 4 oz. Since then he's been nursing a lot, and I guessed he might be 6 lb 12 oz. Well, he was 7 lb 1.5 oz! We were both pretty surprised by that! He still easily fits into newborn clothes - he probably will for a while, since he's not chunky. I'm so pleased that he's gaining weight well, though. It's hard to know how much milk a breastfed baby is actually getting, you know?

This post wouldn't be complete without a few photos:

Grumpy face :)

In his swing

I'll write more soon, but I think it's time for coffee right now! :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Right on time!

At 6:06pm on Thursday May 16th, we welcomed our baby boy into the world! He was born on his due date (I was induced starting the night before), weighing 6 pounds 11 ounces, and measuring 20.25 inches long. We're absolutely in love with him! He looks so much like my husband, it's crazy. We really couldn't be happier! I'll post our birth story soon, but in the meantime here are some photos:

Our first family photo, taken very shortly after delivery

3 days old!

Friday, May 10, 2013

39 weeks yesterday... we have a plan!

Yesterday marked 39 weeks! I had my appointment and everything is going well. The NST was good, no worries there. I asked my OB about the syrinx/epidural thing and she thinks it will be OK, but will check with an anesthesiologist to be sure. I'm not planning on getting one anyway, but I'd kind of like for it to be an option if I feel I need it. I mean I have no idea just how bad labor is going to be, so I'm trying to keep my options open!

I didn't get a cervix check, she said there was no need and I know she's right. Hopefully things are progressing, though. We talked about induction and the plan is that I'll have my next appointment on Wednesday, 39+6, and probably go to the hospital that night. I'm not in a desperate hurry to get the baby out, but my OB doesn't want me going much beyond 40 weeks. My blood pressure is generally OK but has been rising a little recently, and I think that's part of it. If they start inducing on Wednesday night, baby boy might actually arrive on his due date - 5/16. Not that that really matters, but it would be pretty cool I guess. I'm still hoping our baby will have other plans and I'll go into labor on my own before then, though! :)

My hubby has told his manager what's likely to happen - obviously the dates are subject to change, if the baby comes on his own earlier or if for some reason they don't induce me on Wednesday, but he's trying to keep them in the loop. He has 7 vacation days left to take, so if everything goes according to plan he'll be off Thursday and Friday, and then all of the following week. Hopefully we'll be out of the hospital by Sunday at the latest. If the baby is born on Thursday, we might get out by Saturday. Ideally I want to see one of the hospital's lactation consultants before we leave, to make sure everything is going well with feeding before going home.

It's all getting very real now! :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

38 week appointment

On Thursday afternoon I should have had my 38 week appointment. I got a call from my OB office (about 20 minutes before leaving the house) to say that my OB wasn't there. Ugh! I had a few questions I wanted to ask her, and I was hoping to find out the status of my cervix too (just out of curiosity). Anyway, since I was supposed to have another NST as well as my appointment, they said I could have the NST done at the hospital instead. We had to go to the OB office to collect the script for that, and then we went to the hospital.

We waited about half an hour to be seen, which isn't bad really! My doctor actually asked for a NST and a biophysical profile (BPP). I think she hadn't seen the report from the BPP I had on Monday - everything was fine at that ultrasound, so I don't think she would have sent me for another if she'd seen the report, but I couldn't exactly find anything out at that point.

Anyway, the baby did great on the NST and then we went to ultrasound for the BPP. Baby scored 8/8, so that's awesome! :) After that we were taken back to L&D and waited to be sent home. Altogether we were in the hospital for about 2 and a half hours, which we weren't exactly planning on, but then again sometimes at the OB office we've waited ages too, and had fewer things done! It was nice to know everything was still going well, of course. Maybe my OB thought that since we were already having to go to the hospital, I might as well have another BPP? I don't know, really. I know we'll be getting another bill from the hospital, though!

I could have rescheduled my OB appointment, but since I already have my next 2 set up and they're weekly, I didn't think there was much point. My OB office is closed Friday afternoon, and I don't think they would have been able to get me in for a routine appointment much earlier than Thursday anyway. If anything happens in the meantime I'll either call my OB or go to L&D. I just hope that I'm able to see her on Thursday as planned, because I'll be 39 weeks then and I really need to know the answers to these questions!

The main question is whether I can even get an epidural if needed, because I have a syrinx in my spine. It's a fluid sac in my spinal cord, which was an incidental finding on an MRI scan I had more than 4 years ago. I've googled the question and it seems as though there's conflicting information out there. I wasn't planning on getting an epidural anyway, and honestly since the syrinx doesn't cause me any problems (knock on wood) and has probably been there my whole life, I don't really think about it! It's in my thoracic spine so I didn't think it would cause any issues if I did get an epidural, but I'd like to know for sure of course. I certainly don't want to cause any issues with something that's currently asymptomatic! I'm sure my OB will probably want to consult with an anesthesiologist, so I don't want to wait until I'm in labor to ask this! Hopefully Thursday my appointment will happen as planned. Fingers crossed!! :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Biophysical Profile

This morning we had our biophysical profile ultrasound. The things they look at include breathing movements, body movements, smaller movements e.g. clenching fists, the amniotic fluid index and the baby's heart-rate. Baby boy was doing everything he should be doing - the ultrasound took literally 5 minutes! He's still vertex (head down) and it's getting very cramped in there so I doubt he's going to turn breech again (I really hope he doesn't, anyway!). I asked about the cord and whether it was still around the baby's neck - it isn't! Yay! Obviously that can change at any time, but it's nice to know it's not there right now. His heart-rate was 146 bpm, which is normal. My amniotic fluid index was 12, and the tech said between 10 and 20 is normal so that's good. My placenta looks good, too. I'm very happy that everything is awesome!

As for his estimated weight, he's about 6 pounds 4 ounces right now. At our last ultrasound, which was at 34+6 (19 days ago) he was estimated to be about 4 pounds 14 ounces. So going by those measurements, he's gained about 22 ounces in 19 days. I know ultrasound weight measurements can be off, but it's good to know he's growing appropriately. Babies are supposed to gain around an ounce a day, apparently, so he's doing well. I'm guessing he'll weigh somewhere in the region of 7 pounds at delivery, maybe 7 and a half. The tech said he's in the 25th percentile, but they get concerned when babies are in the 10th percentile or the 90th percentile. He's just a smaller baby than average, I guess. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing!

We got 4 pictures from the ultrasound, but at this point it's really hard to make anything much out. It's crazy to think that in 2-3 weeks, our little guy will actually be here! :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

37 weeks - full term!

Today is a huge milestone for me - I'm 37 weeks pregnant, which is classed as full term! :)
I remember the day I got my BFP and it really doesn't seem like that long ago. Baby will be here before we know it, I'm sure. I'm still loving being pregnant, I love feeling the baby move around and I can't complain much really, I've been very lucky so far.

I had an appointment and NST today. My OB had been called to a delivery, so we waited quite a while for her. We were given the option of rescheduling, but I wanted to ask her some questions so we waited. I was glad we got to see her, we discussed quite a lot.
We talked about induction, and she said she'd rather let the baby come on his own - but if I get to 40 weeks and he's not here, she would like to induce shortly after. I expected this, and I'm OK with it. I asked about what she thinks regarding epidurals, especially given that baby has the cord around his neck. She said it would be good for me to get one, for a number of reasons:
  • If baby gets distressed and we need to have a c-section, I won't have to be put under. This is a big one for me, because I don't want to miss our baby's birth! Also, if they put me under, my hubby would miss it as well. It would be a real shame.
  • It will lower my blood pressure - which tends to run high in medical environments, and definitely will if I'm in pain.
  • If I tear (which is pretty likely) it will be a lot more comfortable when I'm getting stitched up afterwards.
I found out I'm Group B Strep negative, so that's awesome! No antibiotics during labor (unless something else happens).

The baby is doing really awesome, which is a huge relief! My doctor said the NST shows a textbook baby! I asked if we need to have another ultrasound before delivery, and she said I can have a biophysical profile done so we're going for that on Monday morning. I'll ask the tech if the cord is still around the baby's neck. Hopefully it won't be anymore, or if it is, it'll be no worse than it was before. My doctor isn't worried about the cord, she said it's really common, so that's good. I feel much better about it now!

I had my first cervix check today, too. She said I'm at about 1.5 cm. I know it doesn't really mean a whole lot, but it's interesting to know anyway. I am having some light spotting now, though. That's normal, I know.

Here's a pic I took yesterday - this belly is getting huge now! He hasn't dropped yet, but I'm sure he will soon enough :)


Earlier this week I went to L&D because my BP was acting all funky. At home it's usually good, but on Monday it was 145/90. I thought maybe I was just tired, so I took a nap. After the nap I checked my BP again, and it was 149/90. That's when I decided to go and get checked out; better safe than sorry! My OB always says if it's higher than 140/90 I should get seen. Anyway I had a NST and baby was doing really great. My urine tests came back normal, as did the blood tests. I just didn't want to mess around with my BP in case it was going to continue to rise. It's back to normal now, and has been for a couple of days. It must have just been one of those things. Thank goodness it wasn't pre-eclampsia or anything like that.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Today's NST

The NST this afternoon went really well. The baby did great, thank goodness :)
I also found out I'm having contractions. That was news to me! I felt what I thought might be one during the NST, but there were a lot I didn't notice apparently. Cool! I'm sure nothing is going to happen imminently, but the doctor said now that I'm 36 weeks they won't try to stop labor whenever it starts. It's good to know my body is getting ready for labor, though. I wonder if my OB will check my cervix next week at my appointment. I've never asked what she normally does with regards to cervical checks, so who knows? I've heard they're kind of pointless, because you can go from being 0 cm dilated to being in labor quickly, or you can walk around 3 cm dilated for weeks with nothing happening. I guess I'll just go with whatever she suggests. It would be interesting to know what, if anything, is going on though!

Another scare

Yesterday (35+6) I had a regular appointment. On Monday the office called to let me know my OB wouldn't be in, and they asked if I would mind seeing the physician's assistant instead. I said that was fine, I figured it would be better to at least have an appointment rather than skipping one. My BP was good at my appointment for the first time in a while (usually it goes up when I go there, I wish it wouldn't, but it does). It was a nice surprise that it was fine! Well the PA was very nice, and she spent a while with us. She talked about last week's ultrasound, and said that there was one thing they were concerned about. I assumed it was going to be the baby's weight, but no. The cord is around his neck. Not what we wanted to hear by any means! It's "only" wrapped around once, and apparently it's not tight. It's one of those things, apparently, and shouldn't cause any problems. They're going to have me go in for weekly NSTs though to make sure the baby isn't in distress. The first one is going to be today (my appointment was late yesterday afternoon and they couldn't fit it in).
She said that sometimes it can cause the baby to go into distress during labor, so if that happened I may need to have a c-section. When I have my appointment with my OB next week I'm going to ask her what she thinks - of course I'd rather avoid a c-section if possible, but at this point as long as our baby is healthy that's all that matters.

While I was there the PA did the group B strep swab, so I should find out next week if I'll be needing antibiotics during labor. Hopefully not, but again, whatever I have to do for the baby.

I can't lie, this whole thing about the cord is worrying me a lot. It's just after 5am here and I can't sleep. I did get some sleep, maybe a few hours, but I've been tossing and turning all night. Eventually, at about 4:40am, I thought I might as well just get up. I can take a nap later, thankfully. Then this afternoon it's my NST. I'm not worried about the actual NST at all, but the results of it could be scary. Hopefully baby boy will be his usual active self and not be in any distress. I'm finally going to get my hospital bag physically packed today - just in case. I'm 36 weeks now and it's supposed to be done by now anyway. I have everything I need, I think, it's just a matter of packing it.

I've done some reading on nuchal cords, and apparently they're fairly common and don't usually cause issues. I wish I could stop worrying!! While I've loved being pregnant - and I still do love it, don't get me wrong - I'll be glad when the baby is finally in my arms. I know I'll probably never stop worrying about him, but at least I'll be able to see him to know what's going on!

Friday, April 12, 2013

A bit of a scare

On Wednesday we had a growth ultrasound. We got some good news: baby boy is finally head down! I thought he was, but couldn't be 100% sure until the ultrasound.
His estimated weight was 4 pounds 13 ounces (at 34 weeks 6 days) - so he's on the small side, which worries me a little but he's still in the "normal" range so hopefully everything is fine.

We also got some worrying news, though: his heartrate was too high. The ultrasound tech took repeated measurements over a period of time, and his heartrate did drop a little, but not enough for her liking. In between the heartrate measurements, she got us some more 3D pictures for free (very nice of her!). Baby still had his hands by his face, so they weren't too great, but we appreciated the effort! Anyway once that was all done and his heartrate was still on the high side, the tech went to speak with one of the doctors to see what they wanted to do. They sent us to the hospital to have a NST done. They could have done it at the OB office, but they said we were better off at the hospital if anything were to happen. Before we left the ultrasound tech said "If you decide to deliver, good luck!". Holy crap! I was panicking a bit by that point. I was virtually 35 weeks pregnant, but not expecting to deliver right then!

Anyway, we went to the hospital and waited quite a while to be called back to L&D. Once we were called back, everything happened quickly. I gave them a urine sample and they hooked me up to the NST equipment and a blood pressure cuff. My BP was a little high, but I have what seems to be white coat syndrome, and I monitor my BP at home where it's fine, so they weren't concerned. Within a few minutes the nurse was able to tell us that everything seemed to be OK with the baby - his heartrate was higher when he was active, and lowered when he was not active, which of course is how it should be. We still had to leave the NST running for the full 20 minutes, of course, but that was fine. Baby boy passed the test with flying colors, which was a huge relief! It was definitely better to be safe than sorry, and I'm glad that we were sent for the NST in case anything had been wrong, but it was scary at the time. It really hit me yesterday morning that there could have been a different outcome, you know?

I haven't taken a 35 week belly photo yet, so here's one from 34 weeks:

And here's one of our new 3D ultrasound pictures:

I don't know if anyone can really make out this picture, but his hand is resting on his forehead and his other arm is across him. You can see his nose and one eye, and a chubby cheek. He's definitely stubborn when it comes to having his picture taken!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Where we are now

My hubby isn't going on that almost month long business trip - thank goodness! I feel much better now :) I know lots of women have it far worse - especially those married to military men, who can be deployed for a year. I just totally freaked that he would be 1800 miles away, with no way to get home quickly if need be, and I'd be here and all alone. I was terrified I'd get put on bed rest and have nobody to help, or the baby would arrive early and my hubby wouldn't be here. 

Gestation: 31 weeks 5 days
Weight gained: 12.4 pounds*
Belly button: Still in (yay!)
Symptoms: Just tired mostly
Days to go until due date: 58 (whoa!)
Appointments: Every 2 weeks. Had one today, everything is good! Baby's heartbeat is nice and strong. One more appointment in 2 weeks and then my appointments will be weekly.
Movement: Lots of big movements these days. Think baby may be head down now.
Blood pressure: Normal at home, high at the OB's office. White coat syndrome! OB is happy because I've been keeping a log of my BP, and checking it at least twice a day. She keeps reminding me of the symptoms I need to watch out for, but so far so good.

* My weight has actually dropped by 1.4 pounds since my last appointment (2 weeks ago). Pretty sure it's because we were eating out a lot when my mom and stepdad were here, and things are back to normal now. My OB is happy with my gain so there are no concerns there. :)

Here's a belly photo from 31 weeks 1 day:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another late update

OK so last time I wrote was almost 2 weeks ago. Oops.

March 3rd was my baby shower - it went very well, and a good time was had by all. We didn't have any cheesy games, either! :) There was a onesie decorating station, and people had fun with that. Since pretty much all the people at the shower are pug people, we got quite a few onesies decorated with pug things. One that stands out: "My sisters are hairy bitches". LMAO!

We were very lucky with all the amazing gifts people gave us. The big ticket items were the baby monitor and travel system. We didn't expect anyone to buy those! We got lots of very useful things, including a baby/toddler bath, loads of bath accessories, a baby grooming kit, books, lots of cute clothes (and in bigger sizes, too) and toys. We have a huge stash of washcloths and towels, too! Everybody was so generous and we were really touched by that. It was great to see everyone and celebrate our new arrival! :)

The onesie decorating station

Lots of gifts

Gifts again

The decorated onesies

Here are some of the 3D ultrasound pics we got at our second scan; baby boy was still not particularly cooperative but he was better the second time around than the first!

Rubbing his eye
Looks like he's sleeping (he wasn't!)
Resting his chin on his hand. This one was from the first 3D scan I think.
My mom and stepdad had a good vacation here. It actually went by pretty quickly - unlike when my dad was last here, LOL. They had a rental car so they were off doing things a lot of the time, which made it much easier to have houseguests. I really don't like it when people come and expect to be constantly entertained!!

They left very early Saturday morning, and we had our childbirth class and hospital tour that day. The class was much better than I'd expected it to be. It was a lot of information (a 10 hour class condensed into 5 hours), but it was presented really well and we both got a lot out of it. Birth partners and their roles were discussed, and techniques for helping during labor and delivery were taught. I know my hubby found that very helpful, because he didn't really know beforehand what he could do when the time comes.

The hospital tour was good, too. It was nice to see the L&D rooms and all that stuff. The hospital seems as nice as it can be, and the staff seem lovely too. I'm glad we chose that one to deliver at! :)

I'm 31 weeks pregnant tomorrow - time is really flying! Baby is still very active, which I love. He should weigh around 3 pounds now. In about 5 weeks I'll be having another ultrasound to check his growth and position. Hopefully he'll be head down by that point. I think he might be lying across my tummy now (transverse). I guess that's a little better than being breech - as long as he turns head down before delivery!

My hubby found out a couple of days ago that his manager wants him to go a couple of thousand miles away for almost a month of training - starting in 2 weeks. Um, no. First of all, I'm heavily pregnant and he doesn't want to leave me (and honestly, the thought of him being gone for that long at this point in our lives scares the crap out of me). Secondly, we have friends coming from England at the end of this month, for 2 weeks. If he went on this trip he wouldn't even see them once. Their trip has been planned for absolutely ages, too. He told his co-workers that the dates don't work at all for him, and I'm hoping they're going to accept that. I don't want him being in trouble with work or anything, but it just won't work. If it was for one week it would be OK, but almost a month? He'd have to leave March 24th (a day we have volunteer commitments) and he wouldn't be back until at least April 17th. I'm scared that if he were to go, I'd get put on bed rest and be totally screwed as far as having any help. I know it's probably unlikely that the baby will be born early, but you just never know. Things can happen. I feel pretty stressed over this whole thing, honestly. Ugh. Hopefully this will be the end of it, and that will be that.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Success at last!

On Wednesday we went for our redo of the 3D ultrasound. Baby was still breech, but he was wide awake and a lot more cooperative than last week! The ultrasound tech spent about an extra 30 minutes with us - well into her lunch break - which we really appreciated. We went back an hour later to collect our photo book and CD, so we took her a card and some nice chocolates to say thanks. She really went above and beyond for us. Baby was being quite difficult even though he did better than at our first attempt! She got some good pictures and videos in the end :)

After the ultrasound I found out I passed my 3-hour glucose test - thank goodness! That's such a huge relief. Before the ultrasound we went to IHOP for breakfast (my hubby took a few vacation days this week) and while we were there I was thinking how if I failed the 3-hour test that might be my last yummy meal, LOL. Baby must have enjoyed it, he was so active during the ultrasound!

I can hardly believe my baby shower is this Sunday - OMG. I need to figure out some hostess gifts - 3 of them. I really don't know what to get, but I can't spend too much money.

Oh, our kitchen situation is mostly resolved now. We need to get the wood under the cabinets replaced, but that's not urgent. My mom and stepdad insisted on buying us a new dishwasher - they didn't buy us a wedding or housewarming gift, which we'd completely forgotten about, so that worked out great! It arrived on Monday and is awesome! :)

On Monday night our latest foster pug was adopted. We only had him 9 days, that's a record for an adoption from our house!

The same day our dresser arrived for the nursery. It's really starting to take shape now! I bought some wall decals with owls and woodland animals etc. to put on the closet doors. We have textured walls so the only place I can put them is the closet doors! I haven't started with them yet but I think they should look pretty good. Hopefully they'll break up some of the whiteness of the room!

When I get to my laptop I'll add some pics from the 3D ultrasound and the nursery :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

I survived

I survived the 3 hour glucose test! It wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be. I took a good book with me and spent about half of the time reading it. The rest of the time I was wasting time using my phone and partly watching TV. I'd say the worst thing about it was not being able to drink any water until after the test - I've been drinking a lot of water every day, so it wasn't nice not being able to have a drink! My veins cooperated, thankfully, so I'll have 4 new bruises to go with the 2 from Monday. I was a little worried that they might be tricky so I was glad when they behaved, LOL.

My hubby came to pick me up when I was done and he brought me my water bottle and a yogurt! He's too sweet. I'd asked for the water but he thought of the yogurt on his own. On the way home we got drive thru Burger King (bad, I know, but I was absolutely starving by that point and the baby was going crazy for food, hehe).

Now I just have to do some cleaning and then I have to take our pug, Suzie, to the vet - we realized last night that she has a UTI, poor baby. She peed in the house which she never does, and there was some blood in it. She's had UTIs before with the same symptoms, so we're pretty sure that's what it is. After that, grocery shopping, more cleaning, dinner and then we'll head to the airport to meet my mom and stepdad!

I'm so glad I did the glucose test today rather than waiting until Monday. I feel a lot better knowing that it's done. Man, yesterday I was in the shittiest mood! Everything was just really getting to me. It really helps having all the noisy machines gone (they left at about 7 last night), and being somewhat ready for our visitors. Now I just need to stop procrastinating and do what needs to be done! Wish I could just take a nap instead, hehe. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013


I got a call from my OB office this morning. As soon as I picked up I knew what it was gonna be - I failed my 1 hour glucose test on Monday. Great. I asked what my number was: 133. Apparently the cut off is 130. I failed by 3 points - so typical! I know most women who fail the 1 hour test do pass the 3 hour test, so I'm not overly worried yet, but I'm really bummed about failing the 1 hour! I'm going in tomorrow morning for the 3 hour test. Originally I said tomorrow wouldn't work, because I'm supposed to be getting the house ready for my mom and stepdad arriving tomorrow night. I scheduled it for Monday morning, but then thought about it and decided to just do it tomorrow. I don't want to have to think about it over the weekend. I know I won't get any results tomorrow, but at least the test itself will be out of the way. I should probably prioritize my health (and that of my baby) over houseguests, anyway - the house will be fine, no worries. If it's not perfect then oh well - we've had such a shitty week with the kitchen disaster, that I don't really care anymore! Hopefully those machines are leaving today, by the way. They'd better - they're driving us crazy.

It's going to be really boring doing the 3 hour test - I guess I'll just take a good book with me! My phone battery is really dodgy so I probably shouldn't rely on being able to mess around on that for 3 hours, LOL. I did a 2 hour glucose test back in June when I was having infertility testing, and I passed it just fine, but gestational diabetes is different of course. I really hope I don't have it. I think the odds are in my favor - I read that something like 80% of people who fail the 1 hour test pass the 3 hour test. It's just something I have to do. Wish me luck! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I knew it!

Baby boy (he's definitely a boy, we asked the tech to check!) was extremely uncooperative during the 3D ultrasound! I had a feeling it might go this way, LOL. First off, he's breech - apparently that makes it harder to get good pics. Then he had his legs up by his face, and at times his hands, arms or the cord were by his face too! We tried getting him to move into a more favorable position, but we weren't very successful - he must have been too comfy where he was!

Anyway, we had the option of getting a full refund or going back for another try for free - so we opted to try again next Wednesday. Maybe he'll be in a better position and more cooperative by then, hehe. We did get some pics to bring home, though - they were the best ones the tech was able to get, given all the issues.

This is my favorite pic from today. He has my hubby's lips and nose, and my chin! He kept yawning and he even stuck his tongue out a few times. He moved a lot, but not into a good position, LOL. My hubby doesn't like having his picture taken, and it seems that the little guy might be the same way! It was still a really fun experience and we knew it was a possibility that we wouldn't get great pics, so we're not too disappointed. We're glad to be able to go back next week, though. :)

3D ultrasound today!

We have our 3D ultrasound today! We really can't wait to see our little guy again, it's been 7 weeks since our last ultrasound and this one will hopefully be better! I just hope the baby cooperates so we get good pictures. He's been pretty good at our ultrasounds so far, so fingers crossed he'll behave again for this one!

We still have 4 of the 5 noisy machines in our kitchen... the noisiest one was taken away this morning, thankfully. Tomorrow the rest should leave; they'd better, because I really need to get the house ready for my mom and stepdad arriving on Friday. There's only so much I can get done when I can't get into the kitchen. I also can't do much in our living rooms, because the machines will be leaving through them and I'd only have to re-vacuum if I did it today. Of course tomorrow I have to go out for lunch for a friend's birthday - it would have been fine had the kitchen disaster not ruined the week! Oh well, I'm sure the house will look OK by Friday evening.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Well, crap!

I've been meaning to post pics of the crib, but we had a bit of a disaster at home and I hadn't gotten around to blogging. Our dishwasher leaked under our kitchen sink cabinets, and had probably been leaking for quite some time before we realized. We never had a pool of water on the floor or anything, so we only found out about the leak when my hubby noticed the wood beneath the cabinets was wet and discolored. Shit!

We had a plumber come out, who was pretty useless. He removed the bottom panel from the dishwasher but kept saying he thought it was the garbage disposal leaking, even though my hubby could clearly see water coming from the bottom of the dishwasher. He tried to pull the dishwasher out without unscrewing it from the counter (duh) and then gave up. He called a restoration company for us - this is about the only useful thing he did - and then left. He didn't bother to switch the valve or anything so that the water supply to the dishwasher was cut off. My hubby did that later that night when we realized it was still leaking - he also pulled the dishwasher out completely. The restoration company sent a guy out who had to smash the bottom of the cabinets because they were a lost cause, and then he set up 5 machines in our kitchen. We have a huge dehumidifier, 3 blowers and another (noisy ass) blower which generates heat. Our house has been around 80ºF since that one went in. Ugh. We could run the A/C but I expect we're using so much power at the moment that we should probably try to avoid using it if possible. The machines are supposed to be on 24/7 and they could be here until Wednesday or Thursday. Ugh! We have been switching off the super noisy one at night - we'd never get any sleep otherwise - but aside from that, the other 4 have been running all day and all night since dinner time on Saturday. It really sucks! For the most part my hubby has been hanging out in his office with headphones on, and I've been in the bedroom with the pugs. It's not exactly ideal! Our house is very open plan, so we can't just shut a door in the kitchen and block out the sound. The kitchen is right next to both of the living rooms, so we're avoiding the main part of the house. Right now I'm in the guest bedroom - I needed a change of scenery!

Thank goodness the equipment should be out before my mom and stepdad arrive (Friday) - and thankfully long before my baby shower, since that's being held at our house. So it could be worse, definitely. I'm glad it's happening before our little guy arrives, too. It would definitely be worse if we had to do this after he's born!

So here are a couple of pics of the crib, anyway:

I know we shouldn't leave toys in the crib due to SIDS risks, but I just put them in for the time being. We ordered a dresser for the nursery yesterday - it's being delivered next Tuesday, 2/26. :)

Here's a pic from Thursday, at exactly 27 weeks:

I had an OB appointment this morning, and had my 1 hour glucose test. My normally very good vein in my left arm was uncooperative, so I ended up with both arms being used (a yellow bandage on one, and a green bandage on the other, haha). I also got my Rhogam shot (in the ass - yay, LOL). My BP was high of course - no surprise there, since we're not exactly having a great time at home right now! I told my OB that whenever I take my BP at home, it's always fine (which is true). She told me to take it twice a day at home and call her if it goes to 140/90 or higher so I can get pre-eclampsia labs done. I'm pretty sure I'm fine, but I will do that and keep a log of my readings.

Some good news from my appointment is that I haven't gained any weight in the last 4 weeks. I think it's because we've been walking the pugs a lot more and eating more salads. I definitely haven't been starving myself, but I have been trying to make better food choices. Nothing was mentioned about my lack of weight gain over the past 4 weeks, so I'm pretty sure it's OK. Baby is very active and his heart-rate was good again today (I don't know what the reading was, but it sounded about the same as it usually does). In 2 days we get to see him again at our 3D ultrasound! We're very excited about that! :)  I actually suggested to my hubby that maybe we should cancel it, seeing as the kitchen disaster is costing quite a lot to fix and we have landscapers here today to sort out our mess of a front yard. He refused to consider canceling, which I'm very glad about because I didn't want to cancel it in the first place. I just feel bad that we're trying to save money in other ways and spending $150 on the 3D scan... And the money we're having to spend getting the kitchen sorted out would have paid for the rest of the baby stuff we need, with money left over. Typical! We'll be OK, it's just one of those things.

Oh, when we were at my appointment this morning my hubby got 2 calls from his parents on his cell phone (he didn't answer because we were busy). Um, great. For those of you who don't know, we don't have a relationship with his mom and haven't for almost 18 months now (long story short, she's off her rocker and in a cult-like religion which she repeatedly tried to force us into - wouldn't take "no" for an answer and eventually we just decided enough is enough). His dad has been very flaky - we don't actually have a problem with him, he's not like his wife, but the last time we saw him was December 2011 and then we heard from him January 2012, then nothing until July 2012! He said in July that he'd be calling "in a few weeks" (which would've been around the middle of August), and since then there's been nothing. No voicemail was left when they called today, which is kind of odd - it makes me think it might be his mom rather than his dad. They have no idea we're having a baby and we like it that way, honestly. I dread to think how his mom would act if she knew - she'd probably be bashing our front door down and trying to steal our baby. Seriously, she's not right in the head. I'm pretty sure if his dad was the one calling, he would've left a voicemail. I don't know what my hubby's going to do, it's super awkward of course and he doesn't want to call and have to speak to that crazy woman. If his dad left a voicemail then he would have called back, but the whole thing just seems kind of shady really.

I'm sure this whole thing isn't really helping my BP today!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

27 weeks!

Today I'm 27 weeks pregnant. Time is flying now! The first trimester seemed to drag on and on, but since about week 15 time has just flown. Yikes!

I've scheduled our birthing class - it's a one off class, for 5 hours on a Saturday in March. We'd much rather do that than weekly classes, and my husband's work schedule has been a little crazy during the evenings lately so I think the Saturday class was our best bet. There's a tour of Labor & Delivery during the class, too, so that should be good.

We ordered our crib on Sunday night! We got it from - they had a special where you get a free mattress. Sold! We were going to order it from Target but they had an offer where you could get the same mattress for half price. Free is better than half price, obviously! The mattress arrived this morning and the crib arrived this afternoon! :)
I really want to get going with the nursery now. It would be nice to have the crib set up before my mom and stepdad arrive next Friday. If not by then, definitely by my baby shower. The shower was originally going to be at a friend's house, hosted by 3 friends, but the venue got changed to our house. That's fine, but I'm expecting that people will be wanting to see the nursery so it'd be nice to have it somewhat set up! We have some pictures to put up on the walls and I wanted to get some of those super cute wall decals, but we have textured walls so that wouldn't work. I'm thinking that we might be able to use them on the closet doors, though - we'll have to see if they'll work!

We're not painting the nursery, although I'd kind of like to. The whole house has white walls, which is fine because nothing clashes, you know? Part of me would like to paint the nursery, but I think we'll probably leave it as it is and just brighten it up with pictures and furnishings - we might get a nice colorful rug for the floor. We already bought a laundry basket which came with a bunch of smaller baskets - I figured the small baskets would be useful for things like baby toiletries and small things like socks, burp cloths etc. We haven't ordered a dresser yet, but hopefully we'll do that soon. We didn't get the one that matches our crib, because it was like $400 and the 4-way convertible crib was only $209! The dresser seemed to be a bit of a rip off, honestly. I guess they price the crib like that to pull you in so you'll pay through the nose for the matching items. I'm sure whatever we end up with will look just fine, anyway! :)

I can't believe it's only a little over 2 weeks until my shower!! My friends wanted to throw it when my mom is here, so they picked Sunday March 3rd. I'll be 29 weeks 3 days then. It's probably a little earlier than most baby showers, but the plus side is that I shouldn't be too uncomfortable by that point. I'd hate to have my shower at 36 weeks or something like that! Now being from the UK I've never, ever been to a baby shower so I have to admit I don't really know what to expect. It'll be interesting, that's for sure! I think baby showers are becoming a "thing" in the UK now, but they never really were when I lived there. It'll be an experience! I think we'll have about 25 people here in total. My friends are coming a couple of hours before the shower starts to get things set up, and they said they'll clean up afterwards too. I'm not allowed to help with anything, although I keep offering, LOL. I really appreciate that they're going to all this trouble for me, I really never expected to have a baby shower in the first place.

So as I said, my mom and stepdad arrive a week tomorrow. They're staying with us from 2/22 until 3/9. I think my Narcissist dad has really put me off having house-guests, because even though I should be looking forward to it I'm kind of dreading it. I don't know why, because I know they'd never act the way he did. I'm sure they'll be good house-guests. I think I just kind of like our normal routine and not having to consider other people very much. Wow, that sounds really selfish - I promise I'm not, I just like my privacy! :) At least they'll have a car so they can go off and do things. They're going up to Sedona and spending a night there, and they're also going down to Tucson for a day. They have a horseback riding trip planned for one day, too. I don't know what else they'll be doing, maybe they'll go to the zoo (or both zoos, LOL). We have a big adoption event one of the weekends they're here, and they said they want to come and help out there. Fine by me - I'll sit down and do paperwork, haha. 

We had a foster pug for a few weeks, but he really wasn't working out with our own pugs (he kept snapping at them for no reason) so we had to give him to a different foster home. I just found out last night that we're getting a new foster on Saturday, he's 9 years old and hopefully sweet like most of them have been previously! Out of 10 fosters we've only had one not work out, so that's not a bad record at all. We did give him a chance, but 3 weeks with no improvement is kind of ridiculous. He's 12 years old and honestly not that adoptable, which wouldn't bother me at all, but if he was going to continue being that way I couldn't imagine fostering him for a year or more - especially with a baby on the way! I'm looking forward to getting our new foster, anyway. It just sucks that we have to drive almost an hour to get him - we were looking forward to a quiet weekend with nothing planned, since it'll be our last quiet weekend for about a month!). I think we're picking up 3 pugs, though, to bring them back to our side of town (we're fostering 1, the other 2 will go to other foster homes) - so it's a very worthwhile couple of hours of driving. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

3D ultrasound booked!

I just scheduled our 3D ultrasound - it'll be next Wednesday, a week from today! We can't wait, this is something we've been looking forward to for ages (me more than my hubby, I think!). It's actually my Christmas present from him - it just didn't make much sense to get the ultrasound at Christmas time, because our anatomy scan was right after new year and I wanted to space them out a bit. Plus, I'll be one day shy of 28 weeks so we should get some good pictures (if baby boy cooperates!).

My mom and stepdad arrive from England next Friday; they're staying with us for 15 nights. I thought about getting the ultrasound while they're here, but really I want it to just be me and my hubby. We'll show them the pictures, I just don't really want anybody else there during the scan. Maybe that makes me weird, I don't know. Anyway, it's what I've decided and I'm super excited! :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Drama

Warning - TMI!

I woke up this morning to find that I had lots of watery discharge. I was a little freaked out, and read my pregnancy books which said watery discharge warrants a call to your OB. I also had some very mild cramping - I wasn't sure if that was really significant or not. I called my OB office, planning to leave a message for my OB. I ended up speaking with a lady who told me I needed to go to the ER in case it was my waters breaking. Holy shit! I wasn't exactly frantic, but I was very concerned. We got to the ER within about 15-20 minutes of the phone call, and luckily only spent 5-10 minutes in the ER before they took me round to OB triage. I had to go in a wheelchair - hospital policy, which I understand, but I felt really silly since I could walk just fine! Anyway, we waited maybe 30 minutes to see someone in OB triage, and then I was hooked up to monitors to check my blood pressure (which was high to begin with, because I was stressed out!) and they also did a NST to monitor the baby and my uterus. I've never had one of those before, but it was pretty cool to hear baby boy's heartbeat and to hear him move around! It was kind of crazy, he was moving a ton. The nurse even commented on how active he was!

There was no evidence of any contractions, thankfully. My urine was tested - everything was fine. The nurse checked my cervix - closed, thank goodness. She used a speculum to have a look around in there - everything was fine. I was discharged with instructions to follow up with my OB at my next appointment (a week on Monday).

I felt a little silly going to the hospital, but I would've felt much worse if I hadn't gone in and it had turned out to be something. It's a relief to know everything's OK - definitely worth spending 2 and a half hours making sure, anyway!

Hopefully this little guy will stay put for at least another 11 weeks! :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

I'm a terrible blogger

I hardly update this blog at all these days. Sorry about that! I don't even have a good excuse, it just slips my mind and before I know it another couple of weeks have passed.

I'm now 25 weeks 1 day pregnant. Baby boy is very, very active. I find it incredibly reassuring to feel him do his acrobatics in there!

Here's a bump pic from Sunday, when I was 24 weeks 3 days along:

I had another prenatal appointment last Monday (1/21) when I was 23+4. My BP was fine and so was everything else. I don't know if I mentioned previously (I probably did) that at a few appointments my BP was kind of high. Well, on the way to my last appointment I told my hubby that I thought it would be normal this time because I'm no longer anxious about them being able to find the baby's heartbeat. I was right! :) Feeling him move a lot erases the worry I used to have, you know?

I found out I gained 11.2 pounds since the start of my pregnancy. Not too bad - at least it can't be terrible, because my OB hasn't said anything about it.

I asked my OB lots of questions:
  • Should I write a (flexible) birth plan? --- She's happy to do whatever I want, as long as things are progressing normally. 
  • How far past my due date will she let me go? --- She said if I get to 41 weeks she'd be really nervous... would start talking about induction a little after 40 weeks. Yikes.
  • Is it really necessary to go to birthing classes? --- She said because I thrive on information, I would definitely benefit from the classes. I was hoping she'd say they're not necessary, haha, but we'll sign up for one soon.
  • Other questions I can't remember now --- pregnancy brain is a real thing, seriously!

My next appointment is 2/18, and I'll be doing the 1 hour glucose test and also getting a Rhogam shot because I'm Rh negative. Nothing to worry about, at least we know. Hopefully I'll pass the glucose test, otherwise I'll have to do the 3 hour test. I did a 2 hour glucose test back in June, as part of the testing my OB did for "infertility". My results were perfect then, but of course pregnancy can wreak havoc on your body. Hopefully I won't have gestational diabetes, anyway. After the next appointment I'll be seeing my OB every 2 weeks instead of every 4. Delivery day is getting closer!

My mom and stepdad are coming from England to visit us from 2/22 until 3/9. It's almost 2 years since we've seen them; they visited in May 2011, and we haven't been to England at all since I moved here. We won't be going any time soon, either. One of my best friends is getting married, she got engaged in August maybe a week before I got my BFP. Anyway they set their wedding date a week or so ago, for August 24th. Prior to that they were saying "June, July, August or September". Quite a range of dates! Anyway, as much as I would like to be there for her wedding, it's just not going to be practical to travel so far (more than 5,000 miles) with a 3 month old baby. The sheer amount of stuff we'd have to take with us is staggering, and we just really couldn't do it. The direct flight from Phoenix to London is about 10 hours, and then we'd either have about a 4 hour drive to my "home" city or we'd have to take 2 trains - which would also take almost 4 hours in total. Not to mention the huge expense of traveling so far, and we'd have to go for at least 7-10 days to make it worthwhile really. It just isn't going to happen.


Our long-term foster pugs, Lilly & Milo, left for their amazing new home on 1/19! They're doing really well and they're very happy. We've had lots of photo updates and we really couldn't be happier for them! Here they are (both on the right) with their French bulldog sisters!

Unfortunately, the pug I wrote about in my last post ended up declining and had to be put to sleep. We only had him for 4 days but it absolutely broke my heart. We bought him a yummy bacon cheeseburger before we had to take him to the vet, and he really enjoyed eating that! We stayed with him the entire time, from when the vet gave him his sedative which took about 15 minutes to take effect, to when they injected the final stuff. We gave him tons of love and lots of kisses and cuddles. It was very peaceful but so so sad. His name was Chester, he was about 10 years old and he was the sweetest little guy.

A few days after he passed away, I went and got a name tag made up for him. I have it on my key chain. I just felt as though it would be some kind of small tribute to him. I felt bad that whoever owned him wasn't there for him when he needed them most, and he didn't have a tag of his own.

I miss that little guy so much. It's crazy how 4 days can mean so much.

Sorry to end on a depressing note; as sad as the whole thing is, it's part of being involved in rescue. Sometimes we're just not able to do enough for the dogs who come to us. This was the best we could do for Chester, and he's not suffering now. We'll never forget him, but he's in a better place now.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

23 weeks

Today marks 23 weeks - time flies! Or at least it's flown since the start of the second trimester. Before that time stood still, or at least that's how it felt!

Baby boy is moving a lot these days. I've been feeling him since about 16 weeks, but it started out as tiny movements that were inconsistent. I'd feel something I thought was the baby, but couldn't be quite sure, and then there would be nothing for a while. Gradually the movements became more noticeable, and couldn't be passed off as something else. Now I often feel him moving from the outside, and my hubby has been able to feel him a lot too. On a couple of occasions I've actually been able to see movement, which is pretty bizarre I must say. I didn't expect that to happen until much later. Every so often there will be a fleeting little bulge, it's pretty crazy but amazing at the same time :)

We cleared out the baby's room last week, but so far we haven't bought any nursery furniture. We'll obviously need a crib, a dresser and probably some kind of chair too. We've bought lots of adorable little clothes, because I couldn't resist. Honestly I've been buying stuff for quite a while now, just a couple of little things at a time. I was surprised when I got all of the clothes out, because there was a lot more than I thought! We got some great little things last weekend, all 40-60% off. We've only bought one set of newborn things, because newborn is supposed to fit until 8 pounds and we think it's fairly likely that he'll be needing 0-3 month clothing rather than newborn. If we're wrong and he does need newborn stuff, we can buy it at the time.

Now onto the non-baby-related stuff! Our foster pug, Kineta (KiKi), was adopted at the weekend! She'll have a great life, we're very happy for her. Our pair of fosters, Lilly and Milo, who we've been fostering since March 2012, are also adopted! They leave on Saturday. A lady from Canada was interested in them and decided to make them part of her family. She has two female French bulldogs, so I'm sure they'll have a lot of fun! She's driving about 1700 miles to pick them up, and then of course driving back with them. That's dedication! We'll miss them a lot, of course. They've been with us such a long time - 10 months - and it's impossible not to get attached really. However, we know they're going to have a wonderful life and it's not like we could've really kept them anyway. With the baby coming, 2 sets of vet bills are enough!

I was asked to take a 12 year old male pug as our next foster, so we're picking him up on Sunday. I'm sure he'll probably be a long-term foster too, 12 years isn't what most people are looking for after all!

When I took Lilly and Milo to the vet yesterday, I ran into the mom of one of the other volunteers. She was there with a 10 year old black male pug who we just got out of the shelter a couple of days ago. He has numerous issues, so I stayed while they examined him. He walks funny, so they did a spine X-ray and he has a chronic issue where the joint space between 2 of his lumbar vertebrae has gone. That's not something we can change, unfortunately. On top of that, he has really inflamed/dirty ears to the point where the vet couldn't even look in one of them because the dog wouldn't tolerate it. He's also very skinny, will need to be neutered and needs a dental - badly. His skin is a bit flaky, but I think with good food that can be resolved fairly easily. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, he gets around fine and has control of his bodily functions. He's perky and seems fairly happy.

Anyway, I offered to take him home with me as the woman who was fostering him works really long hours and he's likely going to need a lot of attention, not to mention a lot of vet visits. We live about 5 minutes from the vet, but her mom had to drive 30 minutes each way. She wasn't concerned about that, but since the dog had blood-work yesterday and the results weren't available until today (they just now called, actually), I thought it was a bit mean for her to have to come back for medication again today. Also, the lady who's in charge of the rescue is coming to our house on Saturday so I thought it would be good for her to see him for herself. I know a tough decision might have to be made.

As for now, his blood results show slightly elevated kidney enzymes - it could be caused by infection, or it could eventually turn into kidney failure. He has elevated white blood cells, so there's an infection somewhere (we knew that!). His glucose was normal though, so no diabetes. We're going to go ahead and try him on antibiotics, steroids and pain meds and see how he does. I have a feeling once his infection is cleared up he'll do much better. I just don't think he's a lost cause yet, he still has a strong appetite and seems to want to live. If any of that changes then I'm aware it might be kinder to let him go. It's a tough call to make, though. I'm glad it's ultimately not my decision, really.

I'm going to incorporate fish oil and coconut oil into his diet, give him a bath and use oatmeal conditioner on him, and see if that helps any. I know he won't have a complete recovery, but I think we can help him have a decent quality of life. Even if he only has a couple of months left to live, at least he'll know love.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

So the Chinese Gender Calendar was right for us!

We had our anatomy ultrasound this afternoon. I can't help but feel anxious before ultrasounds, but I guess that's normal! Anyway, our baby looks great! As far as I could tell everything is in the right place - the tech didn't seem concerned about anything, but it's standard that they don't tell you very much because the doctor will review the images. The heart has 4 chambers as it should, and the cord has 3 vessels (which we knew from our NT scan anyway). My cervix is long and closed, and the placenta is posterior and high up - yay! We saw the spine, ribs, bladder, kidneys, heart (heart-rate was 167 bpm), diaphragm, brain, face, limbs... and we found out we're having a little boy! The tech said he's about 13 oz, which is on track for how far along I am. Almost a pound already, wow!

We're both so happy with how everything went, it was amazing. I was kind of expecting to be told the baby is a girl, so I was a little surprised - albeit very happy - with the news! After the ultrasound we stopped at a couple of stores to pick up some little blue outfits and an ultrasound pic frame. I used this pic as a Facebook announcement, because so many people were excited to find out our news:

We got 9 pictures in total, which is awesome! He had his hands up by his face most of the time, so you can see a hand in front of his face on the profile shots. We also got a picture of one of his little feet - so cute!

Profile with hand in front of face

Another profile/hand pic

His face! Less alien-like than at the NT scan!!

One of his little feet!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Wow, it's 2013 already! I hope this year brings much joy and happiness to all.

Tomorrow is the big day - our anatomy scan. I'll be 20 weeks 6 days, so hopefully the ultrasound tech will be able to get all of the measurements they need. We're very excited to see our baby again! We're hoping to find out if it's a boy or a girl, too. Either is absolutely perfect - we just want our baby to be healthy. I'll update after the scan tomorrow! :)