Friday, February 27, 2015

Baby Update: 33 Weeks

I am still hanging in there with this baby. This afternoon I had my weekly OB appointment and Baby Moore passed the biophysical profile with flying colors. However, my amniotic fluid level is back up to 24cm (it was down to 21cm last week, but like I said before, these measurements are not perfect).

I can definitely tell that the fluid increased again... This week was pretty miserable compared to last week. I constantly have to pee (especially at night – like every 5 minutes – sorry TMI) and continue to be generally uncomfortable. My Braxton Hicks have also picked up again this week. This made me very anxious the night of our big snow when all of the roads off the mountain were essentially shut down. I will feel much better when winter is officially over!

This morning I had a dental appointment. The dental hygienist was short and had the chair very low with my head slightly below my feet. This was not an ideal way to spend 20 minutes when I already have extra pressure on my lungs, not to mention crazy heartburn! Drinking coffee before my appointment may not have been the best idea, but I survived. Even if I was a little light headed afterward.

I think that Jack and Sophie are determined to make me ready for the sleepless nights ahead. This week, Sophie has woken me up to go outside in the middle of the night and Jack has gotten up at 5:30am on several occasions. I'm not ready to give up my sleep yet!

The best thing from today's OB appointment is that my OB gave me a note to give to the high-risk OB if I was feeling bullied about any decisions. Essentially it says they have to clear anything through her before they tell me I need to deliver early or have a procedure like an amnioreduction. I am so glad to have a doctor that listens to me and has my back.

Baby #2, 33 Weeks

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Big Snow, 2015

We finally got a good snow this year – about 8" to be exact. The good thing about living where we live is that the snow is pretty, we can enjoy for a day or two, and then it disappears. I'm pretty sure the weather reports are calling for temps in the mid 50s next week.

The bad part about living where we live is that the roads don't always get treated in time. We live on top of a mountain and there are 3 main roads that access the top. Two of which regularly get shut down. 

Last night, Daniel left work in an effort to get home before dark, but he got caught on the main road at the front of the mountain. There was an accident at the top and what normally is a 6-10 minute drive up ended up taking 30+minutes. 

Thankfully he was in the first group of people trying to get up because we read reports that people were stuck for more than 3 hours and many eventually had to abandon their cars and walk up.

I'm not going to lie, I have been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions this week and the whole idea that all 3 roads on and off the mountain were closed made me a bit nervous. Daniel said that if we had to, he would get us off the mountain. Hopefully this is the end of our winter weather for the year.

After supper, we made our traditional snow cream. Daniel grew up making snow cream and we have done our best to make it when we get a good snow. It's a nice tradition that I am glad we can share with Jack. What kid doesn't like the sugary goodness of a sweet treat that you can only have when it snows? This is Jack's second time to have it.

This morning we woke up and had about 8" of fluffy snow on the ground. I made chocolate chip banana muffins while my guys slept in. After breakfast, we headed out to have some fun in the snow.

On Signal Mountain, where we live, it is a tradition to head out to the golf course for sledding. We did this last year, but this year didn't feel like making the effort. I have no doubt that we have many years ahead to make it over to sled on the golf course.

This year we enjoyed pulling Jack around our neighborhood on a sled, then we had a snowball fight, made snow angels and built a snowman at the park across the street from our house.

Not a bad way to spend a morning together.

Jack demonstrates walking up climbing up our front steps.

Jack and Daniel have a snowball fight.

Building his first snowman. Jack was very concerned that we didn't have a carrot.

Making snow angels.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow/Ice Days

We, along with a good portion of the south, got a dose of frigid weather last week and snow again today. As a reminder not to complain too much, I only have to look as far as Facebook and my relatives in Canada who have had -40º Celsius temps! 


It's hard to complain about temps in the teens when I know people who are dealing with much, much colder temps. And while Niagara Falls has not completely frozen over, I have seen photo evidence from extended family of the partially frozen falls.

In our little corner of the south, schools were closed all of last week, but thankfully the Y was still open and we were able to go to town several times to expend some energy


While it was chilly, we didn't get much snow. Friday night we finally got a couple of inches, but by morning it was covered in a layer of ice. That didn't stop Daniel from taking Jack out on the sled. 

Then this morning we woke up to about an inch on the ground with more expected tomorrow. Compared to other places, it isn't much but in the south it keeps us inside. We have baked and made forts and watched countless movies.

On Saturday, the road in front of our house was a sheet of ice, but actually quite good for pulling a Jack around on the sled (last February we had a snow of 8 inches and it was fun to out on the golf course to sled). 

Daniel and Jack stayed outside until the snow turned to sleet/rain. After taking some photos of them, I took my pregnant self inside and enjoyed our warm fireplace.


I am so grateful that we have a wood stove. It has made a huge difference in keeping our house warm during these cold weeks. It looks like this will be another cold week, but hopefully winter is wrapping up and we will see warmer temperatures soon.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Baby Update: 32 Weeks, What's It Like to Have Polyhydramnios

I have had some questions about how I am feeling so I thought I would share what it has been like for me to experience Polyhydramnios with this pregnancy. If you have missed my previous posts, I have too much amniotic fluid in my uterus which makes my belly really big and it also causes early contractions (and possibly labor) because my body thinks it is further along than it is. For me it meant a hospital stay at almost-30 weeks to stop contractions.

Yesterday I had my follow up with the high-risk OB. Their ultrasound measurements showed the fluid is currently 21cm (which is below the risk). The measurements are a bit of an art project with different people getting different numbers (last week I was still measuring 25cm). The doctor I saw said they will continue to measure and assess me on a weekly basis for now. According to him, once I make it to 34 weeks, they would not try to prevent birth if I went into labor. He also mentioned wanting to induce me at 38 weeks. We shall see... my regular OB thinks I can go to 40 weeks and doesn't seem to feel inclined to speed up the process. As with all of our previous ultrasounds, this baby is staying head down. 

 Baby #2, 32 Weeks 
So, how does it feel to have Polyhydramnios?
Big Belly.
At 32 weeks pregnant I look like I am much further along than I am (comparison photo of when I was pregnant with Jack at bottom of post). I get a lot of questions about my due date and then incredulous (or sympathetic) looks when I say that I'm not due until mid April. I have had a few joking comments about expecting twins, but mostly I get sympathy. Believe me, I know I'm getting big. At least (for me) you can't really tell I'm pregnant from behind...
Difficulty Breathing.
Starting around 20 weeks, I began experiencing a lot of instances of being light headed. For no reason, I will catch my breath and it feels like a giant weight is sitting on my chest. This feeling has progressed over the last 10+ weeks due to the excess fluid that is pushing on my lungs and organs. Thankfully I am not having actual problems breathing, but it can be really uncomfortable. This is also a major reason I continue to exercise. Aerobic activity improves the efficiency of the body's cardiovascular system in absorbing and transporting oxygen, which is important when your lung capacity is diminished due to extra fluid taking up space.

Also around 20 weeks I noticed that I felt extra bloated. This continued to where eating even small amounts makes me feel generally miserable. I feel hungry all the time and eating just makes me feel crappy. The best way I can describe it would be how you feel at the end of your pregnancy, except I am only 32 weeks and have felt this way for the last couple of months. Worse, it gives me heartburn like I cannot describe. I take Nexium every morning and supplement with Tums. In the beginning Nexium really helped, now I am just managing as best I can. I can get extreme heartburn from something as basic as drinking water or even the smell of food.

 Baby #2, 32 Weeks Baby Profile
Braxton Hicks.
I had some Braxton Hicks with Jack, but not enough to really be of note. Around the time I started feeling this baby kick (18 weeks) I started having Braxton Hicks. They happen regularly throughout the day and do not hurt at all. They did land me in the hospital when I had them non-stop, every 2-minutes, for 12+hours straight (I was almost 30 weeks). They do not cause me any pain (I've had paper cuts that hurt worse) but they are uncomfortable. At this point we are praying they do not jump start real labor. A few of the things that cause my Braxton Hicks include: standing up, sitting down, laying down, working out, grocery shopping, driving my car, walking, not drinking enough water or having a full bladder... I think this is also considered having an irritable uterus.

Very Hard Belly.
I have experienced a very hard belly since the beginning of my second trimester. This makes it really hard to give myself my daily shots in my belly. It also makes it very uncomfortable (and sometimes painful) when Jack wants to be held or if he wants to cuddle by laying on my belly. He has learned to be very gentle, but it is very difficult for me to have him lay on or beside me. This makes me sad because I want to be able to cuddle and carry him.

Putting on Shoes.
With Jack I remember having difficulty putting on my shoes some time in the third trimester. With Polyhydramnios, this sensation came much earlier (25 weeks-ish). Any kind of bending over is very uncomfortable due to the hard belly, Braxton Hicks and heartburn. In addition to bending, it is very difficult to roll over or get up from laying down with any kind of grace. This is a normal thing for later in pregnancy, it has just been uncomfortable and hard from a much earlier point for me. Shaving my legs is not gonna happen until after this baby arrives.

Heavy Belly.
Also starting around 20 weeks, I noticed that my belly felt incredibly heavy when I would lay down. It required extra pillows for support. All of the extra fluid just makes everything hurt. I don't really recall this with my first pregnancy.

So, I guess the best way to describe having Polyhydramnios is experiencing typical end-of-pregnancy symptoms, just worse and much earlier. I still have 8 weeks to go with all of these lovely symptoms.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chats with Jack ⎮ January-March, 2015

These are some of the memorable things Jack has said recently...

Jack really likes to talk on the phone. One of his favorite games is to pretend to call us on our rotary phone (it hangs on the wall, but is not hooked up). Since he is so interested in phones, we taught him how to call Daniel on my cell phone. We wanted him to be able to call someone in case something happened to me and it has been really useful for the days when Daniel is working long hours and Jack misses him. He can call Daniel and tell him about his day without my help. It's been a great tool for him and is especially good on the days he is feeling sad about not seeing his daddy.

Any time Jack gets in trouble, he asks, "Are you sad, mommy?" I always reassure him that I love him, but that his behavior made me sad. He also asks, "Are you happy, mommy?"

Do you want to watch my dance? (followed by a silly dance)
Do you want to hear my noise? (followed by obnoxious noise)

Jack: Why did I have to stop playing with Westin and leave church?
Daniel: So you and Westin could go to your homes and go to sleep so you can feel good tomorrow.
Jack: Are there beds at church?
Daniel: No.
Jack: Why aren't there beds at church? 

"Next time I'll stump you for sure." (Quote from The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That). Jack then proceeds to stomp around and laugh hysterically while saying this. I've been trying to explain to him what "to stump someone" means.

I just like to be silly. 
It's just pretend.

Says "Aw, man!" when he is frustrated.

Knows the phrase "Righty tighty and lefty loosey" and uses it appropriately when unscrewing/screwing something together. On the note of fixing things, Jack insisted that Daniel fix the swing at the playground that was broken. He was very proud of the fact that they fixed it together.

Jack: Do people like shots?
Me: Do you like shots?
Jack: No. I like nice things.
Me: I think people like nice things too.

One night we had a very in depth discussion about radar detectors on the way to church. Boiled down, the radar detector reminds grown ups to obey the rules so they don't get in trouble.

Mommies always know the rules. (Informing Daniel)

Jack: Mommy, did you touch the potty?
Me: Yes.
Jack: You need to wash your hands.

Sophie always has really bad stinky farts.

 I'm getting the chopper (axe) so I can chop wood.

Recent questions about the baby: Does the baby have feet? Does the baby walk? Does the baby like to sing songs? Is it Easter yet? (we told him the baby will come after Easter)

Why are the trees wiggling? (Regarding the trees blowing in the wind)

Conversations with a three-year-old can be so fun. Trying to explain the world in ways he understands can be trying at times, but the process if fascinating.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Cabin Fever

Following the excitement of my 2 nights in the hospital, our entire little family came down with a stomach bug that has been going around. Jack and I lucked out with a 12 hour version while Daniel was out for a week. According to Daniel's doctor, our entire neighborhood was sick. On top of that I was supposed to rest for the week after my hospital stay and then we had the recent winter storm. All in all, I was basically stuck at our house for the last 11 days and starting to go a little stir crazy.

After the sign off from my doctor, I have been anxious to return to life as usual, while still taking it easy. So even though the trees were covered with ice and the temps were in the teens, Jack and I were determined to get out of the house (Jack specifically asked to go dig dinosaurs).

We started the day with pancakes (it's Pancake Day after all). Then made the trip to town so that I could work out. I have been missing my time at the Y – both the social and physical aspects. Note to the college-age childcare workers: If you haven't seen a pregnant woman in almost two weeks, don't tell her that she "got huge since the last time you saw her."

We rounded out our afternoon with a visit to the Creative Discovery Museum so that Jack could "dig dinosaurs." Besides digging he got to touch a live corn snake. He was very fascinated by this experience. This was a good day and I'm hoping I didn't overdo it.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Baby Update: 31 Weeks

Due to my increased risks with this pregnancy, I am going to be writing weekly updates for my benefit and for family and friends who want to know how things are going. I am incredibly grateful to have another week under my belt and that baby is sitting tight for now.

 Baby #2, 31 Weeks

To kick off this week, we all got a stomach bug (thankfully it only affected me for 12 hours). I just need to catch a break with this pregnancy! Yesterday I went to my post-hospital, follow-up visit with my OB and received some good news. My belly size (fundal height) and the amount of amniotic fluid in my belly have not increased in the last 7 days. This is encouraging since the last few visits have shown significant growth. My fundal height is currently 36cm and the amniotic fluid is 25cm. Both of these measurements keep me in the category of having Polyhydramnios but it is not progressing at this point.

Baby #2, 31 Week Ultrasound
As anyone who has googled symptoms of illnesses knows, the internet can be a scary place and Polyhydramnios has some frightening potential complications. Thankfully my doctor put to rest a lot of my concerns  – like explaining why cord prolapse is unlikely to happen to me. She is very pragmatic and used my pregnancy with Jack to remind me that I carried him to term and therefore my body has proven it has a strong uterus. I am currently not on any restrictions, I just need to listen to my body. As for the ongoing Braxton Hicks contractions, well they are going to keep happening. It's just a part of this pregnancy. Next week I will see my high-risk OB for her assessment. It looks like I will be having weekly follow up visits with both doctors until this baby comes. We are praying Baby #2 stays put for the entire 40 weeks, but we would be thrilled with a little more time in utero!

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...