*~*~Jessica's (OperaDiva) Birth Lodge~*~*

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*~*~Jessica's (OperaDiva) Birth Lodge~*~*

Here you go hun, I hope you have a chace to use this lodge and that you make it to 37 weeks!! Can't wait to get to know more about you:)

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Welcome to your lodge!

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Welcome to your lodge, Jessica!

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Welcome to your lodge Jessica!!

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Welcome to your lodge Biggrin

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Welcome to your lodge Jessica!! ♥

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Thanks so much! I really hope to make it a few more weeks so this won't be a ridiculously short lodge.

I'll post a full intro later tonight Smile

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Ok, intro time!

Early life/school

Let's see, to start off with, my name is Jessica, and as my username tells you I am a musician. I graduated Summa C um Laude from college in 08 with a Music Education degree, finishing my 5 year degree in 4. Did I mention that while in college, I got married and held several part time jobs, including one performing with a renowned Opera Chorus? It nearly killed me, but was totally worth it Blum 3 High school for me was my house, but more on that later in the story. I taught Middle School Choir the 2008-2009 school year, and while I liked some parts of it, boy was it tough. My plan for this year is teaching High School voice lessons, which started today and I LOVE it! 2 days a week, very flexible schedule, opportunity for pumping breaks, excellent pay for part time work, etc.

Backing up to the earlier parts of my life, I was born in California 15 months after my older brother, thanks to my Mom thinking BFing was birth control Wink Along came my younger sisters 2 and 6 years later, then we moved to Arizona, where we added two more brothers over the next 5 years. We finally got to Texas when I was 10, and my Dad got a job keeping computers from crashing for Y2K. A few years later, along comes brother #4. So I am one of 7 kids, 4 brothers and 2 sisters, and we were/are all homeschooled. In some ways I think this was great, and in some ways I think I could have thrived in a slightly less sheltered environment. Texas brought a lot of opportunities for a big homeschool family, including opportunities for me to be in Choir, which was instantly the highlight of my existence. When High school came around, I took a few classes out of the home, Math and AP English taught by ladies who used to teach in public schools but now have a full load of homeschool students who take their classes, and of course Choir (and Ballet, which was really fun!).

Meeting DH

AP English was definitely the highlight of the classes though, because Sophmore year I met the man I married. Of course, I didn't talk to him that year, wasn't in class with him the next year, and finally struck up a conversation the first day of Senior year. We hit it off right away, and I mentally filed him away under possible guy of interest Wink We talked every class day that year (once a week), and developed a friendship. At the end of the year, I finally made it painfully obvious that I didn't have a boyfriend by showing him pictures of myself at the homeschool prom without a date...yes there's a homeschool prom, it was actually really fun and yes, we danced with people other than our brothers LOL. After that I invited him to my last choir concert of the year, and he FINALLY asked for my number to get directions. Boys are so dense sometimes. When he finally did call, we talked for HOURS, and that pattern continued for many days to come. After that, he met my parents, and right after graduation he asked my Dad's permission to court me. Yes court. My parents are very conservative, and our time together was never alone time, we always had a chaperone. I definitely think this contributed to our delinquent behavior whenever the chaperone was ditched, since we got the idea that being alone together led to bad things Wink The next February, a week before Valentine's day, he proposed over lunch at Spaghetti warehouse with my parents at the next table. I knew it was coming, but I thought it would be later, I could barely say yes because I was so shocked. It was a great day, I actually bought my dress that same day because it was the last day of the David's Bridal sale. We got married on my 19th birthday.

The hard part

Things started out good but hard, and got harder. We were both young and had immaturity to deal with, and ended up getting pretty bitter with one another by the end of year 2. When I got a job at a restaurant Senior year of college, things started to go downhill fast. I got a lot of attention from the other male waiters, and it made me realize that my DH was very controlling, not affectionate, and in some ways emotionally abusive. The controlling was to the point of calling me up to 60 times in a row if I didn't answer, and always needing to know EXACTLY where I was and who I was with. Rather than working on it, I ended up distancing myself over a long period of time, and last summer (2008 ) I moved out. I even changed my phone number because I knew he would follow me, which worked for all of 1 day, he called the phone company and found out. He started going to counseling on his own at the church we had gone to (he had stopped going for about a year), and my parents were on his side because they don't believe in divorce, which was my goal as soon as I left.

It was the hardest 3 months of my life in every possible way. I got drunk a lot, partied a lot, and did things that will follow me the rest of my life. In September, my best friend (who never abandoned me and stuck with me the whole time) sat down and had a talk with me. Her husband and my DH were close friends, and she wanted to let me know how much DH had changed. I still didn't want to believe it, but after a lot of soul searching I realized I couldn't give up everything I had worked toward, and agreed to meet with our Pastors and see if we could figure this mess out. Seeing my DH again after 3 months was really difficult, especially since he almost lost it as soon as he saw me. After a long talk, and an agreement of counseling, we decided to put the effort into making it work again.

We went to counseling every week for a while, then every month, and finally we were back on our feet again, living out the marriage we should have had from the beginning, but never did. I felt like I had found a new person inside the one I had loved, and I loved this one even more! However, we still had some trust issues to work out, mainly him not trusting me to not leave again.

My TTC background

So, partly to show him how much I loved him and wanted to be with him the rest of my life, and partly because we knew we were ready, I decided to go off the pill. A little background on that, I have NEVER had a real period in my life except when I was on the pill. Despite hitting puberty early (had boobs at 8 lol), I didn't start any kind of cycle until age 15, and even then it was spotting for a few days, months without, spotting, extremely irregular and light. Doctors couldn't pinpoint a cause, one said PCOS but I have none of the normal symptoms except no periods. All of them said it would be difficult to conceive. Went on the pill before the wedding, got off it for a year in college (in hindsight, trying to mend our breaking relationship with a baby) and didn't have a single period for a year, and no baby. With that in mind, I went off the pill last December, expecting it to take a LONG time to conceive, and possibly fertility treatments.

It was no surprise when I didn't get a period the next month, but what WAS surprising was the nausea, ridiculous sense of smell, and complete exhaustion. So I took a test...negative. Looking back, I was only 9 DPO so of course it was negative. So I shrugged it off, and went through the next few days, and didn't feel any better. So 5 days later, I test again with FMU. Blaring positive. I was so shocked and excited I couldn't move, and woke DH up right away and told him. I truly consider this baby to be not only a miracle, but an example of God giving us wonderful things we don't deserve exactly when we need them. We told both sets of parents over the next 2 days, and the whole world knew soon after.

Pregnancy!

My pregnancy was really easy 1st trimester, I only threw up once (while driving of course), and my main symptom was exhaustion. Around week 12, I started feeling pretty darn good. Week 14, felt some weird sensations in my tummy I chalked up to RLP, then thought I might have a UTI. Tested negative, so I didn't think anything of it. Weeks later, realized the tummy sensations I had been feeling were actually Braxton Hicks contractions. No big deal, I just felt them early. Found out at 20 weeks, IT's A BOY!! His name will be Hunter Lane S*****. At 23 weeks, I had more than 6 BH an hour for several hours, and knew something weird was going on. Went straight to the midwife (had just switched from an OB because I wanted to use a birth center), she checked my cervix and I was fingertip and 40% effaced. Gave me some herbs to try, and I went home. No change to the contractions, called the midwife and headed to the nearest hospital and got monitored for an hour. I will never go back to that hospital on principal, because they told me at 23 weeks I wasn't even considered to have a viable pregnancy yet, so they didn't even consider medication, it would have been considered a miscarriage. I just about punched the nurse in the face.

This was the beginning of my bedrest. 2 weeks later, I consulted with a Perinatologist, who did a really in-depth u/s and said my cervix was 3.5 cm long and closed, so perfectly within acceptable range, and baby boy was perfect in every way! No more full bedrest, just taking it easy! The BH got worse, we realized that in our financial situation we could not afford the midwife, so we switched back to an OB, a new one who had been recommended to me as supportive of natural birth. At our first appointment at 26 weeks, we didn't even meet my doctor, just her nurses, who were great. Got another u/s, which measured the cervix just above 3 cm (I didn't know it had shortened til later), baby Hunter was still healthy and perfect. The next day, I was in L&D with contractions coming every 10 minutes. Had my first encounter with terbutaline, and did not enjoy it. 3 shots over a few hours in the back of your arm, not fun. Met the doctor at my next appointment (now 28 weeks pg), she answered all of my questions and was really nice, I LOVE her! At this point, found out my cervix has shortened again and is now hovering at 2.75 cm, and may be funneling. Full bed rest again, and another appointment in 2 days. At that appointment, got my GD test done (negative!), and another u/s, which showed my cervix stable at 2.75. Got a prescription for terbutaline to take orally as needed, and I was to come back in a week. I needed the meds the next day, for regular, but not painful, contractions. That weekend, I had a few contractions that were a LOT of pressure, so I knew something was up, called the nurse and was told to up my terbutaline from 2.5 mg to 5 mg. This did help, but made me feel awful. At my next appointment, my OB took another cervix measurement, and it was down to about 2.5, so I was sent to L&D for a Fetal Fibronectin test (checks if I'll go into labor in the next 2 weeks, I think this was actually my second) which was negative (yay), more terbutaline shots, a new medication (nifedipene), and the steroid shots to develop Hunter's lungs. I ended up having to stay overnight, joy. All this at 30 weeks pregnant.

Now I'm taking nifedipene every 6 hours (on a timer), and terbutaline as needed, so I haven't been back to L&D since, yay! Cervix checks since then have shown 2.75 at 31 weeks and 2.5 with more obvious funneling at my last appointment nearly 2 weeks ago, but the FFN was negative. Someone forgot to tell my uterus about that though, I have been having VERY strong birthing-type contractions since Monday, and if it weren't for the terbutaline I am almost positive Hunter would have made his appearance this week. But I'm still pregnant, just completely unable to stand for more than 2 minutes without intense pressure waves that almost knock me down. Hypnobabies practice has actually helped a lot during some of the really intense stuff, I'm on the maintenance program now! Next appointment is Tuesday, I'll be one day away from 34 weeks! We'll probably talk about getting off the medication at either 36 or 37 weeks, and I'm really wanting to push for 36 because I HATE being on medication, it messes me up and I am pretty miserable at this point, but at the same time I'm torn because I want to make sure Hunter is ok.

This whole pregnancy has been a spiritual awakening for me, and it seems like each challenge has helped me deal with situations and emotions and memories that I didn't even know needed to be dealt with. My relationship with God is better than it has been in years, and I'm doing my best to place my trust in Him that everything will work out exactly how it needs to. Writing this intro out was very cleansing in it's own way, despite very nearly making me cry during the hard parts.

If you made it through this novel, you deserve some sort of medal. Anyway, that is my introduction/life story Biggrin

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Cool story!! I too was married at 19 Smile (though I was almost 20) Every marriage has it's up's and downs. We both came from VERY conservative families as well and never dated each other nor anyone else. I find it so special that he's only ever been mine Smile It sounds like you guys really have it together now and are traveling the great road of life hand in hand!! I can't wait to hear about your birth story and see pics!!!! Happy Anniversary AND birthday btw! Smile

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Welcome to your lodge! Great intro as well. I enjoyed reading it. I am so glad that things have worked out for you and DH. Getting married young can be hard. I got married young also. I just barely turned 20 and DH was 22.

That is amazing that you conceived in the first month. Wonderful! I am also sooo happy that you are still pregnant after all of these challenges since you hit 23 weeks. That is just amazing! You are almost to 34 weeks! Yay! Smile Just take one week at a time and you will get there. Just take it easy!

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Loved your intro! I'm looking forward to following your lodge Biggrin

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You have a very interesting life story, Jessica. I'm glad your DH improved himself and you two were able to work it out. Congratulations on your little miracle and I hope he stays in a few weeks longer!

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great intro! i'm looking forward to following your lodge -- and hope you get to enjoy it a few more weeks Smile

i wonder if we're near each other. we also live in texas. i know it's a huge state, but we're in the city and it sounds like you might be too.

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Looking forward to at least a few more weeks before little Hunter comes!

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Welcome to your lodge, Jessica! Wow, what an intro! You are on a good path, and I'm so happy that you've made it this far in your pregnancy. And I hope you are singing to your little Hunter with that professional voice of yours! (Singing to my kids is my way of feeling like I'm using my voice for something, since I'll probably never go pro!)

And also, as the oldest child (of 5) of parents who got married at 18 and 20 - there are a lot of challenges to starting so young, but there is also so much beauty in coming into that maturity and coming through those challenges as a couple. It is something that doesn't happen in the same way for people who have truly come into their own before they get married. And the bond that you form because of it can be extremely strong and everlasting. My parents are my models for a happy marriage - they have such a strong element of friendship and fun, and I think it's because they were literally kids together! (And this year was their 35th anniversary! So they're doing pretty well!)

I can't wait to share this journey with you! And I hope it's a long one! (at least 3 more weeks!!)

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Just had a chance to read your intro, and wow what a story. I'm so glad you and your DH took the time and effort to make things work, and I can't wait to hear how much love this little one is going to add to your family:)

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Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!!

I'm feeling a little down and discouraged today, mostly because the side effects from the medications I'm on are getting worse for no apparent reason. I can literally go down the list of "possible, but rare" side effects like a checklist. I am hoping I get to go off them at 36 weeks, which is only 2.5 weeks away, both because I feel awful and because they're less and less effective at stopping contractions with each passing week.

I really think if this was a "normal" pregnancy I could handle another 6 weeks, it's the medication that's giving me grief and making me sooo ready to be done now.

On a positive note, I put the finishing touches on my cloth diaper stash this week! I have 36 infant prefolds, 3 bumGenius all-in-ones, 6 small bummis covers, and in the mail 6 XS proraps covers and 3 snappis! I still need to wash them, but I'm excited about cloth diapers and how much money they'll save us! Between cloth diapers and breastfeeding, having a baby is downright affordable!

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Im sorry your meds are giving you such a hard time :bighug: I dont know much about CD but it sounds like youve got a great stash!!

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Hi Jessica! I was just able to sit down & read through your intro, it was so neat to learn more about you Smile I too was married young, I got pg at 18 & married at 20. I homeschool my children so had to smile at your comments in regards to that.

I'm sorry the meds are making you so miserable, you have come such a long way! Before you know it your little guy is going to bein your harms and melting your heart.

"OperaDiva" wrote:

Between cloth diapers and breastfeeding, having a baby is downright affordable!

lol It sure is! I've breastfed & cloth diapered all of mine, although I do a combo of sposies and cloth now it still saves a ton of money.

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Welcome to your lodge! I loved your intro...its great to know more about you. I'm glad you and DH were able to work things out and start over.

I'm sorry the meds are giving you such a hard time. I had one shot of terb and didn't like it much at all. HUGS!!

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ugh! i'm sorry you're feeling so poorly. hang in there as long as you can!

we cloth diaper too and i remember how fun it was to get all brand new diapers before judah was born. (not so many new diapers this time around ;)). sounds like you've got a great stash! i hope you like the BG AIO! we've not tried it, but do use BG 3.0 and it's been a good diaper for us, though ds can now take off the velcro (which causes a problem overnight and at naps :lol:).

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Katherine, I forgot to say earlier when you asked, I'm in the DFW area of Texas, so yes one of the big cities Smile

I got my snappis in the mail today, and promptly put a diaper of Winnie the Pooh. I think I have a problem LOL. I might go practice again on Eeyore and the Teddy bear. Then I'm out of snappis, so no other animals get fluffy bums.

Doctor appointment tomorrow, I'm kind of anxious to see what ends up happening, since we will likely discuss going off the medications & bedrest, and maybe check my cervix since I've had so much going on in the contraction department. I'll keep ya'll updated!

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Just had my appointment, and the doctor has previously said I was closed, but today I am a definite 1 cm and 25% effaced, so those contractions last week were the real deal. She also confirmed that Hunter is head down and low, she didn't use the word engaged but I think that's what she meant. As for the drugs, only 2 more weeks and I'm done with em as long as the side effects don't get to the completely unbearable point. I'm pretty sure Hunter's entrance into the world is about 2 weeks away!

I gave her a copy of my birth plan and she said everything looks great. She said they may not be able to delay cord clamping if he came now, but definitely at 36 weeks. Oh, and I'm apparently measuring just a tiny bit ahead, which surprised me since I think I look small, but I'm glad he won't be too tiny if he's early.

I had 2 narrow misses with car wrecks today, first I nearly hit a guy on a motorcycle who was completely in my blind spot (I felt so bad for not seeing him I almost cried), then a block away from home at a light the guy behind me got rear ended. Glad it wasn't me!

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I'm glad your home safe, and that everything is going well!! Keep cooking little man....just a little bit longer.

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Ok, so I need a little hypnobabies motivation! I started maintenance last week, and pretty much haven't listened to a track since :oops:

I still remember to practice my finger drop most days, but I keep either forgetting or just losing my motivation when it comes to the CDs. Someone push me and tell me I need to do this and remind me how important it is!

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"OperaDiva" wrote:

I gave her a copy of my birth plan and she said everything looks great. She said they may not be able to delay cord clamping if he came now, but definitely at 36 weeks.

Ask her why, get a good clear answer, and weigh it against the benefits of Hunter getting all the oxygenated blood from his own placenta that he can... could be that her reasons weigh out - but just get an idea.

Sorry you were so close to unpleasantness, but thats one situation where "almost" does count!
Feel good, momma!

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"tanismom" wrote:

Ask her why, get a good clear answer, and weigh it against the benefits of Hunter getting all the oxygenated blood from his own placenta that he can... could be that her reasons weigh out - but just get an idea.

I did ask, her reason was that at 34-36 weeks body temperature is a big issue, and sometimes cord length isn't sufficient to get baby on mom to keep warm, so they have to cut it. Makes perfect sense, but I will make it a point to try to get him on my belly/chest with cord still attached, and if it doesn't work go from there.

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I am officially at 34 weeks now!!!!!!!!! Yahoo

Just for fun, a belly picture...believe it or not neither the sweatpants or the shirt are maternity, but they're still very comfy!

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Oops double post...

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ROFL about your snappis and teddy's.

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Yahoo for 34 weeks!!

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Hunter has reached yet another great milestone! Keep baking LO!
Cute pic. The non-maternity clothes that I wear are the MOST comfortable. They are what I will be taking to the hospital to wear. You gotta love stretchy shirts and pants with a drawstring! Smile

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we're in the DFW area too. do you know about babies, bottoms and more, the cloth diapering store? a gal runs it out of her garage, but she's super sweet and if you need anything or want to see it before you buy, it's a great place to stop by. just thought i'd mention that! you can google the store and get her address.

hope you're feeling well this evening!

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I didn't know about the store, I may have to check that out, thanks!

I've been having crazy contractions all day, I can handle 12 more days of this, but what if it's actual labor and I don't know? Right now they are 2 minutes apart but not getting any worse. I think the meds are finally starting to kick in, I may take more terbutaline soon, I am allowed to take it every 2 hours if I have to.

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Yay for a mile stone!!! You look great and your doing an awesome job:)

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yay for 34 weeks! I hope your ctrx settle down, so that you can rest and keep Hunter baking a little bit longer! I'm sorry you have to be on the meds for so long. :bigarmhug:

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Yay for 34 weeks!!! You look great!

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You look great! Yay for 34 weeks. I hope those contrax die down and Hunter keeps on baking for a few weeks Smile

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Hi I'm late, I think its great that you were able to work through your rough patches and now have a beautiful little gift coming! You doing an amazing job at keeping that LO baking for as long as possible! I can imagine how difficult it is being on medicine and fighting your body against what it wants to do. You look wonderful too.

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Well, I haven't had any bad bouts of contractions for a couple days, YAY! Hunter is really low in my pelvis, so back and hip pain are my constant companion right now, but honestly it's not that bad, if it was all I had to deal with I would be GREAT. Counting down the days til no more medications, we're down to single digits, just 9 more days!!!

Planning on doing just a little bit of shopping next weekend, it is Tax Free weekend on clothes/school supplies here in Texas, so I want to get a few nursing tanks and anything else I can think of that I need without paying the taxes Smile

I got my XS diaper covers in the mail yesterday, so of course I have to share my first fluffy action shots...granted, there won't be much action since the model is just as fluffy as the diaper Wink Hopefully Hunter won't mind that Winnie the Pooh tried on his diapers first. He is wearing a prefold fastened with a snappi, and a proraps cover.

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Ahhhh, I just saw some newborn fluff in the cloth diapers store today and it feels like that was SO long ago. I can't wait for the little man to be in the diaper pictures! I'm glad you feeling as good as possible, and I hope your count down continues to go quick:)

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I think I spoke too soon about feeling good...lol. Halfway through the day yesterday my back started hurting like crazy, and it hasn't stopped hurting yet. I wonder if Hunter may have turned posterior and that's why? It definitely brought my contractions back up a notch on the strength scale too :confused:

I also realized I don't have quite enough pills to get me to 36 weeks, so I guess I'll have to call my doctor and get a refill prescription sometime this week for the last few days of medication. Oh well, even if I'm on them a day or 2 longer, I will be DONE a week from Wednesday!

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I love the "action" shots!! I'm sure Hunter won't mind, lol!!

and yay for being so close to getting off the meds!!! Yahoo

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I hope the back pain eases up for you and that he's in the right possition when the time comes!

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Hi, just saw your lodge and really love your story. It's a great inspiration that you guys stayed together through the tough times and that it's much better now. You are right - God give you things you don't deserve at just the right time!
I totally understand not wanting to wait much longer for Hunter to come! You are doing so well to endure so many contractions beforehand! At least now you know they are doing something! I hope all goes well for you and you get the NCB that you hope for.

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Well today has been interesting...

Woke up to DH saying he'd been up all night researching job options, then he went up and applied/interviewed for a job. Hopefully it works out and pays at least decently! He has another opportunity, but it doesn't have benefits OR pay terribly well, and would be part time at least at first.

Then later in the morning morning Hunter decided to practice kickboxing again, and BOY is he getting good at it! He definitely bruised a rib, it still hurts when he bumps up against it or when I press on it from the outside. Glad he's a nice strong baby, but OW! It will be nice when those kicks can only hit the OUTSIDE of my body that is used to bumps and bruises!

I've been doing a bit of laundry today, got all my diapers washed and dried (hung the covers, figured there was no reason to put them in the dryer, but my prefolds went in the dryer), and actually washed my bed sheets, which were in desperate need of a wash. Felt fine through most of it, but making the bed was like running a marathon! Not easy...

And then of course there were the 2 contractions from h-e-l-l. The first one started out like any other preterm labor contraction, but was quickly waaaay stronger than most of mine are. It lasted 5 minutes. No kidding. I almost cried. Halfway through had the presence of mind to use my hypnobabies, and I made it through, but boy was that rough.Took some terbutaline to calm my uterus down, then about 10 minutes later I had another one, not quite as strong but a little longer, like 6 minutes. Then I guess the meds kicked in so I had a horrid headache and the shakes, but at least the contractions stopped.

Eight more days til no more meds. That's all. I can do this.

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I am so excited that you hit 35 weeks tomorrow! That is going to be a great milestone. Yay! Smile

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Carefull Mama, please be kind to yourself! Your a champ and your little man is thanking you for your hard work....even though it hurts:)

OperaDiva's picture
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Well I had 2 more of the awful 5 minute contractions today, and now 3 hours after the meds my heart rate is at 138. I called the nurse who said just keep taking the meds for the contractions, and there's nothing they can really do about the heart rate, it's just a side effect of the drugs. Maybe I should eat something. I feel pretty darn awful right now.

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(((HUGS))) I'm so sorry you feel so yucky:( It kind of sounds like your time could be getting very close. When do you go in next?

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I go in 1 week from today, if I make it that long. But I also realized I'll run out of meds on Sunday, not Tuesday, so I think I'll call Thursday to find out whether they want me to stop the meds Sunday or come in to get a scrip for 8 more pills. Quite honestly I want to be done, I almost hope they tell me to just stop the meds Sunday, even though I'll be 3 days away from 36 weeks.

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