Baby Number 3 - EDD 2/4/2004

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Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62
Baby Number 3 - EDD 2/4/2004

It may be a little early to be starting a pregnancy journal since I'm not even officially late yet, but I got a BFP at 12 DPO and wanted to start recording my thoughts/symptoms/emotions right away. I started a TTC journal almost a month ago and figured it would take a lot longer to graduate to the Pregnancy Journal board, but it looks like we have been blessed with a quick TTC journey this time around.

Background - DH and I are both 28 and we have two DD's (4 and 1). I'm a SAHM. We got pg really quick (2 months w/o protection) the first time around, but the second time took us 11 months and an HSG. I really thought it would take a little longer this time, too, so imagine my surprise yesterday when I got a BFP! I'm still very much in shock. DH still doesn't know. When I got up yesterday, I went to the bathroom to test. As I was waking up, I had heard one of my DD's crying, so while I'm in the process of testing DH barges into the bathroom with DD and says, "She fell. Look at the huge knot on her head". I already had so much adrenaline running through me b/c I was testing, that I immediately freaked out and distracted him long enough to hide the HPT. I got a chance to discreetly look at it a minute later and it was BFP! I know I'll never forget the way I found out I'm pregnant for the third time (not that I've forgotten the first two either!)

Symptoms - One reason I tested at 12 DPO instead of waiting for AF to be late was that I had so many (for me) pregnancy symptoms. First, I had cramping starting at 8 DPO (implantation cramping?). It started out almost unnoticeable, but gradually became very noticeable, then it stopped midway through 11 DPO. Usually AF cramping starts at 10-11 DPO and gets much worse until AF comes, but it never goes away. Next, my bb's were sore, but not the way they are when AF comes. They hurt at the edges even when I'm not testing them to see if they hurt and the pain is sharper. Last, and this is a big one for me, I wasn't craving chocolate. I ALWAYS crave chocolate when AF is around the corner, but I could walk away from it w/o even glancing at it!

This is turning into a novel for a first post, so I'll end it here.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

Well, I've made it to the beginning of my 5th week. It's still not really sunk in yet that I'm expecting another baby, but I think reality is slowly dawning. I told DH yesterday afternoon by giving him an early Father's Day "Father-To-Be" card from the baby. His first response was, "Well that messes up my ski season and and the year after I rejoin the Ski Patrol, too!" LOL Here I was worrying whether he'd be upset and he makes a joke! I knew he wouldn't really be upset, more surprised it worked without us even "trying" since it took so long last time. There are so many reasons that getting pregnant even a month later would have been better, but we stopped using protection b/c it took 11 months the second time we got pg. We figured this way if I had to have another HSG to get pg, the kids would still be relatively close in age. Oh, well, beggars can't be choosers and I'm absolutely thrilled now that I actually am pregnant! I'm going to try to enjoy every minute of this pregnancy since it will almost certainly be my last one. I'm one of those women who absolutely love being pregnant. If kids didn't cost so much I'd have a dozen - well, not really, but I do enjoy pregnancy. No real changes to report yet. We'll wait to tell family and friends as long as possible. I'd love to tell them, "We're having a baby - next week!" I know I can't wait THAT long, but I will wait more than 12 weeks. Until next time!

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

I'm still having to remind myself constantly that I'm really pregnant. Maybe it's starting to sink in, though. I called last Wed. to schedule my first prenatal appt, and it's coming up June 26. I think after I go for my first prenatal it'll seem more real - especially if I get an ultrasound. DH and I have agreed we'll wait until at least September to tell parents. It hopefull won't be too hard to wait until I'm 20 weeks (or maybe longer) to tell since 1) I don't show very quickly and 2) we live 5 hours from parents . We've decided to each tell one friend. I wanted to do that since I simply must have someone to talk to about being pg! I still haven't told my friend yet, but I will this week or next week. DH already told someone he works with and the guy told DH that he and his wife were also wanting to add to their family! Hopefully he'll have some more news for DH soon. Aside from those few people we will let everyone else figure it out for themselves. I'm curious to see how long it takes the first person to figure it out and ask me if I'm pregnant. I'm guessing it'll be at least six months before many people guess. I do have one other friend, though, who I believe already suspects based on conversations we've had over the past several months. She knew that if DH and I were going to add to our family it would be soon after DD turned 1. If she asks I'll tell her, but I'm not going to volunteer the information (unless I change my mind). My nausea is just beginning to start a little more. From here til about 6 weeks it will continually get worse until I can't stand the sight of food. At least that's what will happen if I follow the same pattern I did with my first two pregnancies. That's all for now.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

Okay, reality has set in - with the morning sickness! Lol For the past two days ms has been my almost constant companion and from here on out I know it will only get worse before it gets better. That's perfectly alright with me, though, since at least the ms reassure and reminds me that I'm still pg. Today I really did not want to eat supper but I forced myself to anyway. If my past two pregnancies are any indication the nausea will continue to get worse for the next week or so, then level out til around 11 weeks or so and gradually get better again. I'm also exhausted, but that's nothing new with two preschoolers in the house!

Well, DH and I have both caved and told a few close friends who can be trusted. DH told his friend at work, who then informed DH that his wife is also pg and due 3 weeks before me! Another friend announced his wife's pregnancy (due mid Jan) at work a few days later! So all three of them will be worth a hill of beans at work from the end of Dec. till sometime in Feb. no doubt. Too funny since none of us knew the others wanted a baby! I slipped and told one friend then another friend overheard us talking and guessed what we were talking about. The first friend, T, and I had second babies about the same time last year and each of us occassionally asks the other whether she has decided to add to the family. Well, when she asked this time I wasn't quick enough with a comeback, so I just nodded. When she started asking questions, my other friend L was walking by and she guessed pretty quickly what we were talking about. That's good, though, since I need to borrow some of her summer maternity clothes.

That's all for now.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

Before we stopped preventing a third pregnancy, I promised myself that if I did indeed become pregnant I would squeeze every second of enjoyment out of it that I possibly could. With each of my first two pregnancies I was very cautious until the end of the first trimester. DH and I didn't discuss names, I didn't even read pregnancy or baby name books, just in case something happened. Well, if I'm going to enjoy being pregnant as much as I possibly can, I can't be cautious. Today I checked out several baby name books from the library. I own several already, but I figure I've gotten the "best" names from those and I need a new selection for this baby! I can't wait to really sit down and start seriously contemplating names. It took us the entire pregnancy to agree on our second DD's name. In fact, her name was decided in the delivery room just before she was born. This time I'd like to have the names chosen at least a few weeks before baby gets here!

DH and I have also been discussing how we will tell parents. Of course we have a long time to decide since we won't tell them until Sept., but it's still fun to discuss. I think we'll tell his parents by putting "I'm The Big Sister" t-shirts on both our DD's, wearing them to their house and seeing how long it takes for someone to notice them. For my parents, we'll give my dad a birthday card from his 3 grandchildren. With each of my others, my mom found out for her birthday and I'd like Dad to find out abou at least one of them on his birthday!

Not too much has changed in the symptom department. Lots of my clothes don't fit anymore, so I need to go through my closet and take them all out. Wow, I must be pregnant or something! (At least I hope this isn't just caused by too much ice cream LOL)

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

5 weeks 6 days - not much new to report concerning my pregnancy. I'm still exhausted and my morning sickness is becoming more defined. It's not any worse, but I'm noticing that it's barely there in the morning and by supper time it's terrible. That's also how it was with my second pregnancy. At least I can kind of enjoy breakfast and lunch. I'm forcing myself to eat dinner, though.

This week is VBS at our church. I'm helping out in the one year old class and having a great time watching the little ones (including DD). It's hard to believe that this time next year I'll have an infant to care for again! I'm hoping some of my IRL friends join me soon. I so enjoy being able to talk about being pg with someone who's also going through the same things. I have at least two friends who would like to be pg again, so maybe soon... I'm looking forward to my first appt. I'm trying not to wish the entire pregnancy away, but I'll still feel like this is more real after my first prenatal visit. Oh well, 2 weeks and 3 days to go before it gets here. This week will fly by with VBS, then the girls are staying with grandparents this weekend. I love summer - we stay so busy!

That's all for now.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

6 weeks 4 days - I don't want to wish my entire pregnancy away, but I'll be so glad when I'm past the nausea. With my last pg I wasn't very sick in the morning but I gradually got sicker throughout the day. This time around I'm sick ALL the time. I even wake up at night feeling sick! I'm also exhausted to the point of not being able to do anything after supper. I have absolutely NO energy. I remember being more tired with my second pregnancy, but this goes even beyond what I remember then. Or maybe my memory is just bad! I told another close friend yesterday that I'm pregnant. She was very excited and asked me tons of questions. I know she wants a third child, too, but they aren't ready to try yet (her son is only 8 months old). I hope at least one of my friends gets pg soon so I'll have someone to share the journey with. I know 2 friends who are trying/not preventing, so maybe in a few weeks??

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

Wow, I've had such an incredibly lousy, stinking day today. I know this will sound really whiny and self-pitying, not to mention being really trivial in the grand scheme of life, but I've been so sad today because something (probably a dog) killed my cat Tigger last night. I don't know if it's the pregnancy hormones raging through me or what, but this has been really hard for me. I know it's been much worse because several times throughout the day my 4yo has asked tough questions like "Where did Tigger go? Will we ever see Tigger again? Can God make Tigger better?" You get the picture. I've tried my best to answer her questions as honestly as I can but this is her first experience with death and I just hate to see her so sad. Tonight at bedtime before we read our stories I just held her and we cried together, then she said goodbye to Tigger (not my suggestion, she just did it). It just broke my heart to see my baby like that. If anyone reads this, I hope you don't think I'm some sentimental idiot for being attached to a cat, but she really was my first "baby" before I had children. This has been a really tough day for me and I needed to write about it, so I apologize for taking up space in a pregnancy journal over this, but I think it will help me to write this stuff down. I'll try to update on the pregnancy next week when I'm in a better mood. We're going camping this weekend, so I won't be home for the next few days.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

I'm in a much better frame of mind today. The camping trip was lots of fun but now I'm even more exhausted than normal! Sleeping on an air mattress just isn't the same as my bed. At least I didn't attempt it when I was 6 or 7 months along, though! The smoke from the campfire really bothered me too, but I couldn't let anyone know it made me sick since we were with a group from church and none of them know I'm pregnant. I managed to keep my secret even though I got some comments on how tired I was from my closest friend on the trip. I just couldn't tell her, though, since she's been trying to get pregnant for over a year now. Hopefully next month will be her month and I won't have to break the news of my pregnancy to her until she's pregnant herself. This week I'm really busy packing to go to Florida and I'm so excited! Last year Haley was hospitalized a few days before we were scheduled to go on vacation so we had to cancel. I'm not going to let anything stop me from going this year! (Well, if one of the girls got sick again we wouldn't go but I'm hoping that doesn't happen).
I'm so excited about my appointment Thursday! Less than 3 days to go! I'm also looking forward to being out of the first trimester and past the morning sickness. Right now I don't want the ms to go away because then I'd obsess that something was wrong with the baby, but as soon as I hit 13 weeks I'll be looking for the last of the nausea to go away. That's all for now. I'll try to update after my appointment and before we leave for vacation.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

8 weeks 1 day - I had my first prenatal appointment today! I didn't get an ultrasound but that didn't surprise me since my dr only does them if they're medically necessary - thankfully that doesn't apply to me at this point! He did attempt to find a heartbeat but it was too early. I know we'll hear it next time. My dr has moved into a brand new building since my last pregnancy and it's so much nicer than the old one. I love it! But there was another change in the office that I wasn't as crazy about. His nurse practitioner Kathy retired a few months ago. I guess it's not really a big deal, but she was there for both of my other pregnancies and did the ultrasounds for both the girls. She does come to the office 3 days a month to do ultrasounds so I'll get to see her one last time with this baby. It's kind of strange, really. My first two pregnancies were almost carbon copies of each other. My edd with the first was 5/3 and my edd with the second was 5/7 so I was pregnant at the exact same time. I had the same doctor and nurse, delivered at the same hospital, pretty much everything was the same (except the kids of course!). This time my dr is in a different building, Kathy isn't there, I'm pg at a completely different time of year, and I won't deliver at the same hospital since my hospital moved women's services to a different building. Oh, well!

The other really big deal about this appointment was that my dr, who is in the National Guard, is being sent to the Middle East for 90 days starting either July 15 or Oct 15. If he is sent for Oct-Jan there is a chance he won't be back in time to deliver my baby since with my first two I delivered 3 weeks early. Three weeks early this time puts me right around Jan 15. I'm trying not to stress over this little detail right now, especially since there's not a darn thing I can do to change things. Hopefully he will be sent for July-Oct and I won't have anything to worry about at all!

The appointment itself was very routine - exam, questions, weight, bloodwork, etc. Now I can start counting the days until I hear little one's heartbeat! I just love that sound!!

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

I'm back from vacation and I think my mom suspects I'm pregnant. She made a few comments along the lines of "Just in case you're pregnant..." so she at least knows it's a possibility even though she's probably still not sure. We're still not planning on telling her for at least another 3 weeks. I think that's all I'm going to be able to hold out! We're going to TN for our high school reunion then and we've decided to tell grandparents then. So much for waiting until September, but at least I'll be about 12 weeks then.

We had a really good vacation, but I had to choke down several meals in front of my family that I really didn't want to eat just so they wouldn't suspect anything. They know I get really nauseous during the first tri, so if I'd admitted I can't stand to even look at onions let alone eat them my mom would've immediately known what was going on. I was also really tired the whole time - a combination of not sleeping on my bed and lots of travel. I hated it that I didn't have more energy to play with the girls on the beach (they both absolutely LOVED playing in the ocean), but that's what I get for not planning better (like I can plan my pregnancies anyway). It also killed me that I couldn't enjoy the seafood more. Because of the nausea I can only eat very small meals (it's almost like my stomach has shrunk even though I know it hasn't) and those usually don't taste very good. I only ate two seafood meals because I just couldn't handle the idea of seafood any more than that.

So many people around me are announcing their pregnancies (due around the same time I am) and it's soooo hard to talk with them about their pregnancies without telling them I'm pregnant too! In fact today at church I was talking to the youth minister's wife. She just announced last week that they're expecting their third in early Feb. I asked her due date and she's due 4 days after me. She was saying that they didn't really plan this one - they'd talked about it then she found out she's pg. I said that's the best way to do it but I really wanted to add that that's exactly how DH and I found out we're expecting OUR third and that we're due on almost the same day. It was so hard. Then her MIL who was there too said "Congratulations to you too!" I about died! How did she know??? I was speechless and J said, "Oh, no she was just congratulating me. She's not pg!" Saved by my inability to talk! But after the congratulations it made me want to tell even worse. Oh, well, we may not make it to September for announcing to friends either. We may just announce in early August after we tell parents. I can't help it - I want to get all the congratulations ad have all the pregnancy conversations too. Sorry this is so long. Had a lot of catching up to do after being gone a week.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

9 weeks 5 days The excitement never ends. We adopted a new kitten and picked him up today. This afternoon we took him to the vet for shots and discovered he has ringworm so now the girls and I have all been exposed to ringworm - yuck!! From what I've read it won't hurt the baby but I'm really, really hoping that none of us develop it since it seems to be a pain to get rid of.

By way of symptoms I'm beginning to get mild heartburn, especially if I eat peanuts or acidic foods like lemons. I love lemonade but I'll be avoiding it like the plague for the next 28 or so weeks. My nausea seems to come and go in waves. Some days I'll not notice it very much then other days (most days) it starts out mild and becomes so bad by evening that I can barely choke down a little supper. I've grown about an inch around my tummy in the past two weeks. I'm trying to measure my tummy every week or so to see when and how quickly I grow. I can hardly wait til my next appointment - only 2 weeks and 3 days to go! It's amazing how time can pass so quickly and at the same time creep by. I can't believe I'm a quarter of the way through this pregnancy - more than that if my past two pregnancies are any indication.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

10 weeks 3 days - I can't believe I'm closing in on the end of the first trimester! No sign yet of ringworm on any of the family. Maybe we will avoid it. My symptoms really haven't changed yet. I'm still nauseous but maybe not quite as much as a few weeks ago. I'm still exhausted, my bb's are still occasionally tender (still not growing in that department like I did last time), and my clothes are tight but I haven't grown out of my "big" clothes yet. I can hardly wait to really fit in maternity clothes. I borrowed some summer stuff from a friend the other day and tried them on. I actually fit in lots of them but I don't look pregnant in the really. I just haven't got enough tummy to fill out the panels. I did buy myself a pair of carpris at Target that are designed for the first/second trimesters. They are really stretchy but don't look like maternity pants so I can wear them and be comfortable without anyone knowing I'm wearing maternity clothes.

I'm getting so excited about telling everyone I'm pregnant. Only 2 weeks to go! I had my first pregnancy dream a few days ago. I dreamt I was at the hospital and had a baby girl that looked EXACTLY like my first daughter(who looks like DH). In the dream I told DH that now we had to have a fourth baby so we'd have two matched sets (I needed another that looked like my second daughter who looks like me). I planned on breastfeeding but I never breastfed her in the hospital. Instead I left the hospital a few hours after she was born and the next day I decided she might be hungry so I nursed her then. The weirdest part was that we were all at a park with a river and we were all playing in the river, so I just nursed her while standing in the river! I guess we'll have to wait 7 more months to see if my first dream is accurate in predicting the baby is a girl. My oldest DD keeps talking about her brother and she doesn't even know I'm pregnant. She only started doing that a few days after I found out I was pregnant. All of a sudden she's singing songs about her brother and talking about her brother! I guess one of us has to be right about the gender, though!

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

I can't believe how long it's been since I posted last! I'm 11 weeks 5 days today and I finally got to hear this little one's heartbeat! I'm in love!!! It finally seems real to me that we're going to have ANOTHER baby. I changed my appointment from Thurs. to today since we decided to go to TN a few days early. We're leaving Wed and this way I'll have some time to visit with my parents before the reunion on Sat. I gained one pound. I looked and I'm at the exact same weight and weight gain that I was at last pg'y. The heart rate was in the high 180's. I think the official number the np recorded was 188. It got as high as 192. I can't help but think that means another girl even though it's still waaay too early to use the heart rate as an indicator of gender. Both my girls had very high heart rates at 12 weeks, but then again I've never been pregnant with a boy, so maybe he would have a high hr at this point too? Dr. G still doesn't know when or even if he's going to the Middle East, but he is on alert. Nothing to worry about there until he gets his orders I guess. His partner is very good too and one of my best friends sees his partner so if he's in the delivery room instead of Dr G that will be fine, too.

I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but my dad had rotator cuff surgery a couple of weeks ago and he's been so anxious to see his grandkids. I've kept them away since he needed time to let his arm heal, but it looks like it's going to be at least two more weeks before they remove the brace that keeps him arm completely immobile and I know I can't wait that long to tell everyone. I just hope my little one isn't too upset that her "Pooh" can't play with her like he normally does. My 4 yo will understand even tho' she won't like it.

I made it through my last Sunday morning of not announcing at church, but somehow two more people found out I'm pregnant. I'm not really sure how much of a secret it is any more but we're still going to officially announce in two more weeks. I'm really looking forward to that and to this coming weekend when we tell all our family and relatives. I probably won't update my journal again until we've "announced"

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

Okay, so I'm not so great at updating my journal. That's okay, it's still more than I did either of the previous two times! We did tell parents last week. The girls wore their matching "I'm the Big Sister" t-shirts last Sat. morning. My mom was on the phone when they entered the room, but Dad immediately saw them (especially Haley's) and started grinning. He didn't say anything, though until Mom caught sight of them. She was talking to my sister and said something like "Big sister, you're too little to be a big sister!" (kidding of course). They were both thrilled and absolutely couldn't believe we'd kept it a secret for almost 13 weeks. Mom had caught on to a few things (what I ate/didn't eat, what I was wearing - big shorts with elastic waists that I hadn't worn since right after Haley was born) so she somewhat suspected I was pg, but hadn't said anything. Toby's parents were a completely different story. They both read the shirts, but assumed we had mistakenly bought a big sister shirt instead of a little sister shirt for Haley, so they didn't say anything. Toby had to point out that it said (and MEANT) big sister before they realized the meaning behind the message! They were excited too, but had really thought we were finished having babies since we just bought a travel trailer (we're still not sure about the connection b/w buying a 6-person camper and not having any more kids...). Toby's parents were also surprised we were so far along, and I think they were somewhat in shock! Of course everyone congratulated us. When Toby's parents went to Sunday night dinner they announced they were going to be grandparents again. Their friends' response was "She's not pg AGAIN!" They meant my sil who's two kids are 18 months apart. Patti's response was, "No SHE'S finished, Gina is pg again!" I really thought this was funny since my sil lives there and will probably start getting questions about when she's due from people who missed the fact that it's me and not her who's pg.

All in all it was a really exciting weekend. We also got to announce to all our old high school classmates at our 10 year reunion that we're expecting our third child. I'm pretty sure that of the girls who actually finished college I have the most kids. Not sure exactly what that implies

Lol ! There were 10 of us at the reuion who were pg, though! I was the least far along of anyone. Lots of them were expecting their first child, some their second. I guess we're all at the time in life when procreating is a popular thing!

Since this entry is so long I'll end it here and try to update more frequently in the future, if for no other reason than I want a written record of this pregnancy.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

I'm finally through the morning sickness!!!! For the last few days I've felt great and want to eat everything in sight!! The way I'm eating I'll shoot right past the 30 pounds I gained with each of my first two pregnancies :shock: . The nausea started getting better over the past week or two, but I've not had anything I'd term "nausea" in at least a few days, so I'm declaring the second trimester here and the nausea a distant memory. I'm 14 weeks 2 days now and I'm also finally starting to need maternity clothes (YEAH!!). I do have one or two stretchy, elastic waisted pairs of shorts I can squeeze into, but maternity clothes feel much better so I'm transitioning into them. DH has to get all my maternity clothes out of the attic so I'll have something to wear. I borrowed some maternity shorts outfits from a friend so I do have clothes to wear, but I want to get all my stuff out and go through it, too. I just love wearing maternity clothes!

I don't remember if I wrote anything about it before, but we bought a camper a few weeks ago and we're going camping next weekend. At least this time I won't get nauseous from the campfire like I did at six weeks. I'm really looking forward to the trip and so is our oldest DD.

I still haven't gotten any closer to picking out a name for this little one. I said "I" because DH won't look through name books. I make a list of names I like then we go through the list together and discuss them to choose a name. I sometimes wish he would look too, but he says I wouldn't like any of his choices anyway, so this saves me from vetoing all his choices. Oh, well! Better finish this - DH and I are going to an IMAX movie tonight and I have to get ready. More later.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

15 weeks today! No way!! This pregnancy is flying by and before I know it the baby will be here and I won't be ready. For each of my children I've made a baby quilt. I always make the quilt while I'm pregnant, and I don't start it until after I know the baby is on the way. Well, by this point in each of my previous two pregnancies I was well into making the quilt but this pregnancy I just can't seem to find the time. By the time the girls are in bed I barely have enough energy to watch tv or read a book, let alone work on a quilt. Today, though, I finally started cutting out the material. The girls started Mother's Day Out today so now I can work on the baby's quilt in the daytime. Haley is only going 1 day a week, but one day is better than nothing. Maybe I'll be able to catch up on their scrapbooks, too! That's my other big goal before the baby gets here.

I don't remember if I've recorded it here yet, but I've finally felt the baby move! The first few times I wrote the feeling off as too faint to be sure, but now I'm fairly positive that what I've been feeling over the last week or so is the baby. I felt it while sitting at the computer the other day and not concentrating on trying to feel movement, so hopefully in another week or so the movements will become more consistent. I absolutely love feeling my baby move! It's one of my favorite parts of pregnancy.

My next appointment is on Monday. I can't believe it's almost time to go to the doctor again. This time they'll draw blood for the triple screen test. I know lots of women opt out of this test, but I'd rather know now if something is wrong with my baby so I can prepare myself for the delivery. I'd never terminate a pregnancy just because my baby wasn't "perfect", but I also don't want to be surprised at delivery if there is any way for me to know about problems in advance.

In other news we're going rv'ing this weekend in our new (to us) camper. We're really looking forward to this trip, especially my oldest daughter Brenna. She can't wait to sleep in our "house-car". That's all the news I can think of at the moment, so I'll end this and go through the baby name book for a few minutes before B's bedtime.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

15 weeks 5 days - Appointment Day! Nothing really exciting happened at my appt - except for me in that I got to hear this little one's heartbeat again! It was 170 today, which is exactly like her/his big sisters' heartbeats. If I wasn't already used to these high heartrates I might think something was wrong, especially since I have a heart defect myself. My next appt. is Sept 18 - a little more than 4 weeks away since I wanted to schedule it during DD's preschool time. This way I won't have to find a babysitter. I did get the quad screen done again. I've had it done with each pregnancy since I'd rather be prepared than shocked in the delivery room. I know it only tests for a few things, but at least I can mark those off my list of potential problems to be concerned about.

Our camping trip was lots of fun, but it completely drained me of what little energy I had. Being pregnant and going camping are two activities that don't go well together for me, maybe b/c of my heart problem. All I know is that DH HAD to come home today so I could take a two hour uninterrupted nap this morning. If he hadn't done that I probably would have accidently fallen asleep with the kids by myself. My cardiologist appt. is in a few weeks and I'll talk to him then about potential problems during this pregnancy due to my VSD. I've never had problems before, but there's always a first time, especially since I've also never been pregnant while taking care of two preschoolers, either.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

This will be a short update since I'm exhausted (constant state these days), but I wanted to record that I've finally finished cutting out the material for the baby's quilt! Now if I can just start piecing it together I might have a chance at finishing it BEFORE the baby gets here. Miss B is really enjoying preschool this year and she also started AWANA at the same church where she attends preschool (our church doesn't offer it and I really like the program). Not much else is going on with the pregnancy. I've now got lots of heartburn, I'm feeling the baby move on a daily basis, and I feel like I can literally watch myself getting bigger every day this time. One other pregnancy symptom which I knew was coming but which I was hoping would wait until at least 20 weeks - I've started feeling pelvic floor pressure. I only had this at the end of my first pregnancy when the baby got big (last month or so). It started around 18-20 weeks last time and was incredibly uncomfortable for the last half of my pregnancy. Looks like this time is going to be no different - if anything I'll have to put up with it even longer. I sooo dread this part of being pregnant because there just isn't a comfortable way to sit/lay/stand. Pretty much constant misery. It's worth it when the baby gets here, though Wink .

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

Nothing much new to report. I'm still eating like a lumberjack and I'm so exhausted that I want to go to bed at 7 pm and I really have been getting in bed by 9 pm or so. I worked a little on the baby's quilt today. I'm going to have to make more time to work on it or I'll never get it finished. My breasts have really gotten SORE the last couple of weeks. They hardly hurt at all the first trimester but lately they've started making their presence known. Maybe I'll finally start growing more! By 8 weeks or so in my second pregnancy I was already huge but this time I've hardly grown any. I think I killed them by nursing! I'm still feeling the baby move but not as consistently as I'd like. I know that's coming in a few more weeks but I'd still like to feel the baby move several times an hour instead of several times a day. That's all for now.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

17 weeks 5 days - I can't believe how much I've grown in the past week or so!! I'm starting to really be able to tell that this is my third pregnancy because I wasn't nearly this big at this point with either of my previous pregnancies. I've also been having some Braxton Hicks contractions which is slightly earlier than last time but they aren't timeable so I'm not concerned. The pelvic floor pressure I've started having is bad some days and not noticeable at all on others. I know it will only get worse but for now it isn't too bad. I really think at this point that it's connected to how much I lift (eg, DD, groceries, etc.). Later it won't matter what I do it will just be plain miserable! So much to look forward to Wink

We were busy this past weekend. We visited our family in Tennessee and celebrated my mom's and DH's dad's birthdays. On the way back home DH and I discussed buying a second van so we'll have two vehicles that the whole family will fit in (currently our second vehicle is a small truck). I think we'll probably buy one in January/February. By then we'll have the money saved to pay cash for a good used one which is the only way we'll buy one since we don't borrow money. (We still have a house mortgage but we're working on getting rid of that as quickly as possible - hopefully within the next 7-8 years). Anyway, I'm very excited about the prospect of having two vehicles that we can all fit in!

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

19 weeks - tell me this pregnancy isn't going that quickly! I cannot believe this baby is almost officially half way cooked (in reality probably already half way!). My next appointment is in 8 more days and I'm so anxious for it to get here. I want to schedule my ultrasound - even if I'm not learning the gender. I want to know that my baby is healthy and growing the way s/he should. I'm still a little concerned that I don't feel the baby move more often. The movements I feel now are very definite. I can tell whether the baby is kicking or turning over and I'm pretty sure the head is down (I've felt too many movements extremely low in my pelvis just like last time when DD stayed in the "blastoff" position from about 18-20 weeks on). I think one reason I'm not noticing as much movement is that I stay so darn busy with the other two that I don't have time to take notice of the baby moving. I feel lots of movement at night when I lay down and relax, but almost no movement during the day while I'm up and active.

The girls are going to visit their grandparents this weekend, so I've got an entire weekend to scrapbook and work on the baby's quilt. I'm sooo excited about that, especially since the girls have taken turns being sick for the past week and a half with high fevers and upper respiratory infections.

Not much has changed in the way of symptoms. I'm still having heartburn (some days are worse than others) and the pelvic floor pain is slowly getting worse (noooo! it's too early!!!) My breasts, which weren't really tender at all during the first trimester, are so sore now that I can hardly stand to turn over in bed because the movement is so painful. At least now they're growing more and starting to look like "pregnant" breasts! That's about all for now.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

19 w 6 d - tomorrow marks the halfway point! I'm still not ready for the baby to be here, but I love thinking about him/her. I wonder who s/he looks like and what his/her personality will be. My first two children are so different from each other that I'm curious to see how this one will be the same or different from them. A few days ago I had my second pregnancy dream. This time I dreamt that I was in the hospital, had a very easy labor and delivery and the baby was a 9 pound, 22 inch girl with blond hair. She looked nothing like either of her sisters and since she was so big she didn't even look like a newborn to me. I sincerely hope this baby isn't so big - I'm ordering a 7 - 7 1/2 pound baby! I love having baby dreams, though.

The baby is finally making its presence known more throughout the day. For the past few days I've been noticing more and more kicks and movements during the day and tons more movement during the night. I don't know if it's b/c the baby is getting bigger or I'm just paying more attention - maybe a little of each.

The baby's quilt is starting to take shape. Just a little more work and it will be pieced and ready to quilt. I'm anxious to get it put together and start quilting. I love the quilting part! If I can find the time I'll finish piecing it this weekend. If not, the girls are visiting their grandparents again in 3 weeks or so, and I'll get it done then.

I'm so ready for my appointment Thursday. I don't know why they're so important to me. It's not like I'm going to learn anything about my pregnancy I don't already know - except what the baby's heart rate is at 20 weeks. Maybe Dr. G will also know whether he's going to the Middle East any time soon. I'm also ready for the weather to get cooler. I have a bare minimum of sleeveless and short sleeve shirts since I've never been pregnant in the summer and I need it to get cooler so I'll have a little variety in my wardrobe. Of course when it's 40 degrees outside I'll be longing for sunshine and 80 degree temps. You just can't please a pregnant woman! Until next time.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

Okay, so I'm not keeping this journal up like I planned to. It's so hard to find the time while raising two other children! I had my 20 week appointment last week and everything looks great. I gained 5 pounds over the last month, my bp was 80/50, and the baby's hr was 162. So far this pregnancy is going just like my last two as far as weight gain and baby's hr. My ultrasound is scheduled for Oct. 17 - I'll be 24 weeks. I'm very excited to finally see this little one even though I still don't want to know the gender. In addition to increasing pelvic floor pain I'm now also experiencing terrible lower back pain. This is my own fault since I RARELY bend at the knees when I'm picking something (often my daughter) up off the floor. I'm really trying to do better about bending at the knees instead of my back, but it's so much effort! I'm also wearing a maternity support belt which helps tremendously! I forgot to put it on today and this evening I'm miserable b/c of it. I'll certainly not forget tomorrow morning. I've not really worked any more on the baby's quilt, but I'll get to it in another week or so when the girls visit their grandparents again. I'm hoping to get it basted and ready to hand quilt. Then I'll be able to work on it a few minutes at a time as I have time. In other news I saw the Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus last night and they were awesome! After the concert I bought each of my kids (including the baby) a set of Ukrainian nesting dolls for Christmas. I'm really looking forward to giving them to the girls. No other realy baby news. Seems like everyone due around the same time as me is having a girl. I guess it fits that I'm most likely having a girl too. I still want it to be a surprise, though. DH doesn't think I'll have the willpower to wait until s/he is born to find out. I guess I'll just have to show him!

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

23 weeks 1 day - it seems I get worse about updating the farther along I get! Good news - the baby's quilt is completely pieced and I've started quilting it! I'm really excited about this since I was worried for awhile that I wouldn't get it finished. I'm fairly confident now that I have enough time to finish it. My goal is to complete it by 35 weeks. We are also getting closer to deciding on a girl's name. DH has been stuck on Victoria for several weeks now and wouldn't discuss any other name. I like Victoria but I'm not convinced it's the right name for this baby. For one thing it doesn't go with our other DD's names. He has recently agreed to add Caelan, Kyla, and Nichole to the list as well. One of these names will probably end up being our choice (unless I run across another name!). The middle name will most likely be Rhiann, Diann, or Leanne since I'm attempting to keep up a tradition of having "ann" in the middle name.

The pelvic floor pain I've been experiencing has recently gotten worse. I knew it would, but at this rate I'm going to be absolutely miserable by the time this baby gets here! The only thing that helps is my maternity supprt belt. If I didn't wear it all day every day my back pain and pelvic floor pain would have me bedridden. I wouldn't even be able to walk upright. I don't know why I have so many problems with this. Other moms of three or more haven't had the same level of problem with this. I guess this is just my particular problem in pregnancy. Other people have other issues. My heartburn is also getting harder to control, but I also expected that based on previous experience. I'm going to ask my dr about taking something stronger than Tums or Rolaids since they don't really seem to do anything to help it.

My ultrasound is scheduled in 8 days!! I can hardly wait to see this little one and verify that s/he looks healthy. For this ultrasound we've invited all the grandparents to come to the appt. with us. I know my parents are coming and DH's parents will if they can, so the ultrasound room will be crowded! None of the grandparents have ever been to any of our other ultrasounds, so this should be an interesting experience! Both our DD's will also be there. I hope the room is big!

I had another baby dream - or maybe I was partly awake and it was just something that was worrying me at the time. This time, though, I didn't realize I was in labor until I started feeling the urge to push - and I was in a restaurant waiting for a table. Someone called 911 and they made an announcement in the restaurant that we needed a medical professional who could deliver a baby. By the time one came forward and the paramedics arrived DH had already delivered the baby. I'm certainly glad my dreams have never actually predicted something that would happen to me!

My youngest DD needs me, so I'll end this for now.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

I just wanted to post a quick update before my ultrasound tomorrow morning. As of now I'm still determined not to find out this baby's gender. Actually, I'm looking forward to it being a surprise in the delivery room (even though I still think it's a girl). I'm praying that the ultrasound shows a healthy baby - that's the only important thing to me at this point. DH and I still haven't come up with a girl's name - our two front runners are Victoria and Nichole but I'm not sure that either one is exactly right. I just hope he can still discuss names after he knows the gender.

I hope I haven't gained too much weight at my appt. tomorrow. Normally I'm pretty indifferent to food but when I'm pregnant I LOVE to eat! Food just tastes so darn good! I'm a little afraid of stepping on the scale but I always gain lots of weight during this part of my pregnancies so I'm at least a little prepared.

I've got a cold/allergies right now and my nose is stuffy. I can't stand sleeping with a stuffy nose and my drug of choice (Afrin) is off limits while I'm pregnant so I guess I'll just hope the cold goes away soon. I will take Sudafed and hope that helps some. It usually helps at least a little.

I love dreaming about who this baby will look like. I expect him/her to look like DH since he has more dominant features than I do (dark hair, brown eyes, etc). But then, I was surprised with my second DD (a redhead like me) so we'll just wait and see. I keep thinking about those first minutes after s/he is born when I get to hold him/her for the first time. I wouldn't trade anything for those memories with my first two DDs and I know this birth will be just as special.

On the other hand I could do without the complete lack of energy and terrible mood swings of pregnancy. I enjoy being pregnant, but it's so hard sometimes to be pregnant with two young children to care for on a 24/7 basis. I especially hate it when I snap at the kids and I know it's because I'm pregnant. Things that I normally would take in stride sometimes just hit me the wrong way right now and sometimes my children see that. I don't mind so much when I snap at DH since he knows what's causing it, but the children don't understand that Mommy is tired or in a bad mood because she's pregnant and can't control her emotions. It was also much, much easier and more fun the first time around when I could concentrate on the baby I was carrying instead of completely forgetting I'm pregnant for large stretches of time like I do now. I just don't have time to worry about whether I'm hurting the myself or the baby when I lift my DD or heavy groceries or when I twist in unnatural ways to help my DD's. Occasionally I'll think "I never would have done this during my first pregnancy" when I'm doing something especially awkward or physically demanding, but overall I just don't even think about being pregnant or hurting the baby.

Enough rambling. I'll post an update after the weekend since we're going camping immediately after my ultrasound tomorrow.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

24 w 6 d - I've finally found a few minutes to update. My ultrasound went wonderfully! The baby is healthy, weighs about 1 1/2 pounds and is very active. Even though I thought I'd completely gotten used to the idea that I'm going to have another baby somehow seeing this little one on the ultrasound screen made it more real. I'm ready to be a mom of three on an even deeper level now and I'm so in love with this baby! And - best of all - it doesn't matter one bit that I don't know the gender. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to "bond" with the baby since I still don't know whether it's a boy or girl but the gender seems so completely irrelevant it amazes me. I'm very much looking forward to hearing the doctor announce "It's a _____!" in the delivery room. Of course DH found out the gender and I also let my mom find out since the suspense was killing her. At the beginning of the ultrasound I told Kathy I didn't want to know the gender, but throughout the ultrasound she never told me not to look at the screen so I assumed that she had completely avoided the genital area. At the end of the ultrasound DH asked her to go back and look so he could know the gender and she announced quite emphatically that she already knew. I think DH was a little surprised since I know he'd been watching to see anything familiar (of course both the girls looked the same on ultrasound and by the second DD we both knew what we were seeing when we saw it even before Kathy told us that DD #2 was a girl). I still very much feel like this baby is a girl, but not "knowing" is really exciting to me and it amazes me that Kathy was able to discover the gender without letting anyone else in the room know. But then she's been doing ultrasounds for as long as ultrasound has been a standard part of prenatal care so she's really good at it. My stomach is telling me it's lunch time, so I'll write more later.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

I WANT OFF THIS EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER!!!! Sorry for the caps, but I just had to scream that - it made me feel much better. For the past two weeks I've been "Hormone Hannah" as my mom says. I woke up in the middle of the night sobbing a few nights ago and even though I knew I was being ridiculous I still couldn't stop myself. I broke down again today and my 4 yo consoled me. I felt so bad crying in front of her, but I really couldn't stop. I know this is just part of being pregnant but it's one of my least favorite parts. Add to that a DH who is very busy at work with things he has to get done over the next few weeks and you have a recipe for a not-very-happy pregnant woman. I'm so incredibly blessed, though, so I guess I'll stop complaining!

The little one was breech at my ultrasound, but I think s/he is turning. I've felt a lot more movement in my lower left stomach near my pelvis, so I think the baby is situated diagonally with its head down there and feet in the upper right corner (I'm pretty sure it's the head that's low because the baby has been hiccupping and that's where the hiccups are)

If I can ever get a chance to talk to DH I'm going to try to pin him down on one or two favorite names. I have a short list which includes Victoria Diann, Johanna Nichole, Nichole Rhiann and a few others which I can't think of at the moment.

My BH contractions got pretty bad yesterday morning. I thought I was going to have to start timing them but then they slowed down again after a few hours. I've been having a few an hour and they've started getting harder but this happened last time too, so I'm not too concerned yet. I have a feeling that they'll get to the point again that I take Terbutaline to stop them. I just hope they don't get any more serious than that!

DH just came home so I'll sign off for now.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

I've been feeling so guilty for not updating my journal sooner. I just don't seem to have any computer time any more! There's been so much going on the past few weeks I hardly know where to start. A week and a half ago DD #2 developed another kidney infection and at the same time I caught a really nasty stomach virus. DD started running a high fever over the weekend (I thought at first it was a reaction to the flu vaccine she'd just had) so Monday morning DH took her to the doctor. This is her third UTI so they ran a VCUG and renal ultrasound - both came back normal. Sunday night I started throwing up but by Monday morning I'd stopped so I didn't have to go to the hospital. I couldn't eat for 4 more days, though, so although I didn't stay dehydrated I did lose weight. Luckily I had a few more days before my next appt. so overall I gained 3 pounds this month.

My 28 week appt. was on Monday and everything was normal. BP was 90/58 which I was relieved about. I don't remember if I wrote about it before, but one day a few weeks ago I started feeling very lightheaded and unable to think clearly. I also had a strange headache so DH checked my BP that night and it was 130/80 which is high for me. I'd been under some stress so I know that's what caused all the weird symptoms. I've been trying to watch my stress level, especially with the holidays coming up! Baby's hr was in the 150's to 160 and I measured 29 weeks. My next appt is Dec 1 - I'm so excited to finally be on 2 week appts.! My next appt is with Dr. L so I can ask him all my questions. I'm pretty sure he will be delivering this baby so I want to be as comfortable with him as possible.

I've been having the strangest (non-baby related) dreams for the past few weeks. They are very vivid and make no sense whatsoever and I seem to have them almost every night. For example, in one of them I was at a hair salon waiting to buy something and no one would wait on me. I got so furious! Usually when I have a dream like that it's because of something that happened to me recently, but I couldn't come up with any correlation b/w the dream and reality. Oh, well.

Lately I've had an almost constant pain in my upper right side. I think maybe the baby is kicking me there a lot. Either that or my muscles are so stretched out they are just constantly sore. At my last appt the baby was kind of head down, but in a diagonal direction. I hope s/he decides to get in the right position soon. DD #2 was head down from around 24 weeks and only occasionally moved from that position until she was too big to turn any more.

I got a flu shot today. I've been intending to get one for several weeks now but only today remembered to actually go get one. I should've done it Monday but my pregnant brain wasn't working well enough to remember to ask for it. I can't think of anything else to update at the moment so I'll end this for now and hopefully remember to write again in a few weeks. I can't believe the baby will (probably) be here in less than 2 months! Time is flying.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

Wow, I'm already 31 weeks! My appointment Monday went very well. I finally got to meet Dr. L. We had a fairly long discussion about my past history. He says that if I make it to 38 weeks (which I've never done) he will induce labor because of my past history of rapid labors. He will start checking my cervix around 35 weeks or sooner if I start having timeable contractions. I've been having some pretty decent contractions but so far they only come at most 3 or so an hour. The baby was breech at my appt., but s/he flip flops so much right now that that news didn't surprise me too much. All my babies have been active but this one wins the prize for turning somersaults! My first two got in the head down position by 24 weeks or so and stayed that way. Dr. L said there's still plenty of time for the baby to cooperate on positioning and if s/he doesn't he will do an external version at 36 weeks so I'm still not guaranteed a C-section even if the baby doesn't want to cooperate.

I've been having less heartburn than before which I'm very thankful for. I still get it but only if I eat certain foods. A few weeks ago I could just look at a carrot and get it! I have increasingly less energy, though, and I'm also getting less agile. I feel so awkward right now. My belly bumps into everything which makes it sore, I can barely get my dd into her carseat, and I can't carry dd or walk up a flight of stairs without getting incredibly out of breath. I start out in the morning with grand plans of what I will accomplish for the day and by 10 a.m. I'm so tired just looking at my to-do list wears me out! Don't get me wrong - growing a baby is certainly worth a few months of inconveniences, but I do miss having a normal amount of energy and agility.

The baby quilt is on hold for the moment. I took it to Tn over Thanksgiving to work on it and left it there. I've got to get busy or this little one won't have a quilt before s/he is born! While in TN I had a small shower attended by my aunts, cousins, and a few friends. They were so generous! I got lots of diapers and some really cute outfits. It was funny to see which gender each person was "voting" for. I got a few gender-neutral things, one person gave me an outfit for each gender, one gave a boy outfit, and two people bought only girl outfits! It's so much fun not really knowing the gender. I wish I'd waited last time, too. There's no way I would've been able to wait to find out the first time, though. The weird dreams have let up some, but I still get up 50 times a night to go to the bathroom. Of course, every time I get up I also drink water which could be part of my problem! I'm always so thirsty, though - oh, well.

I'll end this update and go pick up the girls from MDO.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

32 weeks - Wanted to add a quick update since I saw the dr. on Monday. I didn't have a scheduled appt., but on Monday morning I started feeling really bad with lots of intense pain in my lower abdomen (couldn't stand up straight). I called the dr's office and the nurse told me to come on in. They monitored the baby for 30 minutes or so and the only contraction I had during that time was BH. My bp was up (for me) at 120/62 but everything else looked normal. Finally the dr. checked me and discovered I was 1 cm dilated 30% effaced and the baby was at -2 station. At least s/he's head down now! Anyway, he thought for a few minutes then told me I needed to have 2 days of complete rest each week. I don't know what other option he was considering, but 2 days of rest doesn't sound too bad - at least not yet but then I haven't actually had a complete day of resting yet either! I've been trying to lay down every chance I get which isn't a lot with two preschoolers. He will check me again in one week to see if the resting is working. Basically, gravity is my enemy until I get to 36 weeks. I knew I was probably pushing myself a little too hard but since it's the Christmas season there's just no end to activities and errands!

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

I can't believe I forgot to update my last appointment. Oh, well I'll give a quick rundown of the last two appt's since I had another one yesterday. A week ago I saw Dr. L again. He didn't check my cervix since he didn't want to irritate it, but the baby was breech again. I was a bit frustrated at that but I expected it since I knew the baby had been doing flip flops all week. For the past two weeks I've been laying down so much I've lost all my energy. I feel so lethargic! My dad came for a visit a week ago Thursday and stayed through last Sunday to help with the kids so I could stay laying down more. It seems to have worked since at yesterday's appt. the NP checked my cervix and I'm 1-2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Not much progress, thank goodness. I had also lost a pound at my previous visit and had gained it back by yesterday's appt. I'm still 4-5 pounds under my final weight with each of my other pregnancies, but then I still have a few weeks to go! The NP reiterated that I should call immediately if I have 4 or more contractions in an hour and laying down doesn't slow them down. I just want to make it to January so this baby doesn't have to share his/her birthday with Christmas events.

One reason the NP checked me this appt. was because I started having contractions every 5-6 minutes last Wed. They started b/c I rode in the car too long. First I picked up DD's at preschool, then followed DH to drop his truck at the repair shop. I wasn't driving (my dad was), but just riding aggravated my uterus I suppose. When we started to the repair shop I started having intense back pain with mild PMS-like cramps. I watched the clock and they came exactly every 5-6 minutes. By the time I got back home I was concerned enough that I layed down to try to get them to stop. I also called the dr just to let him know about them and he confirmed that what I was doing was correct. It took all evening, but they finally slowed down to 1-2 an hour as long as I was laying down. Of course every time I stood up they started back again. I was concerned that they might have caused me to dilate more, so I'm thankful that I got good news yesterday at my appt. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to spend Christmas in the hospital.

My parents and sister will be back down Christmas Day and stay through the weekend. Christmas will be much more low-key this year - usually we're running all over the place to all the grandparents' houses eating turkey and opening presents. This year we will spend the day at home and eat Christmas dinner here. That's all for now.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

My appt. last Monday was pretty routine. The baby is still head down so I feel like s/he will probably stay that way now. Dr. L again didn't check my cervix, but I didn't expect him to since I hadn't had enough contractions close together to cause concern. At my appt. on Monday I plan on asking him to check again, though (even though I'll be two days shy of 36 weeks) since I have been having some significant contractions the past few days along with cramping and sharp shooting pains in my lower abdomen. I have now gained 27 pounds total this pregnancy. I'm two pounds less than I was when my last pregnancy ended, but I figure I'll gain a few more in the next week or two. DH is completely convinced that the baby will be here in another week give or take a day or two. I told him I want to wait for Dr. G to get back but he just laughs at me! I still think I have at least a small possibility of going to 38 weeks, but we'll see.

DD had her sibling class today at the hospital. She loved getting to see the LDR and postpartum rooms and the babies in the nursery. I think she'll be a lot more comfortable with me being in the hospital now that she's already taken a tour of it. Unusual circumstances (like me being in the hospital) tend to really bother her if she hasn't been prepared for them in advance.

I'm not ready for my pregnancy to end, but I am ready to not be so slow and tired all the time! You'd think I would remember how difficult these last few weeks of pregnancy are, but my amnesia seems to kick in with each new pregnancy! I'm also ready to meet my newest little one and start learning his/her personality. I keep fantasizing about who s/he will look like and act like. My first two are so different from each other and it will be fun to see how the third child fits into our family picture. I've also been dreaming a lot lately about how my labor will go. Will I go to the dr one day and be 5 cm again? Or will I suddenly go into labor in Walmart and not make it to the hospital? (I certainly hope not!) Or will I not dilate much more at all and be induced at 38 weeks? My main concern is that the baby arrive safely and at the hospital - not at home or in the car! I know that is extremely unlikely since they always keep a close eye on me once I reach 36 weeks, but it's still a concern in the back of my mind. I'm guessing, though, that in a few weeks I'll be able to stop wondering about labor/delivery and the baby and I'll have actual answers to all my questions. Can't wait til my appt. on Monday to see how close we're getting to meeting our newest family member!

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

Well, I'm 35w5d today and wanted to update on my appt. today. I really thought I'd still be 1-2 cm since I've still not had any major contractions, but I'm now 2-3 cm, 80% effaced and the baby is at -1 station which Dr. L says is quite unusual at this stage for a third pregnancy. Based on today's findings I got the impression that he expects me to have the baby sometime next week. He said he really wants me to make it to 37 weeks but that he also doesn't want me walking around 6 cm dilated either. My next appt is on Monday, then I start seeing him twice a week until I deliver. DH really thinks the dr will put me in the hospital after my appt. next Thurs. I think I'm still a little bit in shock that we are nearing the end of this pregnancy. I know that sounds crazy since I've had about 36 weeks to come to terms with the fact that I'm going to have another baby, but it still feels like it's catching me by surprise. I'm sure my feelings stem at least in part from the fact that this is my last pregnancy and I love being pregnant (even though I don't love every aspect of pregnancy - like heartburn, exhaustion, not being able to sleep on my stomach, mood swings, feeling like a beached whale, getting up 50 times a night to go to the bathroom, etc...).

Tomorrow the girls and I have a photo session at a local photographer. I love pregnancy photos and this is my last opportunity to have some decent ones taken. I had some made during my last pregnancy, but the photographer I chose ended up not doing a very good job, so this time I'm going to a photographer I've used before and whose work I'm familiar with. I'm very excited and I hope they turn out like I want.

I also wanted to write down my latest pregnancy dream. Night before last I dreamt that I had the baby and it was an 11 pound girl with a head completely full of very long dark brown hair. She refused to nurse and the doctors thought something was wrong with her but they didn't know what. I'm pretty sure that I won't be having an extra large baby, but I certainly hope that the baby doesn't refuse to nurse. That's twice now, too, that I've dreamed the baby is a brown haired girl. I'm getting a little anxious to see just who the baby does look like. A few people have commented that we need to have a blond baby this time so we'll have one with each hair color, but I would be surprised if that happened given DH's dark hair.

I guess that's enough for one entry. I'll try to update my journal before next Monday since I'm running out of time to make entries and I have lots more thoughts I want to record before the baby gets here.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

I took the girls to a photographer yesterday so I could get mother/daughter photos and pregnancy photos. The photographer I used takes digital pics so I got my proofs immediately and was so happy with several of them. Even at my most pregnant I never look terribly big, but he did a great job of photographing me in a way that you can tell I'm pregnant and not just overweight.

It's still hard for me to comprehend that I'm at the VERY end of my pregnancy. Even if I make it to 38 weeks, that's just two weeks away - and I seriously doubt I'll make it that far. Yesterday was my birthday so my mom kept the girls while DH and I went to a movie and out to eat. While in the movie I kept having very noticeable contractions and at one point I seriously considered telling DH we needed to leave so I could lay down and try to stop them. I decided not to do that since we hardly ever get a chance to go to a movie. Afterwards on our way to the restaurant DH and I discussed how close they were and he got frustrated since I didn't have on a watch and wasn't able to tell him exactly how far apart they were. I told him he should just buy me a stopwatch to keep in my purse since I can never remember to put on my watch! The ctx kept coming through dinner, but slowed down to about every 15-20 minutes. After that I wasn't as concerned about potentially giving birth on my birthday which is something I didn't want to do. I wanted this baby to have his/her own special day, and not have to share it with Mommy. Obviously we made it past that hurdle, so now we'll see how far from Christmas I can get before the baby comes. I want to have as much space as possible b/w Christmas and the baby's birthday so it won't seem like Christmas and his/her birthday are just one big event. I'm getting tired, so I'll write more later.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

My next appt is tomorrow afternoon. I'm so anxious for it to get here so I'll know whether these contractions I've been having are actually doing anything or not! Although the ctx haven't become any more regular they are noticeably stronger and a little more frequent at night - as close as 8-10 min apart. I know ctx typically pick up at night, so when they wake me up I just lay in bed and watch the clock for a while to make sure they aren't too close together. I really don't want to go into labor in the middle of the night if I can help it, but then I guess I don't necessarily have a vote in the matter!

It still seems surreal to me that sometime in the next week or two I'm going to meet my baby. I'm getting so excited about meeting him/her and finding out for sure if it's a boy or a girl (even though I'm still thinking girl). I'm also reminded hourly of exactly why I've been so anxious to see the end of my pregnancies in the past and of why it won't be such a bad thing to say goodbye to being pregnant this time too. I'm so uncomfortable no matter how I sit, stand or lay. I can't easily pick up DD and if I do she's likely to throw her weight around in a way that makes it hard not to drop her. I have no energy to clean my own house and that REALLY bothers me. I can't seem to concentrate on anything except the coming baby (not that that's a bad thing of itself, but it makes it hard to think or make decisions about mundane things like what to fix for supper). I can't even make a trip to Walmart without getting so worn out I need a nap - and that's going without the girls! Don't get me wrong - I have loved being pregnant and I'm so thankful for the entire pregnancy experience, but I also know that the baby has to come out sometime soon and in the grand scheme of things being pregnant a few days more or less isn't going to matter. I just hope I remember that when I'm on my postpartum hormone roller coaster!

DH still won't discuss names any more until we've had the baby. Our final choices are:

Girl: Johanna Nichole, Nichole Suzanne, Victoria Anne, Victoria Suzanne
Boy: Wilson Reid, Wilson Craig, Wilson ???

He says the middle name isn't that important to him anyway since no one will use it unless we choose a really bad first name. In other words, he's letting me choose the middle name unless I come up with one he really dislikes. And since I haven't completely settled on a middle name for a boy, I'm leaving my options open. Maybe I'll take a baby name book with me to the hospital. He has admitted that of our three girl names, he prefers Nichole over the other two, but we'll see what happens after the baby is born.

I forgot to mention earlier that the baby's quilt is finally finished!!! I finished it at 35 + weeks so I even made my goal of finishing before 36 weeks.

I'll end this entry since my back is hurting and I can't stand sitting at the computer much longer! I'll try to update after my appt tomorrow.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

36w5d. Well, here's the brief version of my appt: 3-4 cm, (still)80% effaced, 0 station. Now for the "War and Peace" version:

I asked the dr. how much more I'd have to progress before we could schedule an induction and he informed me that if I were a week farther along he would've induced me tomorrow morning. WHAT??!!! Okay, I understand that we want to give the baby every opportunity to grow and mature before s/he is born, but is it really safe for me to risk having a baby in the car on the way to the hospital just because I'm not quite 38 weeks? He also said I've reached the edge of his comfort zone to be walking around this dilated and effaced given my previous history of dilation w/o regular contractions and precipitous labor/delivery. Well let me tell you, HE'S not the one who might have a baby in the middle of McDonalds (would you like fries with that?). Really though, I'm okay with waiting - just very nervous! I have another appt. on Thursday and if I've progressed any more we will most likely have the baby this week. If I haven't progressed any more we will schedule an induction for early next week. Either way, as long as I can keep from going into labor we will be able to schedule our hospital admission in an orderly and non-panic stricken manner. If I do go into labor (which I've never done on my own) then I'll be one freaked-out mama-to-be until I arrive at the hospital Lol .

More later...

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

I just wanted to post a quick update before my appt tomorrow morning. I was up half the night last night with contractions but they still wouldn't cooperate and develop into a recognizable pattern. By morning I was so frustrated since I got so little sleep! Every time I would drift off to sleep a contraction would wake me up. Then I'd lay there watching the clock to see if I would have another one in a reasonable amount of time. A few were as close as five minutes apart but they were very sporadic - anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes between contractions. I've had them randomly throughout the day today and several of them have been stronger than anything I've felt up to this point. They're still not painful, though, just uncomfortable. I'm really hoping for an induction date of Friday morning, but I'm afraid he's going to make me wait through the weekend and schedule something either Monday or Tuesday. I guess it all depends on whether these darn contractions have actually caused me to dilate any more (Please, oh please!). It's not that I mind waiting 4 or 5 more days before the baby is born, but if we can schedule it for Fri. my parents, DH's parents and my sister can all be here for the birth. It would just work out so nicely! On the other hand, it's very presumptuous of me to think I can schedule my baby's birth so easily - birth just doesn't work that way! At least it never has for me. We attempted to schedule our first DD's birth and my water broke the day before the induction! With our second DD I went for a regular checkup and was sent to the hospital b/c I was so far dilated (5 cm). So I really have no reason to think I can mark a date on the calendar this time either!

I'm so ready to meet this little one. I've been taking a family poll and everyone agrees that this baby will have dark hair like DH and DD #1. I'm so anxious to see him/her for myself, though. I can't wait to nurse the baby. Just remembering how I enjoyed nursing my last child makes me anxious to share the same bond with this one. I don't look forward to the sleep deprivation and having to learn to balance my time b/w 3 young children, but it has to happen sometime and I think I'm as ready as I'll ever be to get through those first difficult weeks. I guess I should try to get some sleep so I'll be prepared for my appt. tomorrow morning. I'll update as soon as I get a chance.

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

37w1d - Well, this is it! I'm being induced tomorrow morning! We're supposed to be at the hospital at 6am and the dr will break my water around 7am. So by tomorrow afternoon I'll hopefully be holding my newest little one in my arms! I am so incredibly excited but at the same time I'm so incredibly nervous. I've never had this much time to prepare for my baby's imminent birth. Yeah I've always had nine months but it just isn't the same knowing your baby will come soon and knowing s/he will come TOMORROW. This way is so much better as far as preparing for childcare, giving our out-of-town parents time to get here in an orderly fashion and not worrying about whether I'll make it to the hospital in time. But it still feels so strange counting down the hours til the induction. I know I'll not sleep very well tonight, but then I haven't slept well for a while now so that won't be very different. I just can't believe this is the last night I'll (probably) ever spend pregnant. I knew I couldn't keep this baby inside forever - and who would want to be perpetually pregnant! - but it's a life crossroads that I couldn't ever be completely prepared for. As I think more about it, though, I'm so very thankful that I know these are the last hours I'll spend pregnant rather than going into labor without warning and not being able to prepare emotionally and mentally for what's coming tomorrow.

At my appt today I was a solid 4 cm, still 80% and back to -1 station (the dr said he must have caught the baby b/w contractions). After my exam the dr explained that we had two options: 1) induce tomorrow morning and have an extremely low risk that the baby's lungs might not be 100% developed which would be almost a non-problem since they couldn't be too underdeveloped at 37+ weeks or 2) wait until next week for induction and hope I don't go into labor because there's a very good chance I wouldn't make it to the hospital which could be a disaster given my GBS and heart condition. He then said that in his opinion the very slight (and not dangerous) risk concerning the baby's lung maturity was very preferable to the much higher and more dangerous risk of me going into labor before Monday so he recommended that we schedule an induction for tomorrow morning. I had already played out both these scenarios in my mind and come to the same conclusion - and I was prepared before my appt to argue for a Friday induction if he felt compelled to wait until Monday. Thankfully we never got to that discussion. I guess after a few decades of delivering babies he must know what he's doing without my input!

I'm so ready to hold this little one in my arms. I'm ready to find out for certain whether I'm having a boy or a girl. I'm ready to nurse again. And I'm as ready as I'll ever be to stop being pregnant. I'm just not ready for the hormones that will start raging tomorrow after the birth. But that will end in a few days - or a week or two at most - then I'll just be incredibly thankful to God for the gift of my three incredible pregnancies and three precious children.

I'll post my birth story as soon as I get a chance!

Joined: 05/04/03
Posts: 62

It's A BOY!! Wilson Reid made his debut at 9:41 a.m. January 16, 2004

7 lb 8 oz
20"

Here's the birth story...

We arrived at the hospital at 6 am for my induction. Lots of women had been admitted the night before so most of the rooms were full and we had to wait until 7 am (shift change) for a room. Finally my nurse Kristin came to the waitin room to take us to LDR 16. After answering all the admitting questions and getting my IV antibiotics started Dr. L came in at 7:30 to check my cervix and rupture my amniotic sac. I was already 5 cm and 90% effaced so I really don't think I would've made it all weekend. The nurse also started pitocin at about 7:30. About 8:15 I was 6 cm and my ctx were regular enough for the epidural. The anesthesiologist came and the epidural was in place around 8:45 or 9. Dr. L checked me again and I was 7-8 cm. When DH came back into the room he informed me that he'd just seen a friend in the hall whose wife was also currently in labor. Several people who knew we were both at the hospital were taking bets on who would deliver first (we both have pretty fast labors). When my nurse heard this she checked her computer and assured me that I would "win" since my friend wasn't as far along as I was. We laughed about the "race" for a few minutes, then Dr. L came back in and checked me - I was 10 cm, +2 to +3 station. He had asked me when he came into the room if I felt ready, but since this epidural was a little stronger than my last one I hadn't felt the intense pushing sensation that I did with my last DD - just a little bit of pressure. When I mentioned the pressure, though, the dr. took off his coat even before he checked me - I guess he realized that was a sign that I was ready. By the time they got everything in place it was around 9:30. We waited for the next ctx and by the end of it the baby's head was out. He was already crying and he wasn't even completely out yet. I didn't push any more (per instructions) and Dr. L guided the rest of the baby out. When the baby was fully born Dr. L. announced "It's a boy!" I was completely taken by surprise - so much that I don't even think it registered at first that he was talking about my son! I had waited for that "It's a ..." announcement for nine months and it was worth every second of it! Not because I had a boy, though. There was something incredible about hearing the announcement and not having to say, "yeah, that's what the ultrasound tech said it would be". I don't regret for a minute finding out the gender of my first two children before the delivery, but in a way I wish I had the same memory of finding out in the delivery room with them, too. It's special no matter when I found out, but I do love having this memory of finding out at Wilson's birth.

He wasn't breathing well at delivery and it was later discovered that he had a slightly elevated white blood count, so he spent a few days in NICU getting IV antibiotics while we waited for his blood culture results. That made nursing difficult since I wasn't allowed to nurse him for the first 24 hours - they felt it was too stressful on him to eat and breathe at the same time since his oxygen level dipped too low every time I tried to nurse him. The final diagnosis for all these "problems" was transitional stress. Evidently he came out so quickly that he didn't have time to be squeezed enough in the birth canal and that caused the breathing and other problems. So we had a few eventful days in the hospital ( I had to go down 3 floors from Mother/Baby to NICU every time I nursed him - not fun at 3 am when you're recovering from childbirth!) but now we're all home and doing great! I just can't believe he's really here!