December 26, 2011

Small Steps, and Questions Answered

We reached 26 weeks on Dec. 23. We are at least 2/3s of the way there. I am still very nervous, very scared about how this will turn out. I still make no assumptions that are are definitely heading toward a happy ending, although I know the odds of that are good at this point.

But you will be happy to know I have started to make small, small steps toward preparation.

I have researched pediatricians and picked three to meet with. I have not called their offices yet to schedule appointments, but assuming we make it to 28 weeks (the day of our next appointment, Jan. 6), I will.

I have started to put together a list of things we need to do. It is still very short at this point, but I will continue to work on it.

We will be hanging out at R's parents' house on New Year's Day, so I told R that we should inventory our baby stuff while we are there that day.

And I have ordered a book, The Expe,ctant Pare.nts' Compa.nion, that promises to tell you what you do and don't really need for baby. I've read through a lot of it. At this point, all I can say is carriages, cradles, bassinets (I still don't get the difference between those last two), playpens, strollers vs. travel systems, ect. - I feel completely overwhelmed. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to chime in.
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About the doppler...Thank you to those who encouraged me to get it. It has been a sanity-saver. I did some searching online and found wav files with the sound of a baby's heartbeat on doppler vs. the cord vs. the placenta, so now I can identify all three. What would we do without the internet?

I try not to use it every day, but if I get nervous, I bring it out.

I've been feeling more movement, so that helps. The other night, while I was icing for the Lo.venox injection, I noticed that a spot on my belly moved. I kept watching, and it happened again. I texted R to come quick, but then there were 4 or 5 jabs in a row and it was really funny to see my belly looking like there was popcorn popping inside of it trying to get out, so I started laughing, and that was the end of any movement.

So R still hasn't seen it yet, but hopefully he will soon. I think I'm starting to feel some rolling types of movements now instead of just individual jabs here and there.
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Picking a date, inductions, and such...The doctor didn't push us to set a date at our appointment on Dec. 23. Unlike the nurse practitioner, she said as long as we pick one by 30 or 32 weeks, it's fine.

The reason they like to pick dates so early is because it's exclusively a high-risk practice, a lot of their patients wind up being induced. They only deliver at one hospital, and it's a popular hospital for deliveries, so they like to get on the schedule early.

I don't yet know for sure if the plan in our case is induction, because I keep telling the peri that that's a conversation for another trimester. But since we're coming up on the end of the second trimester (the peri's office counts 28 weeks as the start of the third trimester), I won't be able to say that for much longer. :-)

But my guess is that it probably will be an induction, because my understanding is that I'll need to stop the Lov.enox a couple days before delivery to reduce the risk of hemorrhage. So we'll need to know when the delivery will be in order to time the stoppage.

Which brings us to the whole C-section versus vaginal delivery question.

I'm a little bit torn about this one. I'd been thinking C-section, because I want the doctor to be able to get Kiddo out as quickly as possible in case of an emergency. Since Kiddo has a 50/50 chance of inheriting R's Brug.ada Syndrome and since the irregular heart rhythm it causes (ventricular fibrillation) is fatal 90 percent of the time if the person isn't able to be shocked back into a normal rhythm within two minutes, I wouldn't want to wind up in a situation where Kiddo gets stuck in the birth canal, goes into v-fib, and they have to scramble to get him/her out (or worse, can't get him/her out) in time.

So, in all likelihood, that's probably the route we'll go. However, I have read online in the past week about how when a baby is born via C-section, its lungs aren't squeezed as tightly and therefore don't expel as much fluid, which can cause complications. And I hadn't even thought of the challenge of not being able to drive for at least a few weeks afterward while recovering.

Because of those things, we will have a conversation with the peri during one of the next couple of appointments about which approach she thinks is the best one in our particular case. If she thinks it's a vaginal delivery, then that's what we'll try for - I just want to do whatever will be best for Kiddo given our particular circumstances.

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MC - I'm so sorry your beta dropped after your BFP. I know how devastating it is to have hope rise (even if it's just a little bit) and then come crashing back down again, and it's especially hard this time of year. But it sounds like you're regrouping, and I hope your next attempt results in a much happier outcome.


Kate said...

Yay for 26+ weeks! If you're anything like me, you'll heave a huge sigh of relief at the 28 week mark.
I imagine it'll be a hard call on the best time for induction or C/S. They'll want you swapped to heparin shots from the lovenox so that it's safe to get an epidural or spinal 12 hours after the last shot. Or will they take you off the lovenox entirely and replace it with nothing? At any rate, they'll want to book you early enough that you're not likely to go into labour on your own before then, and late enough that the baby will be ready and that your cervix is ripe enough for induction. I will say that just because you choose induction (as far as I know) doesn't mean that you can't/won't go for a C/S instead if your cervix is unfavourable or you're not making enough progress. As good as a vaginal birth is for the baby, if you're going to spend the whole induction terrified of an arrhythmia (why would it be more likely then?), maybe the scheduled C/S will be the least stressful option for you. A scheduled C/S has a better recovery than one done after hours of labour, from what I hear.

Kate said...

Re baby stuff: You typically need a car seat before they'll discharge you from hospital. You'll need some diapers and onesies and sleepers. Zinc cream, vaseline. Soft towels and washcloths. Baby wash (we really like this Some baby socks if it's cold weather. Get a couple swaddling blankets (many love Aden&Anais) in case the baby likes being wrapped up tight. They come in handy in the summer for keeping sun out of the carriage. We got an Up.pababy Vis.ta stroller that had a bassinet that came with it, so we used that in our room the few times K didn't cosleep with us for the first 3-4 months. After that, we transferred her to our room. We love our monitor - I thought for sure I'd use the movement sensor pad, but never did in the end. Others swear by a video monitor, but I can't say we've ever really needed one. I think we also got a baby comb/brush/nailclipper set. You might want to eventually get some kind of a sling or carrier in case your baby really likes to cuddle and you need to get things done. Have a thermometer around, and we got infant's tylenol in case she ever got a fever. Depending if you're going to breastfeed or bottlefeed, you'll need stuff for that - bottles, nipples, drying rack, bottle brush. I bought a sterilizer, but since we only gave her breastmilk, that was a waste of money. My Fre.estyle pump was a godsend, as I really struggled with breastfeeding and had to pump to build/keep my supply. Lanolin was great for the sore nipples.
Oh yeah - be sure you've got what you need to photograph and video your wee one! TV shows/movies/books and internet were sorely needed while I spent my many hours on the couch breastfeeding and pumping.
I know some women swear by the portability and light weight of the snap'n'go that they use with the carseat. We just decided to get the fancy stroller and got an adaptor for the carseat we got to snap into. I think a lot depends on how much money you have to burn. We LOVE our stroller, but we live in a city and often walk to the grocery store, so it doesn't matter as much that it's heavier and bulkier, because we're not often popping it in and out of the car. The basket under it is huge and great when we go shopping. Eventually you'll feel ok enough to go to a stroller store to check things out and figure out what you are looking for. We wanted something that would grow with her (bassinet/carseat to stroller), that we could add a second seat to if we ever have another kid, that had huge sunshades and a big basket, steered well, and had an extendible handle because we're tall. You'll definitely want to keep baby in the car seat when moving from car to stroller for the first few months, because they sleep a lot and you don't want to wake them!
Really there aren't a ton of things you need off the bat. You won't need any toys right away, and you'll probably be given cute clothes by people. With all the pooping and sleeping the first month or two, we rarely dressed K in anything other than a zip-up sleeper.
Sorry for being so long-winded. Hope this helped a little!

Angie said...

Congrats on 26 weeks!!! And THANK YOU for all of your support and advice!

Reese said...

Hooray for 26 weeks! I am glad the doppler is working out so well for you and that you are making progress in being hopeful. I'm glad you talked about delivery here because I was confused. As far as the c-section/vaginal birth debate--you are the only one who can decide what is right for you and your Kiddo. I know you and I have discussed our "birth plans" before so I will just tell you that I chose a c-section when my Kiddo was born because I felt that my anxiety and fear might get in the way. I didn't want to labor for hours in complete terror that something would go wrong. A few years later though....I do kind of wish I had tried a VBAC, but I still think I would make the same choices all over again. As far as baby gear goes....I tend to feel like all the baby books make it sound like you will NEVER get to go to a store again after you have a baby. Like you just have to have everything ready before the baby comes. I would just say, get the stuff you think you might need in the first few weeks, familiarize your husband with the baby section of a local store and send him for the extra stuff you need. You won't be locked up in the house for forever.

Libby said...

Yay for 2/3 of the way there! Sorry, can't help you out with all questions baby related, but know I'm still rooting for you! Happy New Year!