Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas traditions and other plans

Tonight we're going to 5pm mass. We usually go to mass on Christmas morning after opening gifts and having a big breakfast. But we thought we might want to stay in tomorrow so we've decided to brave 5pm mass with the girls. That is usually a crazy time of day for them (what time of day isn't, really?) so it'll definitely be interesting.

After mass, we're celebrating with my family at my aunt's home. We do this every year--it's been a tradition for a long time. We'll have dinner and open all of our gifts. Every year, a mysterious Santa shows up at the door while we're celebrating and brings candy canes for the kiddos. We don't know who he is, but he's been there every year around the same time. We think he's just a neighborhood guy (and the first year we didn't let him in because it was kind of creepy).

Tomorrow morning, the girls will wake up--hopefully past 8am--and we'll open our gifts. We always have a big breakfast and play with the girls' new stuff. My dad and grandma always come over to help the girls put together their new things and for a Christmas lunch. But this year, Dad and Grandma both have some kind of intestinal virus and we DON'T want them to share that gift! So that plan remains unconfirmed.

Next week, we'll head to Cleveland to celebrate with Andy's family. Andy's brother comes in with his wife and 4 kiddos and with Andy's parents and other brother, we make thirteen people in one house. That's a lot of personalities to gel for several days. Every year we stay for 5 days and every year when we leave, we remark about 5 days being too long for a visit. So this year, we're going to make it only 4 days and see if we leave a happier families with fewer homicidal tendencies. :)

In addition to all the Christmas plans, I saw both of my doctors yesterday. We made a plan for delivery. Because I take Heparin, we needed to make a plan for when I'd stop doing those injections. I have a "propensity to bleed" after deliveries--with both deliveries, I've needed additional medical intervention to help control bleeding. Heparin is a blood thinner so the likelihood that I'll bleed with this one is even greater because of thinner blood. So I'm stopping the Heparin next Friday--at 32 weeks. We have scheduled an amniocentesis for February 2nd and providing that those results are favorable, we have scheduled Baby's birthday for February 4th (36w5d). This is two days' gestation prior to Charlotte's delivery and the doc is hoping to avoid another abruption. My next ultrasound (we had a quick one yesterday to check the placenta) is January 6th and that will be with an NST, too. I'll do those weekly after that until we deliver. I'm still ordered to "modified bed rest" but I find that hard to do. So I'm trying my best...

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby update

We had an ultrasound today to check baby's growth and to check the placenta. Baby looked great and is definitely getting bigger--2 lbs, 10 oz according to the scan. The tech told us when to look away so we didn't accidently see something (or nothing) in a specific gender-determining area. We asked about how many people don't find out the gender and she said sometimes it's as high as about 25% of their patients but it's usually less than that.

I'm about an inch away from bed rest but so far I've only been instruction to "take it very easy" until I see the cardiologist on Friday. My heart has been doing weird things that landed me in the ER last week after fainting several times in public. But hopefully we'll figure out a plan on Friday that doesn't include bed rest. My OB thinks that it's probably BECAUSE of the meds that I'm feeling this way (beyond exhausted, heart palpitations, extreme dry mouth, dizziness, ears ringing, etc) but because of my poor response to beta blockers, we really have no other medication options to control the gestational hypertension. So if I go off the meds, I will have to be on strict bed rest.

He did instruct me to stop taking the one med--and it's the one that I think is causing most of my symptoms--so hopefully that will help. But I think it's also the one doing the most work to control my blood pressure so I might be shooting myself in the foot. The last complication with that is my low iron levels. I can't take the iron supplements because they interfere with the absorption of the blood pressure med I'm now taking 3 times/day. So my iron levels are dropping, which doesn't help my exhaustion level, which is a side effect of the blood pressure med.

So I'm a complete wreck, but Baby is healthy (presumably--we'll know for sure after our visit with the pediatric cardiologist on Monday morning) and that's ALL that matters!

Here are the two latest photos:

Baby's profile

3/4D Image of Baby's face (No, there's not really a big hole in Baby's head)