Absolute Verification.

Remember that ambiguous gender-determining ultrasound?

Well, I am still convinced that the picture we were sent home with is just a nice shot of the umbilical cord.

I managed to convince everyone else of this too. Even my husband who was absolutely sure we were having a boy until I posted this.

With so much doubt surrounding the accuracy of that first ultrasound, I couldn’t wait until we could have another one done. I just had to know.

And I ended up having to wait eight whole weeks for it.

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Thanks to that hospital stay last week, we finally got a second look.

This time around, the ultrasound tech was amazing. She took a long time scanning the baby and went over everything on the screen with me. It was nice, considering most of them stay tight-lipped the whole time. She told me how the baby was lying and even went over measurements. The baby is measuring an entire week ahead (which will help if there is an early delivery) and the baby’s head is actually measuring two weeks ahead! Considering the way this kid has to exit, a bigger head is uh….yikes!

I asked her to check the baby’s sex again and she had no trouble finding a clear shot to print out for me.

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There is no more second guessing now. We are officially having our third boy.

We figured as much, so no real surprises here. Like I said before, the real good news is that he is measuring ahead because my cervix is still effacing. Even with the progesterone injections. The doctors are now checking my cervical length and running Fetal Fibronectin tests every two weeks.

But with the way things are going, it looks like steriod shots for the baby’s lungs are in the very near future.

Other interventions, like stronger anti-contraction medication and the dreaded switch from modified to complete bedrest are becoming pretty strong possibilities at this point too.

As much as it might suck, I am willing to do anything at this point just to get this little guy to stay put until after the new year.

Because I know there is no way he is going to wait until the middle of February.

Tales from the Labor and Delivery Triage

Things have been a little crazy lately.

Okay, maybe that is a bit of an understatement.

First things first, I took that horrendous three-hour glucose tolerance test.

I went into it thinking that my worst problem would be the boredom I would have to endure sitting around the waiting room in between blood draws.

I was wrong.

About ten minutes after I drank the glucose solution, I started to feel dizzy and nauseous. Really nauseous.

I told the phlebotomist that I felt like I needed to throw up.

She warned me that if I did, I would have to come back another day and do the whole test over again.

So I sucked it up and sat in the waiting room for another two and half hours watching HGTV and trying to hold in the upchuck.

Until I got out to the parking lot. Then I puked.

But at least I made it through all the blood draws first.

The test results came back two days later, and much to my surprise, I passed.

I had it the last time I was pregnant and my one hour test came back pretty high, so I figured I was doomed.

Especially since that 3 pound bag of Smarties I consumed during the week of Halloween couldn’t have helped any.

Even so, I don’t have gestational diabetes this time around. Hooray!

The good news was short lived though. Later that same night, I starting having cramps. And sharp contractions.

Much to my dismay, after several hours, I finally broke down and called the doctor.

Who sent me straight to Labor & Delivery at the hospital.

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I ended up staying overnight, hooked up on the monitors. The contractions made my doctor nervous, so they gave me an injection to calm things down.

It didn’t work so well, so they gave me another one an hour later.

That was followed up with an oral dose an hour after that.

They would have sent me home with a script for the oral medication but decided not to because the side effects were worse than the contractions. I ended up with an excruciating headache that made me dizzy and nauseous.

Guess who threw up right before being discharged?

Yep, that was me.

The doctor threw around the idea of keeping me another night, but I was exhausted and really wanted to get home to my own bed at that point.

I don’t sleep in hospitals.

The big goal now is to make it past New Year’s with this baby still in my belly. Hopefully the modified bed rest, progesterone injections and muscle relaxers will do the trick.

Born Too Soon.

Today is National Prematurity Awareness Day.

As the mother of a preemie with the very real possibility of having another premature birth in the near future, this day is especially significant for me.

Last year, Bronx was born five weeks early…and he wasn’t ready.

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You can click here to read his birth story. Or click here to watch his video.

Bloody Hell.

I broke into my stash for the first time in over a year tonight.

I didn’t want to, but I had to check the inventory.

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Because I am afraid I might have to start shooting up again very soon.

Shooting up insulin, that is.

I got a phone call from the doctor’s office on Friday letting me know that I failed my glucose screen with flying colors.

Not exactly a surprise.

I was so sure that I wouldn’t pass that I would have put money on it, but it turns out people aren’t exactly comfortable placing bets on the outcome of someone’s health.

Who knew?

When I was pregnant with Bronx, I failed the one-hour screen by such a huge margin that I was automatically diagnosed with gestational diabetes and sent directly to the diabetes management center.

This time, I failed it by quite a bit, but not enough to get to skip the three-hour glucose tolerance test.

In case your not familiar, this means that bright and early tomorrow morning I get to sit in my doctor’s office for three hours doing nothing but starving and getting my blood drawn repeatedly. (I have to fast for 12 hours before and all during the testing.)

This is not my idea of fun.

Even worse, my husband has to take off of work to stay home with the kids while all this is going down.

So in a very twisted way, tomorrow morning is going to be like a pretend vacation for me.

Not exactly what I have in mind when I think about trying to snag a little “me” time.

I guess I’ll take what I can get.

Especially since pretty soon the only foreseeable free time I will be getting will be spent with some old “friends” of mine.

DSCN2449Some old “friends” that I have not been missing. At all.

I’m pretty sure that I won’t be passing tomorrow’s test.

And if I don’t, there’s another risk factor for preterm birth.

As if I already didn’t have enough.

Decisions, Decisions.

It’s that time of the year yet again…

Time to pick out Christmas cards.

This is actually one of the few holiday things that I love to do. I am by no means a Grinch or anything, but there are some things about Christmas that make me more than a little Bah-Humbug.

Like Christmas music. Just the first few notes of a carol are enough to make me break out in hives.

And snow…which I know isn’t just exclusive to Christmas, but the sight of it makes me want to run away to a place where cold, white stuff falling from the sky is never in the forecast.

And elves totally give me the heebie jeebies. I actually think that one might have something to do with Will Ferrell.

But, I do love Christmas cards. Especially now that I have adorable children whose pictures I can plaster all over the front of them.

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Because seriously, who wouldn’t want these cuties popping up in their mailbox?

This year, I am using Shutterfly to design my Christmas cards. I have used them for a number of different photo projects in the past few years and their products are always amazing.

Their photo books are great, (I have made one for each of my boys) and I absolutely fell in love with the birth announcements I ordered from them when Bronx was born last year:

announcement blog copy

How beautiful is that?! I swear, they have to be the most gorgeous announcements I have ever seen!

They have tons of other photo products in addition to cards that are useful this time of year too, including holiday gift tags and photo gifts.

So now I have to face the dilemma of having to choose the perfect card design. I used last year’s Christmas photos just to get an idea of what the finished cards would look like and now I am torn between these two…

christmas 2010 card sample

christmas 2010 sample 2

I also kind of like this one, although the color scheme doesn’t really scream Christmas:

christmas 2010 sample 3

Which one do you think I should choose?

(**Thanks to Shutterfly, who will be providing me with 50 free cards for writing this post.  If you are a fellow blogger and want to get in on the action, click here to sign up).

Mean Old Ladies.

I’ve decided that if MTV wants to make me a decent offer, I will sign on to do the next season of Teen Mom.

Even though I am not a teenager. Not even close.

But I figure that if people want to keep treating me like I am, I might as well play one on TV.

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(Yeah MTV, Add me to the roster. I can do baby momma drama just as well as the rest of them.)

For the most part, I have learned to deal with the dirty looks and stupid remarks.

It doesn’t really shock me anymore.

That is, until I ran into the mean, old ladies at Wal-Mart last night.

Or maybe I should just say Mean Old Lady, since I only heard one of them talking, but since she was talking to her friend in what appeared to be a mutual conversation, I am declaring the other lady guilty by association.

And this particular woman takes the cake when it comes to all the not-so-nice comments that have been directed toward my “teen” mom self.

These mean, old ladies were sitting in a booth at the in-store restaurant and I had stopped in that section to get an Icee.

After getting the drink, I had to pass by their booth to get back to the shopping area. They had given me classic dirty looks when I had passed by them coming in, but, like I said before, I’m used to that.

What got my attention was hearing, “And then you have these fifteen year-olds who have no trouble at all getting pregnant.”

I guess she could have been talking in general, except for the fact that she was staring me down. Staring down at very pregnant, little, young-looking me with an infant in my shopping cart.

It’s times like these when I almost wish that I were a little bit more confrontational. Because I would have loved to have thrown a few snotty words right back at her.

Of course, I didn’t. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that my ability to avoid fighting like the plague is probably the only reason why I don’t have a criminal record.

It’s probably also the reason that if I really were a teenager, MTV still wouldn’t be interested in me.

An Addendum

I may have left a few teeny, tiny important details out of my last post.

For instance, how far along I am is kind of a big deal at this point, considering all this preterm labor concern.

26 weeks.

Past the point of viability, but still in very scary territory.

There are a million reasons why I need to keep this kid baking for another ten weeks at the very least, but most of them have to do with the fact that I really want nothing to do with a NICU that is almost an hour away.

I have already given birth to a premature infant, which is one of the reasons I am being monitored closely this time around.

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I’m terrified of having to spend the first moments of this new baby’s life watching him struggle to breathe. Terrified of seeing him with wires sticking out of him everywhere.

Terrified of not being able to hold my newborn son.

I would absolutely hate to have to endure that again. But despite all of that, we were actually lucky last time.

I couldn’t imagine how heartbreaking the situation would be if I delivered him now.

Or even a month from now.

We really need those ten extra weeks.

Latest from the OB office.

My second round of PIO injections went much better than the first time. Even though my husband said I jumped when the huge needle went into my booty, I have yet to feel any significant pain or discomfort.

All thanks to YouTube.

I found a video online of a lady giving herself the same injection in preparation for IVF, and after she took the needle out she rubbed the injection site to help spread out all the nasty oil.

That was the magic trick. I did it today after my injection and despite the weird look I got from the nurse and my husband, it worked.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the progesterone is really helping me any at this point. I had another ultrasound and my cervix is shortening. (FYI: The tech didn’t look at the baby even though I now have my husband doubting the last ultrasound, so he asked and I had to explain that she couldn’t see the baby while doing a transvaginal cervix check. The tech backed me up on that, so we are still without confirmation of the baby’s sex.)

All the cramps and sporadic contractions have been doing something and the progesterone may be slowing it down, but it isn’t stopping it.

I go back in tomorrow for a Fetal Fibronectin Test. If that comes back positive, then there could be lots more preterm intervention measures in my future.

I was pretty sure before, but now I am convinced.

This baby is coming early.

A Royal Pain in the Ass (Literally).

My last OB appointment was with Dr. Coyote Ugly.

And I finally lost the battle over progesterone injections.

I tried to think of all the valid arguments that I had come up with about why I wanted to avoid them, but when she started interrogating me about it on the exam table, my mind went completely blank.

All I could come up with was the fact that other people I know have warned me about how uncomfortable the injections are.

That’s a pretty lame excuse when the doctor thinks that you could very likely deliver by 28 weeks and end up with a very tiny baby in a neonatal intensive care unit.

I knew how stupid I sounded as soon as the words left my mouth.

In my defense, up until last week, I never considered the baby at risk for delivering so extremely early. I knew from the beginning I would never make it to 40 weeks, but I never dreamed that I might be giving birth to a micro preemie.

But there is an extremely high possibility that could happen.

I have been cramping…and contracting. Quite often. And sometimes in patterns.

So, I shut up before I could sputter out any more nonsense and I let the doctor write up the order for the weekly injections.

I had the first one this morning. In the butt.

Letting a nurse shove a huge needle in my backside is not as fun as it may sound, and she has to give the injection slowly so the oil mixture will distribute itself evenly. It is awful. And I haven’t been able to sit or really walk since. It has made my entire left side from the waist down ache.

Those things freaking hurt!

Doing this every week for the next few months is really going to suck, especially since there is no way to tell if the progesterone will keep me from going into labor or not.

No one knows why I went into spontaneous preterm labor with Bronx. And if it happens again, it might not have anything to do with my progesterone levels.

It’s a “try it out and hope that it works” kind of treatment.

Which is one of the reasons I wanted to hold off, but of course, I couldn’t think of that while sitting in the hot seat.

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