Friday, December 19, 2008

38 Weeks

My 38 week appointment went well this week and we're counting down the days until we welcome sweet baby Matthew into the world - only a few more days! Since I have what they are calling gestational hypertension (a fancy way of saying I have elevated blood pressure), they won't let me deliver past 39 weeks since it could be harmful to the baby. So...they have scheduled to induce me on Tuesday, December 23!! We could have a Christmas baby!

My blood pressure has been lower and lower with each monitored visit (which is twice a week) and the baby is doing great (he's active, has a strong heartbeat and my fluid levels are right on target). We found out that I'm currently 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. Since I am already somewhat dilated, it should make being induced a little bit easier. I was very nervous about being induced at first, but I am actually feeling much better about it now since it will be a controlled environment and I have an idea of how things will progress. Of course, if baby Matthew decides to join us earlier that's okay too (as long as he's ready and is healthy!).

I am reminded daily that I have been blessed with such sweet and thoughtful friends and family. The notes and comments on my blog, Facebook and through email have truly touched my heart. Our faith is in the Lord and we know He will provide a stable and comfortable environment for us when Matthew is born. We could not have asked for a better situation with Ryan having limited duties at work right now while he waits for his training, and with the holidays approaching it means we will get to see family as they come visit to meet our new bundle of joy. We give God all the glory for orchestrating everything in such perfect timing!

2008 has been full of many changes and surprises for us -- finding out we were going to have a baby (that one topped the charts), Ryan being selected to become an Officer, moving to Texas, and dealing with two parents who have had to undergo treatment for cancer (my Mom with breast cancer and Ryan's Dad with prostate cancer). Thankfully, all of the above have had very positive outcomes and we praise God every day for His continuous blessings and mercy. Looking back, we can see how gracefully and wonderfully God has led us through this year and we will continue to seek His guidance as we enter 2009.

As Christmas approaches next week and we welcome our sweet baby boy, we also rejoice in remembering the true meaning of Christmas -- the birth of Jesus and the joy He brought to the world! I can't imagine how Mary and Joseph must have felt as they prepared to have a baby and had to ultimately find comfort in a barn. It makes me truly appreciate the hospital and all the doctors and nurses that have cared for us so far and the warm home we have created for Matthew to grow. Thank you, Jesus, for your love, forgiveness, and many sacrifices that have allowed us peace and comfort as we prepare for baby Matthew's arrival. Without the love of Christ, our world would be so empty.

Praying for each of you and your families this Christmas that you feel peace, love and the joy of the Lord in your heart!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Updates and some exciting news!

The last 6 days have been quite eventful for us. It all started last Wednesday, December 3 when we went for my 36 week OB appointment. I was a little nervous...I've gone from a private practice that was always so calm and relaxing to a crisp, large military hospital that is nowhere near calm with all the people milling around everywhere for everything. Not my idea of comfortable. Anyway, my appointment got underway and was going okay until they took my blood pressure -- 149/91 (not good and not normal for me). I'm usually pretty low (the 110/60 range) so they decided to wait and check it again before I left to see if it had gone back down. Unfortunately, it didn't help when the nurse told me that if it did not go down I was going to need to have some blood drawn, give a urine sample and go to Labor & Delivery to be hooked up to the fetal monitor. So, when they went to take my blood pressure again, it had gone up to 153/ much for calming down. The only good news we received was that the baby has finally turned head down, so we no longer have to worry about him being in the transverse position. He is ready for delivery!

I headed down to the Lab to have my blood drawn and to submit a urine sample and then went back up to the Labor & Delivery area. We waited for 2 hours to be seen and were finally taken back to a small room with a curtain pulled to separate me from another patient. They monitored my blood pressure for about 45 minutes (which finally leveled out around 125/77) and everything looked okay. My blood test and urine sample were normal, but the doctor wanted me to submit a 24 hour urine sample to be sure everything was okay and there weren't any signs of preeclampsia. The doctor told me to call or come in if I was seeing spots, having headaches that wouldn't go away with Tylenol or if I had any severe pains in my upper abdomen.

On Friday, we went back to the hospital to turn in my 24 hour sample and to fill out hospital paperwork so it didn't have to be done when we were there for the actual delivery. While we were filling out the forms, I started to see a funky spot in my vision, which kept growing larger and was something similar to what you might see if you looked through a kaleidoscope (a prism of colors). It scared me so Ryan calmly took me up to Labor & Delivery where we checked in to be monitored again. My blood pressure was elevated (how could it not be -- I was terrified) but it slowly went back down and the baby was doing fine. He even got the hiccups while I was hooked up to the monitor, which lightened the mood. I was having some mild contractions so it was neat to have the doctor confirm that's what they were when he looked at the test results. Again, everything looked fine but the doctor told me that I would now have to come in twice a week to have my blood pressure monitored until I deliver. We left the hospital feeling okay and thinking that maybe this was a little blessing from God -- since we had just moved here it would give us an opportunity to meet some of the nurses and doctors that would be delivering me. So far we have been impressed with the doctors who have been monitoring me, so that is a blessing.

On Sunday morning at 5:15am, I woke up to roll over and the prism light spot appeared again. It scared me so I woke Ryan up and we called Labor & Delivery to see what they wanted me to do. Since the spot wasn't coupled with any headaches or other symptoms, the nurse advised me to go back to sleep and call if it happened again. Thankfully, it didn't.

Today (Monday) we had our first scheduled blood pressure appointment at 1:15pm so we headed back to the hospital. They hooked me up to the monitors for about 30 minutes and again my blood pressure started out slightly elevated but eventually leveled out. When the nurse did an ultrasound the baby looked fine and my amniotic fluid levels were great so they let us head on home.

We go back again this Thursday and will go again Monday and Thursday of next week too. My last appointment for blood pressure monitoring will be on Monday, December 22. If I haven't gone into labor on my own by then (I'll be 39 weeks) they will induce me.

So...after all the looks like we'll be having a Christmas baby! Ryan and I packed our bags for the hospital this weekend so we're prepared for whatever God has in store for us. I'm praying baby Matthew will decide to join us on his own terms, but if not we're excited that he will be here sometime during the week of Christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

36 Weeks and Counting...

We're finally feeling a little more settled here in San Antonio, TX and we're finding our way around pretty well. The most important thing is that we know exactly how to get to the hospital and that it takes around 25-30 minutes! Baby Matthew is due in 4 weeks and we're getting very anxious and excited about his arrival! Naturally, I'm nervous about the delivery (and the pain that goes along with it) since we've had to transfer to a new hospital with new doctors so late in my pregnancy, but God knows what we need and I'm sure He will provide the proper care and support!

I'm still feeling pretty good but my poor feet have just recently decided that they have had enough and just plain hurt! I have been fortunate to not have any swelling...they just ache so I try to keep them propped up as much as possible. Other than that, sleeping has been challenging and I can't wait to be able to sleep on my back again! I have pillows everywhere and still seem to toss and turn quite frequently through the night (poor Ryan...). We both laugh at the fact that this is just God's way of preparing us for when Matthew wants to be up all night (which ironically is when he seems to be the most active right now).

We have a doctor's appointment tomorrow for my 36 week checkup so I'll be sure to post an update on my progress. I still can't believe he could be here in 4 short weeks! Hooray!!!