Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pregnancy: 30 weeks!

Only 10 weeks left!!  YEAH!  Here's an update on what's going on with Hannah and me:

- The fine hair coating, called lanugo is starting to disappear
- Survival rate = 95%. Of those, 25% have serious complications.
- About 15.7 inches in length, weighing about 3 lb
- 1.5 pints of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but as she continues to grow, that will decrease
- Her eyesight is continuing to get better, but she’ll be born with only 20/400 vision – meaning she can only see objects a few inches from her face

- I've been really clumsy lately - don't let me hold anything valuable!
- A little more emotional on occassion, like crying while watching a random tv show ;-)
- My belly is the size of a watermelon
- I'm still dealing with fatigue and heartburn...yuck!
- Still feeling strong kicks from Hannah!  They can be especially painful when she kicks my ribs.
- Starting to go to the doctor every two weeks now! 
We have a very full house and are LOVING it!!  My mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, their two little boys, brother, sister-in-law, and their dog are all here!!  Lots of air mattresses and LOTS of fun! :)

I hope everyone had a MERRY CHRISTMAS and will have a Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pregnancy: 29 Weeks

Just 11 weeks (77 days) to go! Time has flown by! But it's sure to start slowing down now. :-)

Here's a little info on what's going on with Hannah and me! Enjoy!

- She’s growing eyelashes, adding fat, developing her brain and maybe even dreaming
- Her brain can control her body temperature
- Her eyes can move in her sockets
- She has grown 1/4 pound in the last week and now starts a rapid growth phase, putting on nearly 1/2 pound a week! Tripling in weight by the time she’s due! WOW!
- 15.2 inches long, weighing 2.5 pounds
- Amniotic fluid is reaching its peak, partly due to the fact that she is urinating up to 2 cups a day
- Survival rate = 90%. Of those surviving, 30% will have serious complications

- Heartburn, OH MY! It's horrible! Mostly happens at night, but sometimes during the day too. Doesn't seem to be much of a rhyme or reason to it. I can't seem to nail down what causes it.
- "Supine Hypotensive Syndrome”: a change of heart rate and feeling dizzy when laying flat on your back–affects some pregnant women. I’ve been noticing this lately. I can't lay on my back for very long anymore, which stinks because that is how I am often most comfortbale.
- Fatigue is setting in. I have good days and bad. Fatigue was never really a problem for me in the beginning, like it often is for other women, so I guess it's catching up with me now.
- Kicking is getting more intense. It's pretty fun to watch my stomach move in all sorts of weird ways. :-) What's not fun is when she decides to kick me in my ribs...ouch!
- Peeing all the time! Seriously, I could go every 10 minutes!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pregnancy Humor

Here are some fun jokes I found about pregnancy...thought I would share! :-)

Q: The more pregnant I get, the more often strangers smile at me. Why?
A: Because you're fatter than they are

Q: I’m two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college

Q: Does pregnancy affect a woman’s memory?
A: Most of the ladies I asked don’t remember

Q: My breasts, rear end & even my feet have grown. Is there anything that gets smaller during pregnancy?
A: Yes, your bladder

Q: What position should the baby be in during the ninth month of pregnancy?
A: Head down, pressing firmly on your bladder

Q: How do I know if my baby has dropped?
A: He/She will start crying. Be more careful!

Q: How long is the average woman in labor?
A: Whatever she says, divided by two

Q: Is there a reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word “alimony” is a concern for you

Q: I’m modest. Once I start to deliver, who will see me in that delicate position?
A: Authorized hospital personnel only — doctors, nurses, orderlies, photographers, florists, cleaning crews, journalists, etc.

Q: What does it mean when the baby’s head is crowning?
A: It means you feel as though not only a crown but the entire throne is trying to make it’s way out of you

Q: What does it mean when a baby is born with teeth?
A: It means that the baby’s mother may want to rethink her plans to nurse

Q: What's the difference between a 9 month pregnant woman and a super model?
A: Nothing, if the pregnant woman's husband knows what's good for him

Q: What is the best time to wean the baby from nursing?
A: When you see teeth marks

Q: My husband and I are very attractive. I'm sure our baby will be beautiful to be a model. Whom should I contact about this?
A: Your therapist

Q: What is the grasp reflex?
A: The reaction of new father’s when he sees new mother’s breasts

Q: Can a mother get pregnant while nursing?
A: Yes, but it’s much easier if she removes the baby from her breast and puts him to sleep first

Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to act normal?
A: Possibly when the kids are in college

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Au Naturel

When I tell someone that I am going to try to deliver our baby naturally, these are the responses I get....look at me with a crazy look and say things like, "Well, good luck" or "Ouch!" or "Sure..." Since I became pregnant I have said that I want to at least try to have our baby without medication, however, I have also always said that I am not going to try to be super woman. I know my limits and if things are unbearable, I am willing to get an epidural. So, in my searches for advice about natural labor and epidurals, I found some interesting information about epidurals....

What’s an epidural?

The anesthesiologist or anesthetist inserts a needle into the epidural space, which lies between the tough, outer membrane that covers the spinal cord and the next deeper membrane. A tiny tube or catheter is threaded through the needle. The needle is removed and the anesthesiologist or anesthetist injects an anesthetic similar to those used in dentistry or, in most hospitals today, a mixture of anesthetic and narcotic (narcotic epidural) into the catheter.
There are two options once the catheter is in:

1. The catheter is attached to a syringe driven by a pump that gradually delivers a continuous dose. This technique is the standard because it provides steady labor pain relief. (Continuous Infusion)
2. The anesthesiologist or anesthetist returns to inject more pain medication into the catheter when the dose wears off. (Intermittent top-ups)

There is also something called a "walking" or "light" epidural. This is when the anesthesiologist or anesthetist may inject narcotic only, a very low dose of anesthetic, or a combination of the two in an attempt to achieve complete mobility with good labor pain relief. These variations are intended to leave some sensation and ability to move the legs. However, many women with such epidurals never walk, even when encouraged to do so. It was hoped that these innovations would achieve equally good labor pain relief while reducing adverse effects, but many women still experience undesired effects.

What are the effects of epidural on pain?
In all but a few women, an epidural can abolish labor pain.

What is involved in having an epidural?
You will be asked to curl up on your side or sit up with your back arched outward. Your back will be washed with antiseptic and covered with a sterile drape. The anesthesiologist or anesthetist will numb the skin before inserting the needle. You must remain absolutely still while the needle is in your back. One or more tests (such as pulling back on the syringe to see if blood flows in) will be performed to make sure the needle is in the right place. A catheter will be threaded through the needle and taped to your back to keep it from moving.

As part of epidural management, you will definitely have:
- an IV (intravenous drip): you will be given about a quart of IV fluid before the epidural is administered
- continuous electronic fetal monitoring (EFM)
- frequent monitoring of blood pressure, usually with an automatic blood pressure cuff that periodically self-inflates and records the results.

You are more likely to require:
- IV Pitocin (oxytocin), a drug to make contractions stronger
- drugs to combat a drop in blood pressure
- a urinary catheter for inability to pass urine
- a vacuum extraction or, less likely these days, a forceps delivery
- Controversy exists over whether you are also more likely to have cesarean section.
- And because you are more likely to have a fever, your baby is more likely to have blood drawn to evaluate for infection and possible treatment with antibiotics.

What are the advantages of an epidural?
- An epidural is the only labor pain relief technique that can completely eliminate pain without narcotics (a plain epidural) doesn't affect consciousness.

What are the drawbacks of an epidural?
- requires the presence of an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist: this means an epidural may not be readily available when you want it
- involves delay in obtaining relief: even when the anesthesiologist or anesthetist is in the hospital and not busy elsewhere, it can take an hour from your request to the time when the procedure is done and the medication takes effect
- changes the experience of labor: it converts labor and birth from a normal life experience in which you are an active agent to one in which the equipment (IV, Pitocin pump, epidural pump, electronic fetal monitor, blood pressure cuff, etc.) is the center of attention
- may interfere with your ability to move about: it numbs much, if not all, sensation in the belly, genitals, and legs, and you may feel groggy if it contains narcotics; these effects can prevent you from activities that may help labor progress
- requires or increases the need for other procedures: see the list of procedures, above, that are routinely used or more likely to be used to monitor, prevent, or treat side effects; each of these may introduce its own possible adverse effects
- can cause episodes of low blood pressure: this is a problem because it reduces your baby's oxygen supply
- can cause itching: this is a common, but generally mild, side effect if narcotics are given
may interfere with the pushing phase of labor: you may have difficulty pushing your baby out, and this phase may be lengthened
- can lead to serious tears in your perineum: this is the tissue between your vaginal and anal openings (this is probably due to increased use of vacuum extraction or forceps)
- can cause adverse behavioral effects on the newborn
- can cause newborn jaundice
- can cause life-threatening complications (dangerously low blood pressure, respiratory or cardiac arrest, severe allergic reaction, convulsion): the odds may be as high as 1 in 4,000 to 1 in 3,000 cases.
- can cause maternal fever: the longer you have the epidural, the more likely you are to run a fever, which can have its own consequences: developing a fever appears to increase your likelihood of birth by cesarean section, vacuum extraction, or forceps - fever in the mother may be associated with more babies being born in poor condition and an increase in newborn seizures
because fever raises the possibility of infection, babies of mothers with fever are more likely to be evaluated for infection; this involves drawing blood, and may involve precautionary antibiotics through an IV (intravenous) line; mothers and babies may be separated during these procedures

**First-time mothers tend to have more difficulties with epidural side effects than women who have previously given birth.

Of course, I realize that millions of women have epidurals every day and everything goes that's why I'm not completely against getting one. This is just something I want to try. So, please don't tell me I'm crazy or tell me that I won't be able to do it! ;) Give the pregnant lady some support! haha I may change my mind the moment I go into labor, but that's my right! I've endured 2 years of infertility and 6 months (so far) of a tough pregnancy, so why not torture myself with a few hours of extreme pain? :-)

Pros and Cons

I have been doing a lot of thinking about our upcoming birth and starting to get really excited! But of course there are a few nagging fears that come along with parenthood.

- A new and precious life!
- Unconditional love for our child
- Family getting to meet her (especially grandparents and great-grandparents)
- Ready for the next step in our lives
- Raising a child in a Godly home
- Teaching her to dance, sing, read, write, ride a bike, kill bugs for mommy :), and love the Lord!
- Loving her!
- Seeing a combination of me and Brian in human form! Amazing!
- And SOOOO much more!!

- Free time becomes a thing of the past
- Dirty diapers
- A lot less sleep
- Less money

But just today, I read this and thought it was really good..... (

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140!! That doesn't even touch college tuition. And that is per child!

But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
- $8,896.66 a year
- $741.28 a month
- $171.08 a week
- $24.44 a day
- Just over $1 per hour!

Still, you might think that the best financial advice says don't have children if you want to be "rich"...but it is just the opposite.

What do you get for $160,140?
- Naming rights - First, Middle, and Last
- Glimpses of God everyday!
- Giggles under the covers every night
- More love than your heart can hold
- Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs
- Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies
- A hand to hold (usually sticky)
- A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sandcastles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain
- Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day

For $160,140 you never have to grow up!

You get to:
- Finger-paint
- Carve pumpkins
- Play hide-and-seek
- Catch lightening bugs
- Never stop believing in Santa Clause

You have an excuse to:
- Keep reading children's books
- Watch Saturday morning cartoons
- Rent Disney movies
- Wish on stars

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day

For a mere $24.44 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck!

You get to be a hero just for:
- Retrieving a Frisbee off the roof
- Taking the training wheels off the bike
- Removing a splinter
- Filling the kiddie pool
- Coaxing a wad of gum out of hair
- Coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream anyway

You get a front row seat to history to witness:
- The first step
- The first word
- The first bra
- The first date
- The first time behind the wheel

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're blessed enough, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match

You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost!

It's the best investment you'll ever make!

Any "cons" pale in comparison to the amazing blessing that our little Hannah will be!! We can't wait! :-)