Saturday, September 25, 2010

Good news continues...

Yesterday's follow-up appointment with Dr. Schnarr was even better than expected! Ultrasound results were as follows:

- Baby is growing well; a little on the small side (30% percentile or so) but certainly nothing to be concerned about
- Amniotic fluid level is back up in normal range!
- Cervix is "holding its own", having only effaced an extra .05 cms from the previous week (basically nothing)

I mentioned a mild concern about leaking amniotic fluid (due to some watery discharge I'd had a couple times) but she checked me and confirmed this wasn't happening. Baby has a nice, big pool to swim in :)

In other news, we had our 3rd childbirth class on Wednesday night. This one was really helpful as it went over many different coping techniques / positions for active labour and transition. We ended the class with a video on natural childbirth which brought me to tears. It's very moving to think that WE will be greeting our own little one within several more weeks!!

On Thursday night, we met with Beth again to officially sign the contract designating her as our labour doula, and to work through our birth plan. She had a lot of great questions to guide us, some of which we had already considered thoroughly and knew our answers to, some of which we were still deciding on, and some of which we hadn't yet considered at all! We met for a full 3 hours and had a highly enjoyable time discussing many things pregnancy, birth and baby-related.

All in all, still taking it easy in the short term, relaxing with feet up whenever possible. However, starting to feel confident once more that we'll make it to full term (or very close, at least) and have the birth experience we've envisioned all along :) :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Good news today!

Had another biophysical profile / growth ultrasound and we were told we could head right home afterwards. Had the same ultrasound tech as last time so I knew it was fruitless to try prying for information, however the fact that we weren't sent directly over to our OB (or triage) meant that "no news is good news" and that things must be stable! We couldn't get a really good look at Baby as her head's still firmly down but we did get a pic of her spine, heh :)

All in all, the last week of taking 'er easy with lots of good food, fluids and plenty of sleep seemed to have helped out! Baby's been kickboxing like crazy and I feel pretty good. Just a little on the tired side (though that's probably due to lack of activity more than anything) and some heart burn overnight (note to self - avoid large glasses of lemonade just before bed time!) All in all, will continue to 'lax until Friday's appointment with Schnarr, at which point we'll go over her recommendations in terms of work, activity, etc. moving forward.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Current "Sitch"

So....this past Monday Chris and I headed in for a biophysical profile and growth ultrasound as a follow-up to the last OB appointment when I was measuring small. I didn't really think much of it as I was gaining weight and definitely getting bigger. However during the ultrasound, the technician didn't really say much and I couldn't see anything due to the angle of the screen. At one point during the intervaginal, she was really pushing and prodding at my belly as well, which was uncomfortable and disconcerting. Finally near the end, she confirmed that baby did indeed appear to be a girl (we wanted confirmation on this), but then she started asking me questions about whether I was feeling pelvic pressure, if I had to go to the bathroom, etc. I left to go pee & change, and when I came back I heard her on the phone and caught a few words including "shortened cervix". Hmm. I tried to ask her about it but she said she was "just the technician" and sent Chris and I right over to our OB.

Dr. Schnarr was out of town, so we met with her fill-in Pat (not sure whether she was a doctor, a nurse or what, but anyway) who gave us the low-down. The good news is that baby girl scored 8/8 which means *she* is currently doing well, however a couple other red flags turned up for Mom:

1) My amniotic fluid level is on the low side. It isn't at a dangerous level as there are adequate "pockets" of fluid for baby to breathe and move around in, but if it gets much lower it could cause stress for baby and possibly require induction of labour to get her out.

2) My cervix has shortened to about 2.5 cms (when it should be about 3-3.5 at this point). If it continues to shorten (and especially if it begins to dilate) I could go into pre-term labour.

Pat recommended that due to this, I take it very easy and that the doctor's order upon her return may be actual bed rest. She then sent us over to the hospital for a couple other tests/procedures:

1) A Celestone (steroid) shot - this can substantially help out baby's lungs if she is born early - especially before 34 weeks. I was told I'd need to come back in 24 hours for a follow-up shot.

2) A "fetal fibronectin" test - this can be an excellent predictor of pre-term delivery. A negative result indicates that there is a very low chance (5% or less) of going into spontaneous labour within about 2 weeks, whereas a positive test isn't as useful as it's inconclusive (about a 15-20% chance). Thankfully my test was negative so *chances are* baby will stay put for another couple weeks at least.

The Triage doctor (Potts) thought I could continue to work given I have a desk job and can work from home, however he suggested I confirm this with my OB.

During our 5-ish hours at the hospital, we also got the pleasure of listening to a woman in the early part of active labour pre-epidural. She was NOT having an easy time of it, vocalizing wildly and claiming that the pain was "a thousand million times worse" than her endometriosis. Noice. It was quite a vivid experience and made me question more than anything has previously whether I would actually be able to get through childbirth naturally as I'm hoping to do.

Following Monday afternoon's "adventure" we've had several more preggy-related happenings over the remainder of the week:

Monday night - Did some research on all the findings from the day - low amniotic fluid, shortened cevix, fetal fibronectin, celestone, etc. Found out that while Celestone / steroid shots are one of the most important and effective advances when it comes to the prognosis for pre-term babies, that there are some side effects and possible contraindications. For one thing, it can be very difficult to control diabetes (regular or gestational) while on the drug. Given I hadn't heard back on my follow-up glucose test, this was a concern so I decided I'd try to find out prior to getting the follow-up shot.

Tuesday - Spoke with Pat again at Schnarr's office. The results were in from my glucose tolerance test, and things looked fine. Whew - no gestational diabetes - one good result at least! Due to this, I felt OK to go in for the follow-up Celestone shot. That evening, we met with Beth Murch who was as wonderful in person as we imaged, so we decided to hire her as our labour doula.

Wednesday - 2nd prenatal class at the Childbirth Resource Room. Ever so appropriately, one of the topics was "pre-term labour". We filled our instructor and classmates in on our current situation.

Thursday - Appointment with Dr. Oliver, the other regular OB at Schnarr's office (she's still on vacation). She checked my cervix and said that it's definitely shorter/soft, and that baby's head was essentially "locked & loaded". She didn't give me a direct order (presumably because she's not my own OB) however her general demeanor and message was that I definitely should be taking it easy, and that Schnarr might be recommending full bed rest next week when she returns.

Following this, Chris and I decided to really buckle down, at least in the short term - no more physical exertion of any kind for me; off my feet and kicked back whenever possible. Chris rigged a little set up so I can work comfortably on my laptop in bed, and we moved my new glider into the living room so I can kick back and play video games :) In terms of work, still need to decide if, or to what extent, I'll be continuing forward since mental stress isn't really any better than physical. In terms of social activity, I suspect my aversion to the phone will diminish considerably :) Relationship-wise, Chris and I will be tested but I think this will just make us stronger. This is one of those times when it's so abundantly clear what a great person he is and I love him more every day :)

Long rambly entry, but that about sums things up. May write more about this later, or may not. Lots of other topics to tackle as well!

Pregnancy Timeline - Third Trimester

Here's where things get "interesting". Up until the end of the second trimester, no complaints or issues - pretty much a dream pregnancy! Over the past few weeks, though, I've discovered that not all is 100%. That said, still feeling good & optimistic overall, and baby girl's been SUPER active recently and getting stronger every day. Feels like we have a li'l body builder in there!

August 26, 2010 (29 weeks) - Appointment with Dr. Schnarr. Weight: 139 pounds (gained 19). Discovered that a) iron still low - need to be better with supplements; b) glucose levels from initial tolerance test came out high (9.7 when "normal" threshold is 7.5) and c) fundal height measured small - about 25 cms when it "should" be around 29. Due to b), got a requisition for a more involved glucose tolerance test and due to c), was booked in for a biophysical profile and growth ultrasound to make sure baby's growth and environment are OK.

August 27, 2010 (29 weeks) - Bought baby's crib! A Concord Tami convertible model from the Baby Depot.

September 3, 2010 (30 weeks) - Finished the registry and researched cloth diapering. Checked out the Extraordinary Baby Shoppe (downtown Waterloo) to peruse and learn more about cloth diapering options and brands.

September 4, 2010 (30 weeks) - Researched doulas and found Beth Murch; felt very positive reading through her information & testimonials so contacted her to arrange for an initial meeting.

Sept 6, 2010 (30 1/2 weeks) - Follow-up glucose tolerance test. Fun stuff - had to give blood 3x, drink that nasty McDonald's-esque orange pop again and wait around for TWO hours. In the evening, finally got around to posting some belly pics on FB :)

Sept 8, 2010 (31 weeks) - First prenatal class at the Childbirth Resource Room.

Sept 13, 2010 (31 1/2 weeks) - Biophysical profile & growth ultrasound. This sparked a turning point in our pregnancy which could possibly see the upcoming weeks unfold quite differently than imaged. As such, I'll write about this in a separate post.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pregnancy Timeline - Second Trimester

Woke up in the middle of the night sweating and with indigestion (more in an upcoming post), which made it hard to get back to sleep, so I decided to "make the most of it" and come do another entry. Hopefully I'll be tired again in another 20 minutes or so...


May 27th, 2010 (16 weeks) - Official announcement at work!

May 28th, 2010 (16 weeks) - Bought "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" and began to read the birth stories. Starting to "warm up" to the idea of a natural delivery.

June 2, 1010 (17 weeks) - Appointment with Dr. Sandhu. No weight gain or movements yet, which worried me but Dr. ensured me things appeared to be growing fine and there was nothing to worry about at this point. That said, she offered two ultrasound sheets - one for the standard 20 weeks and another to go sooner and relieve my anxiety if helpful. (We ended up declining the earlier one - not worth it for the additional exposure to baby - but booked the regular ultrasound for June 21st)

June 4, 2010 (17 weeks) - Thought I felt first movements? Felt like a muscle twitch!

June 12-16, 2010 (18-19 weeks) - Felt tightening sensations in my lower middle abdomen for three days straight. Called Dr. who had me do urine test (negative); on the third day sent me go to emerg. Here the Dr did some bloodwork, tested my cervix for dilation (that was fun) and tried to find the heartbeat on the Doppler but no success (apparently she was using an old, crappy unit which was intermittently successful at best) though she did at least detect some movements which was reassuring! She didn't think anything was wrong (either early Braxton Hicks or simply "growing pains" down yonder) and thought we should keep our June 21st ultrasound rather than trying to book something in earlier.

June 17, 2010 (19 weeks) - Chris and I *both* felt a very pronounced kick! Chris said it felt like an "alien baby foot". It was exciting to not only feel a decisive movement but share it with the hubs! :D

June 21, 2010 (19 1/2 weeks) - Second ultrasound! So exciting to see Baby moving around and marvel at all the little bodily structures and organs - spine, bladder, stomach and the healthy little heart! S/he cooperated for the measurements but was also playful and energetic. Signature move was putting her little hand up behind her head, and there were more than a couple yawns! HB was 153 bpm. Placenta is in a good spot. We got lots of great pics including the following:

Just chillin'

Doing some sort of super-shrimp-baby kicky move!

Nice non-freaky shot of the head!

We did want to find out the gender during this appointment but apparently the particular place we went (Erb & Fischer Hallman, for locals) has a policy of not revealing this info during the procedure directly. Poop! Another 3-4 days of waiting until next Dr appt(s)....sigh!

June 24, 2010 (20 weeks) - Final visit with Dr. Sandhu. She is over 6 months pregnant too - didn't even pick up on this during the last appointment! This was a quick visit - fundal height was 19 centimeters and no concerns. Everything looking great! No ultrasound results, though she figured these were sent to my OB (who we'd be seeing the next day). Later that night, booked prenatal classes at the Childbirth Resource Room.

June 25, 2010 (20 weeks) - First visit with our OB, Dr. Schnarr. It was a loooong wait (almost 1.5 hours!) The nurse gave us some reading material before the check-up. A picture in one of the magazines of a Dad holding a newborn with Mom happily looking on made me cry! Dr. Schnarr thought something was wrong when she came in but told her I was happy (and probably hormonal) :) Heard baby's heartbeat right away... and ultrasound results finally came in at the end. She asked for final guesses and the word "GIRL!" echoed resoundly in my head. I was right! :) Chris had a perma-grin on his face for 10-15 minutes straight and doodled a picture of our little one in Paint that afternoon - so sweet! :) Needless to say, there wasn't a lot of work done that day! Later on, debated the whole topic of "tell or not to tell". Big choice!

June 26, 2010 (20 1/2 weeks) - Decided to tell people. Told Mom first as we figured we owed her this much after the whole announcement "debacle" :)

July 1, 2010 (21 weeks) - Finally gaining some weight! 6-7 pounds so far and a decisive bump happening!

July 5, 2010 (21 1/2 weeks) - Weight gain up to 8 pounds. Starting to research baby gear (cribs).

July 6, 2010 (21 1/2 weeks) - Really noticing the "pop" now! Belly button becoming less of an innie!

July 7, 2010 (22 weeks) - Babysat Avery. Tracey lent us some infant items - bath, baby carriers, swing & bumbo seat.

July 12, 2010 (22 1/2 weeks) - Huge weight gain spurt. 12 pounds now! (Up to 132.)

July 15, 2010 (23 weeks) - Hung out with Grandma Catherine. She felt Baby kick!

July 19, 2010 (23 1/2 weeks) - "Baby's first concert"! Surprised Chris with Jack Johnson tickets. Wonderful night!!

July 22, 2010 (24 weeks) - Started to research nursery colour & theme ideas.

July 23, 2010 (24 weeks) - First noticed Baby's movements through abdomen! Alien baby awesomeness :)

July 28, 2010 (25 weeks) - 2nd visit with Dr. Schnarr. Total weight gain: 14 pounds. Baby was hiding from Doppler but when she revealed herself HB was 160 bpm.

July 31, 2010 (25 1/2 weeks) - ENTIRE day of baby research! Nursery layouts, themes, gear, etc. Whew!

August 1, 2010 (25 1/2 weeks) - Hit up Baby Depot and Babies R Us with Chris. Set up base registry at BRU and grabbed some paint swatched from ICI Paints.

August 7, 2010 (26 1/2 weeks) - Hung out with Tami & Eric and they gave us some more stuff - baby monitor, another bath, inflatable baby lounger/gym. Also checked out their change table and it's really nice so we'll be borrowing that too shortly. Afterwards, headed back to BRU and bought a "snoogle" (long, curled preggy pillow to help with some lower back pain I'd been developing), and a Shermag Cody glider. Finally, viewed the UPPABaby Vista stroller at Baby Boutique. Hitting up Shoppers 20x points event on the way home, checked off a pregnancy "social milestone" - first random stranger (cashier) to ask when I'm due! In "no question" territory now ;)

August 8, 2010 (26 1/2 weeks) - More research on paint colours, nursery themes, etc. Lots of screenshots! Slowly but surely nailing things down...

August 13, 2010 (27 weeks) - Initial glucose tolerance blood test for gestational diabetes

That took an hour - whew! Alright let's see if we can get back to sleep here...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pregnancy Timeline - First Trimester

As a first "real" post, I've decided to document our key pregnancy-related events and milestones to date. Here we go!


January - February, 2010 - Enjoyed a wonderful vacation in Costa Rica that alternated among relaxing, exhilerating and amazing (depending on location/activity). Came back to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and the end of a curling season that saw our team win our Friday night social league - woot! Other good times were had as well ( ;) ) and...

March 10, 2010 (4 1/2 weeks) - Positive pregnancy test!

March 16, 2010 (5 1/2 weeks) - Lunch with Mom. She was baby/grandmother talking at me a bit, which made me smile inside - we weren't spreading the news yet but soon enough! (Assuming all went well.)

March 19, 2010 (6 weeks) - Started telling a couple close friends about pregnancy - added support during the early days!

March 20, 2010 (6 weeks) - 1st trimester symptoms thankfully minimal so far except the usual sore boobs plus some bad breakouts on my back. Only one "smell"cident occurred which was on this day - sniffed out a dirty mop bucket at McDonald's and it made me feel nauseous.

March 25, 2010 (7 weeks) - A bit of spotting. Did some research which made me feel neither better nor worse. Knew there wasn't really much I could do at this point - waited it out.

March 26, 2010 (7 weeks) - Spotting stopped after about 24 hours - whew!

March 29 to April 5, 2010 (7 1/2 to 8 1/2 weeks) - Super tired and nausea in the mornings (dry heaving but nothing actually came up)

April 3, 2010 (8 1/2 weeks) - Initial bloodwork

April 9, 2010 (9 weeks) - Started taking "ferrous gluconate" supplements upon results of bloodwork (low iron)

April 13, 2010 (9 1/2 weeks) - Boobs felt smaller and less tender when I woke up. Decided to book early ultrasound for the next week.

April 15, 2010 (10 weeks) - Early ultrasound! Everything looked great and saw the heart beat! Results confirmed that I'm at 10 weeks and EDD was November 11th! Told Chris' parents about pregnancy and sent pics out to my girls :)

April 16-17, 2010
(10+ weeks) - Broke the good news to Chris' brother and sister

April 21, 2010 (11 weeks) - Noted HUGE craving for asian food! (Not the first time this trimester!)

April 22, 2010 (11 weeks) - Dinner + started yoga with Ange. Found out she's preggy too!!! Yay!

April 28, 2010
(12 weeks) - Appt with Dr. Sandhu (family doctor) - PAP, urine test, other fun check-up stuff. Bled a lot during PAP but Dr said this was common :-/ Urine test found "protein" - sent to lab to look for infection. (Results were negative.)

May 1, 2010
(12 1/2 weeks) - Jay game with Dad & Lind and "told" them via a "Future Rookie of the Year" onesie which Chris snuck out and bought between innings :)

May 2, 2010
(12 1/2 weeks) - More crazy Asian cravings. Had dim sum and it was SOfreakinggood!!!

May 4, 2010
(13 weeks) - Told Celene (first work colleague - my co-team leader). She was excited and had lots of questions!

May 8, 2010
(13 1/2 weeks) - Told Grandma Thelma (Dad's mom), not thinking too much of it as I was planning to tel Mom, Grandma and Becky the next day on Mother's Day. But....

May 9, 2010
(13 1/2 weeks) - Got an unexpected and understandably accusatory call from Mom asking if I was pregnant! Turns out Grandma Thelma called Grandma Catherine who proceeded to tell all of my uncles who called her on Mother's Day (not to mention Ralph down the hall) prior to calling Mom and demanding to know "Why didn't you tell me that Kristy's pregnant???" So much for the surprise picture we were hoping to snap with the whole family - but an amusing story nonetheless :)

May 11, 2010
(14 weeks) - Told the boss. His first reaction - something along the line of "Shit!" :) Second reaction - big congrats!!

Bed time! 2nd trimester timeline coming next :)

Finally starting our blog...

Hello world - Kristy of KrisChris (i.e. Kristy and Chris Campbell) here! A few months back, we had the idea of starting a pregnancy and parenting blog to chronicle our experiences growing and raising our first child but many, many higher priority things got in the way (as they tend to do).

Now that we are 31+ weeks along, we figured it was high time we got going here! Lots of things to post about, including our choices of baby gear, our birth plan, progress on the nursery, our experience at Triage today and current pregnancy "challenges" and of course belly pics which all expectant ladies love to peruse (right?? I know I do!)

That said, it's getting late and I have a self and hubby-mandated 8+ hour/night sleep "rule", so most of these posts will happen over the upcoming days and weeks. Perhaps one "real" post for the night though. Hmmm, where to start....