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February 11th, 2010

Pregnancy Update, Week 30

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

From this point forward, I’d be seeing the OB every 2 weeks. I saw him yesterday. I found out, after much worrying, that I do not have gestational diabetes. I still have to eat right, keep myself hydrated and all that, but i’m just happy i don’t need to follow a portioned diet or worse, have insulin shots, as what’s needed for someone with gestational diabetes.

The baby has good heartbeat and all measurements are great. However, with this pregnancy I had been experiencing contractions on irregular basis (Bracton Hicks). My belly gets too stiff and painful at times that I have a hard time moving. Shifting positions at night means actually waking up and struggling to move, and catching my breath at the struggle. I get cramps in my legs as well.

Hubby and I can’t help but compare this with my previous pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Matthew, I was really active. We were in Japan, and my sister and brother visited us from the Philippines. We brought them to places for sightseeing and more and I never ever felt that I was taken aback by pregnancy.

But this time, I get too tired easily and it seems like whatever I do causes contractions. Plus the baby’s movement has become more and more vigorous. When I told my OB about this, he told me that usually subsequent pregnancies will be harder because the uterus has become more sensitive and stronger from the previous pregnancy. For short, “Shut up, You are pregnant for crying out loud. You are suppose to feel this way.” He didn’t exactly say that, but my previous OB did. When I was pregnant with Matthew, I complained about pricking discomfort in my left side. My OB then shushed me with those exact words. And to think, now I feel that pregnancy, even with gestational diabetes, was a breeze compared to this one.

With all my pains and discomfort, I can’t wait when this pregnancy is over. I have more or less 10 weeks to go. So far, Matthew had been feeling impatient as well for the coming of his baby brother. At one time, he came up to me with a can opener in his hand, attempted to raise my shirt and said “Baby brother wants to come out now.” Although, our can opener is not sharp or pointy, and it is relatively safe for Matthew to be holding around, with what he tried to do, I have to hide it from him now. Where does he get these ideas?

January 13th, 2010

Pregnancy, Prenatal Screenings and All That

I am in my 26th-week of pregnancy to our 2nd baby. With this pregnancy and before, I have undergone a few prenatal screenings. I complied with the screening tests that are non-invasive to the fetus like ultrasound and blood tests from pricking my fingers and a few tubes of blood drawn from me. I am grateful that although we had a few concerns before, we didn’t have to go further than that.

Basically the purpose of prenatal screenings is to find out about the fetus condition before being born. We find out the baby’s gender and if the vital organs are measuring and functioning well. With the 4D ultrasound, you can even see how the baby looks like. Also, some screenings gives the baby’s odds against down syndrome, spinal spifida, some chromosomal defects and developmental complications, among others. All the literature explaining prenatal screenings always suggest that there is no guarantee, that the odds doesn’t always tell the exact condition of the fetus but then they can tell an educated estimate.

As much as the screenings tell about the fetus, it also tells the position of the fetus in the womb, whether a normal deliviery is posible or a C-section is needed. Or if the fetus is developing in the uterus or elsewhere, like the fallopian tube.

If the preliminary prenatal screenings suggest fatal concerns then a more invasive screenings like Amniocentesis and others will be suggested. Amniocentesis involves taking a sample of the amniotic fluid by injecting the pregnant woman’s belly and sucking out the fluid. This screening process has a high risk to harm the fetus that may lead to miscarriage. Or ultimately, an option to terminate the pregnancy will be suggested.

What a terrible situation it will be when you have to make these difficult decision to undergo invasive procedures that may be harmful to the baby or to terminate the pregnancy. I know a few women who have terminated their pregnancy because of serious concerns and complications. Some of them have a fallopian tube pregnancy that they really didn’t have a choice. I know a few who found out that the fetus has developmental complications and had decided to terminate their pregnancy.

My heart swells in sadness for these babies who have been victims of these bad situations. And what about the moms and dads who have to make this difficult decision? I’m sure they’ve become so conflicted and so sad as well.

When we did the 20th-week ultrasound, they found what they thought is a choroid plexus cyst in our baby. I asked my OB over and over different forms of the questions ‘Is my baby alright?’. Over and over, he told me that the baby’s fine and that there is no indication of anything wrong. I did more research, googled about it. Nothing about the condition suggest any fatality or serious concern, that the condition is even quite normal, but it was still discomforting to alarming because of it’s association to some defects. Ultimately, I just wanted to hear “100% alright“, “100% normal ” but it just wasn’t the case and my OB just can’t tell me anything more. When I told my mother about this, she asked me if I’ve slipped or fell down, or skipped my vitamins or if something happened to complicate this pregnancy. But really this wasn’t the case. Then, we did the targeted ultrasound, still non-invasive procedure. What a relief it was, that the cyst is gone. We are back on track.

During those days of waiting for our appointment for the targeted ultrasound, I kept telling myself that the baby is alright and the ultrasound will confirm that, but at the back of my mind, there is that lingering ‘what if ‘. I honestly don’t know what I will do if those ‘what if’s ‘ were realized. Would we undergo the invasive screenings? I really don’t know. Hubby and I never really discussed about it. We basically comforted each other by a brief “The baby’s fine. It’s going to be alright. ” And just really prayed and hope for the best.

During those times, I asked myself why we had to undergo these screenings. We could have skipped them, not know and just hope for the best, just like they did in the days. Then we won’t have to worry about these ridiculous stuffs, just accept what comes ’cause we’ll deal with the situation we’ll have anyway. When we go looking for something, we shouldn’t be too surprise to find it. We did the screening to find out about the baby’s defects, we shouldn’t be too surprised to actually find something, when we can’t even be absolutely sure until the baby is born. Somehow, I questioned the relevance of these screening test because I dreaded the ‘what-if’s‘ and the decisions I have to make if these what-if’s were realized. And I dreaded all those other concerns that streams from it – like having a special-needs child. I dreaded to have to ask myself if I will be capable of that extra care and patience that a special needs child needs.

But then, these screening tests has been proven more helpful. If the pregnancy or the baby’s development is more complicated than normal and you go through with the pregnancy, then proper preparations can be made during delivery. The baby and the mommy will be given the specific care they need.

On our next appointment, my blood will be tested for glucose. We will find out if I have gestational diabetes. I had gestational diabetes while I was pregnant with Matthew, and it wasn’t fun! The dangers of gestational diabetes is that the baby may grow too big and disproportional in the womb, that a complicated delivery may result, among others. While I was pregnant with Matthew and with gestational diabetes, I had to see a nutritionist to plan my meals and food intake into proper portions. I had so many food restrictions. I had my blood sugar level checked by pricking my fingers for blood every after meals (that’s 3-times a day ). Aside from my OB, I had to see a specialist from Internal Medicine for routine check-up, really mostly for lecturing me ’cause I couldn’t get my sugar level down. It was really hard! I cried to my OB because the food portions were too little, I was hungry all the time and was really frustrated that my sugar level just won’t drop. But somehow, I got through with it without insulin shots. Matthew was born healthy on a normal delivery.

Also, on our next appointment, we’ll have the 4D ultrasound. We will see more clearly how the baby looks like. With that, I am excited!

December 30th, 2009

Pregnancy Update, Week 24

A few concerns has been brought up about the baby during his last ultrasound. My OB found a choroid plexus cyst at the baby’s brain. This cyst is not at all fatal nor could cause any developmental problems. I was assured by my OB that a lot of babies are born with this cyst, have no problems whatsoever, and they lived to be normal adults. However, the concern has been that this condition has an association to a particular kind of chromosomal defect.

A few weeks back, we went to Birmingham, Alabama for a specialized targeted ultrasound. Our prayers have been answered when the specialist could not find that cyst anymore at that particular location! We were told that it could have been not a cyst in the first place but just an accumulation of fluid, or if it was a cyst, it is normal and more common to disappear a few weeks further into the pregnancy. Furthermore, everything else was checked and there has been no signs of any problems with the baby. He appears to be developing well and all vital organs look good and measure well. And yes, he is still a boy.

Yesterday was 24th week routine visit to the doctor. My doctor too assured us that everything about the baby looks good – still measuring well, heartbeat great, etc.! As for the mommy, except for the going-to-the-bathroom and getting-hungry all the time problems. Everything is well and fabulous!

Both of  us got by through the Christmas holidays with no problems – except of course when I over-ate salad and was puking during the night when the baby was kicking so hard to my stomach, or that, during the trips between Alabama and Florida, we had to stop a lot of times for potty break not for Matthew but for me; Or also during the trips, I had to endure all the kickings in all direction while I am staple to the seat and couldn’t change position to get comfortable…

December 4th, 2009

Pregnancy Update, Week 20

Waiting for Baby #2

We have wanted a little princess or a little tinkerbell to be running around the house, but we received triple confirmation that it is certainly another strom trooper coming. Yes, it’s going to be a boy!

From the very first ultrasound, he has been showing off his little winky. Then the second ultrasound is the same. He just has been flashing himself all over the monitor that we really didn’t have a hard time seeing that he is indeed a boy. But somehow we still needed the 20th-week Fetal Anatomy Check-up to get a confirmation from the doctor himself. Maybe because somehow we are still hoping that the doctor is going to confirm otherwise. There is no mistaking it anymore. For the third time, we saw his little winky! He’s not too shy, may I say.

It was fun to watch the baby’s movements. We actually caught him yawning and covering his face. And he positioned himself such that it was just hard to get a profile picture of him. Oh well, maybe next time.

It was too simplistic of me to assume that the check-up is only about the baby’s gender, because it is not! As a matter of fact, I can tell from talking with my doctor that it is his last concern. They looked at the baby’s heart, brain, kidney, limbs, placenta, and more; made measurements and did a lot of encircling at the baby at the monitor.

The doctor found a few concerns though. If the position of the placenta not going to change as this pregnancy progress, I may have the C-section to deliver this baby. But I am not too concerned about that for now, since according to hubby, he remembers that we had the same concern when I was pregnant with Matthew. But the placenta changed position, that i didn’t have C-section afterall. I am hoping that it will be the same case with this pregnancy.

Another concern is that the doctor found something at the baby that he needs targeted ultrasound to be done for a more detailed picture. To be honest, this was really alarming and discomforting. I needed a few days to settle down my feelings to be able to write this post. But it’s really too early to go into details and to even think about and worry too much. The good news is all my prenatal screening came out normal and more than good. This is the positive news that I am hanging on to right now, and that aside from that one concern, everything else is good and normal with the baby!

I can still feel the baby move, and he’s even moving more vigorously now. And it’s funny that he seems to be following hubby’s schedule. He seems to be kicking more at those time of the day or night when hubby comes around, like mid-morning, and at about the time hubby comes home from work.

And Matthew is always a happy little big-brother. Most of the time, he still does things at command like – I have to ask him to say goodnight to his baby brother, or rub mommy’s belly to say good morning to his baby brother, but he is getting the hang of it. I even think he knows already. I’m sure that as my belly gets even bigger, he will understand even better.

November 16th, 2009

Pregnancy Update, Week 18

As most of you know we are expecting our 2nd baby. I am in my 18th week right now, almost 5 months. My pregnancy is more obvious now as my belly has bulge so much in the past week, that none of my regular cloths fit me anymore, not even my bra.  (It’s not only the belly that’s getting bigger…)

Matthew, Mommy with Baby#2-Week18

Matthew, Mommy with Baby#2-Week17-18, Photo taken November 12, 2009. Click photo to enlarge photo.

Most of the 1st trimester symptoms, the morning sickness, nausea, etc., had passed already (I hope.) I am left with serious case of feeling heavy and lazy. The tricky thing about laziness is that – I am not quite sure if my laziness is a symptom of this pregnancy, or if I am using this pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy. But I can’t deny feeling heavy and this constant ache at my lower back. My body has only starting to adjust to the increasing weight in my mid section, that my lower back, hips and thighs are suffering for it. (What am I complaining about? This is all part of pregnancy and I have a long way to go… ahhh, the joys of motherhood!)

I know that, at this point, I should start to get active. I should seriously exercise, walk a lot more but when you’re literally carrying a heavy load, you can only wish to be exercising while in actuality – you’re being a couch potato.

On our next doctor’s appointment is the ‘anatomy check-up’. The doctor’s going to confirm the baby’s gender among others. From our very first ultrasound, at our request, the ultrasound tech-lady already told us the baby’s gender but we are waiting for the doctor’s confirmation to officially announce it. (Of course, we told a few family and friends already.) Would it be funny if the doctor is going to confirm differently? But this is very unlikely.

Hubby and I both decided to know this baby’s gender, but we argued during Matthew’s time.

When I was pregnant with Matthew, I didn’t want to know if it was going to be a boy or girl. I wanted to be surprised! But hubby wanted to know as early as possible. Actually, He insisted to know! He stated that the technology is there and that we should take advantage of that technology and the knowledge of what’s the baby is going to be. That kind’a got me convinced plus the fact that if he knew the baby’s gender and I refused to know, even though he is very good at keeping secrets, I’ll be able to pick up clues and eventually I would have known before Matthew was born. So it’s useless to not know if one of us knew.

This time, we really wanted to know. I think, it’s partly because we have a preference that knowing as soon as possible will help us contain and get over our excitement or disappointment regarding the baby’s gender before the baby is born. So when the time comes, we can truly concentrate more on the baby’s well being and not fuzz about the gender anymore. We will have a name prepared, and everything, clothing and toys, will be appropriate.

Regarding our preference, it’s not a secret that from the very start, even when I was pregnant with Matthew, we have been wanting a baby girl. I remember when I was pregnant with Matthew and we still didn’t know that he is a boy, we would visit the baby aisle at the department store and hubby would show me this cute little baby shoes with pink feathers on it. That little shoes we didn’t end up buying, of course. Maybe this time or not 😉

Then Matthew was born and we are happy that he’s this cute little boy, very energetic and just everything that little boy should be and he is perfect. And our preference became just that – a preference. We didn’t love him any more or any less just because he is a boy, but we love him just as he is. It will be the same the second time around. Boy or girl, Baby#2 will be loved as much!

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