NST, Clinic, and 36 weeks- oh my!

Okay Folks, it’s getting crazy around here.

I’m still feeling under the weather. Hence, the WORST weekly picture ever! I experienced my ‘classic’ lung infection signs over the weekend of some low-grade fevers, and coughing till I vomit. I was fever free Monday and Tuesday, so on Tuesday CF clinic day, I figured I had turned the corner.

I spent the majority of my day at the Hospital getting various tests done and seeing various doctors. Non-stress test was pointless as usual. This week little lady was “sunny side up” meaning her back was against my back; not an ideal labor position, but at least she’s staying head down.  I didn’t cough nearly as much this time which is nice because coughing during a NST always messes up the monitors. The doppler tends to lose track of the baby’s heartbeat when I cough, so it screws up the data collection as it monitor says “80, –45,— 245” and then finally finds her heart again and it’s back to it’s normal beating. The only thing I think that is handy about these NST is the fact that I’ve witnessed the faulty monitoring while I’m coughing, so if they think they can use those numbers while I’m in labor to pull one over on me, they’ve got another thing coming. =D

Next appointment was my PFT. I had a new tech, who after asking how many weeks along I was gave me a concerned look and asked if “we should really be doing this on you, normally we don’t do PFT’s after the 4th month of pregnancy…” Appreciate the concern, but this is rather important, I know how to do the test and I promise I won’t pass out on you.

Lung function was down a few points. I went from 83 to 78. I wasn’t too surprised and I wasn’t too upset either. I’ve got a baby squashing my diaphragm, and I just got over bronchitis/cold so I was pretty happy with 78.

I’m finishing up my week of Cayston and then starting inhaled Vancomycin back up. If I feel like I’m not picking up as quickly as I’d like to on the Vancomycin we’ll add in inhaled Tobi since they target different cultures in my lungs (Vanc. targets the MRSA & Staph while TOBI & cayston target the Psuedomonos). Usually you avoid Tobi during pregnancy as it’s known to cause fetal harm, but at this point she’s fully functioning and the effects of tobi would be minimal. (Tobi mainly causes auditory and sensory malfunctions.)

Wednesday I had an ENT appointment and my sinuses looked better than last time, so I made another followup appointment for December. You know, december– the month where I’ll have a 6month old? WHAT?

I also had a fever wednesday again. BOO. And felt pretty crummy. Around 4 I started feeling better and around 5 I started having some consistent braxton hicks contractions. They didn’t hurt, but I did have more than the recommended 4 per hour. I drank lots of water since I hadn’t had much water that day, and then just finished sweating a slight fever out, and it was quite warm. I figured I was probably just dehydrated. Well well well, to my surprise I continued to have contractions for the remainder of the night. I called around 7 since the hospital handout dictates that I should call for more than 4 contractions in an hour (and I figured I just had two hours of more than 4) but the on-call doctor didn’t seemed concerned since they weren’t painful, and I didn’t have any other actual ‘labor’ signs. I got the advice to ‘drink lots of fluid, and keep an eye on them.’ Along with the advice that if I was even slightly concerned I could come in whenever I wanted and get checked out.

Instead we went grocery shopping. While leaving a woman checked my belly up and down and made her guesses, “That’s a 4 month, 5 month, maayyyybe 6 month belly on a good day… and it’s a boy.” Both Kyle and I laughed aloud because here I was 9 months, having consistent contractions all night, with a girl. We told her she was close, but it was a girl! Her response was, “alright, alright, but ooooh she’s so low! She’s hanging low!”  Yea, because she’s trying to get out! hahaha.

Leaving the grocery store I was pushing the cart back to the cart house and I gagged. I said to myself, Oh, I might throw up, wouldn’t that be something. So, I sat in the car and asked Kyle for the bag he always carries (he’s so sweet!) because “No big deal, but I think I might throw up.” We had started driving at this point so he asked if we should just pull back over because it’d be a lot more difficult to throw up on the highway vs. the parking lot. Good call Husband, good call. Hesitantly I agree, “well, alright, I guess you can just pull over there.” I still wasn’t convinced I was actually going to throw up.

As he pulls over, I open the bag- just incase- and then open my door for some fresh air… I gagged and leaned over the side of the car and then BAM full on throwing up. BUT at this point in time I’m laughing between heaves because I’ve simultaneously managed to PEE my pants. Which is even more hilarious because we put down a waterproof pad and a towel “just incase” since I was having consistent braxton hicks.  I managed to laugh out why I’m laughing, since it’s not often I laugh while vomiting.
Blah blah “I PEED!”
blah blah blah “THIS IS SO GROSS HAHAHA”
“Phew! Well, I feel better. Good thing we put this towel down. Now take me home I need to change my pants! hahaha. “

Oh what a night!

So far, only a few contractions in the morning today, again, nothing painful, no other signs of labor. I’m just taking it easy and hoping I start to feel better soon, because the last thing I want is to feel sick while laboring.

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35 Weeks

35 Weeks: 
a.k.a The Week My Clothes Stopped Fitting

This past week has been a long one. Last Tuesday night I came down with a cold, which really only lasted a few days cold wise. It was your pretty standard cold: sore throat, sinus congestion, headache, sneezes, etc. I had trouble sleeping for a few days, but thanks to a TON of sinus rinses it didn’t last too long. What is lasting, is the bronchitis it seems to have turned into. 

I’ve developed that stupid ‘bullfrog’ type cough which is extremely annoying for someone who actually needs to have productive coughs. An inflamed bronchial passage is the last thing I need right now. I have my pulmonary CF clinic appointment next Tuesday so hopefully if it doesn’t dissipate by then, we can come up with a plan. 

It’s making me feel tired and run down, although I’m sure little miss packing on the pounds hasn’t helped my energy levels. I’ve gotten to the point this week where most of my shirts leave me with the Smee belly syndrome. I have a few extra long tanks that have helped bridge that awkward skin gap. Thankfully it’s been pretty warm here recently so I’ve been cozy in my maxi dresses. 

Last Thursday in the midst of my cold, we thought Little Ninja had dropped! In fact, Kyle and I pretty much agree that she did drop and then scooted her way back up overnight. I had written a whole extra post about it, and I even took comparison belly photos (the next morning) only to realize that my belly looked the same. Thursday night she was hanging super low and my belly looked awfully different. I was discouraged by the belly comparison  and the fact that I was again short of breath (grr! That one night of easy breathing was bliss!) so the post was never posted. 

I’ve been having some on and off Braxton Hicks contractions which I think has helped this little lady stay head down. I had my second NonStressTest (NST) today and it went just about the same as the last one. The little jelly bean was jumping all around though! She had started with her back on my right side, only to flip over to my left side since she apparently isn’t a fan of having a hockey puck disk strapped to her back for a half hour. I don’t blame her! The machine records her movement as little dots and dashes; I think she was trying to send me a message in morse code she was moving so frequently! 

Remote malfunctions capture beauties like these

I’ve started packing a hospital bag, and it’s probably one of the weirdest things for me so far. I’m a pro at hospital packing, but this bag really wins for being the weirdest to pack. I’m usually packing for a two week stay, but this stay will only be a few days. Plus it’s the only time I’ve ever had to pack little newborn hats, socks, and a few sleeper onsies in my hospital bag. We’re getting close folks! 

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34 Weeks and a NonStressTest

34 Weeks
For some reason 34 seems like a big milestone in my head. Maybe it’s the fact that Little Miss weighs over 4lbs now, blinks, practices breathing, or it could be that if she were to be born anytime after today she’d most likely thrive needing little if any interventions… hitting 34 weeks is a good feeling. 
My apologies for leaving everyone in the dark last week. My appointment went well, I asked a lot of questions and got some okay answers back. In regards to eating & drinking I’m allowed any clear liquid: broth, juice, electrolyte packs that runners use, honey, etc. I cannot, however, eat. That said, chatting about my concerns of my ‘lack of energy’ from not being allowed to eat, the OB I regularly see agrees that I will most likely not have the stamina that most women have. Her advice? Pack lots of snacks and just don’t let the nurses catch me! While I appreciate her acknowledgment that I need more energy from food than most, I’m a little disappointed with the ‘sneaking’ advice. I understand that they don’t want to be held liable since the main reason behind the no food policy is to ensure that you won’t aspirate into your lungs and drown if an emergency were to arise. Then again,  if you’re going to advise me to sneak them in, can’t we just make an exception and put it in my chart that I can eat, maybe with signed consent that I understand the risks and the hospital wouldn’t be at fault? Either way, I’ll be sneakin’ my snacks. 😉 
The other advice she gave was to stay home later than what they advise. Normally they like patients to come in when their contractions are 5 minutes apart, lasting 45-60 seconds. She said to wait it out (if I can, and everything seems normal) to more of a 3 minute contraction gap since I live to close by. That way laboring at home I can eat and drink and not be hooked up to any monitors for as long as possible. That was my plan all along, although knowing the OB is on board and also recommended my original plan back to me, is very reassuring. 
Hitting 34 weeks also means that I now visit the office for weekly Non-Stress-Tests (NST) and fluid level checks. Normally with gestational diabetes starting at 34 weeks NSTs are done in a biweekly manner. NST are routinely given for a diabetic mother to monitor the baby and see if there are any signs of fetal distress. Sometimes if the blood sugar has been hard to control the placenta starts to break down and stops functioning correctly– to which the baby responds with a lower heart rate aka fetal distress. There are other concerns as well, but that’s the biggest one. Seeing as I haven’t had any issue with my blood sugar levels since being sick in December/January, and Little Ninja hasn’t shown any signs of being a typical G.D. baby (bigger/rounder belly, higher than average weight gain, etc.) I felt that I would be putting myself (and Ninja!) more at risk by visiting a hospital twice a week than by skipping one of the two appointments. So, in the nicest way possible I let her know that I would not be going for two NST a week and that we can start with one. 
Sometimes I think doctors secretly hate me.  =D She agreed on the condition that if any of the tests came back abnormal we’d up the visits to 2. That was enough compromise for me. I had my first NST today. Everything looked normal and I got to listen to the baby’s heart beat for about half an hour. I also got to watch my “contractions” on a monitor. I didn’t have any, but I did set off the alarm by coughing. My regular little coughs hit around a 50 on the contraction scale and my full blown CF coughs racked well into the 100’s. During a coughing fit (where I managed to hit higher than 130 on the contraction scale) I set off a little alarm. At least I can say that it wasn’t boring. 


Part of me wonders if it’s due to all my continuous coughing that my ab muscles are much more toned than most and so when I actually do have a contraction it just doesn’t register on my own personal scale since the muscle at the top of my uterus are used to much more abuse than my ‘practice contractions.’

In other news, the little miss was head down today! Thank goodness. She was breech last Tuesday so I got the talk about what would happen if she didn’t flip by 36 weeks. Basically a breech presenting baby is an automatic C-section. There’s an external version they can perform after the 36th week if she’s still breech where they manually turn the baby by manipulating her from the outside of the belly. Since there’s a slight risk of placenta abruption it’s only done after the baby has hit the full-term mark in case an emergency C-Section is required. All I can say is that I’m super happy that she flipped back down and I hope she stays that way for good!

Over the weekend Kyle and I put up some abstract art and some rustic style shelves in the nursery. I also cleaned and organized the closet and did some more laundry since we received some more hand-me-downs. We’re getting close folks! Hard to believe she’s going to be here soon.

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Another week makes 33

This week has flown by! The days are getting warmer and longer, while I’m getting bigger and more tired! I’m trying to recall what went on this week and well, I’ll be darned if I can’t remember a single thing.

We tried to go yard-sale(ing) again this past weekend, but it ended up being a huge bust. There was another nice community with fancy signs up all week for their community yard sale, but on the actual day there were only about 3-4 sales with nothing but junk. We dragged our friends so I felt terrible for having them get up so early only to go to the saddest yard sale of all time. At least the weather was very nice and it made for an enjoyable morning walk.

Kyle and I also did some shopping at Babies-R-US since we had bit of a carseat snafu. The Graco seat we registered for and received as a gift came with the newest model base and it didn’t fit in the Prius! When we registered for it, I was assuming the base was the same size as the old Graco Snug-Ride that I had used with my charge, which fit in the Prius, but alas, the new base was much bigger. I even had a hard time fitting it comfortably in my Altima. So, we spent the weekend trying out carseats in the Prius to find one that fit comfortably. It took a lot of trials but we ended up finding one that worked out wonderfully! Thankfully Babies-R-Us was great; in exchange for leaving our license up at the front desk, we could take out any carseat to try to fit it in our car, when we came back with the seat our license was returned. It was very, very helpful to test them all out to find the one that fit the best.

The stroller finally was taken out of the box and assembled- which took all of 5 minutes. Quickest,  most fool-proof assembly ever. I wanted to take it out of a spin but Kyle said unless there was a baby in it, we were not going to be “those weirdos.” haha Fair enough, husband, fair enough.

I have an ultrasound and my regular OB appointment in a couple of hours. I plan on asking my OB about eating while laboring. Usually they have a no eating or drinking policy, but I’m afraid my chances of a cesarean would increase dramatically if that is the case for me. I exert so much energy just on a daily basis due to my CF, that I cannot imagine trying to labor for hours on end with just a saline/glucose IV drip to fuel my body. Worse case scenario they still say no, and I’m no worse off. I think if they do say no, I’m going to try to stay home as long as possible so I can have the freedom of eating and drinking as needed. We live an easy 15 minute drive – 25 in rush hour traffic- from the hospital, that I’m not too concerned about ‘getting there.’ We also live 3 minutes (in traffic) from the nearest hospital incase of an absolute emergency. We’ll just have to see what the OB team thinks.

Since I have to leave for my appointment in about a half hour, I don’t have time for pictures at this point. Check back tomorrow or later tonight for some 33 week belly pictures! I’m at that point where even I’m starting to feel like I look big! My reflection sometimes catches me off guard since it looks like I’ve just stuffed a basketball under my shirt. haha

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