Baby #2 - Week 33

How far along: 33 weeks today & pumped!

How big is baby? What is a Durian, and why is it so pointy? Ouch!

Image credit here

Sleep: So,so happy being back in my own bed.

Symptoms: This week is mostly crampy, but the rib pain is making a reappearance too.

Best moment of this week: Getting through another week, hearing that the bedrest and meds are paying off, and seeing my beautiful girl doing well!

Miss anything: Not peeing every five minutes.

Movement: Lots of wiggles and thuds. I love it so much. :)

Food cravings: I feel like a piping hot bucket of hot chips with gravy.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not this week; I'm feeling great for the most part.

Gender: Girl!!

How's your mood? I can't believe how much better I feel just being back at home. What a change it has made. Don't get me wrong; I know I was in the safest place for baby.. but I can breathe here. It comes with its own challenges, like feeling so helpless with basic house chores, being a hindrance to my poor husband, relying heavily on family for help, and constantly having to explain to Georgia why Mummy can't just get her a snack or play on the floor... but it'll all be worth it.

Looking forward to: Another OB visit next week.. let's see how far we can push this!

The Bump: Running out of clothes that I can squeeze into.

32 weeks + 5 days

Just a small update -

We are at 32+5 now, and seemingly holding steady!

I saw my OB today and the baby is doing great, my cervix remains open at 1.5 - but with only a small increase in mucus discharge (sorry, TMI) he's confident we can push it for as long as possible. My home bed rest continues and I am to stay on all the medications (nifediprine and progesterone) until further notice.

Best of all, even if I DO go into labour, I'm at a steroid covered gestation that my local private hospital is accepting of, so I can deliver the baby close to home and with my own doctor.

Thanks everyone for the support... I'm bored and tired but I would do anything to keep her in as long as possible, so I'm really chuffed to have gotten here from 29-almost 33 weeks!! :)

No pictures this week, unless you're keen to see what my cervix looks like from the inside, haha - but I'm feeling really happy and hopeful as we have hit some good milestones.. here's to hopefully hitting some more!

Still bumpin' along!

32 weeks + 2 days

I'm back home!

My doctors finally spoke to each other and agreed that since I'd made it from 29 to 32 weeks with no additional cervical opening or preterm labour scares (plus the fact that the baby is seemingly doing very well in there) I could finish up at the hospital and continue my bed rest back here.
So here we are, enjoying the comforts of home and LOVING it - I have my little sofa station all set up with the television, laptop, dvd's, books and puzzles. Up for loo breaks and seated showers. I'm only letting myself go upstairs once a day (just before bedtime) - the rest of the time I'm down here permanently.
While I'm so chuffed to be home, my doctor did remind me that it's just as if I was at hospital - same resting conditions, with the goal continuing to be keeping this baby in as long as possible. I'm breaking it into milestones again:
First: Make it to 33 weeks
Next: Stretch it out to 34 weeks
Dream: Get safely to 36 weeks (I wish!)
I see my OB on Thursday for a follow up appointment, and we'll take it from there. For now, I am just enjoying the feeling of my little one wiggling away in my belly. Keep on growing, kid! :) 

Baby #2 - Week 32

How far along: We made it to our next milestone - 32 weeks today!

How big is baby? Baby is now the size of a pumpkin!

Image credit here

Sleep: Not great last night, but overall I'm doing pretty well. Can't complain there.

Symptoms: Pelvic pressure, a sore back and lots of gross discharge ramping up again. Delightful!

Best moment of this week: Seeing the baby, albeit briefly, on the hospital ultrasound. If all else goes pear shaped, so far she is tolerating all of this really well and growing beautifully,

Miss anything: Being close to home. :(

Movement: We have started having more hiccups lately (which feel so, so weird) and lots of little ninja jabs to my side. I hope she's still head down in there.

Food cravings: Cripes, I'd gladly accept anything apart from this horrific hospital food. ANYTHING.

Anything making you queasy or sick: The food. Yuck.

Gender: Girl!!

How's your mood? I'm not doing well. Hitting 32 weeks should be amazing (and it IS - three weeks of this down!) but I was promised I'd be moving to my old hospital ... and yet I'm still here. I hardly saw my hubby this week, as he started a new job and has been getting home too late to visit the wards. Georgia is starting to act out and is almost at her breaking point. My mobile coverage is playing up, we had some sad family news, and I'm just EXHAUSTED. I think I've done pretty well coping with the bed rest so far, but today I'm crumbling. :(

Looking forward to: Having a plan in place for what happens next... I don't cope well being in limbo, I need to know what's going on so that I have something to look forward to.

The Bump: A little growth spurt this week?

31 weeks + 4 days

Bed rest.

It sounds so restful, doesn't it?

I take my hat off to everyone who has been here and done this, because it is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

First up, I'm grateful to even be here, because I feel like at the very least, I am doing everything in my power to stay pregnant right now. Whether it helps or not is controversial at best, but for me and my anxiety, I know my doctor has made the right call. And with only being 29 weeks when the cervical issues were discovered, I'd rather play it safe than risky.

So bed rest it is, but restful.. it is not.

My mind is always racing, worried about things I need to do, appointments I will need to reschedule or delegate, wondering whether Georgia is coping at home or daycare, thinking about all of the baby related things I still need to do, and jobs that hubby will have to take over.

The first hospital maternity ward was busy, filled with itty bitty newborns and busy nursing staff. The second hospital is a women's health ward, which needs doors opened at all time, and is noisy noisy noisy! There are meals every few hours, medications every few hours, beeps, flashes, passers by running up and down the hallway; the works. There are visitors (oh thank you, you have no idea how much you're helping pass the time!) and CTG checks, and lots of time spent staring at the ceiling.

But the beautiful thing about this time is that I feel really connected to the baby right now. Hearing her heart beating through the regular monitoring, having the time to lie still and feel her movements, talking to her and telling her to sternly stay put and keep growing... I feel closer to her than ever.

We are over two weeks into this, and she is still baking. I'm so proud of her.

A quick ultrasound earlier this week showed that she is measuring above average in all areas, bringing her estimated weight to around the 2kg mark for 31+ weeks. I'm so relieved that if nothing else, at least I can grow babies that are nice and chunky, as every little bit helps when it comes to an earlier than expected delivery. She's tracking on par to what Georgia was - and she was 3.5kg at 36 weeks! Guess we just make tall baby girls! :)

Keep your fingers crossed that we can get to the next milestone of 32 weeks this Saturday!

Baby #2 - Week 31

How far along: I honestly didn't think we would make it to a new week, so I'm really pleased to be here.

How big is baby? Baby girl is the size of a pineapple... and I feel like I am about to pop her out at any minute.

Image credit here

Sleep: The bed in this new hospital is surprisingly comfortable - so I'm sleeping fairly well here,

Symptoms: My rib pain is gone, as baby has already lowered so far. Instead, my biggest complaint is pelvic/butt pressure. It's so uncomfortable, and I can actually feel her pushing on my poor cervix.

Best moment of this week: Getting here! Baby nailed her CTG monitoring yesterday, so seems to be doing well.

Miss anything: I miss the food from the previous hospital. The food here is virtually inedible.

Movement: Some days are wigglier than others, but she's certainly making her presence known now!

Food cravings: The last meal I had at the previous hospital was an amazing chicken caesar salad. I would give my right leg for another one of those right now. Seriously... so good!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Just the food. :)

Gender: Girl!!

How's your mood? I'm feeling okay this week. We did a tour of the NICU here at the big public hospital that we got transferred to, and I feel a bit more at ease about what could happen when baby girl arrives early. They keep warning me that I need to buzz them with any signs at all, as the fear is that I'll labour fairly quickly, as everything is already in place. I still really want to get another few weeks under my belt, but realistically, I'm just trying to get through each day as it comes.

Looking forward to: Hopefully having another growth scan later next week, to see what baby is up to. And if we make it that far, I'd love to think about transferring back to my previous hospital. Just have to cross our fingers and toes.

The Bump: Doesn't really feel much different again, I guess because she's so low, it's sagging down and not popping out?

30 weeks + 6 days

So, about that cervix...

Unfortunately the last 9 days of hospital bedrest didn't work their magic like we'd hoped. The scan yesterday showed that my short cervix has now effaced completely... and has dilated to 1.5cm. Baby is engaged, the amniotic sac is so so low, and I am having the most intense pelvic pressure already.

So what does that mean?

We've been transferred from my comfortable, local hospital to the big, busier public hospital about a half hour away. The reason for this is basically for baby - this hospital is the best place for me to be with the threat of premature labour looming, as their NICU is top notch. The frustrating part about moving is that my OB can't deliver me here if I go into labour before 32 weeks, so I've been (hopefully) temporarily handed over to a high risk MFM OB that works out of this hospital. I know I'm still in great hands, but it's not the same - my doctor has been incredible, and I'm so sad that there's a large chance he won't deliver this baby he's helped to keep baking for all of this time.

The plan is essentially the same. More hospital bedrest, the same nifediprine to stop contractions, progesterone pessaries to try and strengthen whatever little bit of cervix is still trying to hold on, and daily monitoring of the baby to make sure none of this puts her into distress. Because the risk of rupturing my membranes is so high, they won't be going near my ladybits if they don't have to - so we just wait and see whether my water breaks, if contractions begin, or if I can somehow keep this baby cooking a little longer while we're here.

My old milestones still stand:

Hitting 31 weeks (tomorrow - can we do it?)
Hitting 32 weeks (when I could potentially be transferred back to my local hospital)
Keeping this kid on the inside as long as possible.

I'm so scared, though. The support from friends and family and even complete strangers has been so, so special - and hearing positive stories about little ones born at or around this gestation is great. But I'm still scared. Our special care stay with Georgia was minimal (just a week after her 36 week birth) but I still remember how I felt during that time - so trying to mentally prepare myself for a lot more care and a longer duration... it's proving to be a pretty emotional experience, and she's not even here yet!

But all we can do is wait and hope. One day at a time - heck, one HOUR at a time! :)

30 weeks + 2 days

Dear Baby,

I have been desperate to meet you for so long, I can't even begin to put it into words. You are so loved, so yearned for, so special.

We thought we had lost you so many times. From the early days after your embryo was transferred, when the lines on the pregnancy tests stayed faint and gave us the sinking feeling that something wasn't right. From the multitude of bleeds that rushed us to the hospital, fearing the worst yet again. From waiting around anxiously to hear genetic results, hoping against all hope that you would be the one to come home and join our little family.

If there's one thing I know about you already, it's that you're a fighter. You've never stopped fighting.

I can't wait to see your face. I can't wait for to watch your Dad fawn all over you. I can't wait to introduce you to your proud big sister, who has been telling anybody and everybody all about her 'baby sister' for the past few months. I can't wait to see people's faces light up when they meet you.

But for now... please stay baking just a little longer. We will have all the time in the world when we finally hold you in our arms, and we won't let you go. Patience, grasshopper. For you AND for me!

Love,
Your Mama.

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Dear G,

My fiesty, brave, stubborn firstborn.

How can I ever explain to you how much you have changed our lives? You are the greatest thing that has ever happened to your Dad and I. You are a miracle, baby girl, and I'm so proud of you. As I sit here in this hospital bed and watch you visit me, I'm blown away by how much you have grown up. Gone is my squishy, perfect little baby with epic hair. She was replaced by this walking, talking, attitude filled little human... that I made!

I know this part must be scary and confusing for you, with me being away and your whole world shifting. Your baby sister isn't even here with us yet, and life has changed so much. I know you must be worried about me, and wishing I was back home with you. It breaks my heart being away from you, but I know that you will be okay - you have the best Dad in the world, and I hope this will bring you even closer to him.

You probably won't remember all of this and that makes me happy. But what REALLY makes me happy is knowing that I would do all of this again, a dozen times over, if it meant that I could see you grow up with a sibling. And if your baby sister is as half as awesome as you, we'll be the luckiest family around.

Be good baby girl, and try and sleep in your own bed please!

Love,
Your Mama.

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Dear Husband,

I've told you so many times over the past week just how amazing you are - but I don't think I can ever put into words how grateful I am. I've always known you were a good man, and I've always known how lucky I was to have met you - but these last few days have reinforced just how special you are.

Thank you for taking care of our daughter so beautifully,
Thank you for sacrificing your new career for the sake of our little family.
Thank you for the constant back and forth visits, so that I can snuggle with G.
Thank you for always supporting me.

I love you. These little girls are so damn lucky to have you as their Daddy.

Love,
Me.

Baby #2 - Week 30

How far along: Today we officially hit 30 weeks. I have never felt so relieved to leave the 20's behind!

How big is baby? A loaf of bread.. just a heavy one.

Image credit here

Sleep: You'd think I'd be super well rested being on bed rest, but honestly? I miss my bed. :(

Symptoms: Paranoia. Cramping. Excessive discharge. Twinges to the cervix. I'm on high alert.

Best moment of this week: Simply getting here. After all of the frightening news on Tuesday, I'm taking each day as a victory at this point. One day .. and maybe week, if  we're lucky... at a time.

Miss anything: I miss my family. I miss being able to do things without fear of preterm labour starting.

Movement: Lying with your feet up and not a lot to do all day actually means I'm feeling her a lot more at the moment. She is a cheeky girl, this one. Loves hiding from the midwives.

Food cravings: Any non-hospital food. I'd love a bag of hot chips right now!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Some of the medications, but I'm going to start weaning off the antibiotics soon, unless my water breaks.

Gender: Girl!!

How's your mood? I'm up and down. I'm scared out of my mind about this baby being too small, and about a long and extended NICU stay. I'm disappointed because I had dreamed of a birth where the baby would come with me and we'd have that immediate bonding and closeness that we missed the first time around when Georgia was in special care. I'm angry because my body is apparently a bit of an asshole, and couldn't we just enjoy ONE nice part of this pregnancy with no stress? But mostly I'm just grateful I'm here, have good care, and hoping that all will work out okay.

Looking forward to: Every time I get to hear the baby on the doppler. All this is worth it for a healthy little girl. I'm also just hoping to tick off each day as it comes. Bring on tomorrow!

The Bump: I feel like lying down these past few days have seen it become less pointy and more wide.

29 weeks + 4 days

Well, life has a funny way of going a bit pear shaped, doesn't it? :)

I went for my routine 29+3 OB visit yesterday, worried about baby being breech again and that was it. Other than my rib pain and some more discharge, I didn't actually have too many questions for my doctor.

After a quick chat, we started my scan. Baby girl looked perfect! Measured within a few days of our estimated due date, approximately 1.4kg in weight, cute as a button. During that belly scan though, the OB commented that he'd like to recheck my cervix to see where it was at.

(He later told me that he could already see an issue on that scan, but wanted to check first before worrying me.)

So... out came dildo cam, and that's here the bad news started. My cervix (which was 3+cm, long and closed just two weeks ago) has full funneling with membranes/fluid, and the closed portion has shortened to less than 1cm. In essence, it's both bulging and shortening in a very short time, which puts me at insane risk of preterm labour and having an extremely early delivery.

I was sent home to pack a hospital bag immediately, while the OB organised a second scan at a formal sonography place to confirm growth, measurements and cervical incompetency. Unfortunately, the results were the same. Seemingly healthy baby girl, on par for dates, but drastically reduced cervix with lots of funneling. Both the OB and the MFM doctor recommended hospital grade rest.

Here we are. Complete bed rest, only allowed up to pee/shower. I can sit up to eat, but then back down again. Compression stockings at the ready. Plenty of lying still with legs up, trying to fatten up this baby by keeping her baking at least another few weeks. I'm petrified of having her come too soon, but I'm doing everything I can to keep her in - as are my wonderful team of doctors/midwives. I've had two shots of steroids just in case, I'm on progesterone for my cervix, and I'm on medications to stop contractions/infections. There's nothing I can do now but wait and see.

It's super tough, but I'll do anything to have this little girl arrive healthy - and preferably a little later.

First milestone is 30 weeks, which will be on Saturday.
Second milestone is 31 weeks, when I'll be re-scanned to see if there's been any change.
Third milestone is 32 weeks, when I *may* be allowed to go home to continue bed rest.

My doctor is brilliant for picking this up - and I'm so thankful we've been doing regular cervical checks so that he can see that this big jump has happened quickly, and acted accordingly. I trust him. He can't guarantee anything, but the one thing he did say, was that he doesn't think we'll get to 36 weeks, like I did with Georgia. That scares me, because another baby in the NICU/SCN is what I was desperately hoping to avoid. Not going to happen, so I need to readjust my goals for the pregnancy.

Lucky she's cute, hey? :)





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