Friday, February 10, 2017

My PAL Journey: Weeks 33 to 35

These days I'm feeling very much like an elephant.  Not just because I'm as big as one and feel as though I'm carrying a baby elephant in my tummy.  But because an elephant's gestational period is 22 months. I have been pregnant for 19 of the past 21 months so far.  Yup.

To be more accurate if I peed on a stick it would be positive but some of that time was actually the process of miscarrying or having surgery to remove retained dead pregnancy tissue from the uterus - if you want the TMI details.  So the hormones were still there.

So I feel like I have been pregnant FOREVER waiting for this Little Man.

This has been a looooong process - how many days I've spent throwing up, recovering from surgery, getting poked with needles for IVs and meds and blood draws.  But I knew in my heart God had this child meant for us and we had to endure and have faith.  There has been a lot of criticism & hurt, and he's not here yet, but I'm so close I can see the other side now.  It's worth it.

33 weeks along -- I had to stretch out my Twins shirt pretty good because we had an event at the stadium (Twins Fest) that warranted my fan gear! 

34 weeks (in red) and 35 (gray).  I dropped the next day so my next photos will look very different!

  Our first-ever 3D ultrasound! Baby Xander at 33 weeks along!

This coming Monday is my LAST P17 injection - which is used to prevent preterm labor.  I still have the twice-daily blood thinner shots but I choose to celebrate every little milestone. And it is a pretty big milestone to no longer medically STOP labor after next week.

Things are good in general - good blood pressure, perfect weight gain, fluid levels are good, all the biophysical profile ultrasounds show a flawless, healthy baby! I'm not a fan of this new sciatic nerve back pain - and my leg going numb at random, or the episodes of feeling faint and seeing flashing lights. That said, I'm so grateful for how well the pregnancy is going!

Each week's clinic visit involves a biophysical profile (ultrasound) and a non-stress test (monitors heartbeat of baby and my contractions) so we are watching him CLOSELY!

Little Man is BIG.  At my 34 week growth ultrasound he was measuring 2-4 weeks ahead in every area and 6# 12oz!! (On average babies weigh less than 5 pounds at that stage.) While not always 100% accurate the ultrasound is still a good estimate.  Julia was 5#7, Taylor 6#9, Dean 6#11 and Bruce was a whopping 7#15 at birth.  So if I went to term this would by far be my biggest baby.

Bruce had an enormous head.  Like WAAAAAYYY above average.  And he kinda just fell out.  So I got this - I can handle it!

Despite the contractions and the pain I'm only dilated to about a 2.  Guys, that's like a blueberry and I have to get all the way to a bagel before baby can arrive.  (A little more TMI - it may not be safe to read my blog if you are squeamish, lol.)

I'm aware it is still "too early" to have this baby and it is best to hang in there a bit longer (I'm in week 35).  I agree.  That said, the pain is high and the anxiety is off the charts.  There is still fear something may go wrong.

God can be glorified in all things.  He does not "owe me" this baby.  God is still good no matter the outcome of this pregnancy.  So yes, I'm afraid.  Because I have no control and that is scary.  It's okay to be anxious, to be worried, to wish I was on the other side of this pregnancy with a healthy baby in my arms.  I cling to what I can and I know God is with us in any outcome.  Still, I'm praying for a happy ending.

Add to that anxiety the everyday discomforts of being 8 months pregnant (shots, back and pelvic pain, contractions) and yeah, of course I'm ready, whether Xander is or not, lol!!

Bruce is ready for his Big Brother status upgrade.  He talks to Xander all day long, telling him all about the world around him that he can't see while inside my tummy.  He kisses my belly and says "I love you, Xander."  My favorite Big Brother Bruce moment so far happened 2 nights ago.  He placed his hand on my belly while Xander had hiccups and exclaimed "Xander is laughing at me, Mom!! He's glad I'm here."