This is a bit of a catch-all update!
I completely forgot to post after our appointment last Friday. It turns out that our ultrasound results were submitted to the MFM specialist and she ordered additional monitoring, so our appointment was actually our first biophysical profile! Gary was so busy in there that they had a hard time getting their measurements, but he scored an 8/8 and was once again measuring ahead. We will also start weekly BPPs two weeks earlier than planned, so I am pleased about that.
I am growing steadily and am certain this will be the pregnancy where I pop like a balloon. I am at my all time highest weight already and am only 27 weeks! I am almost morbidly curious about how high it will climb. Nahum is a big fan of my belly and baby, so that part of my body gets a LOT of snuggles.
We found out last week that I am moderately anemic, so hopefully the iron will make a difference with my fatigue levels (though no luck so far!) After a week and a half of leave, I am getting a little bit of a better idea of my physical limitations, though it’s hard to gauge some days. I do seem to be getting steadily less mobile and experiencing more pain and fatigue on the whole. Some days, I might have a burst of energy that lasts an hour or be able to move well for a bit, then I suddenly am in terrible pain or am slammed with (worse) fatigue. Even minor tasks or short errands cause pretty major fatigue right now and that is a hard adjustment.
I resisted asking for an accessible parking permit for weeks, but I have really been struggling. My doctor was like, “I can’t believe I didn’t think to recommend it! Yes, don’t do any further damage to yourself!” That made me feel a bit better about asking. I know it’s silly, but even though I logically know this IS a disability (temporary though it likely will be), I didn’t want to potentially take a space from someone who is dealing with this kind of thing every day…even though I am also dealing with it every day?! I don’t know how to explain it. Anyway, I do actually need it for now.
Nahum will soon be home with me full time. I’m very sad about needing to take him out of daycare, but we can’t afford it on my leave income. I know he will miss his friends and teachers so much. Thankfully, his nana and pop will be in town soon for his birthday, and I have other fun things planned for the next few weeks that might help the transition.
That’s it for now!
I never quite understood when moms would say they were nesting. I mean, I always wanted to be prepared, but I’d never felt that burst of obsessive energy. Unnntil now. I want to doallthethings, buyallthethings, cookallthethings, planallthethings… help.
The fact that I fatigue so easily and am far less mobile than usual means doing only one thing or a couple things a day, so my brain goes a mile a minute at night or when I should be napping thinking about? You guessed it. ALLTHEDAMNTHINGS.
Perhaps it’s that I have actually done this once before now and I know 1) how little time or energy I will have once Gary arrives, and 2) how long I will have no time or energy (like a year!) So everything that needs doing kind of needs doing in the next 12 weeks. And Nahum will be home with me full time in 2.5 weeks.
Oddly, my brain has also taken this opportunity to become re-obsessed (yeah, I’m just going for it with that word) with indoor gardening. I spend a lot of time planning out all the houseplants I want to grow and where they will live.
Maybe I just need a hot bath and a book? I’ll settle for a nap. If I can turn my brain off for an hour or two.
P.S. The featured image for this post is a pair of precious, teeny weeny knit booties that I found thrift shopping! Squee!
A week ago today, I hobbled into the doctor’s office. She took one look at me and said, “please tell me you are here so I can put you off work!” She’s told me the last couple of visits that she is ready to do so, but I’ve stubbornly been pushing my body, determined to complete some final projects. After the long weekend of taking care of Nahum solo and trying to work, I was ready to listen. I finished out the week and returned my work stuff to the office on the weekend, handing my keys to a coworker on the way out.
Today is my first day on leave and I will admit that, though it grates on me to know that I left things in a less than perfect state at work, I am relieved. Between my current disability and mental space, I am 100% confident this was the right decision; I just could not keep up anymore. Working from home for two weeks was helpful, but only delayed the inevitable.
Nahum has a few weeks left at daycare, then he will be home with me. I no longer feel comfortable going out with him on my own, because I can’t keep up if he were to bolt, and honestly I can’t load him into his car seat anymore without a great deal of pain. I’ve been planning activities we can do together indoors or in our backyard. Thankfully, he is a little homebody (like me), and we have a few friends who might be able to visit when he needs (we need?) some external stimulation.
Someone anonymously surprised me with an all expenses paid hair cut (which made me bawl after a rough few weeks), so I am off to get that done this morning. New hair, new day!
Danny had an opportunity to spend a whirlwind weekend with an old friend who lives in another province; the trip was to Montreal and Ottawa, seeing a big concert and taking in a Leafs game (his favourite team). I told him he HAD TO go! I am so glad he got to get away, have some fun, and clear his head.
Nahum and I had a grand weekend together. We went for curry and a cupcake on Friday night after daycare, and Saturday we had a little adventure at the bulk store picking up candies for our movie snuggle.
Today, it was deck time. We packed up a little picnic and Nahum put a “few” toys in a bag to bring out (which he then completely ignored while he watched the neighbours hang out their clothes and ran around the deck). We had a nap, then made cookies and snuggled on the couch. We read so many books! (Nahum emptied his entire bookshelf onto my lap an armload at a time and we got through about a third of it).
Unfortunately, my body just couldn’t keep up. Just doing three trips in the car with loading Nahum in and out of the carseat proved to be a significant strain on my body. My pelvis is so unstable and causing so much pain and the new sciatic pain just adds another dimension to that. I’ve started dreading walking and tend to station myself with the understanding that I may not be moving for a while. I don’t have words for the level of fatigue that I felt today just with gathering a few items for our deck picnic, then cleaning it up afterward.
Yesterday, I fished Danny’s old cane out from the basement (he suffered regular gout attacks until last year when he found a good management plan). I couldn’t believe how much the cane helped. My friend’s husband then dropped off her spare rollator to help around the house and it was handy when I made supper tonight. As grateful as I am to have mobility aids so readily available, I am frustrated at my body for having declined so quickly. Though I had a marvellous time with my boy this weekend, I was also dismayed at how hard it was to keep up with him.
This was a wake up call that I need to slow down. At 24 weeks! As frustrated as I am, I know I have to listen to what my body is saying. I am honestly feeling a little uncertain about how I will manage in the next few months, but I know it will come together somehow.
As for wee Gary, he has been so active in there! I can hardly believe how strong some of his kicks are. He is likely 2lb at most, but what a strong little person he must be! I still don’t have that special sense of who he is, but I know that will come.
Something that didn’t quite occur to me when we planned to get pregnant again was how invested Nahum would become. He is so attached to Gary already, always wanting to snuggle my belly and talk to baby. He loves to kiss it or lay his head on it. He tells baby he loves him and “shows” him things (“wook, baby!”)
On the one hand, this provides so much entertainment and so many warm, happy heart feelings, but on the other, my anxiety about this pregnancy makes me fearful of the consequences for Nahum if things go poorly. No one prepares you for this stuff! Who decided I was grown up enough to handle this? Haha
I can’t wait to see how Nahum and Gary interact once babes arrives. I have a feeling big brother will continue to be very attached and want to help with everything. He is one of the softest hearted humans I have ever met and I’m proud to be his mommy.
Anyway, there are way too many cute big brother stories to share, but I picked one of my favourites from a couple months ago and one from this week:
1) I asked Nahum if he would like a baby brother or a baby sister. He said, “baby bawder an’ bakoom!” (Baby brother and a vacuum!)
2) Nahum is very amused by the fact that baby doesn’t have anything. No bed, no pillow, no toys!
He asked, “baby have cwothes?”
I said no.
“Just one cwo?”
(Welcome to the English language, my son, where some words are plural and don’t have an easy singular.)
So I might have been putting on a brave face when I wrote my last post or maybe it hadn’t really sunk in yet. I was majorly preoccupied through the weekend after receiving the call from our doctor with the ultrasound results. I think I might have been in shock.
I did something very foolish and googled “elevated uterine Doppler” looking for reassurance, hoping that it wasn’t serious after all. Literally everything I could find was a study on how it was associated with serious adverse outcomes for the baby. I cried myself to sleep Saturday and Sunday.
I went to one of my pregnancy after loss groups to share my distress…and found a mother who also had elevated Doppler readings and had two babies with insufficient placentas and hyper-coiled cords just like Haven (one of her babies lived and one did not). Her specialist had felt that the two things were related. While I was thrilled on the one hand to find someone like me (it’s relatively rare) and to maybe have a real answer for the first time in five years, it terrified me too. We were assured that what happened to Haven was extremely unlikely to ever happen again, but there is a good chance this is exactly how it all started.
I went to work Monday morning still in that glazed over, get-through-it headspace, but decided to let my boss in on what was happening. And then I completely lost it in our meeting. Could not hold myself together. With his blessing, I went home to work and cried all day. I’ve continued to work from home this week and that has helped relieve the stress a little (though my already mobility-challenged, pain-wracked body is not appreciating the poor posture). The distraction of finishing projects in a focused environment means I’m not battling the particular anxiety that would come with trying to suppress all of this in a team environment.
We have the appointment date for the specialist, so now we wait. For answers maybe, for a revised treatment and monitoring plan. There are so many question marks. When my brain lets me be rational, I can accept that there is also a great chance that little Gary will be fine. But trauma has reared its ugly head since Saturday and the flashbacks and searing grief are just below the surface. I can feel the panic in my body. When I don’t feel a kick for a little while, my heart starts pounding.
So I’m only alright-ish.
At our 19 week ultrasound, the Doppler reading for one of my uterine arteries was a bit elevated. We were told we would need to come back in a month for repeat testing to see if that was still the case. We went in yesterday for that scan and left feeling a little anxious. The tech was cryptic; we know there is only so much they are allowed to say, but typically if there is news that would help relieve parents, they would share it. She didn’t.
Thankfully, the doctor called this morning (we thought we would need to wait until next week for results). She said that the Doppler measurement was still elevated. All we really know so far is that this means we are in a bit of a higher risk category and will be referred back to the specialist and from there be monitored even more closely.
Of course, this is a trigger for us, as the root cause of Haven’s passing was related to inadequate blood flow. We don’t know if this is related to that yet, but hopefully the specialist can shine some light on things.
The good news is that there doesn’t seem to be any imminent danger and Gary is growing wonderfully. He was measuring a full week ahead – in the 86th percentile! The tech estimated he was 1lb, 8oz already. He was playing shy and had his hand over his face most of the time (“no pictures, please!”) but we managed to get a good look at him. I can believe he is measuring ahead; he looked a little chubby for his gestation. Maybe we’ll finally get a chunky baby (Nahum and Haven were both very slender).
So back to the waiting game. I assume we will get a call with a specialist appointment soon, and then begin the ultrasound circus.
As for me, I am physically really struggling. My pelvic pain continues to worsen and I am pretty sure I am having sciatic pain now too (pain shooting down the back of my leg from my butt). Thankfully, a friend has kindly offered the use of her spare rollator and I have no doubt I will be making use of it. On top of that, I am extremely fatigued. Mentally, well, I’d been hanging in there, but this news has thrown me for a loop and I am feeling very preoccupied. Hopefully we will see the specialist soon and be able to get some answers.