Friday, February 25, 2011

28 weeks today!

We had just had spaghetti, thus Luke's orange face.

The books tell me that means I'm officially in the last trimester. I will gratefully take every decent night of sleep I get in the next bit! Less than three months until we get to meet our baby girl. Our very active baby girl. She's even making a name for herself in my OB's office, making the nurses follow her around with their doppler to find her heartbeat. Luke was exactly the same way in (and out!) of my tummy. My doctor asked me if I'm feeling baby move at least once a day and I had to laugh. More accurate would be to guesstimate I feel her move several times every hour! I read that at this gestational age, babies are starting to develop sleep/wake patterns in utero. Are you sleeping little one? Your mommy and daddy sure hope so!

10 weeks after our fetal echo, there are times when it still physically stops me to know this baby's heart is healthy. Thank You, Lord.

I am still feeling really pretty good, sleeping fairly well and only having to get up usually once to go to the bathroom in the night. The last 2-4 weeks I've had to change how I exercise quite a bit — running and jumping are no longer in the cards, and the lower the impact, then better for my lower back. My OB did write me a prescription for massage at my last appointment, so you can find me at the therapist's!

Thankfully, my glucose screening test came back within normal range and baby is growing well. Her heartbeat at my last appointment (when she finally stopped wiggling enough to catch it) was between 138 and 140 bpm. I am having lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions throughout the day (maybe 8?) so I was glad to bring that up with my OB. Unless they are regular, increasing in intensity, or don't go away when I rest, it sounds like they are just my body's way of preparing for labor!

I am at the point where you can just watch my belly to see her move, which has been a neat way for Luke to connect with the idea of baby. He was watching her acrobatics the other day and he said, "She is craaazy! I think she's doing somersaults!" And then of course wanted to know if he did somersaults in my tummy.

At my appointment last week, my doctor was going through some of the hospital paperwork and information Tacoma General gives out to prenatal patients. It was another moment where I couldn't help compare this pregnancy with Luke's. It's hard to imagine not having my baby whisked away to the NICU and not seeing him for several hours. I am having a hard time comprehending that this baby will very likely stay in the room with us, nursing right away, never leaving our arms. I want to be intentional in allowing myself to go back and remember our experience with Luke's birth, but at the same time being careful to categorize my pregnancies as "different", not "good" or "bad". Because it is impossible to say abundant good didn't come from Luke's birth experience.

Each day closer to May 20 finds me getting more and more excited about meeting this sweet girl (who will someday hopefully have a name!) As nervous as I feel about managing the balancing act of mothering two, the excitement truly outweighs the nerves. Little girl, you have a lot of people excited to meet you and you have a lot of shoes to try on!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

Washington State has joined 27 other states proclaiming February 7-14 to officially be CHD Awareness Week!

I'm jumping in on this last day of this important week to thank the other heart families who have worked so hard to bring awareness and funding to this disease that affects so many. Currently, more than 1 million children and adults are living with a congenital heart defect. 1 million stories, 1 million scars. 1 million reasons to get involved.

"Awareness and funding of CHD is vital to the development of new and better treatments and to continue to search for the causes of congenital heart disease," said Robert Shaddy M.D., chief of the division of Cardiology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia "Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Day brings pediatric issues to the forefront, and I invite everyone to partner with the Cardiac Center to raise awareness that children's heart issues are extremely important."

I would agree that children's heart issues are extremely important! It is only because of medical advances in the last 40 years that have allowed my son to live, and live well.

One great resource I came across is from the CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) website. Their team has put together a CHD toolkit and you can click here to find it on the right sidebar.

1 million can be a big number to get your head around, so here's just 1 reason to become the best advocates for CHD awareness we can be:

And this sweet boy, 3 years later, would like to wish everyone a "Happy Valentime's Day!"