Tuesday, January 29, 2008

38 week checkup (grrr...)

CAUTION: this blog contains weird, graphic childbirth-related information that is not intended for those unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the process. :P

Well, I'm still pregnant. And I gained 4 pounds in a week, damn doghnut sticks. >:(

BUT, there has been more change in my cervix. The baby's still at -2 station, but I'm dilated to 2-3cm, and effaced to 50%. Jane "swept" my membranes a little at the appointment, which is supposed to help my body release prostaglandins to get labor going. It didn't even hurt like I've read it does, but we went to Publix afterward and I was walking around and I could definitely feel something happening. Achy, heavy sensations.

Beginning around noon I started having contractions -- different ones than before, but still quite tolerable. I could feel them down real low, with more pressure than usual and a mild burning around my cervix. They definitely felt like they had the potential to be early labor contractions, so I started getting excited. :D

So the rest of my afternoon was devoted to labor augmenting activities. I alternated between the breast-pump, walking, and dosing myself with blue cohosh every hour. Things seemed promising for quite a while, with the contractions coming pretty regularly, even as close as 3 minutes! After some time, though, there seemed to be no increase in the intensity, so I had Drew deposit some of his "natural prostaglandins" for me to help augment things a little more. ;)

Well, needless to say, things died down after HOURS of contractions, and I went to bed exhausted and discouraged. But, the good thing is that I KNOW that after all those hours of contractions, my cervix has changed even more. So hopefully it will be soon. Just not today (PLEASE), because Jane has school on Tuesdays, which she can't miss, and my mom (who is my doula), teaches childbirth classes on Tuesday evenings, and she can't really miss that either!

ARGH. I'm so sick of this giant tumor in my belly... someone else needs to be able to hold him for a change! :(

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

37 week checkup

So, everyone's heart rate is back down, thankfully! I guess it really was just the stress of the holidays. I'm measuring perfectly, as usual, but I have a feeling this baby's going to be way bigger than any of my others. Yikes! =0 Me and Drew are betting on how much he'll weigh... Drew says 7-10, I say 7-3 (yeah, yeah, I know that's not THAT big, but it is for me!). I have gained 28 lbs (from the lowest point -- AFTER losing 10 lbs). I am considered full-term now, so I could pop any day! I wish... but with my luck I'll still be miserably pregnant right up to the due date.

Jane checked my cervix (FUN) on Monday, and the results are: 1-2cm, soft, 30% effaced, -2 station. If you don't know what that means, sorry, I'm not going to get into too much detail, but long story short is that "soft" means "ripe", which is good, but I need to efface (thin-out) a LOT more (like to 80% or more) before she's going to say that labor will happen anytime soon. But these changes are better than a "long, thick, and high" cervix, so SOMETHING'S happening! Of course, changes can happen very quickly, so you never really know. I have another appointment next Monday, and she'll check again.

As for the 9th month woes, I am sooo exhausted all the time; seriously, falling asleep by 11am. My ribs hurt when I'm sitting up, and my feet hurt when I stand or walk for too long. It's hard to breathe, and my pelvis is very loose right now, cracking and popping when I move around and very sore to the bones. I'm not very good at the bed-rest thing, either... I feel so trapped and unproductive! :( Even so, I AM pretty incapacitated, so Drew's been doing most of the housework and childcare. ***Thank you so much hun... I love you!!!***

I've been trying various methods to stimulate labor, but to no avail. This kid is stubborn (well, look who his parents are...)! I guess he really likes the Miami vacation he's having in there (98 degrees, all-you-can-eat buffet, heehee). But I think I'm about at the point that I got to in my previous pregnancies where I'm giving up on trying to force it and surrendering to nature. You'd think I would have learned by now, haha! I just can't wait to have him out of me so I can be fully mobile again. Not to mention my kids are probably wondering what's wrong with Mama... this is just so unlike me. I've never craved pain so much in my life! :P

More next week, or sooner if I go into labor (HA!).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Depressing news from the pediatrician...

I took the twins in for their 3-year well checkup yesterday... Devin is measuring a perfectly balanced 75th percentile for height and weight and is doing just fine.

Kieran is measuring 75th %-ile in height and 95th%-ile in weight (my big boy!). I mentioned some of our concerns about Kieran showing possible early signs of ADD, as well as ongoing concerns about his speech delay. After listing some of the issues, the pediatrician said we need to have him evaluated for Autism. WHAT?!?!

She gave me some info on local docs to schedule an assessment with, and then I left to take them to school. I was crying in the van after the news finally sank in... thinking about his future and what this might all mean for him. I told his teacher about it and then went home in a daze (my rx cough syrup didn't help that part).

Anyway, as you all probably guessed, I immediately got online and did research and made phone calls to schedule appointments for him. After reading some detailed symptom lists, I know exactly why the pediatrician suggested this. Although Kieran doesn't have the more commonly known symptoms of Autism (like not talking at all, not making eye contact, not liking to be touched/cuddled, rocking, violent outbursts, etc.), he DOES have almost every other symptom listed. If you know Kieran well, you can see this. These are the symptoms he DOES have:

Social Interaction Difficulties:

- ignores when called, as if deaf, but responds immediately to a favorable words (e.g. "snack time!" or "the movie's on!")

- in his own world; lacks curiosity about surroundings

- random, intense temper-tantrums, overreacting

- high pain tolerance

- hates crowds, gets upset over loud noises

- inappropriately anxious/scared (age-inappropriate separation anxiety)

- no interest in forming friendships with peers (as reported by his teacher)

Speech and Language Delay:

- lack of ability to imitate (mispronouncing words)

- voice louder than required

- frequent gibberish (i.e. Kieranese)

- difficulty understanding basic commands

- difficulty expressing needs/desires

- little spontaneous initiation of communication

- inability to initiate or sustain a conversation

- repeats heard words, e.g. TV programs, songs, other people talking

- uses language inappropriately (wrong words or phrases)

Abnormal Symbolic or Imaginary Play:

- clumsy body posture

- arranging toys in rows (pool balls, soda cans, cars, blocks...)

- interest in toy parts, such as wheels

- obsession with certain objects/subjects (planes, trains...)

- fascination with spinning objects (wheels, fans)

- restricted interests (TV!!)

- Difficulty stopping boring, repetitive activities (hyper-focusing on one thing forever)

- Attachment to unusual objects (have you ever tried to take his shoes off???)

- Stubborn about rituals/routines (potty break = emotional breakdown)

- skills superior to age group (memorizing books and movies)


- lack of interest in learning new skills (shapes/colors, POTTY TRAINING)

- sleeping poorly (trouble falling asleep, waking up to play in the middle of the night)

- random bursts of hyperactivity

Of course, any of these "symptoms" can be written off as "normal" in any child his age, but the fact that they are ALL occurring in the SAME child is what is cause for alarm. In general, Kieran is a happy, sweet, playful, active, easy-going, compliant little boy (really our little angel), but these combined behaviors mean that there may be an underlying problem that could adversely affect him for life.

I have researched the different Autism Spectrum disorders, and I don't thing he will be diagnosed as Autistic, simply based on the lack of the most common symptoms. Rather, I believe he will get a diagnosis of PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Non-Specified), based on the number of symptoms he does have. PDD is on the Autism Spectrum (as is ADHD, by the way), but is not nearly as severe, although it will still require some therapy and specialized attention. We won't know how it will really effect him until he's in Kindergarten. But no matter what, he's still our Kieran. <3

I have him on a waiting list for speech therapy, which I think he will respond very well to, and he will be seeing a psychologist for evaluation and testing next week. I will update everyone as soon as we know anything.

Like we needed this now, so close to Connor's birth. And now I'm worried that HE will have problems too, since it is 4x more common in boys than in girls. :(

Monday, January 7, 2008

I feel like CRAP!

I have had this cold for weeks now. It started off as a mild head cold, then WHAM! moved down to my chest about 10 days later. It's become a HORRIBLE, body-wrenching, non-productive, hacking cough that is to blame for a headache, awful rib pain, and countless changes of underwear from pissing myself (from coughing so hard)! There is a limit to the meds I can take for relief, and I'm already uncomfortable as hell from being sooo freakin' pregnant, but I finally broke down and called my midwife today to BEG for something better than this over-the-counter shiite I've been taking.

Apparently, I'm very sick and it's a big deal given my "delicate condition". She's put me on antibiotics and steroids, instructed me to use my inhaler 4x/day, and prescribed narcotic cough syrup (now THAT'S what I'm talking about!). THANK GOD. Maybe I'll get better now, cuz this is getting ridiculous. If I don't, I have to go in and see my midwife in person, and she just might make me stay at the hospital for a while. Grrr... NOT happening. Not until I'm there to pop a baby out, gol-darnit.

So there's my rant for the day. Hope you enjoyed it.

*COUGH-COUGH, ouch!*