Week 32 Update, NST/OB appt, and induction plans!

I had my first NST (Non-Stress Test) yesterday, as well as an OB check up. My little man failed the NST! However, my OB reassured me it was totally fine. It can be quite common for healthy babies to fail. Graham was pretty close to passing, but they want me to come back this Friday to see if he does better.

What is an NST in basic terms? They strap 2 fetal monitors to my belly. The monitors pick up baby’s heart beat and are attached to a machine that reminds me of an EKG. The machine prints out a strip of paper with baby’s heart rate patterns. They are looking for 2 accelerations in a 40 minute period (or less), where the heart rate goes up by 15 beats and then back down again. Graham had 1 acceleration of 15, and then a couple accelerations of 10. So, he just barely failed. We tried it a couple of times, but the results were the same.

I spoke to my OB about my birth plan. My plan is very simple, and there’s not much I’m dead-set on. I understand that things don’t always go according to plan, so I want to be flexible. Luckily, the few things I really want will be easy to accommodate. Then, my OB surprised me with induction plans! The reason we’re doing an induction is that I’m on blood thinners. If they plan the birth, they will be prepared to better control the situation.

Graham’s birthday might be……….. August 13th!! The induction will be one week early at 39 weeks! That’s my Dad’s birthday, too! πŸ™‚ Andy and I are really excited knowing when our son will come into the world! And that’s only 7 weeks away (or less)!! Ahhh!! My OB did mention that things could change, depending on my upcoming cervical checks. If I’m already dilating and becoming effaced prior to 39 weeks, we’ll figure out what to do from there. No matter what happens, I know I’m in great hands. I feel totally confident in my OB.


Now for a quick update:

How far along: 32 weeks, 1 day! 8 months pregnant!!

How big is baby: A squash. “Still growing, your baby weighs in at about 2.5 to 3.8 pounds and measures about 15.2 to 16.7 inches.”

week32If you read my last post, you’ll know I’ve been having a rough time and not feeling well. I’m still struggling. I’ve noticed some improvement, but it seems like it’s going to take awhile to get back to normal. I’m exhausted, achy, pukey, and very congested. It’s strange being sick AND going through Prednisone withdrawal. Even so, I’m in good spirits! Pregnancy-wise, I’m very healthy and not having any problems!

A few things we’ve done to prepare for baby’s arrival:

  • I packed my hospital bag! It’s all ready to go!
  • We added the dresser, rocker, and a couple decor items to Graham’s room! We’re making progress – yay!
  • My “main” baby shower is this coming Sunday! Hopefully we’ll get most of what we need, as well as be able to go shopping soon for everything else!

Belly pic: πŸ™‚



Prednisone withdrawal and sick as a dog

Altogether, I’ve been taking Prednisone (a steroid to treat autoimmune disorder) for 13 months. However, I’ve been taking a higher dose every single day for 7 1/2 months (ever since I conceived). It is not typical to take such a high dose for so long. Most people take an average dose for a short time to treat acute issues, such as allergic reactions, illness, or pain. My situation is definitely not typical. Had I not continued Prednisone, my body could have gone into attack mode on my baby.

Now that it’s nearly time for my baby’s arrival, Dr. Kwak-Kim wants the medication out of my system. I began weaning off of Prednisone 12 days ago, and I’m almost done. I never imagined how difficult it would be. I mean, it’s not a narcotic!

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Severe fatigue and weakness
  • Weakened immune system
  • Body aches
  • Low grade fever
  • Joint pain
  • Depression/hormonal changes
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss

Considering my immune system is already compromised due to autoimmune disorder, immunodeficiency, and pregnancy, this huge change has hit me like a ton of bricks. Plus, Andy had a bad cold during the time I started weaning off of Prednisone. I already felt crappy from withdrawal symptoms, then I quickly caught his cold — only I ended up with a sinus infection that turned into bronchitis. I’ve been taking Benadryl and Mucinex, as well as taking good care of myself. Nothing has been working, so I went to Urgent Care yesterday and received antibiotics, nasal spray, and an inhaler. I can finally breathe a little better today. I still feel sooooo yucky though.

Dr. Kwak-Kim’s nurse had said I may experience a couple problems, but didn’t go into much detail. Like I said above, I didn’t realize how bad it would be. Obviously, I know now, it’s going to be worse since I’ve been on the medication for so long. I found the list of withdrawal symptoms after I began having them. Had I known all the possible issues, I would have delayed weaning off while Andy was sick. It kind of freaked me out that I began feeling so awful. I was/am worried about my baby, I admit. I am wondering if he’s being affected, too. Thankfully, he’s been very active this whole time. I have a Non-Stress Test on Tuesday, which will help alleviate any worries I may have. And hopefully I’ll be feeling a lot more like myself again very soon. If not, I’ll definitely be in talks with all my doctors.


Week 31 Update

How far along: 31 weeks, 1 day! We are now in single digits for the weeks leading to his arrival….!

How big is baby: A Pineapple! “He’s about 15.2 to 16.7 inches long and weighs about 2.5 to 3.8 pounds this month. He’s getting so big, he’s probably crowding your lungs.” Last week he was 3 lbs, 14 oz!

week31What baby is doing:

  • He’s going through major brain and nerve development.
  • Eye development, too. His irises now react to light!
  • All five of his senses are in working order.

Movement:Β Quite a bit of movement! Occasionally, he gently kicks my ribs, but I haven’t experienced any painful kicks like some people do. It tickles more than anything. πŸ™‚ I can also feel his arms/hands moving around and punching my pelvic region. There have been body parts seriously bulging out! Sometimes my whole belly shakes and jumps when he moves!! It can be strange and shocking, but super awesome at the same time! I love it so much!! Poor Andy, he’s always putting his hands on my belly to try to feel something…but Graham is shy. Andy has only felt light movement once. We’ll keep trying. πŸ™‚

Weight Gain: 25 lbs total.

Have you started to show yet? My belly hasn’t been growing as quickly as it did in the beginning (or specifically between weeks 16-21). The growth began slowing down around weeks 25-26. Then, it started to fill out and get rounder and firmer. It’s still growing outward, but more gradually now. I think my belly started looking its best around week 28 or so! I’m very proud of it. ‘I like big bellies, and I cannot lie…’ πŸ˜‰

Maternity Clothes: I mentioned recently my clothing is fitting a bit awkwardly. I think I am going to buy a few more things, but then I’m done shopping. I don’t want to spend much more money. I mostly just need a few more tops that fit nicely (if those exist LOL). I’ll be wearing loose tops and pants for awhile after giving birth, so it makes sense to get a few more.

Food Cravings: My appetite is still poor most of the time. When I do want something, it’s usually fruit, cheese, crackers, salad, and veggies. Just light food that I can nibble on. (I am making myself eat other foods to get proper nutrition). Buffets or parties are amazing because there’s lots of food I can pick at. I usually find something to fill up on. It’s weird because when I’m browsing Pinterest, I crave all these beautiful, decadent sweets and baked goods. There’s no way I would eat them — they’re too rich! Man, they look good though!

Emotions: Once again, I was crying the other day because we don’t have the nursery done yet. There’s so much we still need for Graham. I go through irrational periods thinking we won’t be ready at all. Hormones, nesting, and OCD — Oh My! We should be getting some of our nursery furniture soon, which makes me feel better. I’ll probably be crying about something else after that haha. Luckily my hubby is supportive and helps me through my hormonal moods. He’s so good to me. We both get more and more excited as the weeks go on (scared, as well – but thrilled).

Sleep: It’s pretty tough, but that is to be expected.

Best moment this week: Maternity photos and my first baby shower!!

Worst moment of the week: Prednisone withdrawal and having the flu. 😦 I will write more about the withdrawal soon.

What I am looking forward to: Putting some furniture in the nursery! My next baby shower on the 30th!

Upcoming Appts/Other Updates:Β I’m almost done with Prednisone and Metformin!

  • 6/25/13: OB check up and NST (Non-Stress Test)
  • 6/30/13: Baby shower # 2!
  • 7/2/13: OB check up and NST
  • 7/11/13: MFM check up and growth ultrasound
  • 7/12/13: OB check up and NST
  • 7/16/13: OB check up and NST
  • 7/21/13: Hospital tour!

Belly pic: I will post one soon. I’ve been very ill. I’ll probably take my photo today.


Baby Shower # 1

Our first baby shower was yesterday evening! Well, it turned out to be a small get-together, since many people were unable to make it. We do have another shower (our “main” baby shower) out of town, with my family, on June 30th. I made it a point to have both showers be co-ed, so we could see all of our family and friends.

Last night was a laid back, relaxing evening. We spent time chatting and eating good food. Andy’s Dad hosted the party and created a taco bar for dinner. Andy’s sister brought a delicious cake for dessert. We ended up receiving some great gifts!

We had a sweet surprise. We knew that Andy’s Dad and his girlfriend were restoring an old dresser and rocking chair for our nursery, but we didn’t know when they would be done. They actually buy, refurbish, and sell furniture for a living. Anyway, they asked us to come inside for a special gift. There sat our finished dresser with a bow on top, along with the rocker! They are perfect! I cried a little. My father-in-law’s girlfriend painted them both white and made them look as good as new. The dresser has monkeys on it! It’s adorable! The chair has a new reupholstered seat with monkey fabric! It’s really pretty. You guys will have to wait for photos until we decorate the nursery. πŸ™‚

The gifts:

  • A $25 gift card for Amazon.com from Andy’s band mate and his girlfriend
  • A 3-pack of Cleveland Indians onesies (Andy’s favorite baseball team), a baby robe with slippers, and a 3-pack of washcloths from Andy’s brother and his fiance
  • A 2-pack of hooded towels, an outfit, and a toy from Andy’s sister and her family
  • A 5-pack of onesies from Andy’s uncle and his girlfriend
  • A 3-pack of swaddling blankets from Andy’s aunt
  • Andy’s uncles are buying us the crib we want next month!! They gave us a card with a photo of it taped inside. πŸ™‚
  • One of Andy’s uncles also offered to get us a Pack and Play!
  • Andy’s Dad might be buying us the carseat/stroller combo we have on our registry! He’s waiting to see what we get at our next shower, and then he’ll help us get whatever big ticket item we still need.

Here are a few photos of the gifts we received: