Boy can 3 weeks bring some major changes in a pregnancy! I coasted through the first two trimesters, but the third is going to keep me on my toes! Let's just say I've become a lot more familiar with the hospital since my last post (but things are still going well!!)
Doctors, Tests, and Pain...oh my!
I went in about two weeks ago for my gestational diabetes test. I think the 3 hour test is required now...but either way it's the one my doc ordered me to get. Mark was kind enough to go with me and keep me company. My hospital didn't require an appointment, so we went first thing in the morning. Since you have to fast for 8 hours before, I didn't want to make the day more miserable than necessary...we automatically fast at night! I was nervous about the sugary drink that you hear horror stories about, but I thought it was delicious! Like, order in a restaurant delicious. But I'm also weird. It tasted like graduation punch. Anyhow, the test was pretty painless (except they stuck me in the exact same spot each time they drew blood, which made for quite the battle wound the next day). Since Mark was a trooper and went with me, I felt I owed it to him to sit with him at breakfast in between blood draws (you must fast through the testing as well). Let's just hope that cafeteria biscuits & gravy was decent... I didn't hear the results of the test until my doctor appointment a few weeks later, but thankfully everything looked good. They also tested for anemia again at this test. Also negative for me.
The other test I had recently (yesterday actually) was the stress test. This test is usually performed at 32 weeks, but I had it early because of a scary weekend. Over Labor Day weekend I didn't feel Stella moving as vigorously as she normally has been. Sunday I felt no movement at all. By Monday I was concerned, so I called the hospital. Of course it was Labor Day so my doc wasn't in, but I spoke with the OB Department. She said I could come in if I wanted, or I could wait it out until tomorrow. I know they can't give advice (probably because of all the nasty people who sue over stupid crap), but I didn't know what to do. What is normal? I decided to wait it out and prayed for the best. We had a cookout Saturday and I stayed up late, so we were hoping she was just on a different schedule since I was too. When Monday night rolled around with no "rolling around" from Stella, we were very concerned. While laying in bed Mark had his hands on my belly, praying to feel something...and he finally did, for the first time ever! She started moving around that night, and we were very relieved. I still called the doc Tuesday morning and went in for my monthly checkup a day early. Stella's heartbeat was just fine, but she said I could do the stress test early if I wanted. Why not? Mark was with me so I thought it'd be a good time to do it. They hooked me up to a monitor and kept a watch on her heartbeat for about half an hour, watching for variety in her heartbeat. They also did my "initial interview," aka 1,000 ridiculous medical questions, while they did the test since it was the first time I'd been in the OB. We were overjoyed when everything seemed normal. Her heartbeat sounded like a galloping horse, I could have sworn there was a pony in my tummy! I get a 2 week break from doctors and tests, and then I start seeing my doc every 2 weeks. I also scheduled my 30 week ultrasound (to watch my low-lying placenta) and a T-dap shot for Mark and I in 2 weeks.
And the pain has begun. My heartburn has strengthened, I battle it daily. It makes my eyes water and I beg to throw up. Never thought I'd see the day that would happen! I am experiencing shortness of breath as my lungs get more crunched. If only I were a little taller. But I'm saving the best for last. My aching feet. They haven't been overly swollen, but man do they HURT! To the point where I was in tears last weekend just standing. Thank God for a sister who came over the day after our Labor Day party and cleaned my house. Now that's love. My doctor said that painful feet are common (even though most of my sisters never had it) and gave it a big long name. Then she told me to get better shoes. Dang, I hate shoe shopping. My sister-in-law has gel-soled Nike flip flops, I'm going to invest in 2 pairs of those (for in the house and outside because it hurts to be barefoot even in my house) and also wear my tennis shoes more often. It has been over 100 degrees this past week, and it's hard to wear tennis shoes in that heat (plus the added swelling from the temperatures). Today they are feeling a little better and I am very thankful! I was on them a lot last week cooking and cleaning for our party. It's time to slow down a bit I think. I'm having a hard time accepting my new limitations...must be the OCD, hyperactive side of me. Other than those pregnancy pains I do feel pretty good still!
In other pregnancy news-
Princeton Hospital (where I go) is done delivering babies after January 1st (thanks to those who think they're entitled to free healthcare without working for it, even though they are capable...but that's a soapbox I won't get on today). I thought I was safe since I'm due at the end of November. I have heard mixed reviews on whether that is actually the case or not. My doctor will move to a different hospital in the near future, but she isn't sure when. This leaves the possibility that we may have close to an hour drive to the nearest hospital that still delivers babies. So frustrating!! It's also hard to prepare, because I am ready to start prenatal classes, pre-register, and tour the hospital...except what hospital? Just one of those things when you have to throw your hands in the air and trust everything to work out. The "prepared" side of me hates this thought. My doc said she'd know more in a couple weeks, until then I keep coming to Princeton.
About 3 weeks ago I attended a one-on-one breastfeeding class with a nurse at my hospital (fee included in your lump sum, yet another perk of this wonderful hospital). I had spent the day before reading up on breastfeeding and jotting down questions. It was nice to talk things through with a nurse. The benefits of breastfeeding are UNBELIEVABLE, I am dead set on making it work with Stella. I really feel prepared and my sister-in-law Lori gave me a great pump already! I know it will be tough at first, I expect that, but again...more work up front makes things easier (and cheaper) in the long run. I think it's amazing and I plan to breastfeed Stella for a year and make my own baby food when the time comes. I'm grateful we had a giant garden and learned so much from it this year so I can make most of her food from our own land. I think I was born in the wrong era. Modern technology and society doesn't interest me very much, I prefer the pioneer days. I'm sure most people think that's insane. Good thing I found an insane husband to share my views. Together we are crazy and extremely happy. But all that is way off topic. Back to baby Stella. I think the only other thing I was going to mention is that I got the newspaper article I was featured in about the Harmony Test. It's too big to scan into my blog and it won't be on their website for long, so I'm unable to share it on here. It basically covers everything in my blog post about it, so check that out here if you want to know more about the article. I did laminate a copy for Stella's scrapbook!
And now some more big belly pictures: