Monday, March 25, 2019

Kate's Birth Story & Battling HELLP Syndrome

I read so many birth stories in the final days of my pregnancy, looking for some semblance of consistency or at least a better idea of the things I might expect to pop up during my labor, but unfortunately my labor didn't go at all as planned, and it turned out to be something that I could never have truly prepared for, despite my nature to research all the possibilities well in advance. My pregnancy was perfectly textbook normal until this point, so I had no reason to think things would take a turn downhill.

I'll warn you now that this story is a bit long-winded, but I want to document all the details as accurately as I can so that I can go back and recall exactly what happened and hopefully my account will help someone else who might be going through the same things that I did. If there's anything that rings true for me about health and pregnancy after this experience, it's that you need to trust your gut when you know something is wrong.  So, without further ado, here goes.

On Monday morning prior to her delivery, I woke up with severe pain in my chest. I assumed that it was heartburn, so I took a couple of Tums and went through my normal morning routine.  I showered, did my makeup, and got dressed in preparation for work, but the pain in my chest seemed to only be getting worse. I figured I'd give myself a chance to let the pain subside on its own, so I texted my boss and told her what was going on and that I was going to try to sleep it off and would try to make it into the office after lunch.  I managed to get a good two hours of sleep once I crawled back into bed, but the chest pain was still there once I woke up again around noon. 

The Sunday before I delivered, at 37 weeks. 
I texted my mom to let her know what was going on, and she urged me to contact my OB just in case it was something serious. I called the OB office and left a message for the triage nurse, which she returned about ten minutes later.  She urged me to go purchase some Prilosec OTC and take the dosage according to the package. If I didn't feel any better after about 45 minutes of taking it, she suggested I call her back to arrange for an appointment that afternoon.  I did as she requested, and the pain still did not subside.  So she scheduled me to see the clinic's PA that afternoon, who did a quick physical and told me my pain was likely my gallbladder.  She said she wanted to schedule an ultrasound with the nearby imaging clinic for the following week.  I left the doctor's office highly disappointed with my level of care and unsure of what I was supposed to do about the pain in the meantime. 

I did some of my own research once I got home and decided to take a couple Milk Thistle capsules, which I happened to have on hand. (Milk Thistle is a natural supplement known for supporting liver/gallbladder issues.) As it happened, the pain slowly subsided over the next hour and didn't reappear by the next morning.  I chalked the whole incident up to pregnancy heartburn and went about the rest of my week without a concern. 

Fast forward to Friday.  Per my usual Friday routine, I swung by Chick-fil-a for breakfast on my way to work and ended up going to Wendy's for lunch later that day. I felt some discomfort in my chest, so I assumed that the fast food had been a bad call and my body was just struggling to process it. When I got home that night I ate some chicken and rice casserole and soaked in an Epsom salt bath before going to bed.  Around 1:30 that morning I woke up with the same heartburn pain I'd experienced on Monday. I took a dose of the Prilosec OTC along with another dose of Milk Thistle and tried to go back to sleep, but the pain was even more intense than it had been on Monday.  I got up and walked around downstairs, settling down into the recliner in our living room in hopes that being upright would help the pain subside. It did no good. I came back upstairs, got in a hot shower hoping that might help the pain, but it still didn't make any difference.  Finally, I made myself throw up, hoping that ridding myself of anything in my system would take the pain away.  Nothing worked.  

By 4:30 I knew the situation was out of my hands, so I woke my husband and told him we might need to go to the emergency room.  We put in a call to the OB to get in touch with the doctor on call, who listened to my account of my symptoms and suggested we go to the ER just to be on the safe side.  

Once we got there, I was immediately admitted and my vitals were taken.  They took my blood for testing and gave me a shot of fentanyl to help with the pain. The ER doctor was incredibly helpful and explained the tests they were running and suggested some possible outcomes, saying that they might need to end up doing an ultrasound of my gallbladder.  However, before any other tests could be run, they called my OB doctor with the test results.  My liver enzymes were through the roof and my blood platelet count was plummeting. The ER doctor explained that he'd just gotten off the phone with the OB doctor, who was on his was in to the hospital, and that they were sending me up to labor and delivery to meet him upon his arrival.  He suggested that the OB would likely want to either induce me or discuss an emergency c-section, as it was likely we were going to be meeting our little girl that morning. 

I was taken up to L&D in a wheelchair and checked into triage, where the nurses reviewed my chart and begin taking my vitals once again.  I heard my OB doctor arrive outside the curtain, and I heard him tell one of my nurses to "go ahead and get her prepped for surgery; we're cutting her open right away". (All this before he even came in to greet me and tell me what was going on, mind you.)

He finally appeared from behind the curtain to explain to me and my husband that I was suffering from a rare pregnancy disorder called HELLP Syndrome (which stands for hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets) which required the baby to be delivered immediately.  Luckily I was 37 weeks and 5 days along at this point, so I was comfortable knowing Kate would be okay being delivered at this point. 

In recovery, with all Kate's grandparents. 
Everything started happening very quickly.  Will was whisked away to gown up for surgery while the nurses prepped me for the same. My father-in-law appeared out of nowhere (we still can't figure out how he got past the front desk into triage) and gathered me up in a hug while he sobbed. (Take a second to guess how freaked out I was at this point, suddenly being prepped for emergency surgery while my father-in-law sobs at my bedside and my husband has been taken to another room. As if that weren't enough, my FIL's sobbing set one of the NURSES off crying, so at this point I was basically convinced that I might not come out of this thing alive.)

Anyhow, they wheeled me into the OR where they immediately sat me up and begin preparing my back for the local spinal injection. The nurse who had previously been crying now tried to distract me with a bad joke while she insisted I stay as still as possible during the injection process. I felt my legs go numb all of a sudden, and I was lifted onto the operating table, where they instructed me to lay flat while they quickly began setting up the curtain in front of my chest. I felt a wave of nausea overcome me, and I turned my head to ask the anesthesiologist where I could throw up if I needed to. He franticly told me to hold tight, and he injected something into my IV that lifted the nausea immediately.
In the OR

One of the nurses came in exclaiming she couldn't find my husband, and they would need to get started in three minutes with or without him.  Someone found him in the bathroom and was able to get him into the OR before they locked the doors. They guided him over to my head behind the curtain, where he sat and held my hand as I felt them cut into me.  

The procedure itself was not what I was expecting. While I was completely numb from the waist down, I was able to feel everything without pain. At one point it felt like a load of sand bags had been placed on my chest (I later found out this was likely the weight of my intestines that had to be pulled out and temporarily placed on my chest in order to get to the baby). I felt the sensation of pressure and pulling throughout the procedure, but luckily it didn't last as long as I expected.

Within just a few minutes of the surgery starting, I heard the sound of crying. And the funniest thing was, at this point I was so delirious and so amped up with adrenaline that my first thought was to wonder whose baby was crying in my operating room. With a sudden jolt I realized it was my baby, and felt a huge wave of relief at knowing she was alive and crying. 

Will with Kate
One of the nurses pulled the curtain back slightly and told me to look around to the left, where I saw them place Kate on the scale.  I was struck by how long she was, and laughed to myself at knowing that was why she'd been so active in my ribcage for the past several weeks -- she was literally running out of room in there! All of a sudden I started sobbing and Will squeezed my hand in support.

The nurse took Will's phone to take the first few pictures of our baby, which Will then showed to me as they began suturing me up. Once Kate had been cleaned up and checked out, the nurse guided Will out of the OR with the baby.  A few minutes later, once the doctors had finished up on me, they wheeled me out into recover where Will sat in a chair, holding our daughter and staring at her, completely mesmerized. 

Once I was situated and hooked up to more tubes and drips, they placed my daughter on my chest. Will and I sat there with her, admiring her features, stroking her little arms, and finally getting a chance to exhale after a whirlwind morning. I know I'll look back and recall that those first moments with her was one of the happiest times in my life, just the three of us quietly sitting there and marveling over everything that had just happened. 

The next three days were kind of a blur.  I was hooked up to a 24 hour magnesium drip (not something I would wish on my worst enemy -- it makes you feel heavy and loopy and nauseous) and then later that night was given a platelet transfusion (the low normal count is 150,000 and my levels had dipped to 21,000). My mom and Will took turns spending the night in the hospital with me and the baby, as I wasn't able to be left alone with the baby as long as I was on a magnesium drip.  It was a struggle to hold her with all the lines coming out of my arms,  and I wasn't able to stand up to pick her up or change her due to my incision. I'm someone who hates having to ask for help, so the fact that I was essentially unable to care for my own child was something that really hit me hard. 

After a very long 72 hours, we were finally discharged to go home. My recovery has been slow and steady, but Kate has been the picture of perfect health since the very beginning. I've read so many accounts of people with HELLP Syndrome since she was born, and I can't believe how very lucky we are. So many babies don't come out as healthy as Kate did, and many of them are born far more premature than she was. My primary concern at this point is that this condition would arise in a second pregnancy, where we might not be so lucky.  While a second pregnancy is a ways down the road, I plan on doing as much research as possible and hopefully finding a maternal-fetal medicine specialist nearby who can help guide us through another pregnancy while minimizing the HELLP risk as much as possible.  

If any of you readers are pregnant or know someone who is pregnant and having chest pains, PLEASE SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION and request a blood test for liver enzymes.  Had the PA at my OB clinic on Monday tested my liver enzymes, I would have received a HELLP diagnosis (by a real doctor, not just a PA who falsely assumed I was simply suffering from pregnancy heartburn) three days earlier than I did.  And in so many HELLP cases, three days would make the difference between life and death. We ended up being incredibly fortunate that things turned out the way they did.  

I am so over-the-moon happy that my daughter is happy, healthy, and here with us.  But had events played out differently, or had I not decided to go to the ER when I did, this might be a very different blog post.  So please, please, remember that you know your body best and that it is imperative that you trust your own intuition over all else. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

She’s Here!!

My sweet little Kate arrived a few weeks ago, two weeks ahead of schedule. Her birth story, which I’ll share in due time, is long and more complicated than I could have ever imagined.

Nevertheless, we both ended up on the other side of the process happy and healthy with no long-lasting effects. These days I’m just soaking up as much baby time as possible and learning how to be the best mom I can be to this sweet little angel.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Weeks 34, 35, 36.

How far along: 36 weeks

Baby Size: A head of romaine lettuce

Weight gain: 38 pounds at my last appointment (ugh)

Maternity clothes:  Yeah, for the ones that fit.  At this point even some of my maternity items are just a tad snug. The maternity pants I've been wearing throughout this pregnancy are starting to get a little tight in the hips, as I think my hips are starting to widen to get ready for the big day.  So I've had to stick with a few staples in my closet and just hope that they'll get me through until girlfriend makes her grand appearance.  
Sleep: Can't complain about this one (yet), aside from the potty breaks and the strange midnight acid reflux episodes that seem to be happening every night without fail. 

Gender: All bows. 

Movement: Some days she's more active than others, but I've had to sit through a few meetings at work where my stomach was moving and bouncing like crazy. Will has been able to place his hands on my stomach and feel movement from her various body parts (primarily the knees and feet) when I draw his attention to it. Meanwhile she seems to be moving from one side of my stomach to the other.  In the morning she'll be safely hovered on my left side, but by lunch I'll be able to feel her head all the way to the right.  Hoping all this movement back and forth is just preparing her for her final voyage downwards!

Best moment this week: I've had several people express surprise at how far along I am when they ask. Mostly women who assure me they were much bigger than I am this far along, and that I seem to be carrying really well. Hey, at this point, I'll take any compliment I can get. I do have to keep reminding myself that a lot of people have much worse pregnancies than I'm having, and that these small very typical pregnancy aches and pains I'm feeling are small potatoes considering what others have to go through. 

Looking forward to: Feeling that first contraction.  Every single tingle and pain I feel makes me hold my breath until I'm convinced that it's not something more than it is. At this point we're so ready for the labor portion, and I don't think there's anything else I could do to better prepare myself for it!

Food cravings: My grandfather used to have a glass bowl of Hershey's chocolate almond nuggets at his house, and I used to eat them all slowly one by one, letting the chocolate melt away in my mouth until I reached the almond in the middle.  I came across a bag of these at the grocery store last week, which I of course had to buy.  At night when we're watching tv I eat these candies one by one, the way I used to, and it triggers memories of my grandparents' house as a child. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: Just the acid reflux that rears its ugly head around midnight most nights. 

Labor Signs: So far I've had two episodes of Braxton Hicks, but they were just one quick contraction each time.  I've been drinking my red raspberry leaf tea and eating dates religiously, so I'm hoping to feel some more of these "getting ready" contractions in the coming days and weeks. 

What I miss: Being able to get out of bed or out of a chair without a) someone's assistance or b) careful planning and a great deal of gravity on my side.

Symptoms: Acid reflux, round ligament pains, horrible pain in my right knee that has been there for weeks, trouble breathing deeply (girlfriend is crushing my lungs), a severe case of baby brain, gray hairs, arthritis in my hands when I wake up in the mornings, swelling in my hands, feet, legs, and face, etc.  Just all the normal stuff that goes along with this "season" of life. 

Nursery: It's completed, but it's a mess.  I have so much laundry and other items strewn across the rocker and crib while I try to put together all the items we'll need at the hospital. There will be time for tidying up later. 

Belly Button in or out? Neither.  I just don't have one anymore. 

Wedding rings on or off? Off. Even the fake larger ones I bought are too small at this point. 

Mood: Excitement with a mixture of anxiety.  I'm just so ready to meet this baby and to get past the labor stage.  A month or two ago I would have said that I was terrified of the process of giving birth, but I've done so much research and reading and taking classes and just overall fretting over the whole thing that I think I've worked my way past the fear entirely.  I accept that it's going to hurt, and there's going to be very little I can do to control the situation.  However, I understand that going through labor is necessary and that we'll be rewarded with the greatest gift of our lives at the end of it. 

Workouts: Ha. I can barely walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. Exercise is so out of the question at this point.  
Hubby: He's just as anxious and ready as I am to meet our sweet girl.  He's been so sweet about helping me out around the house and trying to make things easier on me. I think it pains him to see me feeling as useless and aggravated as I am at this point, and he's ready to have his wife back. We're both just counting down the days at this point..

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Weeks 30, 31, 32, 33

How far along: 33 weeks

Baby Size: A butternut squash

Weight gain: 30 pounds at my last appointment (ugh)

Maternity clothes:  Oh yeah.  And some of them don't even fit anymore.  This bump is all out front, which makes the clothing portion a little difficult.  My shoes officially no longer fit, because my feet have ballooned up a few sizes. I went out and bought two new pairs of flats in a size bigger than my usual size just to make it through the end of this pregnancy. 
Sleep: Fine, for the most part.  Still getting up multiple times a night for bathroom breaks.  I've been having some awfully strange dreams lately.  Must be all those pregnancy hormones..

Gender: Everything pink. 

Movement: Oh yeah.  She's apparently taking salsa lessons late at night.  There have been points where she's kicked me between the ribcage and I can feel the outline of a little foot! She's definitely head-down at this point, so I can sort of tell the distinct movements (hands versus feet) based on where they are.  The other night we were in bed watching tv and I had my phone just resting on my stomach.  Out of nowhere, the phone went flying across the room.  Girlfriend has some serious power in there -- that's not the first time she's swatted something away from my stomach. 

Best moment this week: I think I've finally reached the point where I know the end is near, and I'm satisfied with the progress we've made up to this point.  If she were to arrive tomorrow, we're basically all set with the things we truly need.  So, that's essentially the biggest burden off my shoulders.  I'm also so happy we've finished up with our childbirth classes at the hospital -- it turns out that most of their standard policies align with the things I really wanted to ask for in the first place, such as delayed cord clamping and immediate skin-to-skin contact. I'm feeling equal parts terrified and over the moon excited about this labor portion of our journey, but mostly I just want to go ahead and get through it.  At this point the waiting is really just killing me. 

Looking forward to: Meeting that sweet girl! I'm ready to get this show on the road!

Food cravings: None to speak of. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: I've been experiencing waves of nausea out of nowhere this week.  My chiropractor said it was most likely due to a subluxation in my spine (which he adjusted), so I'm waiting to see if it reappears.  Eating too much at night has been my downfall, because that food just seems to sit on my stomach and takes forever to be digested. I'm trying my best to take my time eating dinner so I can better gauge when I'm full. 

Labor Signs: Not yet. 

What I miss: This is going to sound like I'm not thankful for being blessed with this pregnancy (which isn't the case at all), but I really am looking forward to a time in the future when I can go back out into public and not be stared and gawked at like a circus animal. I know it more than often comes from a good place, but the staring really gets old. 

Symptoms: Back pain, per usual. Apparently the baby's head is resting against my left pubic bone, which makes walking a little uncomfortable. I'm just achy all over, and so tired all the time. Walking up the stairs is a huge workout, and it leaves me completely out of breath. I'm still finding gray (read: white) hairs popping up along my hairline.  They honestly just show up overnight, and I'm hoping they'll go away once I give birth. 

Nursery: Almost completely done! I'll be sure to post pictures here once everything has been put in its rightful place. We bought a new area rug that I absolutely love that ties everything together so well in there!

Belly Button in or out? Eh, at this point it's basically flush with my stomach.  Which my husband loves to make fun of, because it looks like I don't even have a belly button at all at this point. 

Wedding rings on or off? Off. I bought fake wedding rings a half size bigger than usual to tide me over through the end of the pregnancy, but my hands are too swollen to even accommodate those anymore.  So, I guess I'm going without rings from here on out. My husband loves to joke that I'm just a single mother, getting judgmental looks from the strangers who pass me by.  He's not entirely wrong about the looks -- I can definitely tell when people look at my stomach and automatically scan my left hand for a wedding ring. 

Mood: I think I've reached the end of pregnancy "snippiness" I've heard about.  Everything stresses me out, and I'm just exasperated most of the time. 

Workouts: Not really.  Still doing squats and lifting 5-pound dumbbells every night before bed, but I don't have the lung capacity for anything remotely aerobic. 
Hubby: Once again, is being such a good sport about putting up with me at this point.  He's relocated himself to the guest bedroom at night because my obnoxious snoring and hogging the bed is too much for anyone to deal with. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Weeks 26, 27, 28, 29

How far along: 29 weeks

Baby Size: A cabbage

Weight gain: 24 pounds

Maternity clothes:  Sure am, and I'm still collecting them.  I can't seem to have too many pairs of black maternity pants, and lately I've been loving the flow sweater tunic tops (non-maternity) in a size larger than I typically wear. What's interesting is that I'm still at the stage where I can just barely manage to disguise my bump so that it doesn't attract attention -- twice in the past week I've alluded to my pregnancy while talking to strangers, and they both looked down and were surprised by my stomach.  I think it has something to do with darker colors and layers of sweaters or scarves -- that's one good thing about being pregnant during the winter!

Sleep: Has gone way downhill in the past couple of weeks. I'm not sure if it's just due to pregnancy hormones, or anxiety about "the big day" or my frequent trips to the bathroom, but I can't seem to get any quality sleep. I did talk to my doctor, and got approval to take Unisom on nights where I really need to get some shut-eye.  Unfortunately, for me, Unisom leaves me groggy the next morning, so it's sort of a catch-22 as to whether I'd be groggy from the pills or just exhausted from lack of sleep.  Hoping to improve somewhat in this area, even though I know sleep will shortly become somewhat of a luxury once Miss Priss arrives. 

Gender: Girl!

Movement: Girlfriend is in there taking salsa lessons, I swear.  She's either fast asleep (during the day, when I'm up and moving around) or dancing up a storm (usually after meals or in the evening when I'm just starting to wind down).  At my 3D ultrasound a couple weeks ago I had a latte and a banana to wake her up before I got to the doctor's office, and then the ultrasound tech gave me some chilled apple juice to drink just before they started the show.  Due to all the caffeine and sugar, this baby was dancing like it was her job! She's definitely inherited her father's inability to stay still when she's awake.  We ended up capturing the funniest little video of her feet doing a tap dance inside the womb!

Best moment this week: Passing my glucose test a few weeks ago was a huge moment of relief! As far as the bigger picture is concerned, each passing week leaves me with a little more anxiety surrounding labor, but a little more peace of mind knowing that Baby Girl is one week closer to being fully capable of surviving outside of my body, should it become necessary. I feel like there just aren't enough parenting or labor books in the world to get me ready for this, but I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that this is something I'm just not going to be able to control. 

Looking forward to: Going back for a follow-up 3D ultrasound on Friday (the tech couldn't get a good picture of her face, due to the umbilical cord being in the way) and hoping to see that Girlfriend has gone ahead and flipped head-down since we saw her on the ultrasound last. 

Food cravings: Still nothing I'd necessarily call a craving, but I do happen to still be going through an ice cream phase at the moment. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still with the cheeseburgers. I just want nothing to do with them. 

Labor Signs: I have had short bouts of Braxton Hicks contractions here and there, but nothing too bad. I expect that may change here in the coming weeks, as I'm going to resume drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea to help tone and prepare my body for labor. 

What I miss: Sushi, as always. I had a couple sips of red wine on Christmas Eve, and I have to say, I really don't miss it at all.  Which is strange, considering how much I loved my wine before getting pregnant. 

Symptoms: With the arrival of the third trimester, I've noticed a lot of my first trimester symptoms returning -- a little nausea (typically only in the morning, and for short bursts), a whole lot of fatigue, lots of aches and pains (primarily in my shoulder, from sleeping on my side, and in my abdomen for obvious reasons), and just an overall feeling of being uncomfortable. Also toss in the insomnia and the insanely frequent bathroom breaks (sometimes they come at 10 minute intervals) and I have to say this isn't my favorite trimester so far.  But, I'm trying my best to keep my eye on the prize and to remember that this too is just a "season of life". 

Nursery: Making so much progress! All the furniture is in place, and at this point I'm just tackling some of the smaller details.  I just ordered my floating bookshelves this afternoon, and for Christmas my mom gave me a painting I've had my eye on to hang over the crib. Everything is slowly coming together, and I just love sitting in my rocker and gazing around the room before bedtime every night.  We've managed to create such a serene, beautiful feeling in that room, and I can't wait for this little nugget to be able to take up residence in there!

Belly Button in or out? Still in, but definitely not as deep as it used to be. 

Wedding rings on or off? Depends on the day. Technically, they're still on, but they're nearly impossible to get off at this point.  Now that Christmas is over, I'm hoping I can get back to a lower-carb way of eating and can cut down on some of this swelling. 

Mood: Anxious. Excited. All the usual feels. 

Workouts: No. It's been so hectic around here over the holidays, but I really do need to get into a walking routine. 

Hubby: Can no longer sleep next to me due to my incessant snoring, so he's been sleeping in his office at night. I think he's just as ready as I am to meet her, and we're both just sort of biding our time until the next phase arrives!  He got me a baby gate for the top of the stairs for Christmas (even though we'd agreed not to exchange gifts), and that means more to me than he knows.  I love watching this Dad side of his personality slowly come to the surface! I can't wait to see him in action. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Weeks 23, 24, 25

How far along: 25 weeks

Baby Size: A head of cauliflower

Weight gain: 15 pounds at my last appointment

Maternity clothes:  For sure. All my pants are maternity, but I’m still able to squeeze into some non-maternity tops. Now that it's gotten colder I'm on the hunt for some great vests and sweaters to incorporate into my rotation. 

Gender: A sweet little girl!

Movement: All the time! She’s especially active in the evenings after dinner, when I’m laying down. One of our dogs sleeps under our bed and has a habit of waking up around 5 AM and scratching her back on the bed’s boxspring, which causes the bed to shake. This seems to always startle the baby awake! And the other day in my office, while the cleaning lady was vacuuming, Kate would not stop wiggling around. Makes me think this child might have more in common with her fur siblings than we initially realized!

Best moment this week: Still loving the compliments I’ve been getting! A few of my coworkers have told me I’m glowing, and my chiropractor tells me he has several pregnant patients, and I seem to be one of the few who has been having such a smooth pregnancy! 

Looking forward to: Reaching the third trimester in a couple weeks!
Sleep: Well, apparently the pregnancy insomnia thing is real. Most nights I sleep just fine, but there have been instances where I find myself awake for hours on end just staring at the ceiling. 

Food cravings: None, surprisingly! This week for some reason I've been dreaming of chocolate pretzels, but I don't find myself necessarily craving them enough to go out and buy them!

Anything making you queasy or sick: I'm still hating burgers (especially the smell of them while they're cooking), and as of this week it feels like the morning nausea has made another appearance! From what I read it’s normal to have nausea come back in the third trimester, but I’m hoping it doesn’t last long.

Labor Signs: Way too early just yet! 

What I miss: I can’t wait for a big glass of red wine!
Symptoms: The back pain has disappeared ever since I started seeing the chiropractor! Aside from the constant need to pee and the small bouts of nausea I’m feeling, everything is fine!

Nursery: The nursery is still a work in progress. We painted it a very light grey color a few weeks ago, and I’m loving how everything is slowly coming together! Most of our bigger pieces -- i.e. the crib, the dressers, the rocker, and the bookshelf are in place and ready to go.  The smaller things, such as the painting we've chosen to hang above the crib and the floating bookshelves I'd like to install next to the rocker, are still works in progress. Nonetheless, I’d say we’re slightly ahead of schedule!

Belly Button in or out? Way in. 

Wedding rings on or off? On

Mood: Stressed to the maximum. But I think that has a lot to do with the holidays coming up, finances being stretched pretty tight (oh hey, car repair and vet surgery bills), and a constant surge of hormones boarding through my body. This too shall pass. 

Workouts: Not really, but I’ve been doing hand weight exercises for my arms and squats for my legs in the evenings. We've made a couple of attempts to start walking around the neighborhood after dinner, but it's been so cold here and we've both had such hectic schedules lately that we haven't managed to get into a solid routine. Maybe once the holidays are done..

Hubby: Has been the best about talking me off the ledge and calming me down through my intense moments. He woke up early this morning to find me asleep on my back, so he quietly rolled me over to my side. He’s going to be an awesome dad!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Baby Shower

My mom threw me the sweetest baby shower for Baby Kate this weekend! It was so humbling to have so many of our friends and family show up to show their love and support for this little one who will be joining us in a few short months! My precious 2-year old niece was a huge help with opening my gifts, and everyone had such a great time joining in on the celebration. My sister-in-law, who helped put this whole thing together, was gracious enough to catch some wonderful shots from the day!