Friday, May 25, 2012

31 Weeks!

How far along? 31 weeks! Another week toward our goal! PLEASE stay in baby girl! 
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10, gained 18
Sleep: tossing and turning, sciatic pain, hot flashes and having to pee a lot, restless leg pain
How big is baby? about the size of a Pineapple. 15.2 to 16.7 inches and 3.25lbs
Best moment this week: not dilating any further as of Tuesday despite the contractions and cramping
Movement: lots of rolls, kicks, punches, hiccups you name it! Sometimes she's just plain violent!
Symptoms: preterm contractions, menstral like cramps, exhausted, intense cervical pressure, restless legs, vericose vein pain, sciatica pain, reflux even with meds
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: granola bars and strawberry banana smoothies
Food aversions: none this week
Gender:GIRL! * ~ Bella ~ *
Labor Signs:  preterm contractions, menstral like cramps, and intense cervical pressure, 80% effaced and fingertip dilated :( 
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss: being allowed to take Bray to the park, walks, and other fun places :( 
What I am looking forward to:  scheduling our growth scan

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Patriotic Bunting!

I bought fabric forever ago to make patriotic bunting for Memorial Day/4th of July/Labor Day. I've been slacking with everything else going on in life and finally remembered I had the stuff. I figured it was a good craft to do since I can sit and make it.  It turned out cute! My only issues is the bias tape I had wasn't as long as I would of like but it that's okay. Here's some pics!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bella's Newborn Hat!

Bella's Newborn/hospital hate finally came in! I think it turned out SO cute and I absolutely love it! SO of course I had to blog b/c i'm that much of a dork. lol  I totally recommend the Etsy seller, she did a great job. I'm sure the hat will be a little big but at least she can wear it for a little while.  

30 Weeks and another l&d trip

Another "exciting" week for us around here. We had another trip to L&d triage on Wednesday. I've been having some intense cramping and a few irregular contractions. It was the 3rd day in a row where it was consistent and it wasn't getting better, so I called the ob to see what they thought. So off to L&D we went. The monitors were showing uterine "irritability" the whole time i was there, but fortunately no full blown contractions. Which i knew but at least I'm not crazy on the cramping. The cervical check showed that I'm not 80% effaced and a finger tip dilated. The ob was NOT happy about the dilation since its still so early, and said it's a "slippery slope" at this point. Fortunately the FFN test came back negative so we aren't in immediate danger of going in to labor. I'm greatful that Bella is still laying  transverse at this point. The fact that her head is not pressing on my cervix directly is our saving grace. Hoping and praying she stays in for AT LEAST another 4+ weeks. Obviously the longer the better but we are trying to get to that milestone at this point.  This little girl sure does love messing with mommy! 

How far along? 30 weeks!
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10, gained 17
Sleep: tossing and turning, hot flashes and having to pee a lot 
How big is baby? the size of a cucumber Average size: 15.2 -16.7 inches, 2.5-3.8 lb.
Best moment this week: getting things ready in the nursery 
Movement: lots of rolls, kicks, punches, hiccups you name it! Sometimes she's having a dance party
Symptoms: preterm contractions, menstral like cramps, exhausted, intense cervical pressure, restless legs, vericose vein pain, tail bone pain, reflux even with meds
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: granola bars and strawberry banana smoothies
Food aversions: none this week
Gender:GIRL! * ~ Bella ~ *
Labor Signs:  preterm contractions, menstral like cramps, and intense cervical pressure, 80% effaced and fingertip dilated :( 
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss: being allowed to be more active but Bella needs to stay IN 
What I am looking forward to:  scheduling our growth scan

Monday, May 14, 2012

Getting Ready for Bella!

Slowly but surely we are getting everything together and set up for Bella's arrival. Of course I'm not due for another 10weeks and 4days but with my premature contractions/effacement/cramping I'm trying to make sure we have things done a little earlier just in case. Of course my "Type A" personality wants me to have things done ahead of time regardless so it's nice to get things together.

The kids will actually be sharing a room, which should be interesting but we painted the whole room a turquoise color (Brayden's color) since her bedding has the same color in it. It ties everything together really nicely. Brayden's wall is going to be painted with horizontal stripes in varying sizing in the turquoise, a darker turquoise and white.  We already had chocolate brown curtains in there (they darken the room nicely) but I'm not sure if I like them with the new bedding but that's the least of my worries. We got the same style crib as Brayden so they match and it keeps things looking cohesive. Brays bed converts to a toddler day bed so he will be using that for a while.  I love the butterfly bedding that I found. Big surprise I picked butterflies!! It's SO cute! I will have to drop the mattress down later but I know she won't be in it for a long while so I'm not worried about it right now.

I also ordered a few things for her off  I LOVE that site, it's addicting and just plain trouble when it comes to buying things. I did find this awesome seller who does personalized wall decals. I got Bella's name in white with dark purple butterflies. I absolutely love how it turned out. I totally recommend the Etsy store Just the Frosting their stuff is reasonably priced and beautiful.  I am absolutely in love with how our decal turned out, it's beautiful.  Here's the link to the one we ordered.  PS girl stuff is so much fun to buy/decorate ext. I have the hardest time finding things for Bray that I really like.

I also ordered Bella's monthly onesie stickers! I loved taking the monthly photos of Brayden so I had to get her, her own!  They are SO CUTE!

I think all we are waiting for from Etsy (for now lol) is her newborn hat for the hospital.  We had gotten Brayden a hat with his name embroidered and I wanted to keep up with that tradition. It's definitely a great keepsake after it no longer fits.  We ordered this ADORABLE hot pink hat with zebra bow, obviously with her name on it. I can't wait for this to come!!

Mothers Day Crafting!

I love trying new DIY crafts and projects so I figured I would try some cute personalized gifts for our moms for Mothers Day. Pinterest of course was my inspiration.  I decided to make photo coasters and collage flower pots. The coasters were super easy and totally cute. The modge podge did leave a little bit of textured lines on the photos but they still look nice. The flower pots were a little tougher since the pots are wrapped. They came out okay.  Definitely a trial and error kind of thing. I sealed the pots and the coasters with acrylic spray to water proof them. Both moms loves them so that's all that matters.  Here are some pics on how they turned out.  


Flower Pots

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spring day!

Yesterday Pennsauken's Historical Society had a Spring Day for the kids. I know, I know I'm suppose to be taking it easy but we decided to take a short trip just to get out of the house and enjoy the amazing weather. Brayden had a great time. The whole even was really small and there wasn't much to it but it made for a nice relaxing time. Bray's favorite part was the animals. Of course! When we got there they were still setting up but since there wasn't a crowd there was plenty of opportunity for Bray to get lots of "petting" time in.  I love his curiosity with everything. He really loves animals so this totally made his day!

He also got to go on his 1st pony ride and absolutely LOVED it! They had a two med size horses and a miniature horse named Lollipop. lol Bray's always been too little to ride the horses before but fortunately the miniature horse was perfect for him. I was a little worried he wouldn't want to stay on the horse. Since he never wants to sit still for anything but he did great! In fact he didn't want to get off when he was done. lol Fortunately because the place wasn't packed he was able to get another ride later on. :) He really looked like such a big kid riding the horse. *tear*  Glad we decided to head out despite the car breaking down afterward.  uggh. That's a whole other story but we didn't let it ruin our day.  

Friday, May 11, 2012

29 weeks!

Whoa I got giant! 

How far along? 29 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10, gained 16/17
Sleep: tossing and turning, hot flashes and having to pee a lot 
How big is baby? about the size of an acorn squash 15.2-16.7" and 2.5-3.8lbs
Best moment this week: finding out we are not Rh sensitized and baby girl is okay
Movement: lots of rolls, kicks, punches, hiccups you name it! Sometimes she's having a dance party
Symptoms: preterm contractions, menstral like cramps, exhausted, intense cervical pressure, restless legs, vericose vein pain, tail bone pain, reflux even with meds
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: granola bars and strawberry banana smoothies
Food aversions: none this week
Gender:GIRL! * ~ Bella ~ *
Labor Signs:  preterm contractions, menstral like cramps, and intense cervical pressure, 75% effaced
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss: being allowed to be more active but Bella needs to stay IN 
What I am looking forward to:  getting bellas baby hat and other things we ordered in the mail

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Immunology follow up...finally getting somewhere!

I LOVE his smile! 

Today we had Brayden's follow up with the immunologist at CHOP.  I love his doctor. Dr Jyonouchi is so personable and really takes the time to talk to you, listen and work with you to figure things out.

I posted yesterday that the genetic testing Bray had done for the genetic forms of periodic fever came back negative. Despite being upset about not having a diagnosis after talking to the dr I feel better. The way he explained it, they test for the genetic forms first because in the past people have been treated for the wrong form and ended up with long term issues b/c they weren't adequately treated for the genetic abnormality. But since it's not the genetic form the Dr is officially giving him the diagnosis of Periodic Fever but the PFAPA version.  Traditionally PFAPA is accompanied by enlarged glands and/or mouth sores but fortunately he's not in the percentage, thank god. At this point I'm thrilled that we actually have a diagnosis to work with. Another good thing about PFAPA over the genetic forms is that kids usually outgrow it by the age of ten. With that said it doesn't mean that he will always have the fevers at the frequency he's currently having them. When they get older they tend to spread out over time. From the onset through the toddler years tends to be the worst, so here's hoping things can only get better with time.

So now the game plan. We started him today on Cimetidine, which is actually a reflux medicine(H2 blocker) used for off label purposes.  Research has shown that it can drastically reduce the recurrence of fevers in many children, sometimes essentially curing them.  So we are hoping at the very least that it will lengthen the span between episodes. Any changes would be better! I'm not too familiar with this treatment but after doing some research it seems like a great starting point instead of some much more invasive options.

Our secondary line of defense is when the onset of a fever begins we will give him one dose of prednisone. I'm not thrilled about giving him steroids but it makes me feel better that's it's ONE dose and not a full week or anything.  The prednisone seems to be a standard treatment with PFAPA. What it's suppose to do is decrease the length of an episode. So instead of his normal 5-7 days it's given in hopes to reduce it to 3-4 days. From my "chatting" online with other moms of PFAPA kids I've learned that the steroids tend to reduced the length of fever but they can also increasing the frequency. In other words the child may have it for 4 days but they'll have a the episode every 2 instead of 4 weeks. I spoke to the Dr about this and he said that it does happen in a percentage of children, so it's just something we need to keep an eye out for since we won't know how his body will react to it.

So for now I feel a little better that we are doing something.  The fevers take so much out of him and it kills me to see him going through this at such a frequency. In my research I did see a lot of kids were getting their tonsils and adenoids out and it was "curing" them.  Not that I want Brayden to have any form of surgery but I wanted to see where our doctor stood on this. He said that at this point he feels that there isn't enough research to show that its effective for all PFAPA patients. In Bray's case he doesn't typically present with really enlarged adenoids or mouth sores so it doesn't seem to make sense to put him through such an invasive procedure.  Plus the procedure as a treatment is still pretty controversial in the immunology community so he is happier starting where we are to get things under control. Again less invasive is fine by me I just want my sweetie to feel better.  So here's hoping the new changes make some kind of difference. He just had his last episode this last week so we have another 3 weeks till we expect another one. We go back to the Dr in 4 months to see if the meds are helping to change the pattern, length or intensity of the fevers.  Wish us luck!!

Great news! (for a change!!)

Just as I was leaving Brayden's immunologist appointment I got a call back from my OB about my Rh sensitization issues.  The Red Cross was amazing and got the results back to them already and it looks like we may be in the clear! HUGE relief! Apparently my blood work is still showing me as positive to Anti-d but when they did the antibody type and screen and another test they all came back negative!!! In other words my blood work is giving off the signal that I am sensitized but under further inspection I'm not! THANK GOD! I REALLY needed to hear this news. I have been so worried and stressed about Bella coming early and the possibility that my own red blood cells were attacking her was like the icing on the cake. So they had me run down to Cooper and pick up my Rhogam shot and they gave it to me in the office on the spot.  So now that this speed bump is over with we can focus on keeping baby girl in till 34-35 weeks and we will be golden!

Who would of though the site of another needle would be so great! hello rhogam!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Oh fever episodes...what are you!?

It's been 9 weeks since Brayden had his genetic testing done for the recurrent fevers that he's having.  For those who aren't familiar, he gets high fevers every 4 weeks that last 5-7 days. His temp ranges from 103 to 106+ WITH meds. The fevers are accompanied by no other symptoms and he's been tested for all kinds of sickness from strep, pneumonia, UTI/kidney infection, viral and bacterial infections.  Anyway we went to the immunologist in March and the only thing we could come up with was Periodic Fever Syndrome most of the forms of this are genetic he decided to do a round of genetic testing to see what came up. We were told it would take 6-8 weeks to get the results.

So the results are in and we are at a loss.  The Dr said that he came back negative for all the genetic forms of periodic fever. I know it sounds bad that I'm a little upset its not one of the genetic forms. We were hoping that we would FINALLY have some answers and  be able to start some kind of treatment to help him start feeling better. I'm glad it's not genetic at the same time but now we are back to square one. There is one form of PFS that is non genetic (PFAPA) but that usually accompanies a sore throat and/or enlarged adenoids and/or mouth sores. He doesn't exactly fit that profile with some of it. He always tries to refuse food and drink when he has an episode so i can't rule out the sore throat, but I don't know if his adenoids are enlarged at the time of an attack. Guess we will see what the dr thinks. So obviously the next step is heading back to the immunologist.  I was thinking we would have to wait weeks to get an appointment but the dr actually had some cancellations for tomorrow! So we have an appt at 10am at CHOP.  Here's hoping we can figure something out or what the next step is. I HATE seeing him so sick every 4 weeks. Such high fevers take so much out of him and they just plain scares  the hell out of me. I just count my blessing b/c we're lucky he doesn't get febrile when he gets them.  Wish us luck tomorrow.  Apparently little man likes to do things difficult like his mommy :/

NO one likes to see a sad face like this :( 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ob appt: Rh sensitized?!, Cervical Checks and GTT

Today I had my follow up appointment with the OB to figure out what is going on with the Rh issues and to check for cervical check since last weeks L&D trip.  For the cervical stuff, I was relieved that we haven't made any additional progress since last week, I'm still 75% effaced and 0cm dilated. Huge relief! Fortunately baby girl is still laying transverse so it's helping to eliminate additional pressure on my cervix despite still randomly contracting/cramping.  The dr said at this point his goal is to get me to 34-35 weeks and he will be happy. Obviously anything can happen, she could try and come earlier or I could last much longer. Here's hoping it's the ladder. So she needs at least another 5.5 weeks.

The Rh sensitiziation stuff is another story.  The dr is actually baffled as to how I can possibly be coming up positive for the anti-d antigen.  Not sure if I posted this previously but last year when I had my pre-surgical screening for the LEEP procedure I tested position for Rh sensitivity (anit-d antibodies) but when they did follow up blood work a month later it came up negative. Which makes absolutely no sense. Once your body makes the anti-d antibodies you will always have them in your body and you will always test positive. That being said when I did our IVF pretesting and blood work when I was pregnant I tested negative again for the antibodies.  Usually in order to test positive later in a pregnancy you would have to have had abdominal trauma,  had done an amniocentesis or CVS or had a placental tear where I was exposed to babies blood. To date non of these have occurred. So the OB is sending me for more specialized tests to see what is going on with  my blood and antibodies.  The dr talked to the lab supervisor down at the hospital and they figure out a game plan. They want me to come get antibody typing done and they are going to send it to the American Red Cross b/c they can do more extensive blood  testing than Cooper can.
The way the Dr explained things is that he is hoping that my body is playing tricks.  He used the metaphor that if you have two pairs of pants, one green and one brown. The green being the "good" pants and the brown being the "bad" ones.  He is hoping that the "green pants" are accidentally sending out signals that they are brown pants, therefore registering incorrectly when blood work is ran.  So I am REALLY hoping that this is the case and I am not sensitized as we thought. If that's the case they said they'll be able to give me the Rhogam and we will hopefully be okay. I'm praying this is the case, b/c the anxiety of my red blood cells attacking the baby is killing me.  The doctor did say that if I am sensitized that that is something that would "defy the laws of immunology"... lol leave it to me.  So now we wait ...again. I go tomorrow morning, it should hopefully take 1-2 days for the Red Cross to get the results back to my Dr.  I'm keeping everything crossed for good news.

My other blood work that I had done also came back, my thyroid levels were good so I don't need to adjust my Synthroid. I am a little bit anemic despite being on the prenatal s so I'm going to make sure I"m taking extra care to increase my iron intake.  I did end up failing my GTT(glucose tolerance test).  I only failed by 1 point.  Go figure. my dr does 140 and up as a fail and I was at 141.  Which isn't bad but with how big Brayden was they want me to do the 3 hour GTT just to play it safe. So, I'll go next Tuesday when i have a sitter to get that done. I was hoping I would of passed my hr this time around since I passed with flying colors when they did an early one in the second trimester.  I failed my 1hr with Brayden and passed my 3hr so I'm hoping I follow the same trend. I really don't want anything else to have to worry about right now.  The OB did say I haven't gained anything in the last 3+ weeks so that's a good sign.  Here's hoping!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

RH sensitized?! WTH!

 Uggh im feeling a little overwhelmed. I went for my bloodwork today for gtt (glucose 

tolerance test), thyroid and my Rhogam (i'm rh negative). When i went to pick up my 

finished Rhogam shot(its synthesized from your own blood) they said i came back positive 

for antibodies. They wanted to run further testing to determine if I was definitely making 

the anti-d antibodies that would be harmful to baby girl.  Of course I am....uggh. In other 

words I'm Rh sensitive which means my blood cells are attacking the baby. 

The lab called my ob to let them know what is going on.  Since I recieved the Rhogam shot 

while pregnant with Brayden and after he was born it's practically unheard of for this to 

happen. Especially considering I tested negative in the beginning of this pregnancy.  How am 

not surprised. :/ 

So this afternoon they were running a titer to see how sensitive i actually am. I am praying 

at this point its minimal and something manageable and not a moderate or severe case. I 

have been telling Jason for the last week that Bella's movement hasn't been as much as 

normal, not i'm wondering if this is why. RH sensitivity  can have varying effects on the baby 

depending on what my titer levels look like.  The main concern is that it causes anemia and 

jaundice from the mothers red blood cells destroying the babies.  I won't even go in to the 

more severe cases. 

So for now we just wait, I have my follow up OB appointment tomorrow anyway to make 

sure I haven't had any additional cervical changes from my L&D trip last week( i was 75% 

effaced). I'm still having irregular cramping/contractions so I'm praying that I've at least 

stayed the same. Needless to say I'm feeling stressed.  I hate not having any control over the 

situation and the idea of my body attacking the baby just kills me. But I guess we will see 

how things go in the morning. Praying for good news.  

Some links about RH sensitivity:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

28 weeks!! The 3rd Trimester and pre-term contractions

Whew what a week! It has definitely been stressful to say Baby girls thinks its funny to play games and really stress mommy out.  I've been having irregular contractions since before my last ob appointment (aside from the usual Braxton Hicks). At that point they were only like 1-3 a day and random if they did happen.  They've had me being cautious about my activity and trying to take it easy when i'm done if I need to be doing things. Over the weekend we got a lot of stuff done around the house and it ended up being a little too much. So I parked my butt and made sure I was drinking a LOT of water. I was feeling a little better, nothing more than the usual cervical pressure and random few cramping/contractions. Monday was another story. I woke up feeling REALLY crampy, like those awful menstrual cramps that are not fun, which was just like early labor for me with Brayden. Needless to say I did a whole lot of NOTHING the entire day, even laid down and napped when Bray did and drank over a gallon of water. Things didn't really get too much better. although I had the dull ache feeling all day I only had like 12 contractions total from morning till  I went to bed. Not the best thing since I hadn't even hit 28 weeks yet.  *sigh* That night was not very good so I decided I HAD to call the ob in the morning. 

Fortunately I got a hold of my favorite nurse Shannon. The ob had told me before that if I was feeling any changes in pressure of contractions to call but I wanted to know at what point I should really be concerned. As expected they wanted me to head to labor and delivery to be put on the monitors. So Jason came home early from work and we dropped Bray off at my parents (HUGE thank you to them again) and headed down to Cooper hospital. It must of been labor and triage day b/c there was actually a line for triage and we had to wait like 45 minutes to even be taken back. But on the positive side since they were busy and there so overflow they put us in a regular labor room instead of triage to be monitored and it was MUCH more comfortable for me, Jason has a nice chair to sit in and there was a tv while we waited. 

The monitor was showing mild contractions but fortunately they weren't super strong and or following a specific pattern like I had been feeling.  They did do a cervical check and my cervix was feeling about 1cm/75% effaced. uggh. NOT what i wanted to hear. A week prior i was 25% so that's definitely a big jump. On the positive side I was not dilated.. thank god! While they did the exam they also did a few swabs including the FFN (fetal fibronectin test) to determine if I would be going in to labor soon. I swear it took what felt like FOREVER for it to come back. Thankfully it was NEGATIVE!  A small victory but great news.  They decided that I needed to have another cervical check before I was sent home just to make sure there were no changes while we were there. A different dr actually did the check and said i was still measuring the same as when I arrived, so that was a relief. Since my contrax were so random and not very strong they didn't feel that it was appropriate to keep me and start any meds at that point. I was given orders to follow up with the ob in one week unless they got really strong.

The sexyness that is a hospital gown lol 

Since then my body's been all over the place. Sometimes I feel okay, sometimes the pressure is intense. But i know her position affects that a lot. Fortunately she is still laying transverse which is the best possible scenario at this point.  One night this week the cramping was so painful it woke me up a few times that night. I do follow up with the ob on Tuesday, I'm just praying we can get through the weekend with out having to head back to l&d (especially with this super moon we are having lol) I'm anxious and a little nervous about my appt on Tuesday. I'm afraid there have been more changes. I have been being really careful about not doing as much as possible and relaxing and have been drinking at least a gallon of water each day. I am concerned they're going to put me on full blown bed rest but we will have to do whats best for Bella. The dr said that bed rest isn't scientifically proven to make a difference and that they order it (or any form of it ) just to play it safe, and that drinking water can help deter things. Keeping everything crossed for Tuesday!!! My goal at this point is to get to 35/36 weeks and avoid as much NICU time as possible. Maybe all this worrying will be for nothing in the end, and I will be more than happy with that but for now every week that I don't have cervical changes is a milestone! 


How far along? 28 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10, gained 16
Sleep: tossing and turning, hot flashes and having to pee a lot 
How big is baby? about the size of a  rutabaga ~ 14.8 inches and 2.5lbs
Best moment this week: making it to the 3rd trimester!
Movement: lots of rolls, kicks, punches, hiccups you name it! 
Symptoms: preterm contractions, menstral like cramps, exhausted, intense cervical pressure, restless legs, vericose vein pain, tail bone pain, reflux even with meds
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: granola bars and strawberry banana smoothies
Food aversions: none this week, i managed to stomach some chicken for a change
Gender:GIRL! * ~ Bella ~ *
Labor Signs:  preterm contractions, menstral like cramps, and intense cervical pressure, 75% effaced
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss: doing every day things with out getting winded easy
What I am looking forward to:  not really "looking forward" to it but i'm anxiously waiting my ob appt on tues, praying for no additional changes.