Wednesday, October 19, 2011

6 Weeks To Go...

Things are getting so very exciting! I am nearing 33 weeks along and doing fantastic. I remember thinking at the very beginning of this pregnancy - I'm talking in the first few weeks - that it seemed like an eternity until our baby would be born. Since then, time has flown by and it's so evident that she'll be here before we know it.

We've been seeing my OBGYN twice a week and have had nothing but good news at each check-up. Also, she has picked a date that we'll have the baby (that's if she hasn't decided to join us before then). On November 30th, we'll go to the hospital and either induce or have a c-section, depending on what's best at the time for the baby and I. It's just astonishing that that's only 6 weeks from today.

Recently, we met with the anesthesiologist who will be present during our procedure. It was important to actually talk to him before hand so we could discuss certain complications that can occur related to my spinal cord injury, specifically called autonomic dysreflexia. Mom, Jacob and I all liked him a lot and were glad that he seemed very knowledgeable about my condition. He also did an X-ray to make sure he could do an epidural with the type of spinal fusion and hardware that I have in my back. All looked great.

Jacob and I had a really good time and learned a lot at our birthing class. Plus, it was at the hospital where I'll deliver and we got to see our beautiful rooms, with gorgeous views overlooking the North Georgia mountains. It all felt perfect. And, I must say that I was very proud when my sweet husband was the only Dad out of all there who was brave enough to get up and practice swaddling in front of the group. This little girl has no idea how lucky she is.

As we all expected, my mobility is getting more limited by the day. With determination and some help, though, I'm still maintaining my basic independence. I've started to cut out certain things that are becoming too difficult and have gotten extra creative with other daily living tasks. But these days, I'm finding more and more that even if I am able to do something - like get dressed, get out of the house, climb up into our SUV - I'm so exhausted by the time I'm finished that I have to lay back for a bit. Over the next weeks, I'll pay close attention to my body and my strength and reduce my schedule accordingly. For the time being, I'm hanging in there and being very thankful for those around me, as well as a sympathetic work environment.

Last week I had a little baby shower with some wonderful ladies I know and brought home a beautiful bassinet. I loved watching Jacob put it together. This weekend, we'll enjoy a co-ed baby shower with some family and friends. We can't wait to celebrate the coming arrival of our little girl!

I feel so fortunate that I'm experiencing this journey with the man of my dreams. I'm still in awe at how our love continues to grow each day and how comfortable and content we've felt during this entire process. I also continue to be amazed by the strength and potential of the human body. It's all an amazing miracle that I'm proud to share with you. Thanks for reading and have a happy week!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Getting Closer Everday...

It seems like all the pieces are coming together.  We've got two months left and the excitement is growing everyday. Last weekend, Jacob painted her room a beautiful "sun shower yellow." It's starting to feel like a nursery with the valence hung up, little hangers in the closet and a few of her things filling up some of the space. My talented husband also started construction on the accessible crib. He's doing such a great job and I can't wait to see the finished product.

We had our first "non-stress tests" (or NST) this week. In the last two weeks or so, I've had some tightening in my abdomen that we think could possibly be some minor contractions. My doctor assured me that "Braxton Hicks" are pretty common and harmless unless they started to occur more frequently. Just to be safe and keep a good eye on things, we'll start going in twice a week for these NST's, which monitor for contractions, as well as the baby's activity. When I go in, I lay on the table (with plenty of pillows) for about 40 minutes to an hour with a belt strapped to my belly. A print out provides the information the doctor is looking for. The first of these tests went great and I loved it when my doctor came in at the end, looked at the read-out, smiled and shook her head and said, "This is one beautiful baby. Everything is perfect, you can go on home."

This week, I had a great time speaking to the first-year Occupational Therapy students at Brenau University. This is the third time I've spoken to that class about mobility issues and being a wheelchair user, but the first time I've had the opportunity to share insights as to what my experiences are while pregnant. I've had many occupational therapists make a real positive impact on me over the years, so I am glad to offer any knowledge that might help these students. They were pretty impressed that at 7 1/2 months along, that I can still lift myself up into our Chevy Trail Blazer, on my own. We're in the process of getting a new accessible vehicle for me, and I look forward to that more than I can say!

I feel so fortunate to still be feeling so great this far along. Aside from some spells of exhaustion, some occasional cramped feelings (especially after I eat), shortness of breath here and there, and a recent slight increase in muscles spasms - I can't help but consider myself lucky. Also, despite some extra time and effort it takes for me to accomplish daily tasks, I'm still managing to take care of myself pretty much as usual, and I'm thankful for that as well.

As Jacob lit our first fire today, I had a noticeable awareness that we are nearing the season that our daughter will join us. She'll be here before we know it. Next weekend, we'll attend our child birth class. In three weeks, we'll have the first of our baby showers. I have a feeling we'll be pretty busy from here on out. And I'm looking forward to every moment of it.

Remember, if you or someone you know has some questions for me, feel free to send an email here, and you may also share this post. Thanks for following along and until next time, Happy Fall!