Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The highly anticipated babymoon (pic heavy)

We are living the dream! I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was, after all we've been through ... to be able to go on a vacation and sport a huge belly ... I really do count it a miracle. I am so grateful to be this pregnant and to be able to enjoy this pregnancy ...

For those that would like to see ... I've created this picture heavy post capturing our wonderful babymoon. What is a babymoon you ask? It’s your last hurrah, your last couple-only vacation before baby comes … like “honeymoon” only it’s in anticipation of baby, hence "babymoon".

For years I’ve fantasized about a babymoon and for me what defined a good babymoon was something warm and tropical, a place where I could for the first time in my life wear a bikini without fear (hence all the pics of me, it's a start to our maternity pics!). Originally I wanted to go to Hawaii, but given my near plane crash 11 years ago I’m not too fond of flying and use meds to get through most flights … given that I’m pregnant I can’t take the meds and going without would be a bad idea as it would introduce too much stress to the baby … so we opted for driving to Southern California instead. We stayed in Dana Point, the nearly furthest south beach town just above San Diego. We were there for a little over a week … I would have liked more time, but I’ll take what I can get!

We headed out the weekend of Labor Day, so in these pictures I am 24+ weeks pregnant. And, as large as it looks, the belly has grown even more since then! Enough rambling … let’s get to the pictures:

Let's start with lots of good eating ...
Then we enjoyed a whale and dolphin watching tour!

First day at the beach ...

Date night ... a gondola ride, a night strolling through Laguna Beach, and a night of non-hot tubbin'!

More eating at the hotel ...
First day at the pool ...

Second day at the beach ... and some surfing! (Ok, or just some posing with the board ... for me at least!)

Second day at the pool:

It was hard to say good-bye ...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The painful and scary "near fall"

I was heading into work yesterday and as I stepped through a doorway that I usually don't use, I missed the 3 inch step I needed to overcome and I tripped on it. With 8 lbs extra pregnancy weight (according to my latest appointment on Friday 8/28) taking the form of a big belly hanging over my waistband, a 10-15 lb backpack on my back, and a heavy purse in hand ... the trip was not as graceful as it could have been.

My left foot caught the 3 inch ledge and suddenly I was thrown off my center. I took a few long strides and with each step my foot slammed into the hallway floor. After two steps, I thought for sure I was recovering from the fall when I over corrected and started falling the other direction ... after a few more feet pounding strides I thought I was on the edge of correction ... and I could SWEAR I felt my heavy backpack shifting weight across my back ... and I went back the other direction a few more long strides.

By the time I came to a stop, I had NOT fallen (thank the Lord) and I had made it nearly 30 feet down the hallway ... it took nearly 30 feet for me to correct from nearly tripping, can you believe it!??!

I looked down at my foot and gracefully tried to pick up my water bottle that had flown out of my purse ... as I waited for SOMEONE to come out of their office and check to see how I was doing. Sadly, 4 office doors later ... nobody checked on that extremely loud sound I had created. I gathered my wits and proceeded to my office.

As I walked down the hall, I noticed how sore I was. I started feeling pains in my stomach, round ligament, and groin region. I made it to my office and called Berilac ... I was pretty rattled by what had just happened.

30 minutes later I headed into a meeting where I got to sit for an hour and a half with my feet propped up and all seemed to be going fine ... the meeting ended and then I stood up. Can you say "ouch?"

The pain and soreness radiated through my body. I could hardly walk. I slowly took my old man walk up to my office and emailed my doctor. An hour later, no response and it was lunch time. By 1PM I called the office and learned that the doctor's lunch hours extended another half hour. At that point, I was in so much pain, I decided to head home. I got one office mate to fetch my car and another carried my stuff out to my awaiting car. On the way to the car the doctor called and said she thinks everything is fine but for peace of mind I should come in.

I arrived to the doctor's office 7 minutes later. They quickly escorted me in to the exam room and prepped me for a pelvic exam. Before she jumped in - she checked the baby's heartbeat with a doppler - but I knew all was fine, as I'd felt kicking ever since the incident. So there I sat awaiting my first pelvic exam in the pregnancy (I was too scared to have one early on). The doctor indicated that my cervix was soft and she was a tad concerned. I reminded her that three weeks prior my cervical length was 5cm and she confirmed that with my most recent ultrasound results. I asked her if she was planning on doing an ultrasound to check for cervical length and she said she would. She rolled in the ultrasound machine and used the vaginal probe to take a peak at the cervix. She was unable to get a good view of the cervix and because of that she ordered a STAT cervical measurement downstairs in Radiology.

It was at this point that I really started to sweat things. The doctor indicated that she wasn't overly concerned, but she wanted me to be able to head home for the afternoon with some peace of mind. I called Berilac and asked him to come to the clinic - up to this point I could handle the appointment all on my own.

I ended up having to wait an hour for the appointment, 55 minutes awaiting Berilac's arrival. I tried to lay down in Radiology's lobby ... just in case my cervix was shortening. But because I was in a chair, my slumping wasn't proving that useful, or comfortable for that matter - with the earlier painful "near fall" incident earlier in the day.

As I sat in the lobby, so many thoughts went through my mind. At one point tears were in my eyes as I thought about how I wouldn't forgive myself if something I did (like nearly tripping over my own foot) caused the loss of my baby. Looking back now, and of course with some perspective I *know* that if something had happened it wouldn't have been my fault ... but I guess that's where my baggage and issues come into play. I prayed that God would give me some peace about the next few hours and I thought about the likely best and worst case scenarios. I remembered back to the pelvic exam and how the doctor mentioned that I wasn't dialated at all ... I knew that was really good news in the face of potential early delivery. I remembered that this Friday we will hit 24 weeks (viability) and that I've had many friends who've caught a shortening cervix to go on to bed rest, emergency cerclage, and pretty strong anti contraction drugs to avoid early labor. I remembered that I haven't even started having braxton hicks contractions yet ... so surely I haven't started real contractions.

Within minutes of Berilac's arrival we were escorted to the ultrasound room. The tech reminded us that we could not receive news good or bad from her, but that we'd have to wait until the doctor contacted us. I did confirm with her what our OB had said: "if there's something concerning - they will send you back up to OB/GYN, if it's all fine - they will send you home" ... she said that was true and proceeded to take a peak inside my belly.

As the ultrasound went on, and I waited there in the dark, with this technician wanding my stomach ... I prayed that our baby would be safe and sound inside my womb. The technician asked if she could take some pictures of the baby for us to take home and my heart lightened up a bit ... she almost gave away the gender, but didn't. She showed us the face of the baby ... which looked almost 3D ... little Baby Gamwich looked so cute.

She finished the ultrasound and said that she needed the Radiologist to confirm her findings. Minutes later she returned telling us we could head home. Shortly after we left my OB called and left a message indicating that my cervix hasn't changed over the past three weeks: still 5cm, still closed, still no funneling ... I took a deep breath.

I've spent the last day and a half hobbling around like an old man as the jarring from my "near fall" really bounced that belly around. My ligaments are sore, my muscles are sore ... it just hurts to walk. So I've been sitting reclined since yesterday afternoon ... working, and being very grateful that all is well and that I can still feel little Baby Gamwich safe and sound in there ... as usual, kicking up a storm.

Thank you Lord for keeping our little baby safe ... and thank you that I didn't actually fall on my stomach in my incident yesterday morning ... it could have been so much worse - so thank you for protecting us.