Warning: There is a lot of journaling in this post. Move on to the next if you don't want to read all the details. That's what I would do.
This pregnancy has been kind of a roller coaster of ups and downs. First of all, due to some fertility issues I've had all along, we had a little help to get pregnant. Clomid didn't work this time, but Letrazole did.
The beginning of the pregnancy was a big challenge, as I have never been so sick. I've tried to analyze why I was so sick. Could it be age? Consecutive pregnancies? Could it be because it's a boy? Although I wasn't this sick with Kempton. Could it be because I have four other children, leaving me exhausted with less time to rest? Who knows! All I do know is that I had to go on medication this time, which made me very drowsy, but was better than feeling nauseous and throwing up constantly. So...we got through that, it lasted til about 15 weeks this time.
Halfway through, I had the 20-week ultrasound where it was discovered that his kidneys are enlarged. They were outside the normal range (4 cm or less) at around a 6 and 7. Here began the worry. This could mean a lot of things, but something wasn't right with his urinary process.
This pregnancy has been hard on my body. With my first and second pregnancies, I ran til I delivery, wasn't nearly as sick, and felt pretty good all the way through. With my first, I remember saying to Cale, "Pregnancy must be my natural state!" He teases me about this now. I started having valvular varicose issues with my second and with each pregnancies those have gotten worse and progressed down my legs. With my fourth, I definitely felt a lot of hip and back pain, sciatica to the point of being nonfunctional at the end. Sometimes I would have to crawl around, and would definitely crawl to the bathroom in the middle of the night. It's quite the sight! haha This pregnancy, all of these symptoms started earlier. I ended up with a dislocated SI join and getting some physical therapy, which would only help for a few days. I got a cluster of varicose veins on my calf that was concerning, had to get a dopler ultrasound to rule out blood clots. This pregnancy has been a huge sacrifice for me, a labor of love really. I was able to run til 28 weeks but that may not have been the smartest thing to do. I do know that it helped me emotionally, I was a better mother and wife because of it.
The next ultrasound discovered that his kidneys had grown to 11 cm. This was now in the high risk category, which meant that if they continued to grow I would need to go to a high risk Doctor in Denver. This would definitely be a convenience, especially with four other children and living 2 1/2 hours from Denver. But mostly we were concerned about our baby boy's health. In severe cases when the pregnancy is not far enough along, they have to do surgery during pregnancy, or deliver really early. The fear is the kidney's getting too enlarge that they burst, or no longer function. There is also a loose association with Downs Syndrome. 1% of the population has this kidney condition from birth. .08% of the population has Downs with 15% of Downs babies having this condition. There is a higher likelihood that our baby just has this kidney issue and not Downs, but since I opted out of the QUAD test, there is no way to know for sure. He doesn't have any other markers from the ultrasound (heart issues, femur, etc) so we are not going to worry too much about this. Plus, what does it do to worry anyway? Easier said than done. I just know that whatever the result, this baby boy of ours will be incredibly loved and enjoyed.
We felt strongly that we should fast and pray for his kidneys to resolve, or for the will of the Lord. Our family and extended family joined us in a fast the Sunday before I had another ultrasound. We felt the love of our family and friends, and especially from our Heavenly Father.
To our amazement, the ultrasound showed that his levels had gone down to a 6 and 7 cm. Still above the normal range, but such a big relief. We wouldn't need to go to a high risk doctor, but baby's levels would still need to be monitored and they would figure things out once the baby is delivered. We left the doctors office feeling overwhelming gratitude.
I needed another ultrasound to make sure that his levels were still on the right track. At this ultrasound, we discovered that his kidney levels increased to 7-9 cm. This was a disappointment, but still not as high as they were and not considered high risk yet. But what took over this doctor's appointment was that baby was BREECH! This was not good news. A c-section with four other children and my Mom not being able to come right away to help was stressful to me. I've had some women tell me how good they recovered from a c-section but my question is always, "Well...did you have your Mom to help?" and they say yes. I think that makes all the difference in being able to recover. You get the rest you need and your other children are cared for like how you would. My husband is especially helpful and can handle a lot, but there's just some things that need a woman's touch. Also, there's a big difference in having a c-section in your 20s as compared to mid 30s and 40s.
So...once again worry about the unknown. I was scheduled for an external version at the hospital to try to manually turn the baby. The odds of the version actually working were pretty minimal. I went in for the version, got all hooked up, doctor check the position of the baby but couldn't tell for sure. Then ultrasound came and checked things out. Come to realize, baby had turned all on his own, he was already head down. Once again, such overwhelming relief!
So as of now there is no need for a c-section. Today I am 39 weeks and 3 days, the furthest I have ever gone pregnant. This is really hard mentally, but I don't want to be induced again. Induction was not a horrible experience, just slower than the natural. I really look forward to the excitement of labor and laboring at home. I went in yesterday to have my membranes stripped. I was at 3 cm, which is great progress since last week where I was just at 1 cm. I think the baby being breech slowed down my normal process because there was no pressure on the cervix. This is just my philosophy but it makes sense. I cramped all day yesterday and through the night, but haven't had regular contractions today. This may be the time that I make it to my due date (just 4 days away!).
We are so anxious for this baby to make his grand entrance! The kids are so excited and trying hard to be patient. Every morning they check to see if Grandma's shoes are here, and on their walk home from school to see if Grandma's car is here. They are disappointed when it's just me. I won't take it personally. ;) Grandma is coming to help while I'm in the hospital, which is a great relief,
This update is super duper long, but I am writing it for our family journal, where this sweet baby boy of ours may want all the details of his arrival.
Me trying every voo doo technique I read or heard of to get baby to turn! Cale had to pull me by the feet into this position. hahahaha I have no shame.
The bitter end: