Monday, October 21, 2013

Cerclage Removal and 35 Weeks

**WARNING** This post contains a pretty gross picture of the stitch as well as a graphic explanation of the removal procedure. I'll put the pic at the bottom so you don't have to see it if you don't want to.

Here is a picture from today...35 weeks baby! I MADE IT! Also, I only have about 3 shirts that fit...

So last week, I did an update about all the upcoming dates for removing the cerclage, doing an amniocentesis and then getting induced if I hadn't gone into labor on my own yet.

Well, I was SUPPOSED to get the stitches from the cerclage removed NEXT monday on the 28th. BUT I went in for my appointment today will full intentions of begging to get them out today. I am SO uncomfortable now. My skin hurts, I'm swelling pretty bad...all over, my hips and my pubic bone are killing me. So, I was ready to beg. And plead.

But, as it turns out, my doctor is doing a stay-cation next week. Meaning, he's taking the week off, not doing office visits, but he'll be in town and available for deliveries. He gave me the choice of removing the stitch today or having a doctor I'd never met and had no idea about my case remove it next week. No thank you. So I opted for stitch removal today. I'm wild and crazy!

I had done some reading online about "what to expect" with the stitch removal and I expected a little discomfort, but in general, I have a pretty decent pain tolerance. I was feeling confident. The procedure is normally done in the office and takes about the same amount of time as a pap-smear. Which every girl knows, is more awkward and uncomfortable than anything. The biggest complaint from forums online was that sometimes the cervix can start to grow around the stitch and so removing it can be super uncomfortable. As a result, some people opt to leave it in until delivery and once they have the epidural, the stitch is removed with no pain at all.

So, I get in the room all naked from the waist down and put my feet up in the stirrups. He uses the speculum (or the duck thing, as Ross Gellar would say) to see in there. No local anesthetic or anything. The stitch is in my cervix in the same way that the string is in a coin purse. It weaves in and out of my cervix and is pulled shut and knotted on one side. To remove it, my doc has to grab the knot, pull it tighter (away from my cervix) and clip one of the strings to pull it out in one solid piece.

Well he settles down there on the stool and says, "Oh man Natalie. You are super swollen. It's totally normal to swell with multiples, but wow."

I knew I was swollen because I'm having a hard time breathing through my nose. When pregnant, all mucus membranes are MUCH more filled with blood and things can get swollen and huge. Thus my lady parts looking similar to an elephant. Awesome.

So he puts in the speculum and cranks it open (OUCH) and keeps apologizing because I started cursing. Which makes me apologize, which makes him apologize more, which makes the nurse laugh.

He had to root around in there with some clamps for about 2 minutes because everything was so swollen that he was having a hard time finding the knot. He finally locates it and starts tugging on it to pull the knot away from my cervix, which makes me curse more and the nurse came up to hold my hand so I would quit slapping the side of the exam table. He told me to count to 10 and said that by the time I was done counting, he would be done.

LIAR!! I got to 11 and cursed. Eeek. Sorry.

He gave me a minute break and said that because I was bleeding and so swollen, he was having a difficult time seeing everything and was being careful not to clip my cervix. Oh, good.

This went on 4 times until be came around up to my head and said, "so, I can tell this is causing a lot of discomfort and I hate that. You can come back in tomorrow afternoon and we can give you a local anesthetic to remove it so you're not so uncomfortable. Or I can try one more time."

Well, I really wanted it out, so I told him to try again. He ducked back down there and tugged some more while I cursed and tried not to break the nurses hand. He asked her to come down and hold the clamp so he could use 2 hands to cut. HE GOT IT! The second he finished, there was NO more pain. And to my shock and surprise, my water didn't break in his lap.

Here is a picture of the stitch:

The part where it is arched was attached to the knot on the right side and the two short ends are the parts that were loose in my vagina that he pulled on to make the stitch tighter so that he could cut the loop. It's gross right? Much smaller than I thought it would be. When the loop was closed, it was only about the size of a nickel.

So, here I am. I can go into labor anytime. I got my last shot of progesterone today (which prevents labor) and I'm not allowed to take oral medications anymore to prevent contractions. The countdown is on.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

34 Weeks Pregnant and OFFICIALLY off bed rest!

My doctor's goal was to get me to 32 weeks. On Monday, I reached my PERSONAL goal of getting to 34 weeks. YAY! I couldn't have done it without the help of all our family and friends. This pregnancy has been a nightmare overall. It didn't start off well and getting to the end with a healthy mom and 2 healthy babies feels amazing!!

I have lots of info to update and I'm excited to start getting this show on the road so that I can get my hands on these sweet girls. I LOVE newborn snuggles.

At my 33 week appointment on the 7th of October, I had a growth scan. Kinley was head down (she'll be the first one out), weighed in at approximately 4lbs 7oz, and RIGHT on my cervix. We are all convinced that she is going no where. Caris was also head down and weighing in at 4lbs and 10z. My doctor said it's great news all around for a vaginal delivery (which I desperately want) because the first baby out is head down AND she's bigger.

At my 34 week appointment, Caris had flipped to breech....again. I was so discouraged. My worst nightmare for delivery would be having a vaginal delivery for Kinley and then a caesarean for Caris. 2x the recovery for both areas. Yuck.

I expressed my concern about this and Dr. Adashek said that he actually prefers the first baby to be head down and the second to be breech. He said that if things take too long after Kinley would be born, he has more SAFE options to retrieve Caris without a c-section. He said that if she is in distress or things are taking too long, he can reach in an grab her legs and pull her out. But, if she's head down, he'd have to use the forceps (NO WAY) or do a c-section to avoid damage to her spinal cord to get her out. So, basically, as long as Kinley stays head down (which everyone thinks she will), my odds of a regular delivery are pretty good! Which makes me really happy.

A lot of people have been asking me what will happen if I go into labor now. Especially because of the cerclage, which is preventing my cervix from dilating.

1. My water breaks - if my water breaks, I call my doc on his cell and he calls ahead to labor and delivery to let them know I'm coming. Day or night. They remove my stitches right when I get there and labor can progress normally as long as my cervix is ok.

2. I start active labor and am having some spotting because of the cerclage. There would be no scary bleeding, but definitely some spotting from the cerclage. I would call my doc and he would call ahead to labor and delivery and let them know I'm on the way. They take the cerclage out and I can labor normally as long as my cervix is ok.

If I don't have these babies in the next week and a half, here is the plan. Troy, Dr. Adashek and I sat down with a calendar and here are all the important dates:

October 21st - I will be 35 weeks. NO MORE MEDS. I will NO longer be allowed to take all my medications to prevent contractions.

October 28th - I will be 36 weeks. My doc is taking out the cerclage. Troy is predicting that my water will break IN THE OFFICE when he removes the stitches. Very unlikely me thinks. I will be heading to the outlet malls/Target that day to shop and hopefully get things moving. If that doesn't work I am taking Avery trick or treating as well. All the walking should do something, I hope.

November 4th - I will be 37 weeks. At my appointment, they'll take a sample of amniotic fluid to test for lung development.

November 6th - INDUCTION DAY! We will definitely have 2 more babies by this day. I have an appointment to go in at 4am to start my induction. And by start my induction, I mean they are allowed to break my water. And that. Is. It. Pitocin is the devil's medicine and I told him that if he tries to make me take it, he's fired. I am not joking. I said they can give it to me after the babies are born to help shrink my uterus down faster, but it is absolutely forbidden (unless I ask for it) during active labor. FORBIDDEN. I have made this clear to him and to the nurses.

As of now, I am off bed rest. Kristen left this morning and my doctor said that when she leaves, I am allowed to resume all normal activities. Mostly. He still doesn't want me going to the grocery store or going shopping. But I can do laundry, cook, do light housework, go to play dates, and (GASP) even meet Troy in "funkytown" (gotta love Parenthood).

I'm still going to be taking it easy as much as I can, because even though now that I'm allowed to do things, it's uncomfortable to do things. I'm definitely getting uncomfortable. I was okay until about 2 weeks ago and now things are a little more difficult and sleeping is getting interesting. Normally, I HATE sleeping alone when Troy is on the graveyard/night shift, but the extra space the past few weeks has been a bit of a relief. Sorry babe...LOVE YOU!

Please leave me a comment or message on facebook if you want me to put you on our group email/text message chain when I actually go into labor for progress updates. We won't be updating facebook until after we have spoken to family, so if you want the inside track on labor updates, let one of us know.

The countdown is on! Especially now that I'm the only one chasing down Avery and Troy sleeps during the day...things are about to get crazy and I'm so excited :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery

So my stepmom was here for almost two weeks and left on friday. One of the MAJOR things she did while she was here was completely finish the nursery. A few weeks ago, I posted a blog about how I wasn't ready for these baby girls for make their entrance. Well, now we are physically ready. She located all the parts of my breast pump, organized ALL of the clothes that we have and labeled everything, put all the pacifiers that were spread about the whole house in one spot, hung our new video monitors (courtesy of fun Aunt Tay-Tay, you're the best), cleaned bottles and made room for them in cabinets, and did TONS of laundry. Troy and I also took inventory of everything we still needed and Elaine went to Babies R Us and bought everything that we needed. We are OFFICIALLY ready for these sweet girls.

Here is the finished product.

This is the view standing in the doorway and looking into the left corner of the room. Yes, my hospital bag is the purple one on the changing table. It is packed with premie clothes...and that's it. The diaper bag is COMPLETELY clean and wiped out...but not packed. The black bag is my pump. Complete with clean parts and in working order. You can see the cameras mounted over the pictures and the wires hanging down out of reaching baby arms.

This is the crib right next to the door when you walk into the room. We decided to buy 2 new cribs a) so they would match and b) because Avery's crib was a drop side and didn't transition to a toddler bed so we had to put her into a twin bed. We used the bumpers my mother in law made on the head and footboards of each bed. Elaine sewed ribbons onto each corner so they could be tied to the posts on the ends. Elaine made crib skirts with the little caterpillars. You can't see them too well, but I assure you, they're adorable. LOVE them.

This is the changing table in between the cribs. It's Avery's changing table from her crib set. Can you see the labels Elaine put on all the drawers? She wanted to make sure I could find everything since I wasn't the one organizing the nursery. Isn't that cute?

And if you couldn't see, here's a close up:

Here is crib #2. All of the wall stickers came from a website called and this is the 3rd room that they have been used in. So definitely worth the money, as the stickiness is still intact. I highly recommend wall stickers. Elaine also made the 4 paneled quilt that is hanging on the side of the crib. I love how personalized everything is with the homemade gifts from these grandmas.

This is the wall right next to the door when you walk in. The quilt on the wall was the first thing that I bought when I found out I was pregnant with Avery and we built our nursery theme around that.

Here is the inside of her closet. Blankets stacked on top, with a hanging closet organizer. It holds socks, bibs, burp cloths, swaddle blankets, and extra crib sheets. The left side of the closet contains all their "next size up clothes" in big Rubbermaid bins. The rocking chair is blocking that side since we will only need to get in there every 3 months to change out clothing sizes.

So I *guess* these babies can come now. I'd prefer if they hang out in there for another couple weeks, but I've been having some heavy contractions and taking my max medication dosage. I have an appointment today, so we'll see what my doctor says. Keep you all updated! Thanks for your prayers! They're WORKING.

Friday, October 4, 2013

"What Does the Fox Say?"

First of all, if you haven't watched this video yet, a) you're missing out and b) this post will make NO sense to you. It's Avery's new favorite. She asks to watch it at least once a day. So watch the video.

And here is Avery and her crazy Daddy singing and dancing. Avery is just transfixed.

When you ask her "what does a fox say?" she says "ring a ding ding ding." DYING. So funny.

In different (but related news) I splurged on some treats for Kinley and Caris. At Avery's baby shower, my mom's friend Brenda bought Avery a "JellyCat" teddy bear from some boutique. Well, Avery LOVES him and sleeps with him every night. And his name is Bear-Bear. Real original, right? Meet Bear-Bear tucked into her bed:

He is a pink, corduroy teddy bear. He has been dragged around all of our moves, thrown up on, drug through the dirt, made some road trips, and been washed about 50 times. When we took her pacifier away when she was a year old, she used his nose as a pacifier. He looks pretty good, I think. The fabric is thick and durable enough that if we ever had an accidental amputation or laceration, he could easily be stitched up.

Luckily, we had left Bear-Bear's tags on and I was able to Google the company. And because Amazon is awesome, they sell ALLLLLL kinds of JellyCat corduroy animals. I was ecstatic. Bear-Bear is soft, has held up, is cute, and is a great size. We definitely wanted to buy something for the girls that was "just because" from Mom and Dad. So we sat down and scrolled through all the choices. We wanted them all to be different colors, so there was no confusion, and wanted them to all have different animals. There was an ADORABLE elephant, mouse, horse, alligator, bunny, kangaroo, etc.

We settled on a Rhino (my choice):

And a Fox (Troy's choice):

I. AM. OBSESSED. They are SO soft and cute. They came in the mail and Avery was immediately like "MINE." And we had a sit down talk about how those belong to her sisters. And she has HER Bear-Bear. Which we never make her share. She seemed to understand and handed them over.

So now, here is my poll for you. Troy and I SUCK at naming things. The only reason our dog has a bad ass name is because we didn't name him. The SPCA did. I mean, how original is "Bear-Bear"?

What should we name the Fox and the Rhino? Troy was like, "how about Rhino and Fox?" Negative. Any suggestions for the twins' snuggle friends?

So there is a full blog post about foxes. And a rhino. Suggestions on naming encouraged.