You know you’re in your third pregnancy when it takes you 28 weeks to write your first pregnancy update. I honestly hadn’t planned to write any pregnancy updates this time because I didn’t think I had anything new to say. Until I ended up in labor & delivery last night with symptoms of pre-term labor. And then I remembered that no matter how many times you go through it, every pregnancy is a little (or a lot) different. So let’s start from the beginning…
The First Trimester
Sick. Sick. Exhausted. Sick. From weeks six to sixteen, I could barely get out of bed, I felt nauseous all day long, and threw up more than anyone should. I lost over ten pounds. I bribed my kids with snacks, movies and toys to get them to stay in bed with me so I wouldn’t have to move. And I was still breastfeeding Avery at the time which was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But we made it to a year (she didn’t give me a choice) and I’m so proud of that.
The Second Trimester
The sickness lifted around sixteen weeks (except for the daily morning vomit that has plagued me in each pregnancy) and I started to remember some of the things I love about pregnancy: feeling the baby move, finding out the gender and picking a name, watching your belly grow. I also discovered the wonder of Nexium and finally got rid of my horrendous heartburn. This trimester wasn’t without drama though. I was supposed to start progesterone shots to prevent another preterm birth at 16 weeks, but my insurance company gave me lots of headaches over it and I ended up not starting them until 24 weeks. I was nervous that they wouldn’t work because of the late start, but my Maternal Fetal Specialist assured me that something was better than nothing. Which brings me back to my story…
The Third Trimester
I’ve been taking the shots for five weeks now and I’ve been feeling good. I finally stopped throwing up every morning a few days after the first dose. I haven’t been showing any signs of early dilation or contracting outside of a Braxton Hicks contraction every now and then. And the baby has been measuring over a week ahead for most of the pregnancy which is music to any preemie mom’s ears. I was feeling so good, in fact, that I decided we should have a family day at Disney World on Saturday. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve done anything special as a family and we’ve been wanting to get our Disney World Annual Passes for a while. We had, what I thought, was a perfect, low-key Disney day. We only rode two rides and spent the bulk of our time watching the parade and the Frozen show and we took a long lunch break. Sam wouldn’t even let me push the stroller. But still, I think I overdid it because on Monday afternoon, I started feeling menstrual-like cramps as we headed out to run errands as a family.
At first, I thought it was just a stomachache, but they started to come more frequently and I started to feel pressure you-know-where. So I panicked, made Sam reverse out of the Chick Fil A line and we headed to the hospital, stopping only to drop the girls off with my Aunt. Of course, the contractions slowed down significantly once we got there, but I’m still glad we went because I learned that my cervix had shortened much more than the average length for 28 weeks (I’m 29 as of yesterday). The on-call doctor said that it looks like my body is gearing up for another pre-term birth. I was given a steroid shot and told to come back in 24 hours for the second dose. I was also put on bed rest until I could get in to see my Maternal Fetal Specialist who will be able to tell me more and give me more specific instructions on how to proceed. Thankfully, at this point my baby would have a 96% chance of surviving and thriving, although it would mean a long road in the NICU. If I can make it to 32 weeks, her chances will be even better. My goal and prayer is still to make it to 37 weeks just like last time, but I know that no matter what happens, God has His hands on us both. He knows the exact day and time that she’ll be born and His timing is perfect. So I’m not afraid. I’m just excited to meet this third baby sister. And I’m looking forward to meeting with my doctor today and coming up with a game plan. I’ve also, with Sam’s help, washed baby clothes, ordered the crib, researched car seats and am preparing all of our bags so that when I do go into labor, we’ll be ready. Nesting and bed rest don’t go so well together, but my husband has been so helpful with cleaning the house and managing the girls and helping me do everything I just can’t do right now.
I’m curious to know whether this is happening because I started the progesterone shots late or if it’s because of our Disney day or if my body just refuses to hold a baby in for 40 weeks or if it’s a combination of all three. But I may never know that answer. For now, I’m going to pray constantly and prepare for her arrival, whenever it may be.