I am 24 weeks pregnant. It has been an incredibly stressful week. But I am glad to have reached this milestone (24 weeks) because it is generally considered to be the point of viability. The baby now has a chance to live outside of the womb should he choose to come early. However, he still really needs to grow for at least another 14 weeks or so.
Viability has been on my mind in a major way for awhile now. It's been a tough pregnancy week (more on my own pregnancy woes later) - two people I know (one of whom I am particularly close to) have been dealing with pregnancy loss. While I have never personally experienced pregnancy loss, I know that it must be one of the difficult things that life can throw at a person. I know this because having been pregnant for 24 weeks now, I know what can be lost. It doesn't matter how early the miscarriage is - it is still a tragic loss. Because the instant the pregnancy test comes up positive, a woman is transformed into a mother. She does everything in her power to take care of her baby. And sometimes the universe offers nothing but cruelty in return. That's why I'm asking for prayers, good wishes, healing vibes, and whatever other good stuff you've got for my two friends. I think they would appreciate them, and I know I would, too.
Here I am this week:
I look awful in this picture. I'm not exactly a vision of beauty because I have the world's nastiest cold. However, the frog boxers will hopefully make up for the sick face. This picture was taken in Charlie's room. The wallpaper was taken down today; now it's time to finalize paint colors.
I've started noticing a pattern when it comes to the kiddo. Every six weeks or so, he seems to decide that he needs to give his mom a heart attack or seven. Apparently Monday was the perfect day for one. Shortly after showing up for work that morning, I went to the bathroom and noticed I was bleeding. (Like so many other pregnant women, I am a compulsive toilet paper checker.) It wasn't a lot of blood, but it was enough to really scare me. I immediately called my OB and spoke with one of the nurses. She asked if I'd been feeling the baby move - I hadn't, which is normal for me, considering the anterior placenta and all. She told me to drink some juice to get him moving, to monitor the bleeding, and to go to L&D if I hadn't felt movement in an hour.
So I sat in my office, drank my juice, and waited to feel him move. And waited. And waited. In my mind I knew that it was normal for me to not feel him for long stretches of time, but my emotions won over. I cried a lot. Obviously I was imagining the worst. Then I went back to the bathroom to check on things and noticed more blood, and even though it hadn't been quite an hour since I'd had the juice, I left work and drove to the hospital.
I checked myself into L&D, and Roy showed up soon after. Of course, Charlie decided to give me a big strong kick after I got into the hospital gown and settled in the bed. So by the time the nurse came in to assess the situation, I was feeling much calmer. She monitored both of us for a couple of hours; I got to listen to the wooshing of Bunlet's constant movement. It made me sad to realize how little of his movements I actually feel; I'm hoping to feel more as he gets bigger, but for now I am very resentful of my placenta being anterior.
I never did get an explanation for the bleeding, which stopped on its own. There were some theories thrown out there, one being that Charlie might actually be kicking the placenta and making me bleed as a result, but nothing really definite. I was released and could have gone back to work. Instead, I opted to go home. I crawled in bed and slept for a long while.
So I think I'm good on pregnancy scares for another six weeks or so.
I also had my monthly OB appointment Thursday. I'm actually up six pounds from my last visit, giving me a grand total of nine pounds gained so far. Not too bad. I was pleased to hear I'd gained some weight. Although I have in no way been starving myself or Charlie, I felt like I wasn't gaining enough. My OB reported that the mass in my uterus is indeed a fibroid, which is what I suspected, but this is nothing to be concerned about. We talked a bit about the bleeding, and he checked my cervix for signs of premature dilation and pre-term labor. I'm happy to report that my cervix is sealed up nice and tight, so our little guy can feel free to grow. I did have another bleeding episode today, although this time it was just spotting and cleared up right away. It is never fun to see blood while being pregnant, but my OB told me that it's nothing to freak out about unless it's happening all the time, is accompanied by contractions, or is heavy.
I also had a tooth extracted this week. It wasn't too bad at all; I think the worst thing about it was the shot and my worry over having dental work done while being pregnant. The recovery has been super easy, only some mild discomfort here and there. I am so grateful for a painless recovery because it seems that nothing else this week has been easy.
All this "excitement" has clearly had an impact on me, as I got sick yesterday with a nasty cold. Today I am functional, which I am grateful for. I am pretty far behind on everything from being stressed and sick, so here's hoping next week is better.
To bring some balance into the picture, today Roy and I were both able to see our little guy kicking from the outside. What a surreal and beautiful experience. I was worried that I wouldn't experience this due to the anterior placenta, but as it turns out, this milestone is happening right on time.