Bumpdate: 28 Weeks

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This was a rough week. Bare with me. 

It was a marathon week of doctor visits and sickness and feeling so over being pregnant. I don’t understand women that rave about how wonderful they feel while pregnant and how it is the most magical experience.

Yes, I feel truly blessed (and I never use that word) to be pregnant and to bond with my baby boy these 40 weeks and I mean no offense to those who are wishing with all their heart to be pregnant or expeirecning infertiltiy (believe me, I’ve been there) but this is my story and this week it was hard. 

I saw doctors three times this week.

Monday I ended up in the ER for a few hours after another low fetal movement scare (everything is okay).

Wednesday I saw my high risk doctor for my weekly check up. This was the first time seeing the actual doctor and I loved him! He was personable, sweet, and I felt like he actually listened to me. He made me feel 95% better about everything and I wish I could see him exclusively instead of also seeing my regular OBGYN.

Wednesday night I suffered from terrible acid reflux for 6 hours. I have a history of chronic GERD. I always watch what I eat and medicate but about 4-5 times a year I get this awful reflux that results in vomiting and pain that brings me to my hands and knees. On Wednesday the pain woke me up at 1 am and I suffered with vomiting and severe pain, sweating, dizziness, and blurry vision until 6 am. I continued to have “normal” heartburn pain, but I can deal with that. The above is far from the normal sharp shooting heartburn pain. I got 1.5 hours of sleep before dragging myself into work. I called the doctor to see if I should be worried about the baby and they told me to come in. 

On Thursday, after explaining my symptoms, my doctor asked “did you try putting your feet up and taking some Tums?” I was enraged. Tums?! Of course I try tums, and nexium, and zantac, and pepcid, and drinking water with baking soda in it (so gross). Nothing works. Did she not listen to anything I said? 

Here is where I cried at my doctor’s office. I couldn’t keep it in. The tears just rolled out. And she just stared at me. I was emotional, still in pain, and never wanted to live through a night like that again. I just wanted some help or at least some sympathy.  I cried more on the drive home and the rest of the day and thought about changing doctors. 

I continued to have constant “normal” heartburn for the next two days and doubled up my medication. Since then I’ve been okay. But for a while I thought it was never going to end. 

Rant over.

How far along: 28 weeks (and six days, I’m kinda behind on these updates)

Due Date: September 15

Gender: Boy

Baby Size: At my last ultrasound I got a growth check. Baby boy is big! As of last Wednesday he was measuring at 2 pounds 15 ounces! He’s going through a major growth spurt right now while many of his organs like his lungs and brain become more developed. 

Weight gain: I was sick for about three days straight this week and therefore lost 3 pounds. So I’m down to 19 pounds gained. Which is kind of a relief since my doctor told me I gained too much…

Movement: I’m doing my nightly kick counts and he’s doing okay. My high risk doctor has informed me that his movement looks great and it’s just my perception of him moving that is causing the concern. Big relief! 

Best moment of the week: I worked hard this weekend on washing and putting away all his sweet baby clothes and have also but the bedding on his crib. The nursery is slowly coming together. Here is a sneak peek:

Mood: SO emotional. Almost every day this week I would find myself in tears at some point. Somedays I have no idea what I’m even crying about. Other days I’m just so over all of the pregnancy stuff and feeling sick for three days straight. I was also so tired from getting only a couple of hours sleep a night that I was not in the right state of mind. Crying at my doctor’s appointment was my low point. 

.Previous Weeks:           

firsttrimesterabla    13weeksabla    14weeksabla                     

15weeksabla     16weeksabla    17weeksabla

1819weeks   20weeksabla   21weeksabla

  22weeksabla   23weeksabla    24weeksabla

25weeksabla    26-27weeksabla

 

xoxo Katie

Bumpdate: 26-27 Weeks

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Thank you everyone for your support after our little scare last week. Baby Mac is still cooking and I’m doing fine, other than dealing with intense anxiety every day. I feel the same way I did at the beginning of my pregnancy, when I lived in daily fear of losing the baby.

I have fears everyday of losing him, or having to deliver him today, (12 weeks early) But we are still here and moving along! 

Gender: Boy!

Due Date: September 15 (I decided to go with the doctor’s due date for me instead of my predicted Septebmer 17. Since I’ll be seeing them weekly, I wanted to be on the exact same page as their charts.)

Baby Size: He’s about 15 inches long, weights about 2 pounds and is the size of a head of cauliflower. His taste buds are developed and he can now taste (and decide if he loves or hates) specific foods that I’m eating. He’s also opening and closely his eyes and has developed some hair on his head (maybe) and eyelashes and eyebrows. 

Weight gain: Up 20 pounds. The other fun news I was delivered at my appointment last week was that I’m gaining too much weight. Just what every preggo wants to hear, right?! So, I’m watching what I’m eating and working out 4 times a week instead of 3.

Movement: My last post in summary: Being monitored weekly by high risk doctor for low fetal movement. And it’s freaking scary! 

Best moment of these past two weeks: Seeing Taylor Swift in concert with my best friend! This is the third time we’ve seen her together, it’s the best tradition and always so much fun! We always joke that we are her oldest but biggest fans. I made this cute “Youngest Taylor Swift Fan” shirt for the occasion. 

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Worst moment of the past two weeks: Last week’s doctor appointment and subsequent anxiety that has haunted me since. I also feel like I’ve hit a wall entering my third trimester. I’m so exhausted and feel so heavy and tight in the belly all the time and am having trouble just getting through the day with bad pains in my lower abdomen. Many days I’ve burst into tears while sitting and worrying.

But of course now I worry what all this anxiety is doing to my pregnancy as well. Ryan is doing a good job at keeping me positive and we are taking each day at a time. I’ve been doing my kick counts daily and do feel him move, but I’m worried it’s not enough.

In the meantime I’m trying to learn to trust my instincts and give baby my love. And smile. (although these cheesy photos were taken a few days before the news haha)

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I’m looking forward to going back to the doctor on Wednesday to learn more/ask more questions. Good news is that I took the Glucose test on Thursday and I got my blood work back last night and it looks like I passed that! So at least one less thing to worry about!

Previous Weeks:           

firsttrimesterabla    13weeksabla    14weeksabla                     

15weeksabla     16weeksabla    17weeksabla

1819weeks   20weeksabla   21weeksabla

  22weeksabla   23weeksabla    24weeksabla  

  25weeksabla

 

xoxo Katie

Kick Counting and Being Patient after a Baby Scare

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 Baby Mac has had a rough week. I’ve stopped uttering the phrase, “I just want him to be here!” and am learning to take this pregnancy day by day and my new label of “high risk” with as little anxiety as possible. 

On Tuesday I went in for my routine checkup. I’ve been feeling great recently; less tired, less back and hip pain, and happy. So, I traipsed into my appointment thinking that I would be in and out in less than ten minutes, like normal, and off to meet my friend for crepes and a milkshake. 

I got weighed in, got my blood pressure taken, and listened to Baby Mac’s heartbeat with a smile on my face. My doctor, donning scrubs and dark circles under her eyes as if she just came from an all-nighter in Labor and Delivery,  sat down to look over my chart. 

She managed a tired smiled and said, “So, 27 weeks! You should be feeling him kick all the time now!”

I paused for a little bit and then explained to her that, no; I am not feeling him kick “all the time”.

I described how I mostly feel small flutters throughout the day, and usually just at night. Some days I’ll feel one or two larger kicks, but it’s mostly flutters, almost like I have a mini goldfish swimming around in my uterus. But I can also go a whole day or two without feeling anything.

A few weeks ago I was told this was normal because I have an anterior placenta. (My placenta rests on top of the baby, adding an extra cushion between his movements and the outside of my uterus.) I was told it would take me longer to feel real kicks or any big movements, so I didn’t worry about it.

But after I described what I feel, my doctor jumped out of her chair and said, “Hmmmm well, I’m going to send you in right now for a non-stress test.”

“A what?”

“A non-stress test. I’m concerned. You should be feeling more movement now. I’m sending you over to Maternal Fetal Medicine”

“Okay, Where? What…what does that mean. What will the test show?” I managed to sputter out. Inside I was losing it. 

I could tell she barely wanted to explain the medical details to me, “Well, if the babies not moving, it means he may be under some sort of stress…and just lying dormant. So we want to check that out and possibly do an ultrasound as well, just to make sure baby is okay.” We were now out of the patient room and walking to the check-out desk. I was so confused and felt poorly communicated too. I had no idea what Maternal Fetal Medicine was or what a Non Stress Test was and was wishing I wasn’t alone. 

The check-out admin woman called Maternal Fetal Medicine to schedule me in. I asked where that was, who that was, and what this test was all about. Her response was a slight smile with worried eyes. She then muttered a few things I could barely understand and said she’d walk me over to this other doctor’s office, which thankfully was literally next door to my OBGYN.

I get checked in there, still with no real clue with where I am or who I’m seeing. While I wait to get called back a quick Google search tells me I’m at a high risk doctor. 

A very kind nurse ushers me back to a sun filled room and finally gives me some information. A non-stress test monitors how active a baby’s heart rate is. I sit down in a recliner and get two monitors strapped to my belly, one checks on baby’s heart rate while the others picks up any contractions I may be having. When baby is active, his heart rate will go up. The sweet nurse, my new favorite person, set me up with a stack of trashy magazine, “I you can relax enough to read”, and a jar of Jolly Ranchers, “to hopefully make baby active”. 

I quickly texted Ryan to fill him in. He responded a few minutes later telling me to not google low fetal movements. I tried to relax as I watched a paper of my son’s heart rate printing out next to me. The nurse returned in twenty minutes and said she’d be back shortly with the results from the doctor. 

She came back and told me that baby passed the test, but not as ideally as they would like and they were sending me in for a BPP. She shuffled me into an ultrasound room and explained that a BPP is a special ultrasound that looks for special movements and checks on my placenta and amniotic fluid.

I get myself comfortable on the ultrasound table and try to enjoy the forty minutes of getting to see my son in action again. I ask the tech about twenty times if things look “good”. She smiles at my kindly and says, “Yeah!” a little too enthusiastically. I’m freaking out, but can she blame me?

When she is done she leaves to go discuss the results with the doctor. I can’t help but to think, will I ever get to meet this high risk doctor, or will he exist for me like the wizard of Oz behind a thin curtain?

Then a very young nurse practitioner comes in and tells me what she and the doctor discussed. (I guess I’m really not going to meet the wizard after all). She informs me that the baby (or the babe as she referred to him) is doing okay and passed all of the tests. So that’s good.

She is very perky and makes good eye contact. But I can’t fight this feeling that she’s tip toeing around the facts.

But, they are labeling me as high risk and that I will come back and see this doctor every week until delivery to get these tests done and be monitored for low fetal movement.

She also threw in that I should be ready for an emergency C-section at any time, in case baby is under stress any week. This would be scary right now, being that I’m only 27 weeks along.

I sat up and said, “I’m hearing mixed messages.  One is that baby is okay and everything looks good and two I’m now high risk and need to be monitored closely.”

I was scared. I was picturing calling Ryan and crying that I was being taken into surgery right that evening and giving birth to our son thirteen weeks early.

She tried to calm me down by saying that they just like to be extra cautious and to make sure he continues to increase movement.

If I do not feel him move for a day, then that is a major cause for alarm. I am then to come into see them  ASAP and take these tests. If he fails the tests then they would prep me for a C-section to make sure they are able to get him out to help him survive. That would be the worst case scenario, but he is doing okay now.

Before I knew it, I was out scheduling weekly appointments throughout the summer. It all felt so fast and surreal that it wasn’t until I got to my car that I really began to process it. And it wasn’t until I googled 27 weeks survival rates that I began to cry. My mama hormones were in high gear. 

But it’s been two days and I’m coming to terms with it.

In a nut shell:

  • Baby Mac is okay! He is healthy! His heart beat is strong. He’s doing well in the womb, but not as perfect as he could be.
  • I’m going to be closely monitored as a precaution. They want to be sure that his movement does not decline.
  • I have an app that I’m using to count his kicks and movements. If I notice a decline in movements I’m to call as soon as possible so that they can help him survive as quickly as possible.
  • I’ll look at these weekly appointments as a way to get reassurance that all is okay with the baby. I’ll get to see him on screen every week!
  • Being high risk will guarantee the doctors will treat me like a queen. 
  • This whole experience has made me appreciate of what my body can do. It’s been an excellent reminder to take one day at a time. Instead of wanting to rush time I will be grateful for each day that passes and Baby Mac stays cooking inside.

So for now you can find me appreciating patience and counting kicks.

 

 

Local Celebrities: Tell Me About Your Town

Every month, my good blogger friend Amanda from Amanda Moments, hosts a fun link up called “Tell Me About Your Town” and this month I’m co-hosting with her!

Amanda Moments

When she first introduced this link up last Fall I knew that I wanted to co-host one month. I’m connected to so many bloggers across the country (and the world!) and this is a fun way to hear personal regional stories and learn interesting quirks about towns from all over.

This month we are talking about local celebrities or claims to fame.

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I live in Lancaster, PA and our region’s biggest “claim to fame” is the Amish community that is settled here. I can’t tell you how many times during college or when I lived elsewhere in the US that I had to utter the words, “No, I’m not Amish” after telling people where I was born and raised. 

Every year Lancaster attracts about 8.3 million tourists. They come in droves to gape at the thousands of Amish living a plain lifestyle. 

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No electricity, no cars, no modern farm equipment, no phones, and dark, heavy plain clothes are the norm and fascinate many tourists. There are countless horse and buggy tours, ways to explore working farms, and of course lots of shopping for Amish made crafts, woodwork items, and food. Now that it is summer, tourist season is officially upon us. They are so easy to spot, just watch for the cars driving 15 MPH on 55 MPH county roads!

Other than the Amish culture, Lancaster isn’t known for too many “celebrities”. But here are a few historical and pop culture celebrities from my neck of the woods:

Historical:

James Buchanan: (1791-1868) 15th President of the United States

Charles Demuth: (1883 – 1935) Painter

Robert Fulton: (1765 – 1815) Engineer and inventor of the steamboat

Milton S. Hershey: (1857-1945) Chocolatier and founder of the Hershey Company

Thaddeus Stevens: (1792 – 1868) U.S. Representative ardent abolitionist whom assisted Abe Lincoln

Pop Stars:     

GLEE: Jonathan Groff guest-stars as Jesse St. James in all-new episodes of GLEE premiering Tuesday, April 13 following a special expanded episode of AMERICAN IDOL on FOX. ©2010 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick Ecclesine/FOX

Jonathan Groff:

Actor and singer, got his start originating the role of “Melchior” in Broadway’s Spring Awakening (which I saw when both he and Lea Michelle were both starring). Went on to star in Looking, The Normal Heart, and Glee. Also known for voice work on a Disney movie you may have heard of, Frozen. 

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Taylor Kinney:

Most famous for being Lady Gaga’s fiance. She’s been spotted all over town grocery shopping and dining at local restaurants. Maybe she’ll have her wedding on some farm here? No, probably not. 

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Andy Baldwin:

Known as the bachelor on season 10 of The Bachelor. I don’t know, never watched any season of the Bachelor. 

Taylor Swift:

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And this is a bit of a stretch but since she is technically from Wyomissing, about 30 miles north of Lancaster..but CLOSE ENOUGH and because she’s my ultimate favorite I have to include her. I just saw her on Saturday night in Philly for her 1989 tour. As always she put on an amazing show and thanked her “hometown” audience endlessly for getting her to where she is. Videos from Saturday night! 

Taylor Swift Concert in Philly June 13, 2015 from KatieMacDonald on Vimeo.

The movie, Witness 

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So the one time our town had a big brush with fame was when the 1985 Harrison Ford movie Witness was filmed here. People rushed into town to stalk him and Kelly McGillis and it was a big deal. 

Even my brother got to brush shoulders with a star during the filming of Witness. Our neighbors and family friends owned a restaurant downtown at the time. Lukas Haas’s parents, the cute little Amish boy from the film, liked to hang out at their restaurant/bar.

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Our friend invited his parents to bring Lukas over to play with his daughter and my brother. So my brother ended up playing in his sandbox in our backyard with Lukas. The same Lukas Hass that would grow up and be part of Leonardo DiCaprio’s modern day “brat pack” (they actually called themselves the Pussy Posse) of celebrity bad boys. Eric doesn’t remember the incident. 

This is what he looks like now:

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I’d love to hear about celebrities from you town! Please join in on the link up (it will be active for the whole week) by copying the below image and adding your link below!

Amanda Moments

Not a blogger? Simply leave a comment and tell me about some claims to fame from where you live!

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Recently Read Vol. 6

RecentlyReadVol6

 Books are meant to be shared. And I promise, no spoilers!

I’m back for volume six of Recently Read. Sharing my thoughts and reviews on the books I’ve read in the past few weeks. You can read volume 1  and volume 2 and volume 3 and volume 4 and volume 5 here. 

I was reading a bit slow these past two weeks. I couldn’t get my brain to focus, it was too occupied with all things baby. I was also diving into a couple of pregnancy and parenthood books as well. But here I finally am:

Have you read any of these books?

  whatsheleftbehind

What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman

Four out of Five Stars

““What would have happened if the patients had been asked what had happened to them instead of what was wrong with them?”

This book examines the shocking world of mental hospitals during the 1920’s and 1930’s, a time when women could be committed for the simplest of reasons like angry outbursts, widowhood, depression, anxiety, poverty, and developmental disabilities. 

Told from two point of views, that of the 1920’s era patient Clara and the 1990’s student Izzy who’s foster parents work for a museum uncovering found suitcases at a local mental institution.

Clara comes from an upper crust NYC family. She defies her emotionally distant parents and falls in love (and become impregnated) with an Italian immigrant while embracing the flapper lifestyle. Her parents try to force her to marry “one of her own kind” and while discussing this arranged marriage, Clara, gasp, shows her true emotions. Her father decides to send her away to a top rate mental hospital to think about her future and calm her nerves. But after the stock market crashes and her family loses their fortune, Clara is sent to a government funded mental institution.

Izzy discovers Clara’s discarded suitcase and journal and sets off to learn more about this woman and how she ended up at the institution.

Clara’s story was intriguing and horrifying while Izzy’s story read like a YA novel. I would have preferred to only have the novel told from Clara’s perspective.

Clara is treated like a prisoner. She arrives at the institution completely sane but after being stripped of all her rights, force fed medication, and nearly starved to death she begins to lose her mind. Her treatment sent me on a Wikipedia dark hole search where I tried to learn as much about institutional treatment during this time. I was pleased to discover that the institution she was held at is a real place and the exhibit featuring the lost suitcases was a real exhibit.

If you have any interest in mental health history and development, especially treatment of women, then I recommend this easy to read novel.  

smartwomenjudyblume

Smart Women by Judy Blume

2 out of 5 stars

 So I decided to read this because I thought I needed something light to read while my sore hips and back were waking me up at 2 AM every night. This book fit that bill, it was an easy fluffy read that required little thought or reflection. Not one aspect of this book stuck with me after reading it. I thought I would like it because I really enjoyed reading Blume’s “Summer Sisters” last year during vacation.

Smart Women is about two divorced women, Margo and B.B., living in Colorado in the 80’s, trying to find their footing and reignite their love life. We also hear the point of views of their two teenage daughters. Teenage thoughts is where Blume excels and diving into the minds of the two younger girls were the best part of this book.

Eh. That’s all I have to say. 

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Carthage by Joyce Carol Oates

4 out of 5 stars

“She had no existence, in herself. From earliest childhood she had believed this. Rather she was a reflecting surface, reflecting others’ perception of her, and love of her.”

 Oates is one of my top 5 favorite authors and her latest novel did not disappoint. I love her take on modern American Gothic and how her descriptive narratives drip with a raw realism.

Carthage begins in 2005, in a small town in upstate NY. A teenage girl has gone missing and her family is falling to pieces. At the center of the crime is a tormented war vet, accused of being part of her killing, although no true evidence is found. Oates follows the story of the girl’s family and the vet, jumping back and forth between the past and history as she makes question how can life go on after death? In Catharage’s case, how can life go on after the sudden and mysterious death of a child and after an American boy returns from Iraq with no sense of his former self.

On another layer, Carthage digs into our countries twisted legal system and death penalty. Who really is to blame for tragedy and for death? How easily does the line between victim and criminal get blurred?

What have you been reading?

Bumpdate: 25 Weeks

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How far along: 25 Weeks (15 more weeks to go!)

Due Date: September 17

Gender: Boy!

Baby Size: He’s about 13.5 inches long and is the size of a rutabaga. (Yeah I had to look that up). His brain is developing in major ways and he is developing more baby fat and his skin is smoothing out and getting less translucent. 

Weight gain: Well it happened, a major jump in weight. Up 18 pounds. I feel like this is too much all of a sudden…the total weight gain for the 40 weeks is 25 – 35 pounds…. 

Movement: I’m feeling him more and more! And Ryan felt him twice this week! It’s such an awesome/weird experience. One time I could even see my belly move with his powerful movements. He really likes sugar…

Best moment of the week: Being able to feel him more and having Ryan join in on the experience. My back pain as also gotten better this week! I’m back up to 3-4 workouts a week and have been sleeping better. On Saturday night I slept for 10 hours, it was amazing!

Looking forward to: Our first baby care class tonight and to the Taylor Swift concert on Saturday!

Food cravings: Ice cream, pizza, chocolate, watermelon. Also enjoying a green smoothie most mornings. I’ve been trying to cut back on the sugar and have a new favorite treat: Yasso mint chocolate chip frozen greek yogurt bars. (About half the sugar of regular frozen yogurt)

What I miss: Orange crushes. Not being SO allergic to the outdoors. 

Mood: Still happy but also getting more anxious about becoming a mother. I feel like my whole identity is changing lately and it’s a little scary. 

Symptoms: Anxious, hungry, and tired.  

Nursery: I received a huge box of hand me downs this week, Baby Mac is officially set on clothes for the first 3 months, I think he has more clothes than he will ever wear!

I’m in full on nesting mood and I’m purging things like crazy and also starting to pack up things in the house that we won’t be using before October. (We will be moving in the beginning of November and I’m already having panic attacks about packing and moving with a newborn so I’m trying to get some things out-of-the-way while I still can).

 

Previous Weeks:           

firsttrimesterabla    13weeksabla    14weeksabla                     

15weeksabla     16weeksabla    17weeksabla

1819weeks   20weeksabla   21weeksabla

  22weeksabla   23weeksabla    24weeksabla

 

xoxo Katie

Celebrating 2 Years of Marriage

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Today marks two years since Ryan and I have been married. June 2, 2013 was a hot day with a 70% chance of showers. I was a nervous wreck, checking the weather on my phone about every 3 minutes. I was so afraid that the rain was going to ruin my perfect outdoor garden wedding and force us to move the ceremony into a sparse and dark tent. 

But the odds were in our favor. The sun shined as I walked down the grassy aisle with my dad, beaming from ear to ear. I’ll never forget the way Ryan looked at me that day. His eyes showed the hope we both shared for our future and I felt safe and very lucky. 

The rain did eventually come, in the most serendipitous of ways. After the ceremony we had a chance to take photographs in the sunshine and then literally 2 seconds after Ryan and I were introduced into the tent for the reception it started down pouring. It was the kind of rain storm that makes you want to hide under the covers. We shared our first dance under cover with a circle of our loved ones surrounding us while the storm brewed outside. An hour later the sun shown again and dried up all the rain. 

Although the weather worked out for us on our wedding day, that’s not always the case. Rain will come. Thunder will bellow and lightening will strike. There is no planning for the weather, no matter how prepared we feel and no matter how many devices we are equipped with.

Ryan and I have witnessed our love grow as we weathered a few storms and learned to enjoy the view of a couple of thunderstorms. No matter how bad the storm, the sun will always shine again. 

Ryan,

My love for you grows every day. Right now is a very sunny time in our lives and I think this third year or marriage will be one of our most brightest and memorable. Sure, there will be some dark moments as we tackle all of the changes coming our way such as starting your career and parenthood, but the joy and power of the sun will always outshine the darkness.

Marriage is truly an adventure and you are the best side kick. I can’t wait to see where this next year takes us and to watch our family grow once Baby Mac arrives this September. As I said to you on our wedding day, let’s do this! 

Love always,

Katie