Friday, January 29, 2010

Pre-Term Labor - Rough Day - Good NEWS!

Yesterday was a rough and nerve wracking day for me.

Apparently Squish decided they wanted a little bit of attention. I had some cramping and tightening in the pelvic area that freaked me out a bit. I debated quite a bit on calling, and whether or not it was worth bothering the doctors over. I'm really glad that I did.

Turns out I was in "pre-term labor" - having contractions about every 15 minutes. Surprisingly their machine was able to pick the contractions up, but it did. After about two hours of monitoring and the contractions going from about every half hour to every 10-15 minutes they gave me a shot of I think toradol to stop them. They warned me that it would make my heart race, which it really didn't - I just got the shakes pretty bad from it. After an hour with that the contractions were only about one every 45 minutes, but they gave me another shot and they stopped completely.

Since the main fear is contractions shortening my cervix, or even ripping my cerclage out (BAD) - they ordered an ultrasound of my cervix and to check on Squish. The woman who came up was really nice, and the first they did was check on Squish's heart, and such, make sure there was enough liquid in the amniotic sac for baby. The next thing was check to make sure baby is growing appropriately - they do this by measuring the baby's head, tummy, and thigh bone.

While they were measuring the thigh bone I caught a glimpse of three lines. I immediately asked the ultrasound tech if we that meant she was a girl. Of course Squish had moved by this point. The tech was really surprised we didn't know what we were having by this point - having so many ultrasounds... then I explained that baby is very uncooperative. This was something the lady doing the ultrasound agreed with since Squish was moving, bouncing, and dancing all over the womb. She did say that she would look to see if she could determine the gender for us though. Well - she looked and I knew right away - for boys you see just a little ball, and maybe something poking a tad. With girls you see -thats right, three lines.


We don't have any names picked out yet. Kelley and I really haven't thought about names so far, or at least we haven't talked about them. We'll have to see.

Having a girl is awesome, and never wracking. I *KNOW* boys, I took care of my brothers growing up, my best friends were guys, I was a tomboy, I've never been "girly". On top of that I ~DESPISE~ the color pink. Hate it. Sad to say. Also, and here is the part that freaks me out - the PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) that made my life hard for quite awhile and made it so hard to get pregnant is hereditary, so is the incompetent cervix that we lost Christopher too. I'm thrilled to know what we are having, and so long as this baby ends up happy and as healthy as possible, and stays in mommy long enough I could care less about the gender. At the same time, I'm nervous to be a momma to a girl. We will see.

So - for those who would like to know, since we've been asked. We ARE registering, I've sort of started, and will post where when we have it down. Kelley and I agreed a long time ago to a jungle themed nursery. We LOVE the Fisher-Price Rainforest stuff that is out there - and that's a lot of what we plan on getting. If at all possible, I would like to avoid the bombardment of pink, I know ITS A GIRL, but really, there are things out there for girls that aren't pink. Are we having a baby shower? I couldn't tell you. I wouldn't mind one, but know nothing about them, and it's a tad hard when you are on couch/bed lockdown.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Squish - week 19

Yup, we are there. I'm 19 weeks pregnant.
Almost 1/2 way there. (Pregnancy is supposed to last 40 weeks).

Cervix Check - Yay! Good news - the bed rest is helping. They had been concerned about the length of my cervix I guess they look for numbers over 4.0cm as cervical length prior to 24-28 weeks. At my first cervical length check I was at 3.4, the second I had shortened further to only 3.3 - this is when I was told to really take it easy. They don't get freaked out, and I won't be put on severe bed rest, or hospitalized bed rest, until my cervical length measures 2.5 or less so I have wiggle room. This week I was measuring 3.6 - 3.8 not a huge difference, but the number went up, which proves that the bed rest torture is working. The closer we get to 22 weeks (it was the day I hit 22 weeks at 12:51am that we lost our Christopher) - the more scared I'm getting. I can't tell you what a relief hearing that my cervix had lengthened was. Dr. Dixon, my perinatologist (high risk obstetrician), did tell me that we can relax a little on the bed rest, yet another positive this week.

(For those who don't know the cervix is the tube/tunnel between the womb and the vagina. (Yeah I know everyone wants to hear this.) When you hear them saying "she's at a 3" or "she's dilated to 8" they are talking about how many cm the radius the womans cervix has opened to. The further along the labor process you are the wider the cervix is opened, they normally allow women to start pushing once she hit's a dilation of 10. The closer you get to delivery with your pregnancy your cervix starts to shorten, and starts to funnel. The top of it (closest to the baby) will start opening, getting wider, and the length of it shortens, exactly like a funnel. With incompetent cervix, the person's cervix is not strong enough or structurally capable of holding itself closed when the weight of a baby is applied.)

Baby News - Not a whole lot new going on in Squish's world as far as I can tell. I was hoping to feel a lot more movement, but so far it's about the same. I can't wait until I start feeling things that are definitely kicks and punches. Squish still doesn't like cold drinks, or being poked. I'm thinking maybe I should try bribing baby, I won't wake Squish up by poking intentionally if they let us know whether they are a boy or girl. Is it to early to start bribing your kid? How about threats? Is threatening to drink a lot more cold liquids if they don't cooperate for ultrasounds wrong?

Gender check - Squish is still being uncooperative with ultra-sounds. I had a cervical check and anatomy ultra-sound on Friday, Kelley even took the day off for it to be there. Squish was their normal misbehaving baby self. The ultra-sound tech looked and couldn't get a peek between the legs - so we still don't know whether we have a boy Squish or a girl Squish. This is the second week they've worked on that anatomy scan - checking all the parts of the baby for defects and such - and once again they couldn't get all they needed to because of wiggling Squish. I guess this week our baby's spine was in the way of everything, good news is Squish has a spine.

Tammy update - I'm exhausted. At the same time talking to other women about as far along as I am they are exhausted too. Something about the fact that the baby is growing by leaps and bounds right now, putting on tons of weight. Squish weighed about 5.5 ounces on the 8th - by the fifth of February baby should be weighing about a pound. I guess what they say is true, baby building is serious business.

My back is not liking being pregnant, but at least it's pain for a good cause. My legs/feet are having more issues with numbness the farther along I get, but my pain doctor told me to expect that. Sometimes I look down and think I'm all tummy - because that's all I see. My toes have disappeared. From what they say it's me being all tummy now that is making this pregnancy harder - the weight from the tummy is pulling my spine forward - which is messing with the already messed up mess back there. The weight makes the spine pinch more here, put more pressure there, stuff like that. The good news with this is that it's not permanent, and once baby is born and the weight is distributed the way it should be again, I should go back to just my normal pain.

I'm still craving strawberries - but at least they are coming into season here. Arby's too, and I've never been an eat at Arby's a lot person. Not as bad yet as Taco Bell was last pregnancy, but I can do without dreaming of roast beef sandwiches. There is something else I've been craving but I have yet to figure it out.

Poor Kelley is still putting up with me. I think I've been a little bit better on the weepyness, but it's definitely irritating. Doesn't help when I bawl over things like not being able to make the bed, or the fact that we have a fridge full of food and nothing looks good. You would think with me being the primary person deciding on what we eat that there would be something that looked good in our pantry and fridge. I cried the other day when I was brushing our dog because some of the fur on the back of her legs had matted a little bit - all I could think was that I couldn't even keep my dog brushed well, how was I going to take care of a baby? Don't forget to check in next week for what's making Tammy cry next.

Baby Gaga Update:

Fetal Development in Pregnancy Week 19: our amazing little baby is now around 10 inches in length! If this seems a bit shocking, you’ll be relieved to know they’ve not actually grown over 3 inches, but that their little legs are now straight enough to be measured. This is when doctors begin measuring fetal growth from head to toe, (no longer “crown to rump” or CR). Lanugo (little hairs) covers their whole body now, trapping that charming cheese-like vernix caseosa (see week 18) to the surface to the skin. This week your lil’ fetus will start on an appetizing diet of amniotic fluid which they are now capable of swallowing, digesting, and passing the fluid as far as their tiny “large” intestines. Fortunately for you, this nice little lump of baby-poop won’t be coming out while they’re still in your womb. Some time shortly after they’re born, this fun lump will become the first in a long line of baby poops. (What finally comes out— commonly known as “meconium” to the science world, will be black and sticky, and you’ll be very glad it happens only once!)

And Hows Mom Doing?: nlike generations of women before you who were taught pregnancy was practically an ailment (10% of women DID die in childbirth back then), we now have scientific evidence that exercise is a good thing when you’re pregnant. In fact, most physicians recommend continuing or starting a pregnancy-friendly exercise routine.

Walking, running, swimming, weight training and yoga (see week 20) are all good for your heart and overall physical stamina during this physically challenging time. Not to mention proper exercise can do a lot towards increasing your overall flexibility (at a time where your body wants to stiffen up) thereby somewhat reducing the pain and tension during labor. Last but not least, exercise can keep you from gaining unnecessary amounts of weight (which you’ll have to fight off later after birth if you don’t do it now). Obviously, you’re going to want to avoid sports where you are at risk of falling or being hit in the stomach. Basically, stay away from sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer, and skiing. Instead, opt for the pool, weight room, and/or yoga class. We’re not saying you should stress yourself out trying to be a world-class athlete, but if you’re eating right and getting enough sleep, exercise during this health-critical phase of your life, will keep your collective energy levels higher and increase your feeling of well-being, as well as ensuring that you and your baby are in top physical and mental condition.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Husky needs a home!

Some of you know, and some of you don't, that the day before my cerclage surgery I found a husky running around and fell in love with her.


I got a call from Pinal County Animal Control the other day letting me know that they were never able to locate the owners of the dog. I *think* her name was Stormy - and to be honest did we not have a baby on the way I would have found some way to convince Kelley to let us keep her.


Right now (or last I knew) Stormy is at the Pinal County Animal Shelter at: 764 S Eleven Mile Corner Road, Casa Grande Arizona, 85122. You can reach an answering service for them (that can answer questions) by calling (520) 866-7600


Stormy is a very good looking Siberian Husky (I'm pretty sure pure bred), I would guess 1-3 years old, and female. Animal control let me know she has been spayed.


Stormy has a great temperament and was just an awesome dog all round. She was very well mannered for any dog, let alone a stray. Stormy knew the basic commands; "sit", "down", "no", "come", and "stay" (to some degree) and was housebroken. She was a very fast learner, and learned our "no dogs in the kitchen" rule after being told out twice.


She got along great with both of our dogs, with only two exceptions the entire three days that we had her. The first exception is that our dog Anja is very protective of me and was trying to push Stormy away from me while I was petting Stormy, which resulted in some growling. The second was after I had given out bones to chew on and our dog Chubbs had finished hers and went after Stormy's. This one resulted in teeth bared, actual growling fight where I had to pull them apart. There was no blood, but I can't say had I not been right there that there would not have been. At the same time this was an establishing dominance thing, and anytime you bring in a new dog they are going to have to work out who's top dog.

(Stormy with our Anja (the red/tan dog)

Stormy is a dog that is not used to being outside when her friends and family are inside. Our biggest problem was that if she was the only one outside she would whine, howl, and scratch to be let inside. Once she found out what window led to the bedroom she would run to the bedroom window and pop up to tell us she wanted in - and would sit there and whine if she knew we were close by. She did fine if our dogs were outside with her, because she wasn't alone, but if everyone was inside and she got bored, she wanted in with her buddies.


I did not know that husky's are generally a bad mix with cats, I was told after the fact that they are. Stormy, however, got along great with our demon, err cat, Tazz. It was nasty outside and I let her in for a little while and our cat didn't even phase her. Tazz stalked her for about half an hour and Stormy would just look at him, sniff him, and move on. At one point Tazz started playing with her, attacking her legs like they were prey, and batting her tail, and Stormy would paw at Tazz, but that was it. Stormy did do the "doggy playtime" thing at one point and her and Tazz played for a few minutes before Anja broke it up. I'm not saying trust your cat's life with her, just that for the time we had her she got along great with our cat. It would be a "keep an eye on them" thing for the first few weeks/months.


The only things I feel the need to warn people about are that Stormy is a jumper. She jumped our 5-6 foot (depending on which area of the fence) block wall fence twice. The first was to get into the back yard with our dogs and play. The second time was when Anja and I were out front playing frisbee and Stormy wanted to play too, so she jumped the fence to join us. If you were going to leave her outside without supervision I would advice a long leash for those times. The other is she needs somewhere to run - she loved playing ball and would run like the wind any time she could and had a blast doing it. The last, as I mentioned, is she is an indoor dog that wants to be with her family, not left outside all day long.

(it's blurry because she's running so fast, even my camera couldn't get a clear shot)

If you have any other questions please post them here and I'll get back as soon as I can. I figure since we can't keep her, I'm going to do my best to find her a home. Also, feel free to share this blog with other people who might be interested in Stormy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

18 Weeks!

We are 18 weeks through the pregnancy now! 22 weeks to go!

I'm getting weekly updates from a place called "baby gaga" ( on how the baby is changing, and what's going on with my body as far as the pregnancy is concerned. I thought that some of you might want to know some of what's going on, so I figured I would share them with everyone here.

Doern Family Update:

For those keeping track, and asking, I have two appointments this week. One appointment is on 1/19 with my regular OB. It's just a pregnancy check up and the first of my weekly P-17 shots. The P-17 shots are shots of hydroxyprogesterone I'm getting to help prevent contractions and preterm labor. Most women have contractions of a minor sort prior to the main event pretty often - for women with a cerclage the contractions could cause the cerclage to rip our cervix, which would be bad.

The other appointment is my cervical length check and ultrasound - they will be doing the level 2 ultrasound at this time, checking the anatomy of the baby. With this they'll check Squishes heart out, look at all the chambers, they look for stuff that would be birth defects and stuff like that. They will also (if we ask, which we will) try (again) to see whether we will be getting pink or blue.

Squish stuff - I have learned I can "wake up" the baby. I hadn't felt much movement a few days ago and poked my tummy several times and was quickly rewarded with a bouncing baby. Nice to know I can play the wake baby up game. I figure since Squish has me up every 15 minutes to pee, and will be waking me up pretty often once outside of my uterus it's only fair. I've also found that Squish does not appreciate me drinking very cold water - I think that has the same affect as the poking.

Me stuff - I think I'm losing my belly button. I heard that's a common thing with pregnancy, innies become outies. My button is well on the way - I think. All I can say is that my belly button feels and looks different, I can't pinpoint how, it just is. My water-works problem is getting worse - not quite sure where in the yellow pages you would find plumbers for your eyes. I'm still getting upset over stupid things, and not so stupid things. It's sort of hard to get used to when I've never been the cry all the time type. It doesn't help that the mood swings are here as well. Add emotional freakouts to waterworks and poor Kelley is going to have served me with divorce papers, I'm pretty sure, before the pregnancy is over. What's funny when I look back on it - the getting upset over stupid things, then crying, then I get upset that I KNOW I'm crying over something stupid and that makes me mad, then sad and teary again at the fact that I'm seriously pathetic and can't help but cry.

I'm getting weekly updates from a place called "baby gaga" ( on how the baby is changing, and what's going on with my body as far as the pregnancy is concerned. I thought that some of you might want to know some of what's going on, so I figured I would share them with everyone here.

Baby Gaga Update:

Fetal development in pregnancy week 18:fetus in fifth month We have two more ounces! Your "getting bigger-n-better by the minute baby" is already up to 7 ounces and 6 inches! This is a big week for their baby skin. There are now two distinct layers—the epidermis (or the surface skin) and dermis. Currently, their skin is covered with a greasy, waxy, cheese-like substance, known as vernix caseosa. Sure, it sounds pretty nasty, but this mixture of fatty secretions covering your little swimmer from head to toe is the best way to protect their oh-so-thin skin from bruising and abrasions as well as chapping caused by amniotic fluid exposure (and your little one is swimming in that stuff!). Still don’t like the fact your little darling is currently slathered in fatty cream like a greased pig? Well, you know the birthing process? Where you have to push something the size of a watermelon out a hole the size of a grape? That adorable little greased piglet would have a lot harder time getting through the birth canal without the vernix caseosa. Fun fact for momma’s with baby girls: it’s a uterus within a uterus! Your little girl will have developed a uterus and vagina canal by the end of this week.

And how's mom doing? POP! If you haven’t yet, you will soon be seeing the last of your inn-y belly button—until after you’ve pushed your little monkey out. If it’s getting difficult to breathe, you can thank your not-so-small belly for squishing your lungs—which will be more and more cramped for space as the pregnancy Keep in mind that as you grow (and grow and grow) in size you produce more blood (for both of you), which lowers your blood pressure. So standing up quickly and/or occasional fast movements may cause slight dizziness or lightheadedness progresses. Not that this is surprising as everything else in your mid-section is getting properly squooshed as well. (What else is new?!!). Keep in mind that as you grow (and grow and grow) in size you produce more blood (for both of you), which lowers your blood pressure. So standing up quickly and/or occasional fast movements may cause slight dizziness or lightheadedness. This is totally normal, but means you shouldn’t be too quick to jump to your feet when your team scores a goal. It's better to just punch the air in excitement or clap gleefully. One more fun pregnancy symptom to add to the list: you are producing more melanin, which can cause dark patches of skin to occur on random parts of your body. Don’t worry—these dark spots (unlike your parent’s age spots) will retreat soon after birth

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Back pain

I've had a few people ask about my back, so here it is. My back sucks, and it hurts like heck right now.

My pain management doctor's theory is that the weight of Squish, and my huge belly are pulling on my back. Basically it's pulling my spine forward, which is aggravating my already bad back. He thinks that it's basically pulling and pushing on the nerves that are already bad. He also told me that it will likely get worse.

Bed rest sucks. I think my back hates the not doing anything, and it's definitely not used to taking it easy this long.

As much as I HATE to admit it I've been in a lot of pain for more than a few weeks. For the first time ever I've taken my allowed dosage of pills every single day for weeks - I've never done that. It absolutely sucks hurting this bad all the time. There have been days lately when the only reason I'm getting out of bed is I know the dogs need let out, and I have to pee (this point goes to Squish playing hopscotch on my bladder). I actually have a call in asking my doctor about another pain med he had me use that worked really well. We'll see how that goes. I feel horrible asking for more meds but it's that or living in this horrible pain and not wanting to move.

I have a "TENS Unit" - it's basically an electro-stimulation unit for my back. It works great. At the same time during the few few weeks we knew we were pregnant every single time I used it I had bleeding. It was also after a few days of using it constantly that we lost our Christopher so it freaks me out using it while pregnant. I've used it, I just really limit the time, and sometimes I wish I hadn't because it gives me a brief break and then it's back to reality, pain wise.

I wish I had better news back wise. I could lie, but I hate lying. Kelley has been wonderful putting up with me and working hard. Bless him if we make it through this pregnancy without him serving me divorce papers.

At the same time, I'll deal with whatever I have to back wise to bring Squish here happy and healthy. My back hates me, and I'm used to that.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Goodbye size 10's

Seriously, nothing says that you can kiss your small jeans goodbye like seeing pictures of yourself pregnant.

I weigh 18 pounds less than when I got pregnant, yet my pants won't even consider buttoning that just doesn't seem right.

I can't believe I'm posting these but a couple people have asked for them. At least if I look like a cow it's for a good cause. Can't help but wonder if kids realize and appreciate the things mommies go through (and God knows daddies putting up with the mom's) to bring them into the world.

January 8, 2010 (2)

January 8, 2010 (1)

January 8, 2010 (3)

Ultrasound of Squish today!

Here are the photo's:

January 8, 2010 (1)
~You can see where the eyes are, the nose, lips, chin, I'm simply in awe still that God has given us another little baby to grow. Amazing how quickly a tiny dot on the ultrasound machine turns into a baby, even more so that we can see the baby growing inside of the momma's.~

January 8, 2010 (2)
~Not quite sucking the thumb - but look at those long arms.~

January 8, 2010 (3)
~It simply amazes me that existing only 16 weeks 6 days you can already make out each individual finger on Squish's hand.~

In other news:
Squish is still moving and shaking in there. There is yet another note on an ultrasound that baby wouldn't hold still or cooperate for getting pictures taking. If there was ever any doubt about Squish taking after Kelley, this seals it, Kelley never behaves for pictures. It's such a gift to be able to carry a child, let alone to have this technology given from God that allows us to see these babies grow and check up on them.

As you know my last ultrasound was on December 29th - at that check up they estimated on the low side that Squish weighed 3.5 ounces. Today I was given a low estimate (this is the lowest of her three measurements) 5.5 ounces. That means that in 11 days Squish has grown 2 whole ounces, that's the equivalent of 50% more weight that it took baby 15 weeks to get in just two. No wonder I've been so darn tired lately.

Anyone want to know what we are having? Hmmmm? Anyone? Yeah, we'd like to know too. I was sort of glad that they couldn't tell me today because Kelley wasn't there - and sharing it with him just makes it all the more special, plus I'd feel like he was cheated if we didn't find out at the same time. I still feel like he's getting the short end of the stick me getting to see all the ultrasounds and not him. The tech did look, and asked if I wanted her guess, and I told her "no" - it would just be a guess and I'd rather have something definite. At the same time, I was told that we might have to wait a long while before we find out what we are having. This is the 3rd ultrasound where Squish had the umbilical cord between their legs, she said that sometimes babies keep it there the whole pregnancy and you don't find out what you are having until the baby comes. In two weeks I have another ultrasound scheduled - a level 2 where they look at all the babies anatomy and such and she said that she'll give it a good go then. I told her that would be better for me than fighting today because Kelley should be there.

In other news, it's not bad news, but it's not good news. They did the cervical check again (it'll be done every two weeks I think I've mentioned). Anyways my cervix has shortened by .1 cm which isn't much, but it has shortened a little bit. She said the average is 4-5cm so I am starting short, mine was 3.4, and is now 3.3cm. It's not considered "short" or dangerous until 2.5cm, or we start funneling at which time I'll be put on strict bed rest. So I was told to continue to take it easy, and keep limiting my time on my feet. One of these days I'll have type the list of things I'm NOT allowed to do, surprised sometimes that I'm allowed to do more than roll in bed.

That's it for now. :) I plan on taking tummy shots sometimes coming up. I think I'm bigger now than I EVER was with Christopher. They said something about the extra skin from having lost so much weight, and then being "pre-stretched" from having been pregnant just three months before this baby was conceived. Dreading how huge I'll be when (we are going with WHEN not IF) I make it to 35 weeks.