Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Elim Henry Otto

It's been awhile! I am currently 17 weeks 3 days pregnant, and we found out that it is a boy! We have decided to name him Elim Henry Otto. The E and H initials are from our Emilyn and Hailey. I had heard the first name before, and thought it was cute. Then when we were searching for E and H names I thought of it and looked up the meaning. Of course on different sites there are a million different meanings, but the first one that came up for me for the meaning was oasis, and knew it was the perfect fit if our little button was a boy. An oasis is something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast and I sure hope this sweet little boy is just that for us! I'm sure that anything that includes bringing my child home alive and healthy will be a pleasant contrast to what we have known before, empty arms and broken hearts. We are still hopeful that our dream to bring a baby home alive and well will be fulfilled. Elim is pronounced with a long E. The name Henry is just because we thought it was cute and flowed well. Otto is a family name on my husband's side, it is his middle name and his Grandpa's name as well. We think it also may be my Great Grandpa's middle name, but we're still not totally sure about that yet!

I am now back in Oklahoma, and have been here for just over a week! I've already had my first appointments with both my regular OB and high risk doctor. Both appointments went great, and I like both of them! At my high risk appointment they basically did the full anatomy ultrasound and that is when we found out that little Elim was a boy! He is measuring a week ahead by his leg and arm length if I remember right. However, by head circumference he is measuring a full two weeks ahead! Taking into account all of his measurements, he is weighing in 8 ounces give or take an ounce. My cervical length is 4.68, which is still wonderful! I go back two weeks after my appointment for another cervical length check. The high risk doctor seemed fairly confident that my preterm labor was caused by me being pregnant with twins alone, though he said there's not really any way to say for sure. So since I'm only pregnant with one baby this time, we shouldn't have any problems, and I really hope that he's right! I had my second shot of 17P, and had to give it to myself. I figured I might as well start practicing since I'll be doing them myself for awhile!

Here's a few pictures of our little Elim Henry Otto!

His sweet profile!

Elim's hand

Elim's crossed feet

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Crash course for my pregnancy monitoring

In the past nine months I have been missing my girls I have learned so much about what happened. I've probably learned enough that I could be my own doctor, if only I was able to work the ultrasound machine myself! I thought I'd give everyone a little "lesson" to refer back to whenever I say something that just makes you tilt your head and furrow your brow in confusion when I'm talking about my appointments.

I was given two possible diagnoses for what happened. The first was preterm labor (PTL) and that is what we are leaning towards what happened. The other is incompetent cervix (IC). This is basically where your cervix does not do its job properly. Basically that means it doesn't hold strong, and eventually dilates on its own sometimes with no contractions at all. Since I showed up at the hospital already 4-5 cm dilated they can't be for sure what happened with me. They don't know if the contractions started the dilation, or the dilation caused the contractions. So they're monitoring or treating me for both. Though we are more leaning towards PTL, since a week and a half before I had the girls my cervix was plenty long. Following are the treatments for each and a few key words relating to each.

Incompetent Cervix:

Cervical length checks: Basically they go in and do an ultrasound to measure your cervical length, pretty basic. They worry a lot when the cervix gets down to 2cm, though they will also worry if they see a steady downward trend in length at each appointment. For me, I will be monitored with bi-weekly ultrasounds to make sure there are no changes. My length at my 15 week 4 day ultrasound was 4.89, and at 16 weeks 5 days was 4.68, nice and long, so yay! I had those a week apart because I was originally going to be doing them weekly, plus we wanted to double check the plane ride caused no drastic changes. These will continue until I am 24 weeks, and at that point if there have been no problems I will switch to only being followed by my regular OB. If there are signs of problems, I'll still be followed by the high risk doctor.

Cerclage: Basically this is a stitch to keep the cervix closed. We are not going this route at this point in time, we are going to be monitoring and if we see things starting to change then it may possibly be an option.

Preterm Labor:

17P: This is a progesterone shot that they give weekly. It helps to prevent preterm labor before it starts. It helps to calm the uterus and hopefully keep it from contracting. I just recently heard that it maybe makes the uterus more flexible. I just got my supply of this last week and give the shots at home, I'm sore at the injection site for a few days afterward, but it's all worth it to give this baby a chance!

Preterm Contractions: My doctor in Guam told me to go in at any sign of contractions based on my history. So I am sure I will be getting to know the L&D staff very well in the coming weeks whether they be "real" contractions or just Braxton Hicks. Better to be safe than sorry.

I think that about covers it, if anything "new" comes up I'll explain that later. Not all of my information may be correct, but either way it's my understanding of everything they're monitoring and doing to give Button the best chance at coming full term!