30 May 2014

{33 Weeks} with baby #3

I can't seem to get on a good schedule with my pregnancy updates. The time is flying so rapidly I feel like I blink and six weeks have passed. As I type this right now I am 34 weeks 2 days preggo, but my last picture was at 32 weeks and my last OB appointment was at 33 weeks. I did do a Youtube update of my pregnancy at 31 weeks and will include a link to that video HERE so you all can check it out.

So, onto the important stuff. How am I feeling?


...and at the same time weepy and nostalgic.

I am creeping into the territory of needing this pregnancy to be over; while at the same time I am desperately not wanting it to end.

The limitations that late pregnancy impose on your body is hard for a mom of two little one, ages three and under. My energy is low, my mobility limited, and my patience non existent. I had been pretty active up until a few weeks ago, but the pain of running took it's toll on my back and I decided running was out of the question until our newest little one makes their appearance. With this new lull that I am in, I find it hard to be as physically engaged with the kids as I would like to. Not to mention this baby has decided taking up root in my lungs is the most comfortable place to be.

Color Run, May 11, 2014 (Mother's Day). My last race during pregnancy

I have gained a total of 25lbs thus far putting me right on track for weight gain...had I been in the "normal" bmi category before becoming pregnant. But technically at 5'6" and 155lbs I was considered "overweight" before I began this pregnancy, so my 25lb weight gain has me shooting above the grey area on the "Prenatal Weight Gain Chart." I stick my tongue out to that stupid chart. Not only did I look and feel great before I became pregnant, I was the healthiest I had ever been. My diet was at its best; my resting heart rate hovered in the 50's; and not only did I work out on a regular basis, I had run three marathons in an 18 month period before hand. During this pregnancy I have maintained a healthy diet, continued to run and at 34 weeks pregnant my heart rate is still considerably low at on only about 70bpm. When you compare my current weight gain at this point to my previous two (50+lbs gained for each kid) I would have to say I am doing just fine!

Me only 3 months prior to finding out I was pregnant.
Those stupid BMI charts can kick rocks!

At my 33 week appointment last week baby was doing great! Tons of movement and a strong heart rate of 160bpm. I finalized everything for my placenta encapsulation and look forward to talking more about that after baby is born and I see how they work for me. Next week is my final biweekly appointment and from then on I am seen weekly. I have decided with this pregnancy I will not be checking for dilation or effacing. I did that each week from 35 weeks on with both of my previous pregnancies and it seemed to have done absolutely nothing but give me false hope. So this time around I have decided to just let labor happen when it happens. I won't check to see if I am dilating, I won't have my membranes stripped, I won't try every remedy in the book to "induce" labor, I am just going to let it happen.

I have found myself quite weepy lately, for a variety of different reasons. I am beginning to deeply grieve the fact that this is my last pregnancy. I spend a little extra time holding my belly as I feel my little wiggle worm squirm and kick inside of me. I stare a little harder in the mirror at my ever growing naked body/belly after showers, trying hard to brand the memory of what I looked like pregnant into my brain. I am savoring the last few weeks of this life inside  of me, while I am still its life line. Because I see everyday with Kaydence and Kameron's new flourishing independence that I won't be needed forever.

I also find myself nostalgic and afraid of the coming changes. My baby boy won't be the baby anymore, the chaos of life will become a little lot more chaotic, and my even perfect family of four (2 boys and 2 girls) will soon be an odd number of five.

These fears are always short lived. A quick thought, a few tears then they fade to the sound of fighting, the hum of a dishwasher, the cough from a sick little one, the bark of our dog; and then I add the soft cry of newborn in my head and suddenly it all seems right. While I mourn this last pregnancy, I am also very excited to close this chapter of my life. I have had my fun growing the most perfect babies and now I am ready to grow with them. I will savor every last sound, smell and drop of these little peoples young lives, and I look forward to the days of when they are older and we have more flexibility and mobility. Our home is perfect. Just enough bedrooms for three and more space than we could have ever asked for rearing to our children. I am excited to watch it fill with the memories of my little ones, and I am happy to be getting my body back. While it sadden's me to know that this chapter in my life is coming to an end, it is time. And it feels great to say that at 26, I am done. A home, a husband, 3 kids, a dog, a cat, a minivan and we are all healthy and happy. What more could I ask for!

So I take the acid reflux, heartburn, back pain, pelvic pressure, incontinence, and bladder blows in stride. For I know this won't last forever.

:: Confession ::

::: I secretly want my water to break (when I have hit full term) as the indication that baby is ready to come. I have never had this experience as I have been induced with both of my previous pregnancies. Such a weird thing to want, huh?

::: I am about 99.1% sure that this baby is a girl. In fact, I am confident enough to buy the letters for the nursery and hang them up already. (I might be eating these words soon.)

::: My nesting instincts have gotten out of control. I am climbing (unsteadily might I add) onto bar stools so I can dust light fixtures and the top of doorways. There is nothing more that I want right now than to have my house completely set up the way I want it before baby get's here. It has become my obsession.

Back again next week for my 35 week update! 
Until then enjoy some footage of my wiggle worm!

06 May 2014

Kameron's Journey Begins... {The Diagnosis}

Where to begin? Let's just start from the beginning...

On March 7, 2014 Kameron began to complain of right leg pain. He had been limping for a few days and being worried that he may have injured it in his normal 2 year old rough play, Kev and I decided to take him into the ER. He had an x-ray done, and was discharged a few hours later with a diagnosis of 'Toxic Synovitis'; a condition that is caused by a viral infection that sometimes settles in the hip joint. The virus causes swelling at the hip joint and makes it painful to walk. It is fairly common in children his age. Since he had been pretty sick just a few weeks earlier this diagnosis made sense. We were told that this would pass in a about two weeks (max) and it was nothing to be concerned about. We went home relieved, gave him ibuprofen for the pain and swelling and began the process of waiting it out.

Fast forward a month.

On April 10, 2014, I took Kameron to see our pediatrician. By this time it has been well over the two week max mark that was given to us at the ER, and Kameron's limping and complaints of leg pain had not subsided. In fact, they had gotten worse. What used to be just sporadic verbal complaints of  "knee hurts," had morphed into daily complaints of "weg (leg) hurt." He had began to point directly at his right hip and even things like changing his diaper would cause him to complain of pain. After a long day of x-rays, pokes, prodding and lab draws our pediatrician seemed to be very concerned with his visible limp and complaints of pain, and we were finally referred to an Pediatric Orthopedic Specialist. I wrote about this experience in a previous blog that can be found here.

Fast forward four days.

On April 14, 2014, We had our first appointment with Kameron's Pediatric Orthopedic Specialist. The appointment was short. She manipulated Kameron's hip in different positions to find out his range of motion and to see if anything caused him pain. She had him walk, then run up and down the hallways of Seattle Children's Hospital as she assessed the degree of his limp. And lastly she reviewed his x-rays from the week before. Then without hesitation she explained to me that Kameron had Legg-Calve Perthes Disease (LCPD), a pediatric hip disorder that causes the head of the femur to collapse due to lack to blood to the area. She went on to further explain that the cause of LCPD is unknown and treatment options vary depending on how the head of his femur deteriorates and grows back. She explained that there is a four stage process to LCPD and currently Kameron is in the first stage in which the head of his femur is not receiving blood and therefor is collapsing and dying. During this stage he begins to complain of hip pain and will have a noticeable limp that may be better or worse some days. Until the end of the rebuilding process in 2-5 years we have no idea what his prognosis will be. The only thing we can do right now is NOT allow him to jump, run, rough play, or do anything that can cause more damage and make the regrowing process more difficult. Basically, we have to stop our 2 year old boy from being a 2 year old boy, for the next 2-5 years.

The uncertainty of this disease is what's hardest. He has a greater chance of having his hip pop out of socket. As we "wait and see" how this progresses we are looking at possible bedrest with traction, casts, braces, surgery, physical therapy, a combinations of some of these and/or nothing at all. The ultimate hope is that he regain mobility of the hip and that the bone will regrow and reshape correctly. From start to finish, stages 1-4 could take anywhere from 2-5 years and treatment could be longer if his femur does not regrow properly. Just from having LCPD he is at a higher risk of having a hip replacement later in life and/or developing crippling arthritis in his hip.

Kevin and I are having a very difficult time keeping Kameron from running and jumping. We have had to implement a 'No Running in the House Policy' to make it an equal playing field for both kids. We have learned that swimming and cycling are good activities for kids with LCPD as they are low/no impact. I have been looking into swim classes and with summer just right around the corner there will be more options for getting outside for bike rides and to swim. We are learning how to play without the rough housing (which is hard) and I have turned to online support communities for parents with children who have LCPD. Some days are harder than other as Kameron complains non-stop of his leg pain. On these days we are following his Orthopedic's advice and are avoiding parks and outside play. This is most difficult for Kaydence as she too is forced to stay inside and play quiet non-active games. When we get the opportunities, Kev and I try to get some one-on-one time with Kaydence to allow her to be able to do the things she cannot normally do when brother is around. However, with our busy schedules and me nearing the end of this pregnancy our time is often limited.

Kameron doesn't know his limit, and at 2 years old I can't be surprised. It is hard to constantly tell him "stop," "no more jumping," "no running," "walk please," "buddy you have to stop stomping." He will often push through the pain, caught up in the joy of play and it won't be until he has stopped that he realizes his leg hurts. Knowing he is in constant pain hurts my mama heart, the limping is hard to watch, and knowing that we can't do anything to help him really sucks.

So as of now we wait it out. We adapt and adjust and we figure it out as we go. We are learning what sacrificing as a family means and we are doing what we can to make sure that our sweet boy will still be able to be the active child he deserves to be.

Here are some websites to help explain and give more education to Legg-Calve Perthes Disease:

Seattle Children's Hospital
Scottish Rite Hospital
Mayo Clinic
Kids Health