Monday, August 30, 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel.

There is light at the end of the tunnel!  Some days it seems like a long tunnel, but we'll get there!

I'm still itching, but did receive a little good news.  My doctor called with my results and it looks like my liver test came back just slightly abnormal.  Not enough to start worrying or take precautions... I will just have to be be monitored. So for now, I will just be itching.  Possibly until 6 weeks after Selah is born.  And to be perfectly honest with you... that doesn't thrill my soul.  The oral steroids and topical steroids are sadly not working.  But I am choosing to have a great attitude despite the condition of my skin and live life to the fullest as Andrew's wife until Selah Grace comes into our world and then I become Andrew's wife and Selah Grace's MOTHER!  Easier said then done... but I am trying!!!

Pictured below is what my lovely skin looks like.  A lady yesterday in the grocery store told me that I was glowing with pregnancy and I almost laughed out loud.  She must have not gotten farther than looking at my face. :)

In other news, Andrew and I had our last birthing class on Thursday night.  We talked about newborn care and Andrew is now a master at swaddling a baby. 

Saturday night, we had a BBQ dinner at Neely's for Andrew's 28th birthday.  It was cowboy themed since that is what Andrew wanted to be when he grew up.  :)  We had about 7 couples from church come and celebrate with us.  It was good food and great fellowship! 

So the countdown is on, people!  7 weeks until my due date.  Will it ever get here???

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Ever since last Tuesday my body has been itching like you wouldn't believe. 

I stuck it out for about 6 days until I went to the doctor yesterday.  It started out with my feet, hands and elbows... so weird.  Then my abdomen, inner and outer thighs, back, chest, etc started feeling like they were on fire as well.  Thursday, little red bumps began to form all over and then they so conveniently turned into blisters on Saturday night.  Yes - I said BLISTERS!

Sleeping... is non-existent. Who can sleep with blisters on their rear-end?

Night time seems to be the worst.  It's like at 8pm a switch is flicked on and my body starts freaking out.  It hurts all day but night time is just plain awful.

SOOO... I went to the doctor.  I had to wait around all day yesterday until 4 pm for my appointment.  When the nurse took me back and lifted up my shirt to find the Selah's heartbeat she was really taken back.  "OUCH!"... were her exact words.  My skin is so tender that she made me bleed when she had to measure me with that handy-dandy tape measure they use.

The doctor came in and examined me.  PUPPP is what I was told I have.  Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy - PUPPP.

Some pregnant women may also experience more intense itchiness during pregnancy. This is often seem in conjunction with itchy, red bumps and larger patches of a hive-like rash on their bellies. This is known as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) or polymorphic eruption of pregnancy and will effect about 1% of pregnant women.
PUPPP will usually effects women who are in their first pregnancy, carrying twins, and is usually at its worst during the third trimester. 

What causes PUPPP?

PUPPP Theory One: Some investigators suggest that the rapid abdominal wall distension damages connective tissue and causes an inflammatory response.

PUPPP Theory Two: One study has shown that male fetal DNA can be found in skin biopsies of the rash. Since 70% of women with PUPPP give birth to boys, a new hypothesis is that male fetal DNA acts as a skin irritant.

So my doctor thought that my case of PUPPP was severe enough to give me oral steroids.  She told me that if this first one week's dose doesn't work then we will move on to the next one... because this will last until the end of my pregnancy.  TWO. MORE. MONTHS.

BUT... this may not be completely what is wrong with me.  PUPPP's usually starts from the abdomen and works it way outward.  Mine didn't.  Also, I am not having a boy or multiples which is usually the case with PUPPP.  At the end of my appointment my doctor had me go to the lab so that I could do some lab work for a Liver Funtion Test to determine a diagnosis of ICP.

What causes ICP?

Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy is caused by an impairment of bile secretion in the liver. As the bile backs up in the liver, the level of bile acids increases in the bloodstream. These bile acids are deposited in the skin causing the intense itching. Cholesterol, triglyceride, and bilirubin levels are also increased.

Several complicated mechanisms have been proposed to explain this impairment of bile secretion, but it appears that genetic and hormonal factors are involved. Women who have a mother or sister who has had ICP are at a higher risk of developing this condition. Also, estrogen interferes with the clearance of bile from the liver, and progesterone interferes with the clearance of estrogen from the liver.

Effect on the baby?
The liver of a healthy fetus has a limited ability to remove bile acids from the blood. The fetus normally has to rely on the maternal liver to perform this function. Therefore, the elevated levels of maternal bile cause stress on the fetal liver. Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy increases the risk to the baby of meconium staining during delivery, preterm delivery, and intrauterine death. Women with ICP should be monitored closely, and serious consideration should be given to inducing labor as soon as fetal lung maturity is confirmed.
What does all this mean?
I will receive my test results either tomorrow or the next day to find out if my liver is healthy.   If all is well with my liver, then I will just have to find a temporary fix to relieve my itching until October 18th. 
Please pray for Andrew, Selah and I as we all deal with this itching.  My frantic itching is keeping Andrew awake and I am sure Selah doesn't like it as well. Also, pray that October 18th gets here soon. REALLY SOON!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chubby Babies...

Today, on my way to work I spotted a chubby baby. 


I can't get enough of them.  Andrew has even expressed his concern that I may in fact feed our child more than needed so that she will be chubby.  I wouldn't go that far but I have to confess that I have been asking God for a chubby baby. 

While praying for Selah Grace, I always end up asking for her to have curly hair, blue eyes, and rolls... lots of them! :)

I just don't know what it is.. but my heart skips a beat when I see a chubby baby.  Can you blame me?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Focal Point

Looking through some old pictures this morning, I have officially found my focal point for my "comfort bag" (if you have no clue what I am talking about, click here to read).

Back on Christmas Break of 2006, Toby (my youngest brother) and I went out to play some basketball in the grand city of Belton Texas.  If you do not know my brother than you are missing out... he is quite a character.  At one point I look over and he has got the basketball up his shirt and he is prancing around acting like he is me having a baby. His exact words before I took this picture were, "I bet this is what you are going to look like..."  I ended up snapping this picture that would later come back to haunt him for eternity.

4 years later I will taking this picture with me to the hospital - framed as my focal point.... seems fitting, doesn't it?  :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sneak Peek!

Since my Mom and Grandmother came for my shower they were here to help me get the nursery ready for Selah. 

OH MY!  It turned out so beautiful I was almost late to work this morning because I decided to stare at everything in her room for too long.  Whoops :)

The pictures I took were just on my iPhone because I didn't have our other camera handy... so take them for what they are worth.  The quality isn't that good but I couldn't wait until I got my hands on the other camera to go ahead and show you what we have done so far.

Let me just say, I could not have done ANY of this without my Mom and my Grandmother's help.  The three of us are like a freight train full speed ahead when we get together.  This weekend was "operation nursery". 

I can say that we have successful completed what we set out to accomplish.  Enjoy the sneak peek!

Baby Shower #1

Our dear friends, Shana and Ted, threw an incredible "couples" baby shower for Andrew and I this weekend and we were so blessed with such wonderful gifts from all of our friends and family. 

Shana and Ted went to SO much trouble to make sure that Andrew and I knew we were loved.  It was amazing!  My Mom, Grandmother, and both of my brothers were there to help us celebrate this weekend.  We had such a great time! 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Child Birthing 101

About three weeks ago, Andrew and I went to our first child birthing class.  We decided to take a class at the hospital where Selah Grace will be born even though it is all the way across town and we live about 5 ft away from another hospital.  We thought it would be good to see it, know where we are going, and hopefully make it a fun date night each week.

The class is a two hour class once a week that meets for six weeks.  The people in our class are much older than Andrew and I.  Well, maybe not much older than Andrew.  But they are certainly older than me.  Andrew always hates the awkward kindergarten moments where you have to introduce yourself to the entire class and share a hobby or an embarrassing story.  He would rather disappear.  I usually do all the talking so he doesn't have to. :)

On our first night of class, after all the kindergarten introductions, we learned about what to pack to bring to the hospital.  Oh joy.  Our instructor then began to tell us that we needed two bags.  A "comfort bag" and a "necessity bag".  She described all of these things that you can fill your bag with to help you through labor.  She was dead serious when talking about the massage lotions and battery operated back-scratchers to fill my bag with.  It was becoming increasing apparent by the chuckles coming from Andrew that he was not into it.

So we get in the car to leave and we begin to crack up laughing because we have been through contractions before and trust me... there were no massage oils present.

When I had my miscarriage back in October, I was not prepared for what my body was about to go through.  Now, I understand that there is not a class on "Miscarriages 101" that I could have taken, but I could have been warned that I was going to experience things other than, "you will start bleeding and then loose the baby".  All the stuff in between those two things were left out completely. 

My body (on a smaller and quicker scale) went through the stages of labor when I had my miscarriage.  I'll never forget thinking, "no one told me that it hurts!"  The contractions were unbearable.  I didn't want Andrew touching me, breathing... or really existing even.  I would have given anything to have had my lower body ripped off at that moment.  It was scary and very painful.  Andrew had no clue what to do.  He didn't know what was happening.  At one point I looked up in between contractions and could see him frantically cleaning the dishes and tightening all the loose screws in the apartment. He didn't know how to help me and figured he better stay away or he might not make it out of our apartment alive. 

So I am looking at this nurse that is telling me that massage oil and battery operated back-scratchers are going to make my labor more peaceful.  This woman does not know my husband.  If my contractions were anything like what they were during my miscarriage, I am going to need a horse tranquilizer or a gun. 

So we were told to bring our comfort bag back in two weeks.  I was racking my brain trying to think of things that would genuinely help me through the beginning stages of labor until that tranquilizer kicks in.  I ended up just throwing a few things in a bag and we were off to class.

Once we arrive we are split up into groups, men vs. women and then asked to play show and tell.   Now, this is the part where I had to really try and compose myself and not bust out laughing.  EVERY SINGLE WOMAN had a picture of her dog in her comfort bag and one woman had her entire make-up bag with her.  As the women passed around the pictures of their poodles and scotty dogs I couldn't help but think, "oh my goodness".  I cannot imagine that I would ever say, during labor, "Andrew please whip out that picture of Ginger.. I need to be comforted."  Nope.  That is not the first thing that comes to my mind. 

When we got in the car, Andrew asked me if we needed to add a picture of Ginger to our comfort bag and I couldn't help but laugh.  I guess I am going to use a picture of her terrorizing my house as a focal point to release the pain from my body.  HA!

I am just the type of person that wants the instructor to look at me and say, "it is going to hurt... bad... but here are some very practical ways to help the pain... wanna epidural?"

Did you take a picture of your poodle with you to the hospital?  To all you mom's out there... does that make you laugh like it made me laugh? :)  All in all, birthing class on Thursday nights is entertaining and makes for a great date night.

Here is a little treat from me to you. Enjoy!