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Nicole's Pregnancy Journal

Week 32
~ When will it be spring?!

First off, please accept my apologies for this late entry. Last week turned out to be another trying and stressful week, luckily none of which has affected baby Bryson. I went for my routine by-weekly prenatal exam last Thursday and all is well with our little man. My results for my glucose test came back excellent, blood pressure etc . . . perfect (obviously stress doesn't affect my blood pressure) and I've already gained an excess of 40lbs (not the best of news but I know I can always lose the weight this summer)!! Bryson is measuring a week larger than his due date and this is an on-going concern for me due to previous miscalculations of my due dates. You see, for my fifth and seventh pregnancies I had opted to be induced at 38 weeks. Because of my short labours, the speed of my deliveries and the fact that we live 30 minutes from the nearest hospital, my doctor agreed with my decision. I couldn't imagine going into labour with my husband at work (also 30 minutes away) with no nearby support to offer child care to my already large family, etc. With induction, I am more able to prepare for an out of town relative to be here for my children, book my husband's leave from work and enjoy a leisure drive to the hospital to welcome our newest little one into the world.

Unfortunately, inductions don't always run so smoothly for me. I usually conceive while still breast feeding so my periods are irregular to say the least so we depend mostly on fetal development ultrasounds to calculate my dates. My babies are naturally large when full term, my first was 7lbs 6oz at 38 weeks gestation (born without induction), my second 9lbs 1oz at 40 weeks, third 8lbs 7oz, fourth 8lbs 15 1/2 oz . . . and sixth 7lbs 13oz at 38 weeks (born without induction). Now, for my fifth pregnancy we were induced at what was believed to be 38 weeks but were shocked when I delivered a tiny 6 lbs 13 oz baby girl that was assessed by Neonatal Intensive Care nurses as being only 36 weeks gestational age! Thankfully she was fine with no extended hospital stay or other complications but the scare was enough to let #6 happen naturally. Now, with my sixth pregnancy my placenta ruptured which lead us to complete panic. As she was only 38 weeks, I had no one to care for my other children (thankfully we finally found a generous neighbor to run over at the wee hours of night) I was bleeding heavily and the drive to the hospital with our emergency light flashing was really not an experience I want to repeat!! So, for our seventh baby we opted for the induction once again.

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The entire pregnancy went perfectly, baby measured according to my 20 week ultrasound throughout my term and we were confident nothing could go wrong with our "perfect plans". Well, you can only imagine the shock when baby Breya arrived and suddenly our perfect delivery turned out to be chaos as the doctor announced a preemie of only 34-35 weeks gestation weighing 6 lbs 3 oz (remember how large my babies usually are). We were terrified at the idea of her needing to stay in neonatal ICU for over a month but luckily after only a short three day stay she was released. Other than needing to nurse her more frequently due to her lack of energy at the breast she was fine. You can only imagine how hesitant we are to "plan" Bryson's delivery this time! According to my menstrual cycle he was due April 26th but we had an early ultrasound at 12 weeks that recorded his growth as being nearly 15 weeks along so my due date changed to April 13th. Then, because of my genetic testing two more specialized ultrasounds by an OB/GYN were performed at 20 weeks than at 22 weeks both of which confirm my date as being due April 23rd. After discussing my apprehension with my doctor we've decided to be a little less aggressive with my induction. I'll wait a week longer and if all signs continue to point to an accurate date, we will only break my waters at 39 weeks rather than a full induction at 38 weeks. Now, I'm hoping he is only measuring large and not further along than we think . . . enough with the stress already!

Since starting our little farm stress seems to be the order of the day. Last week we had our prize nanny goat deliver her twins three weeks premature. Sadly as much as the children and I tried they died less than an hour after their birth. They each took their turns cradling the tiny kids and saying their good-byes and I must say they seem to handle "the facts of life" better than I! Then, only three days later we found our old 12 year old Great Pyrenees dog dead in his bed. Other than his obvious slowing down he had remained healthy until the end, passing away in his sleep. My children were my source of strength as they reassured me that he was tired and it was O.K. for him to go to sleep now. I must say, the every day challenges of storms, crisis with livestock etc are all worth it when you can see the advantages of the lessons learned by these amazing little people! Every rough day ends with love and strength and I always look forward to the adventures tomorrow will bring.

~ Nicole

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