September 22, 2013

baby griki update: weeks 31 and 32!

Weeks 31 and 32
Week 31

Week 31 was a busy one.  We spent the weekend celebrating Grant's birthday with his parents, Scott and Lindsay and my family.  We were able to relax lots and sleep in.  Gordon came home for a brief visit (mostly to watch Breaking Bad...) so we were all able to hang out at family dinner.  It was the first five day week of work with all the kiddos in attendance and my body was feeling it.  Everyone's a little more settled into the routine and I crossed another IEP off the to-do list.  We all survived Back to School Night and managed to stay awake all day Friday.  I spent the week drinking electrolyte water and gatorade.  And I did start wearing the compression stockings which seem to be helping the blood pressure a little bit.  We finally heard back from the POTS specialist's office.  Waiting to see if we can do a phone consult or if we have to go in person.  Baby is doing great...moving lots.  I'm feeling feet or hands shoved up around the ribs and get little hard spots over my stomach where a little baby is living.

Week 32

This week kicked off with our Infant Safety and CPR class.  We were by far the youngest couple there....but we're discovering that's a trend at these classes.  Grant spent Saturday night at the Earthquakes game with Dad and Gordon while I rested lots.  The week flew by pretty quickly.  Another check in with the allergist...things look great as far as allergies go!  Tuesday night we had our Newborn Care class.  It was all about swaddling, umbilical cord care, and lots of baby products.  And Wednesday afternoon I received a phone call that Stanford Cardiovascular had an appointment time for me on Thursday morning.  You don't turn down an appointment with a POTS specialist at Stanford so I put in for a sub...whipped out the sub binder...and called Grant to ask him to work from home on Thursday.  Thankfully he was able to and we headed down to Stanford bright and early.  Our day consisted of a two hour drive to the hospital (thank you morning commute traffic), a one hour appointment with the doctor that ran an hour and a half late, and a two hour drive was a very long day!  But we received lots of great information. You can read all about our doctor's appointment here.  All in was a very exhausting week...

32 weeks down...8 to go!

Pregnancy, POTS and our trip to Stanford Cardiovascular to meet Dr. Friday!

After having a really high heart rate and very low blood pressure since hitting the third trimester, my cardiologist decided it was time for us to take a visit to a POTS specialist.  He was able to reach Dr. Karen Friday at Stanford who I've heard lots about through different POTS people online and she squeezed us in this Thursday even though her next opening isn't until December.

Dr. Friday was extremely knowledgeable and was able to explain all of my symptoms.  Basically all of my issues come back to the basis of POTS.  People with POTS almost always have low blood volume.  People with POTS also have issues with the blood vessels constricting when they stand to.  Those constricting blood vessels keep the blood pumping throughout the entire body.  In order to counteract this, my heart rate speeds up (to keep the blood pumping everywhere) and in turn keeps my blood pressure stabilized.  On the beta blocker, the heart rate doesn't get too high and therefore my blood pressure doesn't drop.  Which is why most of the time, I have very limited POTS issues.  Stress and exhaustion are my two biggest triggers to throw off this balance.

But now we add in the pregnancy factor.  This doctor explained that although blood volume does increase when you're pregnant, since my blood volume is already low, the extra blood volume just goes straight to the baby.  But the additional blood volume also makes it harder for my blood vessels to constrict.  Then you add in the pressure from baby and my uterus on the blood vessels in my abdomen and it creates a recipe for lots of problems because it's harder for the blood to get up to the upper region of my body when standing.  Hence the increased tachycardia and lower blood pressure I've been having.

The good news is she says there is absolutely no reason to worry about baby.  She says everything the baby needs is going straight to baby...and I get the leftovers which results in my symptoms.  So we talked about where we go from here.  She says keep the fluids, salt, and compression stockings up.  At order to stay off of bed rest...I need to be sitting as much as possible.  She wants me to try and do supine position activities (i.e. swimming).  She said if drinking the fluids doesn't work or my symptoms are starting to get more severe then I should receive saline fluids via IV.  We talked about labor and delivery and she agrees that avoiding a C-section is the goal and she suggested that I stay on IV fluids the entire time we are in the hospital up until discharge.  We were also excited to hear that she sees absolutely no reason why I should need to be induced early.  She's also agrees with my cardiologist that I should keep using compression stockings and keeping my salt intake up.  She did provide us with a lot of prescription options that we could try if I wasn't pregnant or if my issues get much more severe; but we're holding off on that for now.

Overall it was a very long day; but we left feeling like we got great reassurance and information from someone who specializes in the study and treatment of POTS.  Plus, Dr. Friday was really nice and funny...and that combination is almost never present with these specialists...

September 8, 2013

baby griki update: week 30!

Week 30

Week 30 flew by thanks for school being back in session.  I'm hearing a lot of..."You're huge" and "Are you sure there aren't two in there..." lately.  Nope, only one thanks. Friday night Grant and I went to the Campolindo football game to check my annual teacher supervision off the list of things to do before baby arrives.  We spent Saturday in Napa wine tasting/watching with my family.

 And then I promptly spent the rest of the weekend in bed trying to keep the blood pressure up and the heart rate low!  I made it through the entire second season of Scandal thanks to having Monday off for Labor Day.

The work week flew by and I knocked my first two IEP meetings out of the way.  Two least twenty-six to go before June...hopefully about 15 of those will be before November 1st! We had another baby class this week.  "Surviving the First Weeks"  We weren't totally sure what the class would be about...but the lady mostly talked about sleeping and maintaining your marriage when you're completely sleep deprived.  Health wise I did ok.  Stuck with lots of water, gatorade, and salty snacks.  We saw the cardiologist again and he wants me to see a specialist at Stanford so hopefully that can get rolling soon!  The goal is to keep working and stay off bedrest to help the time pass until November...

30 weeks down. Ten more to go.

September 7, 2013

Happy Birthday Grant!

Summer 2010

Happy Birthday Grant!

Can't believe this is your FOURTH birthday we're celebrating together...

2010 was my first weekend in Georgia...
2013 is a birthday in CA with a baby on the way!

Love you so much!

September 2, 2013

baby griki update: week 29!

Week 29

The summer is officially over and school is back in full swing.  After a few more days of meetings, the students reported back Wednesday.  It's so nice to finally be back in the classroom.  It'll be a mad dash between no and November with paperwork; I want everything settled before I go out, but the kids are settling in well and we should be in a nice routine by the end of week 30!

If you're friends with me on facebook, you heard what happened the first day of school:
Today I pulled into my staff parking spot and was finishing up a phone call. A student knocked on my door and she said, "Hi, I just want to let you know you're parked in a staff parking spot." #embracingit #7monthspregnant #definitelynotastudent

Ever since we hit the third trimester, my POTS has been acting up more and my body is having a harder time handling being pregnant.  The heart rate continues to be high and my blood pressure continues to be low.  So it's lots of salt, gatorade, and electrolyte water...and of course, as much rest as possible.  I'm now seeing my cardiologist every two weeks to monitor the situation...but the countdown is definitely on for November 15th!
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