Week 29

September 30, 2008

Now that my belly is protruding more and more, I have noticed people are more curious to see how I am doing and getting about. Many of you are familiar with my medical history and some not to familiar, so I will give you a brief background.

One afternoon My two sisters (Julieta and Jessica), Bart (Jessica’s boyfriend at the time – now husband) and myself traveled to a nearby town to watch him motor-cross. When we arrived there, I began to wonder around, slipped and found myself covered in mud with a broken leg. We quickly headed back to Tucson were I was taken to the hospital.

I don’t remember much after arriving to the hospital. I think I was so high on pain killers and morphine, I don’t ever recall hearing the words “you have cancer”. All I really recall was waking up in a hospital bed knowing I did.

I was fourteen and a half when I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. For a year I was in and out of the hospital receiving chemotherapy. I was poked, examined, analyzed, highly medicated and more.

After a failed bone transfer, I was given two options; remove the femur bone and knee and have it replaced with a long bone, never allowing me to bend my leg, or amputating my leg. As most of you know I choose to have my leg amputated.

I now celebrate 10 years of being cancer free. I would not be here today if not for the support and care of my Mom, sisters, family, and friends. However as they all know there is still some challenges I have to deal with daily. For instance, wearing and using my prosthetic leg properly, finding shoes that fit right, getting my cats not to use my prosthetic as a scratching post, etc…

So, how am I doing and getting about while pregnant? Just fine. I have not gotten to fat that my prosthetic leg does not fit and not to heavy that it will break. My one concern is that as my belly grows I may just tip over. But even though I look like a reverse camel and resemble the leaning tower of pisa, I have not tipped over yet.


Week 28

September 22, 2008

This is the beginning of our third trimester, month 7.

This week Jericho is almost 16 inches tall and getting close to 3 lbs. He has started to blink, cough, has more intense sucking, and better breathing. Having developed stronger lungs now, if born premature, he has an excellent chance of surviving. I know its getting cramped in there but hang in there Jericho! There is still lots of developing to do for the next 12 weeks.

In these final weeks Jericho’s brain will be developing. His brain wave activity now shows different sleep cycles, including rapid eye movement, the stage when dreaming occurs. I’m sure he is having many sweet dreams just as I have been.

So far I have been very fortunate in my pregnancy. I have no major pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, massive weight gain, or other common annoyances that come with being pregnant. Until my recent pregnancy symptom – extreme fatigue.

I can’t wait to crawl into bed as soon as I’m out of it. I admit I love to sleep and have been known to stay in bed until 2 pm. However this is a completely different feeling (kinda like being drugged or whacked with a club). Last Saturday my day went something like so… woke-up, ate breakfast, fell back to sleep, woke up, ate lunch, showered, fell back to sleep, woke up, ate dinner, robbed a liquor store (wait… I probably dreamt that last one), watched 30 minutes of a movie and…. you guessed it…. fell back to sleep. I woke up Sunday morning and I saw that my belly was twice its size.

I’m not concerned about sleeping so much, there is a good reason for it. Making a baby is very hard work. Consider this: My body is manufacturing a baby and its directly plugged into me for life support. On top of that my body’s metabolism and hormone levels have increased, while my blood sugar and blood pressure have dropped. It’s been exhausting but well worth for when JJ and I hold Jericho for the first time.

Week 27

September 12, 2008

Last Thursday afternoon we had our third ultrasound and doctor’s appointment.

Before our meeting that day, I stopped for a nice big lunch accompanied by a huge 32 ounce thirst buster lemonade. Soon after, I met JJ at our doctor’s office. We both arrived just on time, but as always there was some waiting in the waiting room. JJ and I were anxiously awaiting to be called in when I felt the super sized lemonade hit me. Jericho is growing and putting more weight on my shrinking bladder. Just as I stand up to go to the bathroom, the ultrasound tech calls us back. So I painstakingly held it in!

JJ and I were taken to the dark secluded room in the back of the office. I had the excited daddy-to-be to my right, and the gel crazy tech to my left. She gushed the gel all over my belly, like syrup on pancakes, except this time the “pancake” looks more like a bunt cake. The tech placed the doppler on my belly and our son appeared on the monitor.

Jericho was snuggled up in a curled position (thus the term “fetal position”). The tech needed him to stretch out to be able to get the info and photos required. So without warning, she pushed down on my belly to un-curle him. I almost…. please… lets just say I was feeling the pressure on my bladder. The tech continued and confirmed that Jericho, though stubborn, is still developing perfectly and in fact is slightly over the average weight. He weighs 2.6 pounds and is approximatly 15 inches, he has doubled in weight from last month. 

I was overwhelmed with emotion. Relief that he’s developing beautifully. Proud he is a chubby lil baby. And finally, agony from holding it in for about half an hour. The tech soon wiped the gallons of gel from my belly and I jetted to the bathroom.  I had sweet relief and photos…

1. That’s his doodle again!

2. His face. If you look closely you can see his eyes, nose and lil frown. He was not happy being pushed around.

3. A blurred profile of his face while sucking his thumb

4. His chubby lil hand

5. His chubby bohemian foot

Week 26

September 2, 2008

When pregnant your immune system runs at low speed, this keeps your body from fighting off the baby, but at the same time your body can’t fight off colds or flu as well as it normally would. So naturally I came down with a cold this week.

Wednesday I came home early from work. I was suffering from a stuffy runny nose, a cough, and a sore throat. My mom spoiled me with homemade chicken soup and tea while JJ was at work. It felt great on my throat however it was just a temporary relief. JJ soon arrived and my mom left the coddling to him.

JJ called the OBGYN on call. They quickly concluded I had a cold and assured us the baby was in good health despite my condition. They recommended I stay home, rest and take some cold medicine. I was shocked! On days like this, I would usually take some cough medicine and sleep through the cold, however, I’m pregnant and worry about the baby’s health. So I refused to take any drugs! Instead, I decided I would drink lots of water and chamomile tea, eat plenty of soup, use the humidifier and sleep.

So as you may have guessed, I was miserable! I was more uncomfortable than a Universal Health Care Provider at a McCain Rally. As I laid in bed staring at the ceiling fan and blowing my nose, I began to think…. Most women, including myself, refuse to take any drugs during pregnancy: Tylenol, tums, cold medicine… altoids. We are suspicious of any drugs the doctor prescribes or any claims that taking these drugs are ok during pregnancy. I’m definitely one of those women. And as I laid there still staring at the fan and snot running out of my nose, it hit me (not the snot but a self realization)… I’m a big fat (pregnant) hypocrite! Because I know when I go into labor and the pain hits in, I’m probably going to be crying out… GIVE ME THE DRUGS!

But until then, this week…

Jericho is about nine inches tall and two pounds, at the rate he is growing, he will soon be feeling a little cramped. He is now able to see what’s going on (unfortunately the view is not very exciting). Not only can he hear noises and see light though the uterus but he can now respond to them with an increase in pulse rate or activity.