I’m entering my 38th week of pregnancy, a.k.a., my final week of pregnancy. Even though we’ve made it to the 38th week, we’re not guaranteed the babies will be healthy and able to avoid the NICU. That’s something we’ll find out after they are born. Still, the odds are in our favor that all babies will come home with us.The c-section is just days away, on Friday, the 10th of June at 9am.
Again, I discussed the steroid shot with doc. It’s a tough decision, but I decided to opt out of it. We’re risking a 5% chance of the babies needing the NICU for a few days to help mature their lungs, but avoiding a 100% *chance* of negative side effects for both mom and babies.
The final week of pregnancy brought on PUPPS, a rash on the belly that results in intense itchiness. It usually occurs after the 35th week, likely appearing among women carrying multiples. Scratching doesn’t help because I can’t find the itch. Ironically, my belly is numb to the touch. It gets worse at night, so sleeping is an even bigger problem than before. Two possible causes exist:
PUPP Theory One: Some investigators suggest that the rapid abdominal wall distension damages connective tissue and causes an inflammatory response.
PUPP 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.
Both of these theories apply to me, so take your pick. I found oatmeal baths don’t help at all, but Sarna lotion does. However, by night #2 I woke to maddening itching several times throughout the night. I’ve also woken in the morning to scabby scratches all over my belly, presumably from scratching in my sleep. Sun tanning helps, and I even managed to burn my belly a little, which felt…good. I also take benedryl at night. Not sure if it helps with the itching, but it sure does help me fall asleep.
I feel pretty good during the day, but by nighttime I’m completely worn out in pain. It literally feels like my organs hurt. Sleeping brings the most pain. My body doesn’t want to lie down for any length of time. Rolling from side to side is extremely painful. Getting out of bed in the morning makes me cry. I miss sleeping in, but can’t stand to lie there in pain. This, coupled with the morning sickness, makes me very crabby in the am! Then I have at least 8 good hours before I “crash” again and feel like crap for the rest of the evening. My husband is particularly supportive despite my moodiness in the morning and evening. The best thing he does is ignore my whines and wimpers. He doesn’t take anything personally, but realizes I’m consumed to the point of distraction by what’s going on in my body.
I’ve had all the “morning” sickness any person should ever experience (seriously, who pukes during their entire pregnancy..all day??). If it weren’t for Zofran, I don’t know what I would’ve done.
I can’t gain weight (in fact I’m down a pound from last week).
Peeing in a cup while pregnant is an impossible task. I’ve asked for something else to pee into, and staff just laugh it off. But look at me. I’m too short and and the toilet is too high. No, I can’t get my arm around my belly in any way, and I certainly can’t see anything going on above my knees and below my belly. If I closed my eyes it wouldn’t matter. So there I am, bent far over the too high toilet, arm on the toilet bowl, blindly wobbling the cup around, peeing everywhere but the cup, until I finally capture some. I have to scrub up like a surgeon after I’m done!
Jason and I are both wearing very thin at this point. We expected the babies to be here about a month and a half ago, and each day has brought more contemplative anxiety. Of course, we feel extremely fortunate that I’ve been able to carry the babies to the 38th week. We’ve just psyched ourselves out!
That’s it! The next blog entry will be on Friday, by Jason (unless I go into labor before then). He bought a super special camera for the occasion, so he’ll be blogging and posting lots of pics for our friends and family. Don’t be shy about texting or facebooking, but I probably won’t be up to chatting on the phone for a least a few days!! :)
Thank you for coming on this journey with us! Your comments, emails and phone calls have given us the support we both needed, especially those coming from friends and family so far away. We’re overwhelmed by all your messages and/or gifts and cards; we’re both very grateful to have all of you in our lives.