I realize that I haven't shown any ultrasound pictures of Audrey yet, and being that I'm fairly certain that I've had all the ultrasounds that I'm going to have during this pregnancy, now's a good time to show all of them off together (well, some of them anyway... we have over 12 pictures of her!).
Before I begin with the pictures, I'll give you a little background on this pregnancy versus my first pregnancy with Ava. Up until about 32 weeks into my first pregnancy, everything was going beautifully. My blood pressure was great. My weight was on track. All of the other important factors the physicians consider during pregnancy were right on cue. Plus, I wasn't having much, if any, symptoms of morning sickness or nausea. I was, in fact, enjoying being pregnant. Then around week 32, while I was at one of my normal weekly prenatal check-ups, the nurse took a high blood pressure reading. I can't remember specifically what it was, but I do remember my diastolic being in the high 80s. They decided to take it again after several minutes to make sure it wasn't a fluke reading. Turns out, it was still high. This was concerning to the doctor. Therefore, he ordered an ultrasound, which revealed a low AFI (amniotic fluid index), which is known as oligohydramnios. From that point on, I was seen twice a week by the high risk physicians, had a least 1 non-stress test per week, and had several ultrasounds during the course of the last few weeks to monitor the AFI.
Each week the fluid seemed to continue to decrease. They recommended I drink more water and get more rest. Even though I was drinking water non-stop (I love water, by the way), I truly tried to drink more and more. I tried to get as much rest as I could, but that was difficult. I was working 40+ hours a week as a speech pathologist in a long-term care nursing facility, which involved a lot of walking and standing and just plain being busy. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to be busy when you're at work and have lots to do, but when you're pregnant, you're not quite as excited about it. So, every evening when I got home, I would feel like a zombie. I think my bed-time was around 8:30-9pm. Some nights even earlier.
The doctors called my "condition" idiopathic, meaning they couldn't find a cause for it. The placenta was functioning perfectly and in the correct position, and there was no evidence of leaking fluid. Plus, Ava always had a full bladder, which indicated that she was urinating and ingesting the fluid properly.
The physician was hopeful to have me wait out my pregnancy until the 37 week mark, but because my AFI was lowering into a critical level by my mid-36 week check-up, they decided to admit me into a room at that moment. I should also mention here that I was then scheduled for a caesarean, rather than being induced, because Ava was frank breach. We think that she was unable to turn into the head down position because of the lack of amniotic fluid. So, at 9:48pm on July 2, 2009, our precious first daughter came into the world, and we were more than happy to see her! That was a moment in our lives that will always be remembered as one of the most blessed and cherished moments. We love her so very much!
Okay, back to the comparison of the pregnancies..... this pregnancy has been such a breeze. I haven't had any complications (knock on wood!!) and all my sats look great. My AFI is perfect. My blood pressure is good. All is well. And... Audrey is already in the head down position. I really think that being able to stay at home with Ava, and not working 40 hours a week (although I do work as a photographer and per diem as an SLP, and don't get me wrong, being a stay-at-home mom in itself is work!) has contributed to my wonderful levels of amniotic fluid. I've been able to get more rest and drink plenty of water.
Also note that I'm planning to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) this time. I was very much mentally prepared to have a vaginal delivery while pregnant with Ava after having read multiple books and watching several videos on the subject. Having read even more books and watched even more videos, I am just as mentally prepared, if not more so, to have a vaginal birth this go around. I think it will allow for a faster, easier recovery and will allow us to have more children in the future.
So, for those of you who haven't fallen asleep because I have made this blog into a book, let's take a look at Audrey, our precious little girl!
7 weeks (the pic says 9 wks, but the ultrasound revealed she is actually only 7)
19 weeks, 5 days
19 weeks, 5 days
In less than 4 weeks (plus or minus), we'll be so very blessed to meet our second precious little daughter for the first time. We can't wait to welcome her into the world and into our lives!