32 Week Thursday O.B. Appt.

I figure Week number change which is Tuesday (and always an appt. day) and then Week number with Thursday’s Appt. are the best ways to name these posts and keep everyone up to date re: the progress of this never-ending ordeal.  It’s such an irony, though, b/c the end result is SO very worth it.

So had three appointments yesterday: Dr. A is my perinatologist and he deals with the G.D. aspect of things.  He was happier with my blood sugar numbers.  They are still too high, but now that I’m eating at the times he wants me to eat at (most of the time) they aren’t all over the place anymore.  So we upped my insulin doses and added an extra dose at lunchtime; I’m up to 4 blood sugar checks and 4 insulin pokes a day now.  When I was first told I was going to have to take insulin shots, and in my belly no less, I was really freaked out.  I thought there was no way in the world I was going to be able to stick a needle in my belly and that I was going to have to get TJ to do it for me.  In the end, though, they made me do it at the doctor’s office the first time and I discovered not only wasn’t it as bad as I thought, but you almost can’t even feel it.  So other than the inconvenience of having to eat at specific times and often not getting to eat with my family b/c they are eating way too early or too late for my schedule, the insulin thing isn’t too bad at all.  When I told TJ that I didn’t mind giving myself the shots and that there was actually some twisted part of me that kind of enjoyed it, he looked at me like I was the looniest loon of them all then shrugged and said that I’ve always been kind of morbid anyway…LOL

Appointment #2 was the non-stress test.  That one was 4 hours after appt. #1 so was kind of putzed around the hospital; went for lunch in the yummy cafeteria there (I honestly and truly could eat there every day.  The food is amazing!)  We had lunch and I was actually good; rather than going for the burger and fries that I really wanted I had veggie soup and a salad.  It was good and filling and the carb. count was low.  After eating, though, I got really sharp pains in my upper abdomen.  The kind that bring tears to your eyes.  It didn’t seem to have anything to do with the pregnancy, just belly pain.  UGH.  I ended up laying down on the bench seat in the cafeteria while TJ worked on his presentation for the PTO thing at Jake’s school last night.  Felt better when I woke up (yes, I actually dozed off for a half hour or so – I’m 8 months pregnant what do you want from me…LOL) but the pain was still there just less intense.  Off to the NST.  They settled me into the recliner and put my feet up, gave me the buzzer to mark when Connor kicked and left us alone for a half hour.  Connor was moving great; it seemed like I was constantly pushing the button to mark motion.  Unfortunately yet again he didn’t react the way they wanted him to and we had another failed non-stress.  This is not a good thing.

On to appt. #3.  Dr.s G and H are the only two doctors that I’m seeing in the practice now.  Linda, the midwife I was originally seeing; she handled my pregnancy with Jacob, told me that she felt that with the problems I was having she was out of her depth at this point and she would feel better if I stuck with the doctors.  I appreciated the honesty but will miss seeing her every few weeks.  I really like her so much!!  So yesterday was Dr. G.  He told me there was protein in my urine again, my B.P. was up (144/88) and that they baby failed the NST.  I hit the bad prenatal appt. trifecta ladies and gentlemen.  For a brief moment I had pictures of a hospital room with my name on it, but nope.  We had another Biophysical ultrasound and everything looked pretty good there.  They look for 4 things and score 2 pts. for each thing that he does or that is good.  Connor did everything they wanted to see except for the practice breathing (which he did do earlier in the week at the u/s).  The ultrasound tech said that it wasn’t completely uncommon in babies at 32 weeks not to see it, that they do the breathing thing more and more often the farther along in gestation they are.  Dr. G didn’t seem concerned since that was the only thing he didn’t do.  His movements were good, plenty of amniotic fluid, and he had good muscle tone so I guess I’m happy.  Two more appts. with O.B. next week, two more NSTs and another appt. with Dr. A re: possibly upping insulin again depending on how my numbers look for the rest of this week.  It’s become a habit for us now that on Tuesdays and Thursdays we will accomplish nothing.  Not that I’m getting a ton done on the moderated bed rest anyway.

The doctors all seem to be pretty confident that the baby is doing well and that I’m okay.  So why am I freaking out constantly?  The five days between my Thurs. and Tues. appts. seem so long to me.  I worry almost constantly that something will happen to the baby in that time.  It’s kind of torturous, but I know I’m doing it to myself.  Being in bed most of the time gives me WAY too much time to think, I think.  Just hearing the wrong thing can send me into a tail spin of paranoia that’s so hard to get out of.  We heard the song “Don’t Take the Girl” in the car the other day and it runs through my head constantly now.  That’s not so uncommon with me and songs but with this one, I’m now terrified that something is going to happen to me during the c-section.  I’m terrified of the surgery (and I was so blase about choosing it in the beginning of this pregnancy) and what could happen.  The thought of leaving Jake behind and motherless breaks my heart over and over again every day.  I realize I’d be leaving Connor motherless too, but he wouldn’t know the difference like Jake would.  I feel like Jake has gotten the raw end of the deal over and over again in the pregnancy and he’s been so wonderful about my time in bed and all the sleep I’m getting b/c of the B.P. meds and just being this pregnant (I swear I sleep 15 hours a day sometimes or else I can’t fall asleep at night to save my life and then I can’t keep my eyes open during the day).  He has been so understanding and so supportive and he’s only 5.  I know that he doesn’t really understand what’s going on and he hears bits and pieces of conversations between me and my mother or TJ and his mom or dad.  This has to be so much more frightening for him than he lets on.  Another reason to feel guilty.  I feel like I’m failing Jake in a million little ways lately; that he deserves so much better than I’ve given him.  He already spent the first year and a half of his life being deprived of a real mother b/c of my back problems and the constant high doses of narcotic pain killers I was on and it’s taken a long time for him to feel secure in his place in this family and I feel like I’m depriving him all over again.  The kid is my world and I don’t feel like I deserve him some days.  I’ve decided that I’m breaking bed rest this weekend and taking him to the library.  I figure other than the drive there I’m not really doing anything wrong.  I’ll wear my comfy clothes and all I’ll really do is sit in the chairs by the window and read or knit while I watch him play.  Maybe I’ll even read him a book or two – gasp.  Really not that different from being at home on the couch with him, IMO.  Of course it will all be dependant on my B.P. being good (It was really good this morning:  125/60) and my lack of contractions or other obvious problems.  I think it will be good for him to have a day out with Mommy.

Have a great weekend everyone.  Will try to be back later today or tomorrow with an actual fiber related post.  I’ve been both knitting and spinning this week – big shocker, I know…:)

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32 Weeks and another small setback

The good news is that we’ve made it successfully to 32 weeks with this pregnancy and the bp meds seem to be helping to some degree.  The bad news is that everything else seemed to have gone to hell in a handbasket yesterday:  the protein is back in my urine, my midwife has declared that she is way out of her depth with this pregnancy and told me that it’s better if I only see the O.B.’s now (which we knew was coming and, in face, were going to request ourselves), and the worst thing of all, IMO, is that Connor failed his non-stress test.  Quick definition of NST:  They hook you up to two monitors, one to measure baby’s heart rate and the other to keep track of what your uterus is doing contraction-wise during everything.  The goal is to get the baby to move around and to see what his heart rate does in relation to those movements.  Here is how Wikipedia defines a passed test: “a positive (good) result is indicated by a reactive non-stress test. This means that the fetal heart rate increased (acceleration) by at least 15 beats per minute for at least 15 seconds at least twice during a 20 minute interval” Connor, unfortunately, was considered non-reactive b/c his heart rate didn’t change much based on his movements or it decelerated a bit.  This can be a fluke, this can be b/c the baby isn’t moving much during the test (but of course he was; he’s always moving it seems), it can be for a variety of reasons.

We were taken right to ultrasound for a Biophysical Profile which measures certain movements as well as amniotic fluid to make sure everything looked good and, thank God it did.  I’m still worried, though, about the change in the NST.  He passed last Thursday.  So we are at home waiting for my 2nd of two weekly O.B. appts. as well as my second NST of the week.  I really hope that yesterday’s was just a fluke b/c I’m not sure what happens if he fails another one.

I’m been dreaming a lot about his birth and for some reason I’ve got 34 weeks stuck in my head.  It’s not based on anything concrete, obviously, but both sleeping and waking that’s the number I can’t seem to shake.  I think I could live with 34 weeks.  Of course it’s not ideal, but he already weighs close to 5 lbs., he’s had the steroids to mature his lungs and at 34 weeks his suck reflex should be mature enough for him to nurse.  I assume that he’ll need to be monitored in the NICU even if he is bigger, but that is far preferable to spending all my time worrying that something terrible is going to happen to him inside me.  I’m constantly checking his heart rate with the home doppler if I don’t feel him moving for a period of time (my mother renting that for us at the beginning of this pregnancy turned out to be a major godsend.  I think I would be heading to L&D triage 3-4 times a week if I didn’t have that reassurance).  TJ is constantly telling me not to be paranoid about this pregnancy, but it’s kind of hard not to when it seems like everything that can go wrong has thus far.  Right now I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes well tomorrow.  Wish us luck…

Will update after tests/appt. tomorrow afternoon.

quick GD update

I finally got my glucose meter and am testing 4x a day at this point. It feels like the only things I do these days are count carbs., check blood sugar and try to tweak things so that my numbers will be in the desired range. We started out with no insulin, hoping that we would be able to control sugar numbers by controlling diet and exercise. Exercise, unfortunately, is a little bit difficult since I start having contractions and/or cramping if I’m too active. Diet is easier in theory, but I’m still having trouble with it. I’m doing the very best that I can, though. The good news for me is that number of carbs is what I look at, not specific foods. So if I want to have a half a can of soda, I can, but it counts as one of my snacks for the day. It’s all a numbers game in the end. I’m pretty sure, after two days of testing, that I’m going to end up having to take some insulin, even if it’s just a small dose. My fasting blood sugar is higher than they’d like it to be and there’s nothing I can do about that; there is no adjusting carbs for a fasting reading. I’m not that far above the max for fasting numbers, but still high. I meet with the dietitian again in a week and a half to reevaluate my numbers and what we need to do about them.
This whole experience has been pretty disheartening for me, but I have to keep soldiering on and doing what’s best for Connor. Sometimes it just all seems so fruitless since no matter what I do/eat/try it seems like my numbers are too high. ARGH!!!

Can’t sleep…

It’s 3:30 in the morning and I can’t sleep. Sometimes pregnancy is just no fun. So I’m watching TV which I don’t do as often as I’d like to anymore and I can’t stop thinking about the socks I’m knitting right now. I’m working on the Tresse pattern and while I like the cable and I love the color (Hot Flash, which is a combination of shades of pink ranging from the lightest pastel to the brightest fuchsia), I’m not really too sure about the yarn. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Socks that Rock and I have this skein of it, which is the medium weight, and another in the lightweight. It’s very easy to work with and very smooth, but I don’t think I’m loving it as much as I thought I would. The Monkeys that I made were made with Monkey Toes by Crazy Monkey Creations and it was a 100% merino yarn and therefore fuzzy; the other socks I have on the needles right now are BFL Sock by Fleece Artist and they are also fuzzy and super soft. I think that I prefer working with the fuzzier yarns. Interesting to me to realize this b/c I really thought I would prefer the tightly wound, smooth yarn. I guess I’ll have to see how I feel about the other skein of STR; maybe it’s the pattern in the end. It’s a lot of stockinette with a 14 st. cable chart thrown in. It’s simple but very pretty. I like the cable a lot and I don’t even mind the tedium of knitting round after round of mostly knit stitches – great TV socks. I don’t know why this is plaguing my mind so badly.
Tomorrow is my first appointment with the perinatologist and while I’m anxious to hear what he has to say and to find out more about the gestational diabetes and how we’re going to deal with it, I’m also really nervous about the appointment for some reason. I feel like I’ve done something wrong by having this condition and that it’s somehow my fault. I’ve been trying really hard to cut sugar out over the past week or so but I’m afraid I’m not doing as well as I’d like in the soda department. The diet soda just isn’t cutting it for me and I was weak today and had two bottle (12 oz.) of Mexican Coke (the kind with Cane sugar instead of corn syrup – yum) today. I stopped eating at 10 pm (actually a little earlier) and am planning to hold off on breakfast until after my morning appointment so that if they check my sugar it will be a fasting number and not effected by what I’ve eaten. I can’t help but wonder if my numbers were so high at the one hour glucose test b/c I had a breakfast with a lot of carbs as well as a Pepsi about two hours before the blood was drawn. We’ll see what tomorrow’s numbers hold. I have the feeling it’s going to be a long time (at least 10 weeks) before I have another Coke or Pepsi. Sigh…

Gestational Diabetes is a Pain in the…

Well, you get the picture.  I still haven’t met with the perinatologist; that is on Thursday morning.  I’m not doing as well as I could in the sugar department but I try to comfort myself with the knowledge that I haven’t been given a diet or really any guidelines yet.  I say try, b/c I know that sugar is the enemy, I’d have to be an idiot not to, and I know there are certain things I shouldn’t eat (not so hard) as well as drink (MUCH harder for me).  I’m actually drinking diet pop today, but I’ve been really bad about that the last week or so.  I’ve cut down the number of regular Coke or Pepsi’s that I’ve consumed, but they are still there.  I even switched the sugar-free kool-aide for regular the other day behind TJ’s back.  Of course I’m a terrible liar and confessed what I had done to him the next day.  He was not amused.  Before anyone jumps all over me, yes, I know that this is important and that this is for my own good as well as Connor’s.  I’m trying, I really am.  Today has been better.  I grabbed a Pepsi without even thinking about it, but only took a few sips before stopping myself and giving it to TJ and switching it for a Diet Coke.  So that’s a good thing.  I think this will be much easier once I have my blood sugar monitor and am able to actually see what’s going on and how the sugar is being processed.  I still think this whole G.D. thing is cruel and unusual punishment, though.

For the last three days I’ve had a new and even more fun (read NOT FUN AT ALL) symptom to contend with.  Blinding headaches coupled with strange visual changes.  It starts with flashing white lights and morphs into a kind of rainbow effect in my peripheral vision.  Then my peripheral vision starts to tunnel until I have almost none left at all.  This all happens in my right eye.  While this is going on on the right side of my head, the left side is getting a headache.  It starts out as a mild throbbing pain right behind my eye and gradually increases until it’s a blinding pain that takes up the left quarter of my head.  It hurts worse than any migraine that I’ve ever had and the sharp pain lasts for hours and even lying perfectly still doesn’t seem to make it stop.  Saw Heather at the Midwives office yesterday and she basically said it was probably my sugar being out of control.  So we’ll see if cutting down all the sugar will help.  So far, not so much.  My blood pressure wasn’t bad so we’re not worrying about preeclampsia  which was my concern initially with the headaches.  I guess we’ll see what happens.  I just want to be completely headache free for a few hours at this point.  Even when it’s bearable, it’s still there.  It’s my constant companion these days.

Other than the two really annoying parts of this, things are still going really well.  Connor kicks all the time which is reassuring to say the least.  He’s rolling around a lot more the last few days as well.  It’s kind of nice knowing that I’m having the c-section and not worrying too much about what position he gets himself stuck in when there is no more room for him to spin and roll around.

On the knitting front.  I’ve finished most of the first of the Tresse socks that I found on Ravelry.  This is the first time I’ve attempted anything at all with a cable and I’m really enjoying both the actual making of it and the way it’s coming out.  It really does look so much more complicated than it is.  I’m spending far less time getting these socks done than I did with the Monkey socks.  I think I’m finally in a groove for sock making where I understand the dynamics of the parts of the sock and that makes for less thinking and more knitting.  Using 2 circular needles rather than trying 4 DPN’s definitely made a huge difference for me.  I’d still like to master working with the DPN’s one day, but not until after the baby is born.  I’m starting to think I might get the four pair of socks I wanted to get done before the baby comes ready in time for my hospital bag.   Of course somewhere in there I must make a few pairs for Connor’s little feet as well; and a pair for Jacob so he doesn’t feel left out.  TJ, of course, could not care less about handmade socks. 🙂

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

On the list of things to NEVER do again while 7 months pregnant (not that I think I’ll ever be 7 months pregnant again) is to get a horrible chest/sinus etc. cold/infection.  This thing started out simply enough with TJ having a sore throat and mild fever last weekend.  He felt pretty shitty for a few days then it cleared up and life went on…Jake was sick on Monday with the same type of thing but he, being a resilient 5-year-old, was better by the afternoon and wanting to go out and play.  He still has the cough but those tend to linger with him for a week or more whenever he gets them; nothing to worry about so the pediatrician has told me on multiple occasions.  I started to feel crappy on Tuesday afternoon, but by Thursday night I was feeling well enough to go to the Volunteer Recognition dinner being held for all of us PTO members, parents who help in classrooms etc. at Endeavor.  It was a nice night and I didn’t feel 100% but good enough that I thought I was on the mend quickly the way my boys had been.  Boy was I ever wrong!  Woke up in the middle of the night Thursday night feeling like someone had taken a baseball bat to my lungs and chest.  My head felt like it was splitting open, my throat was on fire and my nose felt like it was full of cement.  UGH.  I know that it’s supposed to be safe to take all kinds of different cold medicines while pregnant these days, but I really don’t feel good about it.  When I was pregnant with Jake 6 years ago it was all about take a little Tylenol if you must but try not to take anything else if you don’t have to.  I get that a lot has changed in 6 years, but it’s bad enough that I still have to take small doses of the Methadone for my back to get through this pregnancy. (I’m going to be weaning completely off of that before Connor is born as long as my back doesn’t protest to the point that it’s more detrimental to him for me to be in pain.  Dr. M says that the dose of Methadone I’m on is perfectly safe for him even at birth with no withdrawal to worry about, but I still worry.)  If it were up to me, the only pill I’d be taking at all is my prenatal vitamin (which I have trouble remembering most days until right before I go to bed…LOL).  So anyway, I’m suffering through this hellish cold sans meds with the exception of a squirt or two of nasal spray to make breathing at night easier.  Okay, enough whining and complaining about this cold…:)

Connor has been a little soccer star the last few days.  He seems to want to make sure I know that he’s there and he’s smooshed at all times.  It’s such a trip for me still to feel all this movement b/c  Jake was so different when I was pregnant with him.  His movements weren’t even discernible until 25 weeks or so and even after that he was a pretty quiet little thing.  I definitely felt him moving, and his kicks were much more violent when they came, but he was more stingy with the motion.  Connor, on the other hand, is constantly hitting, kicking, rolling, stretching etc.  I don’t think an hour goes by most days where I don’t feel him moving.  The funniest thing to me is that when he hits (we know he’s head down already from both the ultra-sound last week and from the fact that when he gets going really good I can see his leg/foot combo in my upper belly) me he hits my lower belly with one hand and just below my tail bone with the other.  I can honestly say that this baby has kicked (well okay hit) my butt already.  I love watching him roll around and seeing my belly morph with his shape.  He’s also fairly interactive at this stage, which I had no clue about with Jacob.  A book I read early in this pregnancy told me about “the kick game” that you could play with the baby after about 24 weeks.  When he kicks you push where he kicked, say something encouraging like “good baby” or “great kick” or “I felt that” and then ask them to do it again.  It took about a  week of doing that before he responded, but now when he starts kicking at night when I’m in bed (his most active time, of course) we play a little game of kick mommy.  I love feeling like I’m “playing” with him already.  It’s such a trip to know that he’s hearing me and responding to me in a meaningful way.  I can’t believe there are only 10 weeks to go.  I’m almost positive now that July 13th is going to be the big day.  Definitely that week.

So we had a 3-D ultrasound this past week.  Now we have an idea of what Connor is going to look like.  He doesn’t look anything like Jake did when we did his 3-D u/s and those pictures and Jake’s baby pictures were almost identical.  So without further ado, here’s a picture or two of Connor Franklin Dwire at 28 weeks gestation.  Enjoy…

I can’t wait to actually meet this little guy in person.

A Post Where I Actually Talk About Knitting

First things first…I finished a PAIR of socks. Sure, I’ve finished a lot of single socks in this lifetime, but Second Sock Syndrome and my own insecurities, obsessions etc. have stopped me from finishing a pair. It’s always been: ‘The first one isn’t quite right’, ‘I’ll just work on something else for a little bit and then start #2′, or something like that. Very self defeating. With the Toe-up Fleece Artist BFL sock pattern I was working on, I actually sat on and broke one of the circular needles I was using and have yet to replace it, so the second sock sits there, barely even a toe yet, waiting. But I persevered and I finished the Monkey socks I started in Feb. Yes, it sadly took me just under two months to finish the pair (I thought socks were quick…LOL) but I don’t have the time to knit that I used to. I barely have time to sit down and catch my breath these days it seems, so if I get three hours of knitting time a week in, I’m lucky. I made myself a goal of getting a pair of socks made for each day I’m in the hospital after my c-section (that’s four pairs total) and I started in Feb. with the Monkeys. Clearly I’m not going to make that goal. I had the Coriolis socks that I started in STR in the Hot Flash colorway (One was completely done and I had very few rounds left on number two) but when I looked at them, they were odd looking. I misplaced one of the cakes of yarn I had made from the skein and thought I had a LOT less than I did, so they were very much anklets only even shorter and I really didn’t like the way they looked. The colorway is so bright and pretty that it seemed a shame to have a pair of socks that I would probably never really want to wear made out of them. I frogged them the other night while watching NCIS Los Angeles and sobbed a little. 🙂 I have the Toe-Up diagonal socks made with the BFL sock yarn from Fleece Artist in the Stone colorway (gorgeous, btw) that is a little over half done; going to order the needles this week and get back to work on number two. I hope to get those done in a few weeks after starting. That would give me two pairs finished. I don’t see two others getting completely done in the time I have left. My section is tentatively scheduled for July 13th or sometime that week anyway. We’ll see what I get done.
My Monkeys, though, are gorgeous; and comfortable! I had planned to wait until the hospital for the first wearing of each pair, but couldn’t wait. I used Monkey Toes yarn from Crazy Monkey Creations in the Mixed Berry colorway (pictures to follow when I get the camera back from a friend who borrowed it to take pics of the kids’ Kindergarten Vocabulary Parade – more on that later). They are bright and kind of crazy colored and I love that about them. I can totally understand now how and why sock knitters get addicted to wearing handknit socks. They fit like nothing I’ve ever worn before. I used to wonder how people could get so involved in knitting socks, but I get it now. I am converted! I don’t see myself ever not having a pair on some needles somewhere no matter what other “big” projects may come and go in the future.

Today was Jacob’s Vocabulary Parade at school. I felt like I had homework last night while TJ and I were working to put together the sandwich board that he was to wear. We started out with the word Shark (the Kindergarten kids had to choose a word that fell within the animal kingdom catagory) which was what I expected from Jacob as he’s shark obsessed. I had pictures of the different sharks we’ve seen at Sea World picked out etc. but at the last minute he decided that “shark” was too basic and he wanted his word to be Megalodon. That complicated my picture plan since the darn thing has been extinct for millions of years. LOL So we printed a drawing that he colored of what they (the great “they” that we always hear/talk about…) think Megalodon looked like and compared its length to a bus (which Jake colored and glued onto the board) and then its width to three African Elephants (also glued and colored by Jake) on the board. We finished it up with a cool 8×10 of Jake standing in the middle of a replica of what an open Megalodon jaw looked like from our last trip to San Diego and he was good to go. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there for the parade – contractions were getting the better of me today along with lack of sleep, hence the loaning of the camera to our friend to take pictures of the kids at the parade. Kindergarten is so much fun. I’m going to miss a lot of these projects next year. I’m sure there will be more fun to come, though.
In Connor news. I took my glucose tolerance test yesterday. That’s always a good time…not! I’ve been pretty much off sweets this whole pregnancy and haven’t gained weight excessively, or at all really, so I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to be subjected to the horror of the three hour test. I was right. Unfortunately, the reason I’m not taking the three hour test is b/c my sugar level was so high on the one hour there is no need for the three hour. The diagnosis has been made. I have G.D. (Gestation Diabetes). Next step is some more lab work that will determine what my blood sugar has been like over the last three months and then off to a consult with a maternal and fetal medicine doctor for education and a game plan for controlling this for the remainder of the pregnancy. I guess that explains why my belly is so HUGE this time around. I’m trying to stay cool and keep it all in perspective; I know it hasn’t been bad for long b/c I haven’t been spilling sugar in my urine etc. but it’s still a really scary diagnosis. I’m worried about the potential effects on Connor and, to a lesser degree, on myself. I just want this baby to be healthy and happy and to stay in here until he’s ready to be born. Over the last few weeks I’ve been having horrific contractions that have been more painful than any Braxton-Hicks that I’ve ever had before, but they aren’t regular and they aren’t changing my cervix at all, so that’s good. Combine that with the G.D. though, and my natural tendency to panic kicks in. I keep having to tell myself, forcefully, to calm down and breathe. I know we’ll make it through all of this, though!! Only 11 1/2 weeks to go!!