Thursday, May 25, 2017

My labor and delivery!

The last day being pregnant. 
My amazing son was born on March 22 at 12.48 am! He weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce and was 21 inches. The last few weeks of my pregnancy were challenging. I was tired, uncomfortable and just ready to be done! I worked until 4 days before I delivered and those last few weeks of work were very tiring. It was hard physically to work with my patients and hard mentally to stay focused.

We had planned an induction around 39 weeks as my OB thought this was the ideal time to deliver and to put less stress on my body. After a back and forth with my Enbrel (tapering at 34 weeks only to start it again), I stopped Enbrel completely at 37 weeks. My joints and uveitis remained quiet and I restarted Enbrel two weeks postpartum. I felt good about having about 5 weeks without Enbrel in order to boost my immunity and my baby's.

Meeting my son for the first time. 
On the morning of March 21st I drove myself into the hospital (as to not get carsick!) to have a baby! Since I was induced, I didn't have that crazy in labor car ride and it seemed just like every other day. They started the induction around 11.00 am and by 5.00 pm my water broke and I was 4 cm dilated. At this point, I chose an epidural and around 11.30 that night, it was time to start pushing! At 12.48 am, my little boy was born! Everything throughout my induction and delivery went well with no complications.

We were fortunate to have lots of help throughout the first few weeks so we could just focus on our son. We didn't even have to grocery shop for the first 3 weeks! I functioned much better then I thought I would on 2-3 hours of sleep a night and my husband and I took shifts for napping. By my 6 week postpartum appointments, I felt like I was getting the hang of this whole motherhood thing!

Amazingly my joints and Uveitis have been completely stable. My glaucoma eye pressure has also been great. I have had so little pain that I have been able to walk 3 miles at least 2 times per week, which is something I have never been able to do. Honestly, my arthritis is the last thing on my mind! Here's hoping that this calm continues to last. He is now 2 months old and growing fast! I will continue to update about "parentingwithJRA" or "motheringwithJRA" on my main blog at

Stay tuned!

Third Trimester Update

Update: My son was born on 3/22/2017 and is amazing. However, I started writing this post during my third trimester and never posted it. More updates about my labor and delivery next. 

Third trimester and I'm feeling very much like that monkey. I am 35 weeks with about 4 1/2 weeks left and it feels like it may never end! The beginning of the third trimester was nice! I had a nice round belly, energy and had learned how to manage my least favorite symptom of heartburn. We had my baby shower and we were blessed with so many generous gifts!

However, the past few weeks things have been more difficult. First, I started talking to my doctors about what to do with my Enbrel dose as we get closer to delivery. After a lot of back and forth between my OB and rheumatologist with many confusing and different opinions, we decided to taper my enbrel at 32 weeks. It was frustrating coming to this decision because I didn't feel like either of my doctors had strong opinions either way and left a lot of the decision up to me. After a month of the slow taper, I started to become sore again. It was hard to determine if this was a flare or just the added pregnancy weight. However, finally my OB and rheumatologist agreed to go back to weekly enbrel doses as I was worried about a flare right before delivery. Enbrel is considered safe during breast feeding and I will just need to let my pediatrician know in order to delay any live vaccines.

In terms of pregnancy symptoms, the fatigue, aches and pains and cramps have increased this past week. I have had weekly non-stress tests and during each test I have been having contractions. Although, I have not felt these so no one seems concerns yet. However, it was scary when the nurse mentioned this! It made it seem much more real! Baby continues to kick constantly and usually I can see his foot poking out around my right side.

In my final few weeks, I have lots of "nesting" tasks I want accomplished, but we will see what really gets done! I can't wait to meet this baby boy.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Second Trimester Update: Weird Pregnancy Symptoms

I am 30 weeks pregnant now. I can not believe I am done with my second trimester and only have 10 weeks left! The second trimester is typically called "The Honeymoon" trimester, because a lot of the nasty first trimester symptoms have stopped, but you are not big and uncomfortable yet. Although my nausea has decreased and my energy has improved, my first trimester symptoms were just replaced by strange, new second trimester ones!

Skin Changes: I noticed some weird skin changes these past few months. First, I had a weird red rash after a hot shower and then I noticed my first stretch marks! I had been applying cream to my belly, however, these stretch marks appeared on my bum! I didn't think to apply cream there! Luckily, they will be hidden from most people.

A Third Boob: Wait, what?! Yes. One of the strangest symptoms I had this month was noticing a large lump/swelling of tissue under my left armpit. Of course I immediately thought I was dying of cancer. This symptom caused a very stressful few weeks. After it being observed by my OB, they requested an ultrasound. Luckily, the ultrasound was negative and the lump has not changed. I am following up with a breast specialist next week to be on the safe side. However,  the consensus seems to be that it's nothing concerning and has to do with the extra pregnancy hormones that may have made some accessory breast tissue to swell. So basically a third boob. Awesome!

Gestational Diabetes: My last hurdle of the second trimester was my glucose loading test.  This is the one-hour test where you drink the sugary drink and then have your blood tested one hour later. I was told I could eat a meal of protein an hour before the test and I was worried about feeling faint so I had some scrambled eggs that morning. However, I found out that I failed this test by 4 points. I was crushed and felt like I was putting my baby in danger. After a stressful week where I changed my diet and ate like I had gestational diabetes, I took the 3 hour glucose tolerate test. I passed this test without any difficulties! As part of my hospitals protocol I had to meet with a nutritionist and as the silver lining to this experience, I feel like I am more conscious of how much sugar and carbs are in the foods I eat.

I am excited to start this final trimester of pregnancy. It is getting closer every day and I can't believe we will meet our baby boy in 10 short weeks!