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.