Wednesday, November 30, 2011

15 Weeks

I am 15 weeks 4 days today. We are right at the point when we lost our son, so I've been extra nervous, even though everything is looking good. It has brought back some of those emotions and I've relived some of those moments in my mind. I get scared every time I go to the bathroom that I'll deliver this one in there too. I know how illogical that is, since I had major contractions before that happened with my son, but I can't help but worry. Even with all of that, I still have a very good feeling about this pregnancy.

It has been a week filled with medical events. Monday I did the first part of a two part process for the crown on my tooth. Tuesday I did a 3 hour glucose tolerance test, which came back normal...I get to eat Christmas treats, yay! I'll have to do another when I hit 28 weeks.

Today I had an OB appointment. It was supposed to be a simple little appointment but turned into a bit more. She listened to the heart beat and said it sounded "perfect." We talked about my tests from last month and everything looked good except my pap smear. She used some big long medical term which she said basically meant that they didn't get enough cells from the inner part of my cervix to get a normal reading. She's not concerned and just wants me to wait until the baby is born or next year to have another pap. She said that happens in pregnancy sometimes because they don't want to get too aggressive with the inner part of the cervix when taking the sample. I told her about my abdominal cramps and pains, which she said is common for this stage with round ligament pains, constipation, gas, and where the uterus is right now in my abdominal cavity, so no worries. Then I told her about some right leg aches and pains I've had for a couple of weeks. I wanted to mention it with my PAI-1 4/G/4G diagnosis as I was a bit worried about deep vein thrombosis. She checked my leg and felt like there was likely nothing wrong but wanted to send me right down for a doppler ultrasound on my legs just to be safe. That's the nice thing about the office being in the hospital, she called down and got me scheduled for just an hour and a half later. It's also time for me to get AFP blood work done to screen for spina bifida, and she said it can indicate if I am more likely to develop preeclampsia, I didn't know that. So, we skipped the quad stuff since the NT results were so good and just did the AFP. I went straight down to the lab for that, then we ate lunch in the hospital cafeteria (way too pricey for how average the food was), and then up to the 11th floor for my doppler. The test came back negative for DVT, so that's a relief. Busy day, but full of mostly good things. I think I'm done getting poked with needles now until 28 weeks.

I'm nervous and excited for our upcoming ultrasound on Monday, December 5th. Nervous they will find something wrong. She said they can't see everything on this one, that we'll have to wait for the 20 weeks scan for that, but they'll look at what they can see and this ultrasound is more for reassurance for us than anything else. I'm excited to get to see the baby again and to hopefully get a peek at the gender.

Thanks for all of the feedback on my last post. I really appreciate hearing your take on all of the facebook and blog stuff.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Facebook & Blog Concerns

I've been down this road before. Pregnant after dealing with infertility and loss. I have days where I am hopeful and excited, most days are like that now that I'm in the second trimester, but I also have days of fear and dread. In addition to dealing with all things pregnancy related, I find myself worrying about upsetting my IF/miscarriage friends on facebook and blogs. I know how it feels to read pregnancy updates when that's all you want for yourself. I also feel like I've worked so hard to get here that I should enjoy it and share my joy.

What is this blog all about...for the most part, I started it to get my feelings out. To have a safe, anonymous place to say all the things I didn't feel like I could say to anyone else. To have a record of the things I have gone through to look back and reflect on. I didn't even know if I would have any followers. If that helped other people along the way, that was part of it. That makes me feel like I'm contributing to society in a good way and giving this journey some purpose. If I can offer an ounce of hope or comfort to someone going through something similar, then I welcome that opportunity. Now I'm afraid of upsetting and offending people, so I'm not sharing fully. I would never walk into a room with a real life infertile/miscarriage friend and complain about morning sickness or my latest freak out over the pregnancy. I'm pregnant, she may never be, I could never be so insensitive. So I struggle with what is appropriate now for my blog. I think I need to go back to the initial intention and have this be a place for my feelings and emotions. I want to do that without hurting anyone, but I'm not sure if that is a possibility. I know how raw infertility and miscarriage make your emotions. I guess this is me saying that I will be talking about those things that might be too much for some of you to read, and if you need to step away from reading for a while, I completely understand. I won't be offended if you don't comment, I want you to do what you need to do for your own emotional needs and please do not feel an obligation here. I would be thrilled if everyone continued to read, but I get it and understand fully. I've been thinking of writing this post for a while now and just decided I needed to post.

Facebook is even more tricky in a way, because I know I have several friends who are infertile or have suffered loss. I could block them from my pregnancy posts, but I'm sure there are many who I don't even know have suffered through IF/miscarriage who may very well be just as hurt. I would have been irritated if a friends decided for me to block me from her posts, let me decide who's pregnancies I want to follow and who posts too much for me to handle. I'm not one who posts complaints about pregnancy, but I do post belly pics, ultrasound pics, cravings, baby gaga weekly updates, things like that. I see so many people post about their pregnancies who have no idea what it feels like to read those posts from the other side. I don't want to be that girl, but I also want to share my joy. This is such an exciting and hopeful time for us and I feel like positivity is really helpful mentally and physically. I'm just so torn, being pulled in both directions emotionally. I just wish nobody had to go through these types of struggles and heartaches.

In pregnancy news, I'm feeling this little one move already! It's so reassuring and the BEST part about pregnancy. We have a 16 week anatomy scan set up for December 5th. We'll also do a 20 week scan. I'm hoping all looks good and we get a peek at the gender. My doppler has been so helpful to have. I'm in the time frame now of when we lost our son (sometime between 14.5-16 weeks), so I've been extra nervous. I don't feel consistent movement yet, so the doppler helps. I've been sick with some sort of upper respiratory infection for a couple weeks and had to take a Z pack, which I was reassured by my doctor was safe in pregnancy and better than an infection settling in my lungs, so I took it. I hate that I had to, but it was for the best. My glucose test and crown for my tooth have been on hold until I get better. I'm hoping I can get them both in before my OB appointment on the 30th. My tailbone pain and sciatica have started. It makes it difficult to walk any distance, even just shopping can be hard to accomplish. My OB wrote me a script for physical therapy, which I had to do after my daughter was born, but I don't have childcare for her twice per week and I don't think my insurance covers that many visits. I'd rather wait and use the visits after the baby is born and they can use those electric pulses on me, those helped the most and they can't use them on pregnant women. I have a pain in my right calf that I keep worrying is DVT, yes, my anxiety makes me a hypochondriac. So, that's what has been happening. Enjoying the pregnancy most days, worried others. I'm looking forward to being past that 20 week anatomy scan...then breathe.

I hope you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for. I feel so blessed this year.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Final NT Scan Results

I am so relieved to have a good report. My doctor called today, which made me a bit nervous, I assumed a nurse would call with good results and a doctor with bad, that's how it worked at my other offices. Luckily one of the first things she said was that the results are good. Factoring in the ultrasound, my blood work, and my age (38):

Risk of Down Syndrome = 1:1400
Risk of Trisomy 13 & 18 = 1:4600

She said my risk may be a bit higher than those numbers since I have had previous chromosomally abnormal pregnancies, but these numbers are especially good with my age (I think my age risk at 38 would be around 1:180 without having the other things tested, although I have seen several different numbers listed, none was above 1:270).

I'll be scheduling a 16 week u/s for the 1st week of December to get a little better look at the anatomy before the big 20 week anatomy scan. I'm hoping we get a good peek at the gender at the 16 week.

I'm feeling a great sense of relief. I have been very worried about losing another baby and having these results makes me feel like that is less likely to happen now. I am anxiously awaiting the big anatomy scan, if all looks good there, I'll feel even better, but this has been a huge reassurance and my anxiety will be calming down a bit more. We made the big facebook announcement after the ultrasound. It's so exciting and a bit unnerving all at the same time. We have been appreciating the support our friends and family have been showing. It's almost hard to believe that I will be in the second trimester tomorrow! My morning sickness is letting up and my tailbone pain is kicking in, so things seem to be right on track. I finally have some cravings now too - pineapple and Skyline chili (the dip and the chili cheese sandwiches). I could eat them daily and am a bit embarrassed to say that I have almost done just that. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, I know we will be breathing much easier.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Little Update with Photos

I had the NT Scan done today. We don't have the full results back yet. It will take about a week to get the results with the blood work. I feel really good about the ultrasound and am hoping the good results continue with the blood work. Our ultrasound technician was very upbeat and friendly, which always helps in a stressful situation. Our little one was so active today, so we got a little extra time to peek until he/she got in the right position, which was fun. The little heart was beating at 160 BPM, which is great. Measuring in between 12weeks 4days and 12weeks 6days, right on track. 2 active arms and 2 active legs. The nuchal measurement was 1.5mm and they like it below 2.5mm, so that looks really good. She didn't look for a nasal bone. We tried to look and thought we may have seen one, but can't be certain. After the ultrasound, she went out to talk to my OB, which made me really nervous something was wrong, but she just needed her signature on something. I asked the tech if she could give us any indication on how the ultrasound looked and she said it looked good.

After the ultrasound I headed down to the lab for a finger poke. I'm so glad it was a finger poke and not an arm jab because I had a new phlebotomist who was nervous and apprehensive. He would not have done well with my tricky veins. I poked my fingers a few times daily when I had gestational diabetes with my daughter and got used to finger pokes. I can honestly say I've never had a bruise from a finger poke before today. He was really milking my finger for those 5 drops of blood - haha.

I have a cold again - second one this pregnancy. So annoying, but at least there isn't a worrisome fever with it, that would add to my worry. I needed to put my crown for my tooth on hold and might have to delay my glucose test for a week. Those are the next 2 things I need to take care of. Then it's my OB appointment on November 30th.

Here are the photos of our little one from today...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NT Scan In The Morning

I'm really nervous. Typically I'm nervous before every ultrasound, hoping and praying that the baby will still be alive. I'm so glad I have my at home doppler to help ease my mind on that front. I heard the heart beat just two days ago and I'll probably listen tonight or in the morning so I can relax about that going in. I'm just so nervous that there will be an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities and we will lose this baby too. I am hoping the technician will give us the measurement (or we can at least sneak a peek on the screen) and we won't have to wait a week for the full results. I'm so hopeful that the results will be very reassuring for us (my main purpose for having the test done in the first place). If this test looks good, I will start to let my guard down with the pregnancy - and actually become public. I don't think I'll fully be relaxed throughout the entire pregnancy, but a big weight will be lifted if all looks good tomorrow. If you have a moment to spare, please send a positive thought and/or prayer for our little one tomorrow.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

First MFM Appointment

I had my first appointment with my primary MFM yesterday. I really like her. She's easy to talk to, takes her time, seems interested and concerned, and has a good sense of humor. I think she's a great fit for us. We talked about a lot of different things and she did an internal exam. She confirmed that my uterus is an appropriate size and my ovaries feel fine. The baby's heart rate is healthy. Everything is looking good.

I was so glad I found the baby's heart beat on our doppler a few days ago Listen Here! because my doctor tried to find it with her doppler and couldn't. Any other time I would have freaked out, but I knew she was too high for where I heard it. She went and got their fancy little hand held ultrasound machine. I've never seen one before, it was so cool, about the size of an IPhone. She found the baby wiggling around with a heart beat right away. We got to see the heart beating, the sweet little nose, and the arms and legs wiggling around. We didn't get a print out picture, but at least we got to see him/her.

We have a plan now. I'll get the NT Scan next week, meet with the same MFM on November 30th, another ultrasound at 16 weeks, anatomy scan at 20 weeks, then maybe a couple more ultrasounds at 32 and 36 weeks. It's so nice we get to see our baby so many times. After my next appointment with her they will start cycling me through the other MFM's at the practice.

She wants me to go ahead and get tested for gestational diabetes since I had it with my first pregnancy. Here I thought I'd get through the holidays before I had to watch what I eat. Even if I do have it again, I'm sure I can sneak a Christmas cookie here and there ;)

All my labs came back fine so far and I got the okay to get my crown on my tooth next week. She's keeping my due date as May 19th and won't let me go over. I'm fine with that after all we've been through I don't want to risk anything else going wrong, so if I have to be induced to help prevent that, I'm fine with it. My daughter came on her own 6 days early, so hopefully this baby will come on his/her own before we need to talk induction.

I have had a good feeling this pregnancy and it keeps getting better every step we take. In a week and a half I'll be in the second trimester already! I am hoping the weeks go fast until we get to the anatomy scan. Once everything looks good there I will really let myself imagine bringing this baby home in May. It's hard to believe at this point, but it is becoming more an more real. I have so much to be thankful for and am very grateful.