Wednesday, December 26, 2012

37 weeks... aaaaand I'm on bed rest

First of all, I hope all of you out there in blogland have had a wonderful holiday season.

Buster and I had a great Christmas. He really spoiled me. He told me he did so because this is the last Christmas I'll be getting spoiled. Fair enough. But I'll gladly take some extra presents this year!

In preparation of being "full term" at 37 weeks (yes, I realize that for some ladies it's not until 39 weeks, depending on baby's size, growth, etc. But I'm assuming that since Henry has been measuring ahead, it's safe to say I'm full term at 37), I purchased some red raspberry leaf tea and some evening primrose oil. Started both on Christmas Eve (37 weeks exactly), in hopes that they may aid in an easier labor. Probably won't, but I figured it can't hurt to try.

Today I had a doctor's appointment before work. I am currently 37w2d.

Right off the bat, my blood pressure was high (140/90). Not high enough for them to send me to L&D, but high enough to take note.

I peed in a cup, like I do every time, and brought it in the exam room. I noticed the nurse taking a little longer  reading the results (usually they just look and toss), and comparing the stick to a bottle. Red flag, right?! So I ask her what's going on. I had some protein in my urine (+1 on the scale, to be exact). Now I'm not exactly sure what this means, but I can tell you this: I've never had protein register on those dipsticks before. Even when my last 24-hour urine catch came back with 310 protein, it wasn't registering on those little sticks.

So today, it registers on the stick.

The nurse then hooks me up for my scheduled NST. It lasted about 40 minutes, and during that time Henry was one active baby. His heart rate was good, as were his movements. And I was having contractions every 12 minutes.

Maybe that's nothing, and my doctor didn't seem too concerned, but for a soon-to-be first-time mom, that sounds kind of... real. I only felt a couple painful cramps/twinges during the NST, and I'm assuming that's when the contractions were. I'm such a noob, I don't even know when I'm having a contraction.

After the NST, my doctor comes in. He says he wants to check my cervix, but he doesn't expect much to be going on. He leaves, I undress from the waist down, and clumsily amble back up onto the table.

Doctor returns with nurse. I lay back, expecting a speculum. Or some kind of instrument.

Nope.

Doctor jams his hand up in there.

Um, OUCH. Fucking shit that hurt. He told me I might feel some pressure. If by pressure he meant excruciating pain, sure, I felt that. Now I know what it feels like to be fist.ed (yes, I broke that up on purpose. Don't need any pervs here!).

In an amused and surprised voice, he tells me that I'm 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced.

Holy shit!

He then asks me how much I do around the house. How much I do at work. Then says,

"Ok, well you are officially done working now."

So he put me on bed/couch/chair rest. I can get up to pee, get something to eat, etc, but he doesn't want my seat getting cold.

I'm also doing another 24-hour urine catch (my third of this pregnancy). Buster will drive me to the hospital tomorrow so I can drop off my piss, and also have some blood drawn to check my liver and kidneys.

I go back to the doctor on Friday. My doctor said that if he had to induce me at that point, he wouldn't be heartbroken. Apparently I'm a good candidate for induction due to already being dialted/effaced. And that coupled with me being 37+ weeks, I guess that makes me induceable.

So yes, it's been an eventful day!


How far along?
37 weeks and 2 days today.

How big is baby?
No clue! Babycenter says he weighs 6 1/3 lbs and is 19" long. I still think he's bigger, based on me measuring ahead. They did not do a fundal measurement today, so I'm pretty much in the dark here.

Weight gain?
Yes. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Belly photos?
I've decided to take my weekly photo in the same shirt. This way it should be easier to tell if he officially drops, right?

So, here is last week's photo:


And today's photo:


Cravings/Aversions?
Nope. Other than me wanting to eat every single Christmas cookie I can get my swollen, chubby hands on...

Sleep?
Not a great week for sleep. Several nights saw me up, tossing, turning, and restless. On one night in particular, I woke up when Buster came to bed at 1:30 a.m., and could not fall back asleep. I spent some time perusing Facebook on my phone, catching up on blogs, Googling, etc. Finally around 4 a.m. I start to get tired, and drift off. And then Kelsey wakes me up because she has to pee. Lovely. So I struggle out of bed and hobble to the back door and let her out. I crawl back into bed after and promptly fall fast asleep.

Until 5 a.m., that is. When Buster wakes me up because I'm snoring. Which sends me into a rage. My rage in turn sets him in his own rage, and we yell at each other. Then he (pretty much instantly) falls back asleep. I lay there and cry. Then I fall asleep at 5:30 a.m. Only to be woken up one hour later by my alarm. Oh, fun.

Yes, yes I know. Get used to no sleep. This is my body's way of preparing me. Etc, etc. But at least when Henry's here, I can look at his sweet little face and feel like at least there is an excellent reason that I'm awake! Instead I look at Buster's face, and contemplate smothering him with my pillow.

Symptoms [...of impending labor]?
I've had some pretty bad lower back pain the past couple of days. Wasn't sure if this was a labor sign or just a sign that I have bad posture.

Been losing some plug each day, but not much, and none has been blood-tinged. Until today, that is. My cervical check left me bleeding and losing bits of bloody plug (hot, right?!).

Had loose bowels today. I know that can be an impending labor sign... my body trying to clear itself out.

And finally, been having Braxton Hicks that sometimes are accompanied by cramps and painful twinges. Most are not, but some are.

So obviously labor will be happening sometime soon (my due date is 19 days away), but will it be sooner rather than later? Only time will tell at this point...


Monday, December 17, 2012

36 weeks


Spent a little time in L&D this past weekend.

Friday night I noticed some serious swelling and canklage happening (yes, I just made up that word) after an evening of doing nothing overly strenuous. Saturday morning, the swelling was still there. I had already planned to go Christmas shopping, so while I was out and about I decided to have my blood pressure checked at one of those free machines at Sam's Club.

My first reading was 152/90. Hmmm, not so great. So, I decided to do it again. 139/97. And once more for good measure: 148/94. None of these are great and none of these are my "normal". So, I talked to Buster and he told me just to come home and put my feet up. And that's what I was going to do. But after thinking about it, I decided to call my doctor. At this point, I would rather be overly cautious than irresponsible.

After talking to my doctor, he told me to come to L&D to be monitored and just to make sure everything was ok. I go in, and they have to wheel me up in a wheelchair. It's protocol. Ugh. I kept apologizing to the girl, since I was definitely able to walk myself. Oh well.

I get all checked in on the birthing floor, and head to a room. I get to put on a gown and hop in bed. They hooked up the NST monitors to my stomach and a blood pressure cuff to my arm, and monitored me for about an hour and a half. Henry looked great during this time! And apparently I also had three contractions. I only kind of felt one. It felt like really, really dull menstrual cramps. I couldn't feel the other two at all.

My blood pressure readings started out on the higher side, but then dropped down to pretty much normal by the end of the monitoring session. They drew blood for labs to check my kidney and liver function (checking for signs of pre-eclampsia), and thankfully that came back normal. They then released me and sent me home with another jug for collecting my urine for 24 hours.

The next day (Sunday), I brought my urine jug back to the hospital, and they hooked me up for another NST for about 25 minutes. Everything looked great, and I had one contraction during that time (it's just amazing to me that I can't feel them). They sent me home, and told me to follow up with my doctor by Tuesday.

Luckily, I already had my 36-week appointment scheduled for this morning. They were planning on doing an NST, but after hearing about my weekend experience, it wasn't needed. My blood pressure was great today (128/74), and my doctor said he doesn't even know if he would categorize me as having pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (PIH) at this point.

He did get the results back of my 24-hour urine catch, and my protein was 310. 300 is the cutoff for diagnosing mild pre-eclampsia, but my doctor did not seem concerned, considering my blood results were great over the weekend and my blood pressure was normal today.

I go back in for my 37-week appointment the day after Christmas, and they'll hook me up for another NST. I'm also going to request a cervical check, just to quell my own curiosity.

I did talk to my doctor about my birth plan. I told him that my goal is to go natural, and he was supportive. I also told him that I'm not going to rule out the epidural or other pain relief, but I'm just going to try to not have any. I also asked how he felt about the birthing tub, and he was just fine with me using one. And I mentioned delayed cord clamping, and he was fine with that too. So I feel good about my "plan".

How far along?
36 weeks exactly today.

How big is baby?
Not sure! I'm guessing 7 lbs, but that's my uneducated guess, based off of the average weight-gain of a 1/2 lb a week for a baby at this point in the pregnancy. They didn't do a fundal height measurement at my 35-week appointment, nor at my 36-week appointment. So, it's a mystery!

Weight gain?
Yep! Officially broke the 50 lb mark! Yikes! Really hoping that I lose 20 lbs after delivery!

Belly photos?
Here is last week's photo:


Cravings/Aversions?
Nope. Nothing note-worthy.

Sleep?
Early this week, sleep was elusive. I came down with a bad cold, and the first couple nights were just brutal. The cold moved into my chest, so I was coughing a lot, and it hurt. I had major sinus pressure and pain, and was up every 45 minutes blowing my nose, coughing, readjusting, etc. But thankfully the cold is on its way out, and I am feeling closer to normal. I have slept pretty well the past couple of nights, knock on wood.

Symptoms [...of impending labor]?
It's funny how this category changes over the course of a pregnancy. I'm now going to use this category as symptoms of impending labor (hence the change in title).

I'm having some major, major pressure in my lady parts. Getting out of bed is the worst. Such pressure and a bit of pain. I mentioned it to my doctor today, and he said that it's good, and means baby boy is doing what he needs to do (assuming that means sitting nice and low so I can squeeze him out??).

Also, (TMI alert) I think I lost a dime-size amount of mucus plug. Yes, dime-sized. Can you tell I'm a first-timer? I'm excited by the littlest things.

This may not have anything at all to do with impending labor, but I've noticed that Henry is way more active recently. I tell Buster that I think he's ready to come out and play! He really goes to town kicking and moving his butt around. It causes me to wince in pain at times, but I still love every second of it!

And as you know from reading above, I've had some contractions. Last night I had some cramping that I think could have been a contraction as well, but I just don't know. I'm a noob!

____________


Won't be long now! Four weeks exactly until Henry's due date, but I'll be considered full term on Christmas Eve. Buster thinks Henry will arrive by the 31st of December. I really don't have a feeling at all. Maybe I'll make a guess after my cervical check next week.

____________

Monday, December 10, 2012

35 weeks


Before I get into the Q&A portion of this post, an update on my high blood pressure and pre-pre-eclampsia is in order.

When we last spoke, my doctors were convinced that my body was attempting to develop pre-eclampsia. I had several high blood pressure readings, protein in my urine (not the 300 cutoff for pre-e, but a near miss with 274), and pre-eclampsia seemed to be in my future.

Since then, I've had one doctor's appointment, and several blood pressure readings at the nurse's station here at work. And I'm happy to report that things are going really well! I haven't had any higher-than-normal readings, which is great.

At my appointment last week, they did an ultrasound and a biophysical profile on Henry. And Henry passed with flying colors... an 8 out of 8! I was 34 weeks at that appointment, and he was measuring two weeks ahead according to the ultrasound tech. She estimated him to be 5lbs14oz already! My amniotic fluid was aplenty, and no signs of pre-eclampsia.

The tech also gave us this adorable photo:

Baby boy (and a really odd giant-worm-looking piece of placenta) at 34 weeks.

So all in all, it was a great appointment. And a good week. I go in this afternoon for my 35-week appointment. My doctor had mentioned that they may alternate biophysical ultrasounds and NSTs each week, so we'll see what happens today. They may opt to do neither if my blood pressure seems to be ok.

How far along?
35 weeks exactly today.

How big is baby?
One week ago he was 5lbs14oz. If (big if, I know) that was accurate, I'm assuming he's up over 6lbs at this point. It certainly feels like he's that big. But I know guesstimating baby's weight in-utero is tricky business, so I'm not really banking on the estimates.

Weight gain?
The last time I looked at the scale at one of my appointments, I was up 46 pounds. Since that was over a week ago, I'm assuming I've now hit the 50-pound mark.

Belly photos?
Appears I've been slacking in posting some belly pics.



And I didn't take an official 34 week photo, as we had our maternity photos taken last week! Here's a sneak peek that the photographer shared with me:

34 weeks - from my maternity photo shoot!
And I can't not share a couple more from the photo session...


And maybe my favorite:




Cravings/Aversions?
Nope. But I have noticed that if I eat anything other than my Mini Frosted Wheats for breakfast, I have a severe dip in energy. So I don't think it's a real craving, but I make sure to have those damn rectangles of deliciousness every morning.

Sleep?
Sigh.

That's a pretty much sums it up.

No more insomnia, thankfully. But now I just wrestle with getting comfortable. And that wrestling match lasts all night long. I toss and turn constantly. I check my phone clock often, and it ends up being about every two hours. Laying on either side for too long results in a numb/painful hip. Laying propped up on my back results in a painful lower back. Not really sure if I have any other options at this point. So I just roll and flop around and try to salvage any shut-eye possible.

Symptoms?
Not really too many to list. No more BH than usual (at least I don't think so...?). Increased discharge, but that seems to be normal at this stage in the game.

I've noticed I'm a bit more hormonal recently than I have been this entire pregnancy. I guess that was bound to happen at some point.

And I'm getting another cold. Lovely.

Swelling in my feet hasn't been bad since the reallllly bad weekend after Thanksgiving (where my BP was through the roof as well). I've been diligent in propping my feet up when I can, and trying my best not to overdo it. My fingers still swell something fierce overnight. And hurt. After I get up and around, though, they start to feel better.

But speaking of swollen fingers... I made a $10 splurge at Claire's this weekend, and bought myself a pretty sweet ring:

$10 bling!
Since I haven't been able to wear my wedding rings since 28 weeks, it's nice to not feel "naked". My normal ring size is 5.5. That ring you see in the photo is size 9! It's a bit big, but better slightly big than small at this point.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

my body is trying to develop pre-eclampsia

Apparently, my body wasn't overly impressed with my blog fodder as of late. So now it wants to give me something interesting to write about.

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, my blood pressure has slowly begun to rise. But only sometimes. I've been having my blood pressure checked at the nurse's station here at work, and recording the results.

It started out averaging about 130/80. That 130 was high for me, but it wasn't anything alarming. A couple times I had top numbers of 136 and 138, but my bottom number was ok.

The weekend following Thanksgiving, Buster and I traveled out of town to visit my nursing-home-bound grandmother. I had some pretty severe swelling in my feet and ankles (which started the night prior to Thanksgiving) on Saturday morning, so I asked a nurse at the nursing home to take my blood pressure. It was 138/90, which is the highest it's been yet.

The high-ish reading of my blood pressure coupled with the swelling (that wasn't going away overnight... I was waking up with Stay-Puft-Marshmallow-Man feet and ankles), I decided to call my doctor. He told me to take it easy and put my feet up. If it gets worse (not sure what "it" was... the blood pressure or swelling?) to call him and I may need to head to labor & delivery. If it doesn't get worse, he wanted me to come in for an appointment on Monday, instead of my previously-scheduled Thursday appointment.

After making a conscious effort to keep my feet elevated and an amazing massage by my occupational-therapy-grad-student cousin, the next morning I could actually see a tendon in my foot. And by Sunday night, I could see tendons AND veins! Progress!

I felt silly even keeping my Monday appointment, but figured I might as well just go in. I peeked at the scale this time, and I'm up about 45 lbs total. Yikes. The stick dipped in urine was negative for protein, so that was a relief. And then it was blood pressure time... 138/98. The highest to date!

When the doctor finally came in (about 15 minutes after my blood pressure reading), he did another blood pressure check. And it was still 138/98.

Even though my urine was negative for protein, he instructed me to do a 24-hour urine catch just to be certain. The fun of collecting urine in a huge jug that needs refrigerated cannot be understated.

Jug o' urine, specialty brewery beer, Coke.
I worked from home yesterday in order to refrigerate the jug. Yes, we have a refrigerator here at work, but even I'm not brave enough to handle that level of awkwardness. I took the jug to the lab yesterday afternoon, and was to follow-up with my doctor on Thursday morning at the appointment that was previously-scheduled.

Except this morning he called me and left me a voicemail. The protein level in my urine was 274 mg. Anything over 300 mg is considered pre-eclampsia. He said if I didn't have any questions, he'd see me tomorrow.

Well, of course I called him back. I asked him if 274 is high for someone who doesn't have pre-eclampsia, and he said yes. That normally that number hovers around zero. He thinks my body is trying to develop pre-eclampsia. But, they've only had one documented high blood pressure reading from me, so they can't even diagnose me with pregnancy-induced hypertension.

He said there is a chance that my blood pressure will stay where it is, as well as my protein level. But he still wants me to come in tomorrow for another blood pressure check. Depending on the result, they would hook me up to the monitors (which I'm assuming means an NST?).

So there you have it. Today I'm 33w2d. I really need this baby boy to bake until 37 weeks! That's not too much longer now, so I hope we can make it. And maybe this won't turn into pre-eclampsia after all, and Henry will continue to bake until his due date. It's a mystery at this point.

Friday, November 16, 2012

31 weeks


How far along?
31 weeks! Ok, well actually 31w4d, but close enough, right?

How big is baby?
According to Babycenter, Henry is over 16" long and weighs about 3.3lbs. At my appointment yesterday, he was measuring 32 weeks via fundal height. So much for him measuring two weeks ahead! Apparently he's done being huge. But, then again, I saw a new person yesterday (a midwife instead of my normal doc), and she was young. Younger than me. Which is fine... I mean, you have to start somewhere, right? But when she was attempting to find my sternum, she never actually pressed on it. She pressed around it, and then measured my fundal height. I found that to be curious. I wish I would have had my appointment with my same doctor, in retrospect, just to see how he would have measured my fundal height.

Weight gain?
No idea. I didn't look at the scale yesterday at my appointment. I'm boycotting it, actually.

Belly photos?
Here are my 30 and 31 week photos...

No longer do we have an empty wall in the nursery! Got the bookshelf put together :)
And yet another improvement... picked up the yellow canvas drawers for the bookshelf.
As you can see, I'm trying my best to live in comfy clothes. Although work makes that difficult. I peel off my work clothes as soon as I get home, and throw on the yoga pants instantly. Ahhh....

Cravings/Aversions?
Nothing new. Although due to the recent Hostess news, I find myself really wanting a Twinkie...

Sleep?
Well, thankfully I haven't had any real bouts of insomnia since last week. Although, my new thing is waking up every 30 minutes to change positions. Maybe every 30 minutes is an exaggeration, but it certainly feels that often. After one particularly shittastic night, I felt like a zombie the next day. I forced myself to stay up an extra hour until 11 p.m. the next night in hopes that I could pass-the-fuck-out. And it actually worked! So I've been staying up until 11 now, but I'm finding myself wanting to sleep in an extra hour in the morning because of it. And that's no bueno for me getting to work on time.

Symptoms?
First, thanks for all the comments and advice after my last weekly post! I actually implemented several of the suggestions.

I'm still battling the reflux, but Tums have helped tremendously! Last week was the first time I've ever purchased those little suckers, and man, they really work wonders!

Other than that, I've noticed that my energy seems to be dwindling a little. Nothing too extreme, but enough that I can tell.

And finally, I've been having some serious joint pain in my fingers. I wake up, and my hands just feel...arthritic. I don't actually know what arthritis feels like, but I imagine it feels like this. Every joint in every finger is sore. As the day goes on, they get better, but still a bit...off. I googled, and it seems this is normal due to increased fluid at night while you sleep. It's more annoying than painful, to be honest. So I guess I can deal. But... I got Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 this past week, and I'm worried how my fingers will do for a long stretch of gaming. I haven't had time to break it out yet, but this weekend I plan to put in a couple hours. If my fingers allow it, that is.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

They were wrong

This post may be difficult to read if you are in the trenches, so please feel free to skip it if you aren't in the mood. I completely understand.

With that being said, I have thought about this post for quite a while, and have finally decided to go for it. This was never meant to be a blog that had one specific arc. I wanted an outlet for what I was dealing with, which was infertility at the time the blog began. But I enjoy writing about other things in my life. And this is still my blog space, after all. So here it is.

As many of you long-time followers know, Buster and I started trying to get pregnant before we were married. And this past June, we celebrated our four-year anniversary. So the road to pregnancy was long, arduous, and painstaking.

In the beginning, I didn't yet have the tunnel-vision that I developed later. Early on, we were able to live life without it being affected by infertility. We didn't even know we were infertile at that point. We just had lots of sex and hoped that we would get pregnant.

Once we realized that it might be taking us longer than the typical couple, we started the fertility testing. This was Fall of 2009 -- two + years since we started trying.

And soon we were fully immersed in our struggle with infertility. It's amazing how quickly you can go from
"Hmmm, maybe something is wrong." 
to
"I'm so depressed. We'll never get pregnant. I'm such a failure."

Buster and I had two really, really tough years. As most of you know, infertility wreaks havoc on a marriage. And we were not immune. Those were really some very unhappy years for us.

I hate admitting it, but it's true. Infertility made me into someone I didn't want to be. Jealous. Bitter. Resentful. Unhappy.

I would not have wanted to be married to me.

But Buster stuck it out. Sure, he wasn't always the most patient. But I wasn't always the most sane.

And then, through the miracle of science, we became pregnant. I started to morph back into that person I knew was still in there. The happy version of me. Only to be struck down once again, when we suffered the miscarriage. Three and a half horrible months crawl by. We survive, but barely.

Science once again came to the rescue, and we were again pregnant. Only this time, my little boy was here to stay (yes, I know he's not here yet, but it's not too much longer!).

And it happened.

I became me again. I laugh now. I spontaneously smile. I am genuinely happy with my life as a whole.

Two years ago, I would never, ever have thought I could be me again. And be so happy with my life. But when you are in the dark hole of infertility, there is barely enough hope to sustain you one more day, let alone years.

My relationship with Buster has never, ever been better. And I feel that we deserve this, considering infertility stole so much happiness from us so early in our marriage.

You know when "they" say that having a baby won't solve your relationship issues? They definitely weren't talking about infertile couples.


Monday, November 5, 2012

30 Weeks

Because I'm pretty much the laziest blogger ever (ok, I don't think that's it, honestly. I have a whole blog post written in my head about why I was so much more interesting when I was fighting the good fight, but that will have to wait), I'm stealing the weekly update template from Jules at The Quest for Little Lambies.

How far along?
30 weeks today! Time is flying. My doctor's appointments are every two weeks now, which is insane. In a month, they will switch to every week.

How big is baby?
According to Babycenter, Henry is about 15.7" long and weight close to 3lbs. I realize that these are just averages, and feel that Henry is larger than what the average might be. At my 27-week appointment, I had an ultrasound to check cervical length and the position of my placenta. During this ultrasound, the tech measured Henry's thigh bone, and exclaimed that he's tall. At that appointment, she estimated him to weight 2lbs 15oz. At my 29-week appointment (I was 29w3d), I did not have an ultrasound. But, my doctor measured my belly, and I was measuring 32 weeks. I know it's not incredibly reliable, but I just have a feeling I've got a big boy cooking. Time will tell...

Weight gain?
Yes.

Ok, as much as I'd like to leave it at that, I won't. At my 27-week appointment, I had gained 33 lbs. Yep, 33. I asked my doctor if he was concerned with this, and he said not at all. I didn't even look at the scale at my 29-week appointment.

Maternity clothes that fit me in my second trimester no longer fit very well (if at all). For example, I ordered several tunics a couple months ago, to wear with leggings. At this point, the tunics barely cover my ass, and look pretty stupid with leggings. I guess they are just long shirts now. And even though I'm at the point where I don't want to be purchasing any more maternity clothes, I did order two maternity dresses from Old Navy. I figure those should cover my ass for the next 10ish weeks.

Here are my 28 and 29 week photos (haven't taken the 30 week one yet...):
I love this shirt so much that I bought it in another color.

Wearing aforementioned tunic (minimal ass coverage).

Don't mind how exhausted and shitty I look! I was starting to come down with a cold, it was pouring the rain outside, and I had gone to the grocery store after work. That photo was taken right when I got home, before I peeled my clothes off.

Cravings/Aversions?
Not particularly. And probably not anything different than normal, honestly. I'm obsessed with anything pumpkin, but that's me every year. This year I just have an excuse to eat it.

Sleep?
Ah, sleep. How easy you used to come to me. Not so much now. It's increasingly difficult to get comfortable. I end up on my left side for the majority of the night, but sometimes my hip will go to sleep or hurt really badly, and I'm forced to turn. I'll switch to the right side for a while, but that doesn't last very long. As a last resort, I end up propping two pillows up in the nook of the Snoogle, and trying to sleep elevated. Once that become unbearable, I switch back to my left side and hope my hip has gone back to normal.

Other than the whole trying-to-get-comfortable thing, I'm also dealing with some insomnia. It happens a couple times a week. I'll wake up in the middle of the night (usually at around 2 a.m.) and cannot fall back asleep. So I lay in bed and browse Facebook and Pinterest, and wonder if I should get up and actually do something. Or wonder if me turning on the lamp would wake Buster up. Usually after an hour or two, I get tired again.

Symptoms?
I find myself with some kind of indigestion or reflux. I'm not too knowledgeable on either of those things, as I've never had to deal with them prior to pregnancy. Whatever it is, I often feel like a burp will lead to vomiting. This happens mostly at night. Thankfully I've not vomited, but just get that yucky taste in my mouth like it's right there, knocking at the back of my throat. Lovely, right?

I've already gone into detail about insomnia, so there's that.

I'm getting the occasional Braxton Hicks contraction. This is usually brought on by me bending over completely at the waist to pick something up. After, I'll stand up, and my uterus is very tight and hard, and sticking out a bit further. It goes away after a minute or two.

And finally... I'm experiencing pregnancy-induced constipation. I thought I was going to get away without it affecting me, but alas, I was wrong. I've added Colace into my daily supplement routine, and that has seemed to help immensely. And if I forget the Colace one day, I'm pretty much miserable. So Colace daily it is.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Act III

Holy shit, I'm in the third trimester.

Can you believe that? I can't. While the first 16 weeks of this pregnancy seemed to absolutely crawl by, the past two months have just passed me by so quickly! My little man will be here before I know it. So, so crazy.

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday. I was 27w3d. It was my normal monthly appointment, plus some perks. Those perks being a) my glucose test, and b) an ultrasound to check on the location of my placenta, and the length of my cervix.

The glucose drink wasn't that bad. No, I wouldn't willingly choose to drink it, but it didn't make me gag or anything. It burned the back of my throat a bit, and that was my chief complaint.

After I chugged the drink, I headed back for my ultrasound. I was really looking forward to this ultrasound. I hadn't seen my little guy on the screen since my anatomy scan at 18 weeks! And my, how he had grown...

First, the tech measured his leg bone. She told me he was tall. Then after all her other measurements were completed, she told me that he was measuring two weeks ahead (at 29w2d) and that she estimates him to be 2lbs15oz! I know those measurements can be off, but holy crap! I've got a chunker!

Henry is also head down, still. He was head down at my fetal echocardiogram a month ago, and he's still that way. I'm taking that as a good sign, and hope he just goes ahead and stays that way until D-Day.

I asked the tech for a potty shot. Even though I've been told twice he's a boy, I've still been paranoid! I would love a boy or girl baby just the same, but I worry about all the crap I've bought and been given. So, she pulled up the potty shot and instantly said, "Yep, he's all boy!". And I saw his little balls. So now I am 100% convinced he's definitely a Henry!

She also gave me some photos, and we got a great profile picture! Check out my cute little man:

27w3d profile shot!
I am just so in love with that little chubster!

Next I met with my doctor. I've gained (gulp) 33 lbs so far!!! Yikes. But, my doctor isn't concerned at all. He wasn't even going to mention weight gain until I brought it up. He told me that I could have been eating only vegetables this whole time and still have gained this much weight, and that everyone is different. I explained to him that I'm not eating horribly unhealthy...but that I'm not turning down pumpkin desserts. He told me not to turn them down, and to go to town at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I told him he was the best doctor ever.

I start going in every two weeks now. Shit is getting real!

And here you can see me + those 33 lbs:



Monday, October 15, 2012

January's full circle

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Which makes this post on my recent realization incredibly apropos.

January of 2012 was the worst month of my life. The news that our baby's heart was no longer beating wasn't the way I envisioned kicking off the new year. And four days later, I had surgery to remove my baby from my belly. If only I had scheduled a lobotomy at the same time.

The weeks that followed my D&C were painstaking. I was broken, dejected, sad, angry, bitter and depressed. Time stood still.

Reading my posts from January bring me to tears. It just happened, right this second. The pain of a loss is unfuckingbearable. That's the truth.

Writing about my feelings saved me. The support I received from this incredible community saved me. Honestly. You all may never know how much your words meant to me in that darkest hour. But they kept me propped up and afloat (albeit barely).

I've come quite far in the past ten months. Not only emotionally, but in my journey versus infertility.

Time does heal, although it will never make you forget. I still get horribly sad when I think about the loss of my first pregnancy. A pregnancy we worked so long and so hard for. We thought we had done it, beaten the odds. Pregnant after 4 1/2 years. And then the rug was pulled out from under us.

Even though I am now 27 weeks pregnant, I can't and won't shake the feelings of sadness and hopelessness that accompany remembering my loss. But it's not my focus, as it was back in the early months of 2012.

I soberly remember my past, but all the while I embrace my present and future.

My long-wished-for Henry should arrive in January of 2013. I'm so excited to meet him, but also to plant some happy memories in a month that desperately needs them.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

plan: nursery

I'm starting a series of posts where I detail my plan for something. Riveting, I know. Today's subject is Henry's nursery.

Initially, I wanted to do a soft, calm beachy theme. Seafoam green, pale aqua, etc. But in typical me-fashion, I changed my mind!

I decided that I didn't want to go with a theme, per se, but more of a color scheme. Or you could call my theme "pattern mixing". But enough talking about it, here is the nursery styleboard I put together:

Nursery styleboard!


My favorite color is gray, so of course I was inclined to include gray in the color scheme. I had seen a couple nurseries done in gray and yellow, and I loved it. So I decided to run with it.

Buster painted the nursery walls back in August. We had a discussion of what we'd like to do in there, and I figured it wouldn't be painted for months. Then one day, soon after, he just decided to paint it. I love that man. We did three walls in a light, cool gray. The fourth wall has gray and white vertical stripes. The crib will go on this wall. I absolutely love the paint job and the color.

My pièce de résistance in the styleboard was the crib. I fell in love with the thought of a gray crib. It's so... different. And gray. And I found one on WalMart's website that I not only loved the simplicity of, but the price was amazing as well ($199!). Apparently it's similar to some fancy-pants Oeuf Sparrow crib that retails for $700+. At least that's what the reviewers were saying. I have no clue what constitutes fancy nursery furniture, and would never, ever spend $700 on a crib.

I had planned on purchasing two pieces of the Hemnes line of dressers (in white) from Ikea, and using the top of the smaller dresser as the changing table. I thought the white would go well enough with the gray crib, and I could pull it off.

But this styleboard was done two months ago, and naturally some things have changed.

My aunt and uncle have generously offered to give us their high-quality, expensive nursery furniture that they used for my cousin (13 years ago...). It's white, and simple enough (I'm not one for frills on my furniture). It was a drop-side crib, but they lent the furniture to my aunt's sister when she had her baby boy, and her husband permanently affixed the drop-side so that it no longer drops. It comes with a changing table with drawers underneath, and an armoire. The crib also has a drawer underneath. I am very thankful that they are offering this to us, as it will save us a lot of money.

Also, another change is the glider. As much as I adore the white and yellow pinstriped Little Castle Lullaby glider rocker pictured in my styleboard, it's pricey. The chair and ottoman together total about $450. While I realize that's really not too bad of a price for an upholstered rocker glider, I'm just not sure I feel comfortable forking over the money for it. And with that color of a glider, I'm not sure I could use it in another room down the road.

Plus, for my birthday back in August, Buster got "me" a leather rocker recliner for the living room. So, I will have that option for nursing/rocking/what-have-you.

So, instead of the glider, I'm thinking of going for the Poang Rocking Chair from Ikea. The chair plus the ottoman would be about $230, and I think I could fit it in to another room easily someday.

The Poang Rocking Chair from Ikea
Henry's nursery and the living room are about 15 feet apart, so if the Poang happened to not be incredibly comfortable for long stretches, I could always head out to the super comfortable leather rocker recliner. All you mothers out there... what do you think of my chair plan? I know I probably sound naive. And that's because, well, I am! Any advice/thoughts/insight would be much appreciated.

After showing my mom the styleboard, and a couple items I like on Etsy, she purchased this one for me:

The first piece of wall art for Henry's nursery!

It hasn't gone up on the wall yet, as we are waiting to actually get the furniture and set it up first. But I'm excited to have some decor already!

The mobile on the styleboard is from Etsy. Buster says he can make one for cheaper than they are asking, but we'll see. I'm sure he can make one, but will he by the time we need it? That's the real question.


The wall art is also from Etsy, but it's more of an idea of what I like. I will just design the wall art, and have it printed cheaply at Sam's. That will save us some money, plus I'll get full creative control!

The rug is fabulous, right? It's so affordable for a great design: $79! It's from Urban Outfitters. They also have other lovely patterns in the gray (like herringbone!), so I'm not completely sure I'll be going with the chevron pattern.

So, now you know my plan and what has changed since its inception. More changes will happen, but as soon as we have the finished product completed, I will be sharing photos!

Monday, October 1, 2012

the kind of good news that makes you cry

After our final IUI (which really wasn't an IUI, since my RE would not go through with it. But I still count it as half an IUI, since I stimmed and had 8 mature follicles and tried to get pregnant, but failed.), Buster and I decided that our next step would be IVF.

This posed a problem for us, at the time. My insurance, while covering 80% of IUIs and related meds, did not cover IVF at all. And Buster was finishing up school and getting his business off the ground, so financially we were nowhere near being ready for IVF.

Spring and summer passed. I focused on losing some weight and getting healthy. I did this pretty well, and overall had a good summer. The pain of infertility was still there. Always. Lurking under the surface, ready to bubble up and take hold. But I focused on having a great summer, and didn't expect to ever get pregnant naturally. This way I could keep my hopes from ultimately being dashed.

Then, I found out about the clinical trial. And my life was forever changed.

The trial, as many of you know, allowed us to not only afford IVF, but to become pregnant on our first and third transfers. Most of you also know how the first transfer ended. But here I am, 25 weeks strong and pregnant from that third transfer. And I have the clinical trial to thank.

I had made peace way back in April that Henry would be our only child. Ok, I can't say that I completely made peace with it, but I was really trying. I assumed he would be our only child. Sure, we have one embryo remaining in NYC. But as of right now, I'm one for three. I don't think the statistics are on my side for that remaining embryo. Plus, I didn't want to get my hopes of a sibling up, only to be dashed at some point in the future.

So all of my focus has been on this pregnancy, because I felt pretty darn certain that it would be my only one. I've scheduled maternity photos, I've allowed myself pumpkin desserts quite often, and have really been enjoying my pregnancy.

Back in July, my contract at work was up and was taken over by a new company. I still have the same job, but am employed by a new company. The joy of government work. I haven't thought much about it, other than making sure my (new) insurance is in place for all of my doctor's appointments. Oh, and to lament the fact that I am no longer eligible for FMLA because I haven't worked for this new company for a year (although I've been at my job for almost four years).

For some reason, last week, I decided to check with my new insurance on the coverage for fertility treatments. I was simply curious. My new insurance has been amazing thus far (have I mentioned the fact that I got a FREE Medela breastpump?? My insurance covered it! $300 I didn't have to spend, hooray!), so I figured I would just see what they do cover.

The people in the next cubicles over probably thought I was a complete lunatic when they heard me on the call, asking about fertility coverage. The pregnant lady asking about fertility coverage... wtf?! But they are old and were most likely fertile, so I didn't give a shit, to be honest.

My new insurance covers 100% of IVF, up to three attempts.

And that news simultaneously took the breath out of me and set me to tears.

I know this is no guarantee of a sibling for Henry, but it certainly gets us a lot closer to being a family of four than where we were before!

To say we are happy is an understatement. I feel so incredibly lucky to be pregnant right now. My pregnancy is going wonderfully, and I am absolutely loving it. And now that I know that I have the means to try again when I would like... well there are just no words.

I am one incredibly happy infertile.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Big V (and other updates)

Monday marked my 24th week of pregnancy. While I don't sit around thinking about viability, it is still another milestone I'm more than happy to have reached.

I'm not sure what my next milestone should be. Passing my glucose test? That seems like a good one, but doesn't nearly pack a punch like the Big V. Birth of my son? That definitely packs a punch (right to the vag), but that seems so far away!

Here is a belly pic at 24w2d:


So, I realize I left you guys hanging in regards to my fetal echocardiogram last week.

My appointment was Thursday afternoon at the local university hospital. I get there and head up to the OBGYN, which is in a building adjacent to the actual hospital. I was actually five minutes early, which is basically unheard of for me. So I was pumped.

I attempt to check in, and I'm told that I do not have an appointment up there. The lady looks me up, and tells me I need to check in at the hospital, and then go up to the cardio floor. Oh...

So I make my way over there and finally get up to check in on the cardio floor of the hospital. By this time I'm five minutes late. I check in, and go sit in a smaller waiting room down the hall from the main waiting room (which was completely jam-packed). There are so many people waiting. And they are all waiting for news of a loved one who is having a heart cath, or a stent put in, or some other kind of serious heart surgery. I felt completely out of place.

After 30 minutes passes, I go back to the desk and ask if I was forgotten about, since I was sitting in the smaller, less visible waiting room. She asks why I'm there, and then proceeds to tell me that "fetals are always running late".

Lovely.

After 30 MORE minutes, I go back to the desk. There has been a shift change, so I talk to a new lady. I tell her my appointment was an hour ago. She looks mortified, and calls someone. Then tells me that the ultrasound tech is missing. She eventually gets the tech on the phone, and then asks me if I can wait another 15 minutes, and the tech will be down. Well, lady, I've been here over an hour, I'm not going to let 15 more minutes keep me from this ultrasound!

I finally, finally get called back. The ultrasound was not as exciting as I envisioned. I had to turn my head at a horribly awkward angle to even see the screen. And when I could see the screen, I really had no idea what I was looking at most of the time. Plus, the tech really didn't talk to me much during the 40 minute scan.

But all of that annoyance aside, Henry's heart looks great! They were able to rule out 95% of congenital heart defects (which is all any fetal echocardiogram can do, apparently), and that has me feeling quite pleased.

My glucose test and next doctor's appointment is in three weeks. And prior to that, Buster and I will be heading to sunny Hilton Head, SC to attend a family wedding. I've never been to HH, so I'm pretty excited. We will be spending five days down there. This will be our last vacation sans-baby, and we are both looking forward to relaxing on the beach. And I finally get to wear the cute maternity swimsuit I purchased late in the summer!

Good stuff :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

pregnancy miscellany

This week marks my 23rd week of pregnancy. You know what that means! Only one more week until the big V (viability, for those who have female body parts on the brain!)!

Here is a belly shot from today:


I have finally gotten over my bad cold! Yes, my nose is still runny, but that's nothing new for me. I'm able to breathe again, so that's a definite improvement.

Overall I'm feeling really great. The worst thing, which isn't even awful, is that it's hard for me to get comfortable at night. The Snoogle and I have become regular bed partners. I find it comfortable as a pillow, and convenient for the between-the-knees pillow.

But... it doesn't stop me from rolling onto my back. And on my back is not the position I should be sleeping in. I wake up often in the middle of the night only to realize I'm on my back, and then I pick a side. I usually pick my left (which is the side I always slept on pre-pregnancy), but now it's not always comfortable. So I'll switch to the right. And so on and so forth, all night long.

I think I'm going to have to bust out the Utterly Yours pregnancy pillow that my friend sent me.

And I'll use the Utterly Yours in conjunction with the Snoogle. Pregnancy pillow overload, you say? You might be right. But perhaps it will help keep me on my side.

Buster has already complained about the Snoogle and it's aid in the decline of our intimacy. It's tough to work around that thing. So I just don't. Bad wife, I know. And now that I'm going to add another pillow into the mix... there is no hope for Buster.

We should have gotten a king-size bed.

___________

On Thursday, I have my fetal echocardiogram. This was recommended to me because my brother passed away from a congenital heart defect.

To say I'm not nervous would be a lie. I'm a bit nervous. But, I've heard several reassuring stories from many ladies, so I truly think everything will be ok. It's just so difficult to not be nervous.

___________

I also scheduled my 3D ultrasound for the end of October. I'll be about 28 1/2 weeks along at that point, so hopefully we'll get some good photos. My baby shower is the weekend following, so if I get a good face shot of Henry, I'll frame it and display it at the shower (even though Buster thinks this is creepy).

___________

I've been meaning to do a nursery post for some time now... perhaps I will get to that soon! Buster has already painted the nursery (gray and white), and I hope to pick up our furniture this weekend!

Monday, September 10, 2012

they weren't lying

Having a bad cold while pregnant is definitely not high up on my "fun times" list. You always hear people saying how miserable a cold can be when you are knocked up, and now I know they weren't bullshitting me.

Buster had a bad cold which turned into a sinus infection at the end of last week. The bad cold had been with him for about five days or so prior to going all sinus-infection on his ass. I felt pretty great, up until Friday morning. I woke up with a touch of sore throat. But as I got up started getting ready for my day, it went away. Phew, close call, right?

Wrong. Friday afternoon it came back, with a vengeance. I felt awful. Couldn't sleep much at all Friday night. Saturday the sore throat was gone, but it had been replaced with severe congestion and lots of nose blowing.

Since I felt so rough, I decided to make homemade chicken broth. I threw in some frozen chicken breast tenders (all the chicken I had), a quartered onion (skin still on), four carrots (skin on, chopped in half), three celery stalks (chopped in thirds, celery leaf still attached), two bay leaves, eight peppercorns, and two packets of chicken seasoning from Ramen noodles (don't judge, I was out of chicken bouillon!). And I let that go. All day.

Needless to say, my house smelled absolutely amazing. At about 4:00, I had a mug of my homemade chicken broth and it was delightful. About an hour later, I decided to put down the controller (Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is my new Xbox 360 obsession) and strain the soup.

And what did I find floating in my delicious, amazing, rich, satisfying soup?

Yep, a fucking stink bug.

I'm not sure if your corner of the world is infested, but mine definitely is. It doesn't help that we are backed up to a wooded hillside. Stink bugs are EVERYWHERE. I kill them when I see them, but they are tricky little fuckers. They flatten out to thin-as-shit and work their way in to my house. And my soup.

So, I threw it out. "It" being the soup. Perhaps that was overreacting, but if the stink bug in question expressed that nasty smelling stank into my soup, I did not want to chance eating it.

After throwing it out, I cried. Crocodile tears. And then sent Buster to the store for saline nasal spray, Breathe Right strips, and decaf lemon tea.

The nasal spray and decaf lemon tea with honey made me feel a million times better. It was such an improvement, I decided to go to sleeps sans-Breathe Right nasal strip. And I slept decently.

Sunday morning, there was a marked improvement in how I felt. No sore throat at all. Some congestion, but I expected that. I even managed to get out of the house. Went to the grocery store and got the ingredients for chili and cornbread. Came home, cleaned up, put the chili on, then settled in to several hours of Kingdom of Amalur.

My congestion seemed to get worse as the day went on. I tried the saline nasal spray, and it wouldn't drain out of my other nostril (the way it is supposed to). Apparently I've moved to the  fully-clogged stage now. Lovely.

After eating chili, Henry went CRAZY! It was the most active he's been for the longest amount of time since I started feeling him move. Does that mean he didn't like the chili, or loved it? It wasn't very spicy at all, as I'm a wuss and can't handle too much heat. But it was a fun hour and a half for me, that's for sure! And Buster even got to feel a roll (that was the first time I really could distinguish between a kick and something else... which I'm assuming was a roll!).

Before bed, I decided to go with the nasal strip. I was so congested and miserable, I was hoping it would help. And it did give me some relief, although I still didn't sleep too well.

After getting out of the shower (and having removed the leftover residue from the sticky nasal strip), I notice something odd on my nose.

A bruise.

Are you kidding me??

I know it doesn't look too bad in the photo, but come on! Anytime there is a random, not-supposed-to-be-there bruise on your face, it's noticeable!

Thankfully, after about 3 layers of concealer and then my bareMinerals foundation, it practically disappeared.

But really, wtf? I guess I can't use the Breathe Right nasal strips when I have somewhere to go the next day...

I can't wait for this cold to be gone!

Friday, September 7, 2012

slacking

I know. I'm a slacker.

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to be motivated to do much of anything when it comes to online. And I apologize.

But, just wanted to mention that I updated Henry's page with some belly pictures, in case you were interested in that kind of thing!

Happy Friday, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2012

half baked

Today marks the halfway point in my pregnancy.

20 weeks.

It's really a dream come true. I can't believe I'm here. I never envisioned this. Sure, I dreamt about it, but those were just fantasies... like winning the lottery. Not going to happen to me.

But it's happening, and we are just chugging right along.

And it's starting to feel more and more real as each day passes. For Buster, too, I think.

Last night, as I was preparing dinner, Buster said to me,

"What are you going to do when we have a baby to take care of?"

I laughed, and told him I'd be taking care of the baby. Little comments like that just show me that he's thinking about it, and thinking how our lives will change. And that he's getting excited, too.

"I can't wait to build a treehouse for Henry."

These comments make me melt. I can't wait for us to be parents.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Why I'm fat, and the Panama Canal

I've mentioned a couple times before how I occasionally babysit for two little boys. They are so cute, and I really enjoy spending time with them.

And sometimes, what they say can be eye-opening, funny, shocking, and/or crippling.

After my miscarriage and subsequent D&C, I had one of those crippling moments with W, who was barely 4-years-old at the time.

But a couple nights ago, when I babysat for the first time in a couple months, W had me laughing. He is now four-and-a-half, and he is just too smart for his own good!

After his parents left, I was getting the Play-Doh out so W and his brother G could play (making noodles is their favorite!). While I was walking around gathering the supplies, W casually asks me,

"Miss Kara, why are you so fat now?"

I smile, and reply that I have a baby growing in my belly. And he will grow there for several more months, and then he'll be ready to come out.

"And then he comes out the birth canal, right?"

My eyes got wide, and I said, "Um, yes, he will." I was really hoping that he didn't ask me any questions about the birth canal. Not only am I not really an expert on the birthing experience, well... the birth canal is not necessarily an area of the body I feel comfortable discussing with a 4-year-old!

And then baby boy was forgotten, and Play-Doh time ensued.

Later on, though, when W and G were having their evening snack of yogurt and sprinkles, W asks me if the baby has a name yet. I tell him that he does in fact, and it's Henry.

"Henry. That's a good name. Like Henry the steam engine."

Well little W, I'm glad you approve!

Soon after I put the boys to bed, their parents arrive home. I tell them about W asking why I was fat (W's dad got a good laugh out of that one!), and about the birth canal reference. W's mom laughed, and said that W thinks of the birth canal much like the Panama Canal, and that he definitely does not know where in the body the birth canal is.

So I'm sure little W thinks that Baby Henry will come sailing down a nice, wide river when he's ready to be born...


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Let's talk TV...

PROJECT RUNWAY
I'm enjoying this season thus far, however I'm not too tough to please when it comes to Project Runway. I thoroughly enjoy watching designers create, so it really can't go wrong in my eyes.

Obviously, contestants get on my nerves. And the offenders still in it this season are: Elena and Gunnar Deatherage.

There is absolutely no way that Gunnar Deatherage can be his real name. I'm not buying it. I didn't like him last year when he "tried out" for the show (if you recall, they had 20 designers initially, but only 16 actually moved on. He was one of the four eliminated early.), and I still don't like him.

Elena is, well, not very nice. It's annoying watching her be so mean. Plus, I get that she has an aesthetic, but give me regular shoulders just once!

I have a few favorites, too. I do really like Melissa. I loved her blue dress last episode. Thisismybloghello commented yesterday that Melissa's dress was inappropriate for work, which I agree with for the most part. However, I still loved the dress, and would love to wear it to some function.

Another favorite of mine is Sonjia. Her style is fun and sexy and modern, and she is a likeable character. And  rounding out my top three of favorites is... Dmitry! I can't imagine he's in most people's favorites, but I like him. Although he looks like Snape, and I want to call him that when I see him, I can get over that!

FACE OFF
If you like Project Runway, you might just like Face Off as well. Or if you like cool movie makeup, such as zombies and aliens. Tonight is the season premier of Face Off, and Buster and I are so excited! Even more thrilling is that they moved it up to 9:00 p.m., versus the 10:00 time slot it was in last year. AND... the episode is an hour and a half long! YES. 

Tonight they are doing some kind of Star Wars themed challenge, so should be fun!

TRUE BLOOD
Buster and I were ready to give up on True Blood after last season. Too many sappy love story themes. Too much sap turns both of us off.

After the second season of Game of Thrones ended, I canceled HBO. I wasn't planning on watching True Blood. That was, until, my good friend and co-worker gave me her info so I could watch it on HBOGO at home on the Xbox. 

Buster and I needed a show over the summer anyway, so this worked out.

And this season has been the best season in a couple years! The best villain character ever to grace the show made a reappearance, which has been fun. Some new plot twists coupled with limited cheesefests have given this show a much needed rejuvenation. Next week is the season finale, and I'm pretty sad it's going to be over!

Monday, August 20, 2012

cervical length stress

Ok, I know I'm a slacker. I'm sorry!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks for me. Not only did my office move (I went from an office with a door back to a cubicle... joy!), but work has been absolutely crazy. Oh, and I had a terrible scare about my cervix length. Oh, you want to hear about that? Sure!

One week ago was my anatomy scan. Henry was still a Henry! And he looks great. They didn't tell me any of his measurements or any real specifics, but that he looks good and perfect. I'll take it!

The ultrasound tech, who really wasn't allowed to tell me much of anything (I met with my doctor right after the anatomy scan), did mention that my placenta was low-lying, but just barely so. It's not covering my cervix, and will most likely move up to where it needs to be as my uterus and my Henry grow larger. So, nothing to worry about!

After my scan, I head into an exam room while I wait for a doctor. At my practice there are four doctors. Since any of them may be on call the day you deliver, I've tried to rotate my appointments so that I could get to know each of them a little.

The doctor I met with on Monday, well I had met with him two appointments ago. At my 16 week appointment, a different doctor (who I really like) recommended that at my next appointment they check my cervical length. He suggested this because, as some of my long-time readers know, I had a LEEP procedure back in August of 2010. I liked this suggestion. If anything, I'm proactive.

So, when meeting with the doctor after my anatomy scan, I mentioned this to him. He looked at the notes from my scan, and said (verbatim),

"Your placenta isn't long, but it's nothing to be concerned about. It's measuring 2.21 cm."

Oh, ok. At that exact moment in time, I knew nothing about average cervical length. So, when my doc told me it was nothing to be concerned about...well, I listened. He recommended checking on my low-lying placenta and my cervical length again in two months.

I typically google the shit out of everything, but that was a busy Monday at work. I didn't get a chance to google until that evening. And wow, I did not like what I was reading.

EVERYTHING I read online said that a cervical length of 2.21 cm at 18 weeks was bedrest + cerclage worthy. A cerclage can only be done up until 24 weeks at the latest. So WHY was my doctor not wanting to check my cervix again until I was 26 weeks? WHY was he not concerned with an apparently super-short cervix? WHY did they not do a vaginal ultrasound when the measurement from the abdominal one was so alarming? What the hell was going on here?

After crying, stressing, and googling the night away, I decide to call my doctor's office the next day and ask to speak to the doctor I *do* like, who suggested the cervical measurement to being with. Well, Tuesday is his day off. Lovely. I leave a message with his nurse, who is really sweet. I tell her my concerns, and she says that my doctor will call me Wednesday morning when he gets in.

I post on a high-risk pregnancy forum. Everyone who responds says to get a second opinion. Not being one to ignore consistent advice, I call the local university high-risk OBGYN. They can get me in on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. I make the appointment, and secretly hope I hear from my doctor by then, and I can instead just go in to my regular doctor's office for a transvaginal ultrasound.

I spend half of Tuesday googling. I spend all of Tuesday worrying. How will I pay the bills if I go on bedrest? I worked so hard for this pregnancy, obviously I will do whatever it takes to get Henry here safely, even if that means moving in with family. Will I make it to viability with such a short cervix? Will Henry end up in the NICU for many months?

It was a rough day, to say the least.

Wednesday morning goes by in a blur, and I head to my second opinion appointment. When I get called back, it's by the nurse who I spoke with on the phone. I had explained my situation to her, and she was very nice and understanding. She takes my blood pressure. It's high, for the first time in my life. Sigh.

We go to an exam room, and she asks me the usual gamut of questions. She leaves. A resident doctor comes in. Asks me the same round of questions (why is this necessary???). Says they are going to try to get me in for a transvag ultrasound.

The nurse comes back in with a wheelie blood pressure cart. Takes my blood pressure again, and it's normal. Phew.

Then an ultrasound tech comes down to get me. They worked me in! So, for the first time in quite a while (10 weeks to be exact, which may not seem like quite a while to some of you... but for me, it's some new kind of record.), I had a transvaginal ultrasound. Henry's heartbeat was 139, the same as it was two days prior. But she didn't linger on my little man, and I understood.

But the whole time she was measuring my cervix, I could see Henry's feet kicking away in the corner of the screen. That certainly made my day much brighter!

After taking several measurements over five minutes, the shortest measurement she got was 3.4 cm. She told me it looks good, and definitely not short.

Relief swept over me.

I head back to the exam room, and the resident doctor comes back in. While I was having my ultrasound, my clinic faxed my records over. And in those records, it says that my placenta is 2.21 cm away from my cervix.

2.21 cm WAS NOT MY CERVICAL LENGTH!!!

My cervix measured 4 on Monday.

So, my doctor told me the wrong measurement while looking at my chart.

I am mostly relieved, but obviously a little annoyed that the whole thing happened at all. But I do realize people make mistakes. So, I'm sticking with my OBGYN. But I certainly hate that I was worried sick for 2 1/2 days.

But to end this post on a positive note, here is Henry's latest profile shot:

18 weeks... Henry kept putting his hand to his mouth!
_____________

I have more posts in the works in my head. I hope to post them someday soon!

Oh, and anyone watching the new season of Project Runway?? I know some of you are PR fans!



Sunday, August 5, 2012

95% sure we are having a...

On Wednesday, we had our optional gender scan. They told me I was able to do this at 16 weeks, and my appointment was at 16w2d.

Unfortunately, we didn't get my favorite u/s tech. We got Belle's dad (Maurice) from Beauty and the Beast again.

Sure, he's a nice fellow. But he barely talks. I have to really prod information out of him. And that's no fun, let's be honest. Sarah, my favorite u/s tech, is so sweet, and spends assloads of time with me. I made sure to make my anatomy scan appointment with her.

Anyway, back to the appointment. Maurice, in his typical fashion, didn't really say much of anything for at least five minutes. Awkward! Luckily I had just met with my doctor and heard baby's heart on the doppler, otherwise I might have freaked. Baby was being super lazy, and not really moving much at all! What is with this kid?

Finally Maurice gets a decent potty shot. I really don't know much about potty shots. Yeah, I know a turtle thing means boy, and three lines means girl. But depending on the angle, it all kind of looks the same anyway!

Maurice says, "Well, I think we have a little boy here."

Squeee!

Wait, you think???

I ask him, "How sure are you?"

"95%," he replies.

That 95% was based on this photo:


Then, baby moved, and a better angle was visible.


The label job is all mine. Buster asked me to label it "wenis" so he could post the photo on FB. Yes, I'll have two little boys in the house, it seems...

After baby boy moved and we got the above angle shot, I asked Maurice if that made him even more confident that baby was indeed a boy, and he said yes. So, I'm feeling pretty confident now.

I go back in less than two weeks for my anatomy scan, and we can verify then.

In the meantime... I bought my first baby items! Ok, well, my very first baby purchases were about three years ago. I picked up some tiny baby Puma socks at TJ Maxx, one boy set and one girl set. But they have been quietly and sadly living in my sock drawer all this time. So I don't really count those as my first baby purchases.

I hit up Target. And what is the first thing I see that I just have to get?

So, so true.
I couldn't resist! Then I snagged this cute little NB onesie, that baby boy will definitely get his picture taken in (with some jeans and a pair of chucks? Or socks that look like chucks?):


And finally, I picked up a 3-piece set that was on sale. It's 6M size, so I'm hoping baby Henry will be able to wear it in the summer! It's a striped tank-top onesie, matching gray shorts, and a cute striped alligator t-shirt! The onesie has this patch on it:

Cute alligator t-shirt:

Oh, and in case you are newer to my blog, or missed my post where I revealed our choice for a boy name, I'll give you a refresher. We have had the name Henry picked out for years. And the inspiration is a dog.

Yes, you read that correctly. We will be naming our son after a dog.

Not just any dog, though! The most regal, sweet, caring, handsome Golden Retriever ever. He was Buster's aunt's dog, and he happily lived for 13 years. He was the reason I wanted to get a Golden Retriever.

And Buster has a cute story. One time, when visiting his aunt's farm, Buster trekked into the surrounding forest to gather some firewood. He stumbled on a log or uneven ground, fell and skinned up his knee. He looked up, and there was Henry. Checking on him. Making sure he was ok. What a sweet ol' boy, right?

So yes, we are naming our son after a dog, but we are not ashamed of that.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

15 weeks and some belly shots

No, not the kind  of belly shots you do off of your friend's stomach at a seedy college bar.

I'm now 15 weeks pregnant. That sounds so... surreal. I didn't think I'd ever be here. But, here is where I am.

CLOTHES
I no longer fit in any of my pre-pregnancy pants. Luckily I'm still rocking the dresses. I'm loving that I'm in this tweener stage during summer... bring on the sundresses! But there are some days I want to wear pants... and really, that's a struggle. I have no shirts to wear to work, and one pair of maternity pants that fit me. I own two pairs of maternity pants, but one pair is still too big.

SYMPTOMS
Overall, I'm feeling pretty great. The only thing that is a bit irksome is that I'm finding it difficult to get comfortable to sleep. I spend my nights tossing and turning. And it's not due to pain or any real reason... I just can't seem to get comfy.

Also, I'm still having crazy vivid dreams. And often I have a handful a night. I always seem to wake up in between them. That also doesn't help with me getting some solid rest. Sometimes the dreams are scary, sometimes just bizarre, sometimes sexual, and sometimes nice. Last night, I dreamed that I gave birth to a baby girl. But, I don't read too much into that, as I've already had a dream of our gender scan, and it was a boy.

I figure if that's all I have to complain about, I'm doing pretty well!

WEIGHT GAIN
I've stopped weighing myself (at least for now). I was weighing myself every day, and focusing a bit too much on that. So for now, I'm sans-scale. Last weigh-in, though, I was up 8 lbs. Even if I gain a pound a week from here on out, I'm ok with that. From what I have read, most women don't gain too much in the third trimester. But who knows what I'll do.

BOY OR GIRL?
In one week from today is our gender scan. I'm so excited. I get teary-eyed thinking about the moment when I find out if our little baby is a boy or girl. I'm going to cry buckets at the appointment, I just know it.

As I mentioned above, I've had two dreams about baby, and in one it was a baby boy, the other a baby girl. I think I'm just so excited to know that the topic has made its way into my dreams.

According to the Chinese gender predictors, I'm having a boy. But those Chinese gender predictors are tricky. "Month you conceived" is one of the questions. That seems like an easy question, right? Well, with frozen embryo transfers, do you use the month that sperm fertilized egg? I would assume so. Or do I use the date of conception I use at the doctor's office, which is 6 days before embryo transfer (since my embryos grew for 6 days in the lab). Luckily for me (I guess?), both options are the same, and say boy.

Going by the Mayan even/odd thing, I'm predicted a girl. To determine this, you use the mother's age at conception and the year of conception. If both numbers are even or odd, it's a girl. If one is odd and the other even, it's a boy.

Based on the old wives tale about acne, I'd say I'm having a boy. My skin has been pretty normal so far, with less breakouts than before pregnancy. Of course, this week I had a bit of a breakout, but that's really the first one so far.

I didn't really have morning sickness, so that points to boy.

Baby's heart rate has been above 140 at all of our appointments, which points to girl.

But all of the speculation will soon be over! One week...

BELLY PHOTOS
And finally, here are some belly shots. I dropped the ball during week 13 and forgot to take a photo. My belly is definitely getting bigger, but I don't think I've quite "popped" yet. I think it will happen soon, though!


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