Thursday, June 21, 2012

where is that straitjacket?

Before I delve into the story of my morning, here is something that always makes Buster and I giggle:



And also, one more thing. I never knew straitjacket was spelled straitjacket. I have always typed "straight jacket" or "straightjacket". Apparently I'm a moron.

Ok, here we go.

After a long evening of shopping with my mother and sister (seriously, it was long. My sister hates shopping and wearing dresses, and both were unavoidable, as we were shopping for something to wear to a wedding. My mom tends to exacerbate the situation by throwing more and more dresses at my sister to try on. I am the mediator. Lucky me.), I came home exhausted. Completely drained. But lo and behold, the prized doppler had arrived!



So, I chugged two glasses of water, grabbed my aloe vera gel and the doppler, and headed into bed.

Finding a heartbeat is tough work. I think I found it at one point, after lots of searching. And you guys were right (Lisa!), it was soooo low. It doesn't even make sense how low. No wonder I was scared my baby would fall out spontaneously after I stopped the medicine... it's already halfway there!

Anyway, the heartbeat that I think I found averaged about 143 bpm. Which seemed low to me. My friends reassured me that it was not low, and that anything between 120-160 is normal.

Buster and I laid in bed and googled for a while. We both felt ok with the number after reading some stuff. I went to bed. He went to play League of Legends.

He came to bed at 2:00 a.m., and I woke up to pee. I couldn't fall back asleep, and terrible thoughts kept circling through my head.

What if the heart rate is low because my baby is slowly dying since I stopped my meds?

What if that wasn't the heartbeat at all, just some weird throbbing vag vein?

What if that was the heartbeat, but the baby was dying and is now dead?

Early pregnancy after a miscarriage is such a mind fuck. This shit is for the birds.

This morning, I awoke determined I would find a "better" heartbeat with the doppler. I drank my one cup of coffee (yes, I'm drinking one cup of coffee a day), took my shot of fish oil liquid (so delicious...where is that sarcasm key again?), took my prenatal, ate a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch, and got back in bed with my aloe vera gel and the doppler.

I couldn't find shit.

Cue panic.

I just *knew* my fear from last night was true. You know, the one where I was hearing the last dying heartbeats of my baby last night, and today nothing. I just had to go off all that medicine...

I start shaking. My hands are shaking uncontrollably. I'm on the verge of tears.

I call my OB and ask for my nurse. I tell her that I'm having a freakout, and wondered if there is any way they could squeeze me in for a quick ultrasound just so I could see that my baby was still alive. After she speaks with the ultrasound tech, she tells me to come in any time today, and they will squeeze me in.

I love this clinic. The nurses, ultrasound technicians, and front desk staff are all so sweet to me. They all know my story (which is a tad disconcerting, but whatever), and they seem to genuinely care about me.

So, I hop in the shower and head to the clinic. I walk up to the front desk and sign in, and tell the woman that I really don't have an appointment time, that the u/s tech was squeezing me in. She instantly knew who I was, and asked if everything was ok. I told her that it has been going well, but that the morning had been a rough one for me, and I was freaking out. She told me she has had five miscarriages, so she completely understands. She wished me tons of luck and said that everyone in the office is pulling for me.

I sit down with tears in my eyes. I distract myself by texting a bit. Only five minutes go by before the u/s tech comes out and calls my name. I head back, and she smiles when she sees me. She asks how I'm doing, and I tell her not very well. I am starting to cry now, and tell her I'm not sure I can talk without crying.

She was so sweet, and comforting. I blubbered out a "thank you for squeezing me in" while hopping up on the table. She completely understood my (irrational?) fears, and made me feel as much at ease as I could.

She wastes no time pulling baby up on the screen. Baby has gotten much bigger! After a minute, she plays the heartbeat. I will never, ever tire of hearing that sound. 172 bpm. Phew.

I am 10w3d today, and baby was measuring 10w4d. I'll take it!

So then she spent some time (which she probably didn't really have) looking at baby. Arms and legs were in full motion. Legs were kicking, arms were waving. A hand went to the mouth. Then, the baby lifted its little butt into the air and back down! It was honestly amazing. It looks like a baby now, not a frog.

Here are some photos (which I will also add to the "baby updates page"):

That's a hand with fingers above the head, I'm fairly certain. FINGERS!
10w3d
Baby lifting its butt into the air:
10w3d

Bottom of baby's foot:
10w3d foot
I know many of you women are thinking "I told you so!"

And you should be! But I was desperate for some peace of mind, and was hoping the doppler would give it to me.

But now the doppler will remain on the shelf until I hit 12 weeks. From what I've read online, a doppler should have no problems at all detecting a heartbeat at 12 weeks. So, I'll give it another go then. But I also have my NT scan at 12 weeks, so I will not be relying on the doppler alone for reassurance.

So there it is. My freakout this morning, and a happy resolution after all. Obviously I'm feeling indescribably more relaxed. I think this will get me through the next twelve days. Here's to hoping, anyway...


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the terror of weaning, and other more or less important matters

Thank you all for your advice on my last post.

Yes, I've considered a doppler. Actually, my dear friend Aub has sent me her doppler. Aub gave birth to beautiful twin boys almost four weeks ago, which brought their household total up to 6 (plus dog!). How she had time to make it to the post office, I'll never know. But I do appreciate it more than I can express! I'm going to use that sucker as soon as I get it.

And yes, I know that sometimes it's difficult to find a heartbeat with them. But, I'll be 10 1/2 weeks by the time it gets here, so I think I've got a pretty good shot of finding the heartbeat.

In regards to telling or not telling... I spoke with my mom last night. Apparently she's already told my aunt (mother of the groom) that I'm pregnant. This means that my cousin who is getting married most likely knows, as well as his two sisters. So, I'm sure they will mention it to me. My mom's other sister's family is who I would consider telling. And I would never do it as some kind of announcement or anything. But, there will be a lot of downtime and casual time (a fish fry the night before, time at the pool the day of the wedding, etc), so I'm sure it will come up.

I understand not stealing their thunder, but that's not how it would be approached. I'm not one for big announcements. I'd just like to tell my aunt while we are catching up, that's all. So, since half of my close family already knows, I suppose the cat is already sort of out of the bag.

As long as I can find the heartbeat with the doppler prior to leaving, I'll tell them (when the time is appropriate).

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Off topic slightly, but... MRS. H AKA NINI: Please email me! My contact info is up in my nav bar. I NEED access to your blog! By the time I saw it was private, it was too late for me to contact you to get access. I tried replying to a post you left on my blog, but you must not have seen it. It's so difficult to gain access to a private blog once it goes private!

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There is some discrepancy online as to how big my baby is this week. I've read anywhere from prune to kumquat to lime. Lime just sounds so much bigger than prune. I want it to be lime-sized. But all sites agree that baby will double in size between now and 12 weeks. Please just keep on growing, little one!


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And finally, there is nothing scarier at this stage in pregnancy than stopping meds. I'm convinced.

Last night was the first night I did not do my Lovenox injection. Dr. Sher has his patients who have antiphospholipid antibodies stop them at 10 weeks, so that's the route I'm following.

I've been weaning off the Dexamethasone, taking one every other day for a week. I think I'm done there. I might take one more tomorrow, but then I'm cutting myself off.

I had been weaning off of the estrace, but I read last night that there is no need to do such a thing. So, I'm officially done with that one as well.

My RE suggested I wean myself off of Prometrium by cutting down to two a day, versus the four a day I was taking before. I've done two a day for a week, and this morning was the first morning I did not do one at all.

And I kind of feel like my baby is just going to fall out. Weird and morbid, I know. But you can't help feeling that the medicine you've been on has sustained you this long. And stopping will have catastrophic consequences.

Where is that fast-forward button again?

Monday, June 18, 2012

the three week wait

I am currently in the midst of a torturous three week wait. Absolutely torturous.

My last doctor's appointment was a week ago. That's when I was released from my RE. I saw my OB that day, and scheduled my next appointment, which is on July 3rd. I will be 12 weeks pregnant, and will be having my NT scan.

And that day is still two weeks away.

Morbid questions such as, "Is my baby still alive?" keep running through my head.

Today, I've pretty much decided there is no way I can sanely make it until July 3rd. Perhaps tomorrow I'll feel differently. Or on a day when I have more distraction. So far, my Monday morning has been pretty distraction-less, which always causes my mind to race.

So what's a girl to do? How did you stay sane in the beginning? Or did you?

And yet another early pregnancy conundrum:

We are going to my cousin's wedding this weekend. It is my side of the family, and I am quite close with all of them (even though they live all over the country). I will be almost 11 weeks pregnant.

Do I tell them?

If I had a doctor's appointment this week, and saw the baby alive and well, there would be no doubt in my mind that I would tell my family. Alas, I have no such doctor's appointment.

I know I'm going to want to tell them. They know we've been trying for years. Some of them even know about our loss (not from me, but my mom told her sister, who told my cousins, etc). Shit, some of them might already know I'm pregnant!

I'm just torn. Buster says to wait until 12 weeks to tell people. Well, it's only one week earlier than 12 weeks. Plus, it's not his family.

Sigh. Early pregnancy is quite stressful!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

9-week ultrasound

If you've been a regular reader of my blog, you'll know by now that I must have gotten good news at my appointment today. If not, my post title would be incredibly melodramatic.

So yes, we got great news! The u/s tech remembered me, and I told her that at this appointment last go around was when we got the bad news. She wasted no time getting baby up on the screen, and playing the heartbeat over the speakers.

What a lovely sound. It's amazing how much lovelier it sounded today than at the 7-week or 8-week ultrasound. I know that's bizarre, but I was so nervous about this one. I feel like we've really achieved something this time, even though I won't be worry-free ever again. I do feel some peace, for now, at least.

Baby's heart rate was 178 bpm (it was 179 last week). I did not get a measurement this time around. I forgot to ask, due to my state of euphoria.

My next appointment is in THREE WEEKS. What the hell will I do to pass the time?

Oh, I know. Use a doppler. And drive myself crazy.

Here's the latest photo of our little one, and I'll post the previous week's photos underneath as well, for comparison.

9w1d ultrasound photo
8w4d ultrasound photo
7w1d ultrasound photo
The 8w photo was the only transvaginal ultrasound I've had during pregnancy. It's amazing to me how much clearer it is! I wish today's could have been transvaginal as well, but I'll take what I can get!

Monday, June 11, 2012

some pregnancy stuff

As you may have noticed, I haven't been posting too much.

Mainly, I don't want to blog about this pregnancy because if something should go wrong, I'd have plenty of painful reminders. And being the masochist that I am, I will go back and read them. I still go back and read blog posts from the pregnancy that resulted in miscarriage.

But today, on my 9-week milestone, I'm going to blog about some pregnancy-related randomness. And hope that tomorrow's ultrasound goes well.

CRAVINGS:
  • Applesauce. I haven't bought applesauce at the grocery store since, well, maybe never. All of the sudden it is my favorite thing in the world. I've been buying the unsweetened kind, and it's delectable. Yes, delectable. 
  • Onion bagels + cream cheese. 
  • Macaroni and cheese. Even the kind with powdered cheese.
  • Carbs stuffed with carbs. Yes, I'm referring to Pierogies.


SYMPTOMS:
  • My nips hurt. Not all day every day, but I notice it at least once a day. 
  • Headaches. This is a relatively new symptom for me, just starting a couple days ago. Tylenol does dick for me, so I've resorted to putting a warm (hot) compress on my face. That temporarily helps. Staring at a computer screen does not help.
  • Before I went on vacation, I was having some slight morning sickness. One night in particular it was quite bad, and rendered me positively useless. While at the beach, the nausea feeling subsided. Only to be replaced with...
  • Reflux/indigestion/heartburn. Ok, it's not full-on heartburn. I've never had acid reflux before, but I think this might be it. Prior to this issue, I was craving orange juice. Now, anything that acidic is torture. Red sauce, OJ, fizzy drinks, garlic. All have triggered this reflux-ish feeling. It's not fun, but I think it might be better than morning sickness.


HORMONAL ANECDOTES:

While on the way home from the beach, Buster and I stopped at a roadside produce stand to get some peaches and homemade jam. Last night, we both decided to have some toast and jam. He got four pieces of white bread out, and I popped them in the toaster. When they were almost done, I told him to check them because I didn't want mine too dark. He responded by stating that he likes his dark, and all four pieces were for him. Cue bitch face. Cue tears. Cue emotional breakdown over TOAST. And it's not like those were the last four pieces of bread, either. Damn hormones.



WEIGHT GAIN:

I've always been self-conscious about my weight. Ever since adulthood, I've fluctuated between 145 and 180, happiest at around 155-160. I've never been stick skinny, and never will be. That's just not my body. But I hate seeing big numbers on a scale. Due to the above-mentioned cravings (just call me Carbie Barbie), I've gained 6 pounds this pregnancy.

According to AmericanPregnancy.org, I'm only supposed to gain 1-4.5 lbs the first trimester. Oops.

Friday, June 8, 2012

An update from the coast

I'm still on vacation, and using a borrowed laptop to type this up. We head home tomorrow, which I'm sad about. It's beautiful here on the coast of South Carolina, and even three days of rain was not enough to ruin my vacation!

We had our 8-week ultrasound yesterday at 3:30 p.m. I hit the beach for a good 3 1/2 hours prior to leaving for the appointment, but that wasn't e nough to keep me entirely distracted. I was a nervous wreck. I now know how to cure pregnancy-induced constipation: worry yourself sick. Now if I could only bottle that and sell it...

We arrive at the doctor's office, and I fill out the necessary paperwork. And then we wait. Everyone else in the waiting room (6 people) gets called back before we do (some of them arrived after us). My stomach was in knots. I was wringing my hands and biting my lip.

Finally, they call me back. I was told to empty my bladder and then head to the ultrasound room. Bottoms off, I hop on the table.

After a few minutes, the doctor comes in. She is incredibly sweet. She asks a couple questions (Last missed period? Why so many early ultrasounds? Have there been any issues thus far?). I tell her about our loss at around this time last pregnancy, and tell her how nervous I am. She wastes no more time on small talk at that point, and in goes the wand (yes, my very first vaginal pregnancy ultrasound!).

Within seconds of putting the wand in, she tells us there is a heartbeat!! Relief poured over me like a waterfall. I let out my first sigh of relief (in total, there must have been about 50). She then focuses in on the baby, and says that baby is growing beautifully!

At my appointment yesterday, I was 8w3d. Baby is measuring 8w5d, with a heart rate of 179 bpm.

How about those stats?? Much better than anything we got last pregnancy, where the heart rate only got up to the 150s.

And for your viewing pleasure, a photo of our little one:
My 9-week ultrasound is this Tuesday. At that point, we hope to be released from the clinical trial in NYC. Here's to hoping...

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