April Flowers

Oh so many things to update, so little time! Guess I’ll have to do bullet points!

  • On the job front, I DID end up getting that job- we had to travel as a family for the second interview and then I made a solo trip back with C to sign the contract. Unfortunately it’s a HUGE pay cut bc their collective bargaining agreement says new hires can’t start above step 6 on the pay scale (I should be at step 14). I’m a big union supporter but this time the union screwed me. It will take me 5 years to make what I was making 3 years ago here. So it’s my dream job but the pay makes it kind of a gut punch. Ultimately it means I will probably be looking to leave education altogether in the next couple of years bc I can’t afford to stay.
  • My husband is still looking- he had an interview with the same district as me but it didn’t pan out. Now he’s supposed to have one with another district soon, so fingers crossed!
  • Trying to get the house ready to sell with 2 small children has been a nightmare.
  • Finally told my MIL we’re moving. Her response was “well I’m not coming to visit you” and now she’s just not speaking to us. So no chance she’ll help watch the kids so we can pack….
  • We were supposed to go spend a weekend with my family at an indoor water park, which I NEEDED. Depression from being isolated at home with two kids was hitting hard. Unfortunately E came down with influenza and we had to cancel. So because C is too young to be vaccinated, she and I stayed quarantined in our bedroom for 4 days while my husband (who also caught it) took care of E. Luckily thanks to being vaccinated and Tamiflu for all of us, it was pretty mild.
  • My husband got his vasectomy a week ago and I got an IUD, which was completely painless for me, not so much for him. He’s still sitting around every night with a bag of ice on his lap, cranky because he has to sit still. Luckily he recognized it’s nothing compared to pregnancy and childbirth
  • Husband also had to go to the ER a few weeks ago thinking he was having a heart attack. Turns out it was anxiety (same thing happy when I was pregnant with E). Can’t imagine why he’d be stressed with all that’s going on 🙄
  • E is still not potty trained and is actively fighting against it. I’m really not enjoying changing her dirty pull-ups 😡
  • And finally, today is the last day of my maternity leave. My parents are coming today to watch the kids for the next week till my husband’s paternity leave starts. I think he’s really going to struggle watching both kids alone (which has been brutal for me) and not being able to work on getting the house ready to sell like he wants to. But I’m really looking forward to going back to work! 😀
Advertisements

February Blahs

Well shortly after my last post, I ended up back at urgent care- this time with Baby C. She had been sniffling for a couple of days and then developed a low fever and pink eye, and it was evening (plus we knew the doctor’s office was going to be closed the next 2 days thanks to the Polar Vortex) so off to the hospital I went. Because she was only 3 weeks old, we had to get a chest x ray, urine sample, and blood draw, which were traumatic for both of us. Poor C was crying and miserable through all of it, but luckily they determined there was no fluid in her lungs and that it was viral rather than bacterial so we were sent home with the instruction to give her Tylenol for the fever and follow up in 2 days with the doctor. Now 3 weeks later she’s feeling better but is still stuffed up, which gets worse when she lays on her back, so she will only sleep when propped up on our chests (by which I mean MY chest), so I don’t sleep much. She also appears to be getting two bottom teeth already (!?) and is a nonstop, inconsolable, screaming, drooling mess every night until she passes out at 1am. So that’s been awesome.

I also had an interview via Google Hangouts last week for a job in my hometown, which is necessary for us to relocate. My father in law came to watch C while I interviewed, so I didn’t have to worry about taking care of her at the same time (E was at day care). However, I wasn’t super confident about it and of course afterward thought of a million things I should have said. I’m supposed to hear today about the second round but given it’s past 1 now, I’m guessing I didn’t make it, which is pretty disappointing.

Meanwhile we’re dealing with some behavior issues with E that have been frustrating, especially since my patience is thin thanks to fatigue and being stuck at home for days on end due to weather and germs. She’s nearly 3 but refuses to even SIT on the potty. In fact, she gets mad and throws a tantrum (in which she kicks and hits me) if I try to change her pull up. She is also refusing to eat anything but sweets so every meal is a battle which usually ends up in a plate of uneaten food and a screaming toddler.   I’m glad she goes to day care twice a week to give me a break because the days I have both of them are usually long and terrible.  I’ve tried really hard to preserve some Mommy and E time as much as possible, but it’s tough since breastfeeding has me pretty tied to C.

And finally, I had my 6 week postpartum check up last week and everything looks good.  I had a follow up blood draw and my A1C is good so I don’t have to do another glucose test. I had a repeat pap since my last one was abnormal and am waiting on the results of that this week. Hopefully it’s good news so I don’t need a colposcopy. My husband is scheduled for a vasectomy in March and I’m planning to get an IUD in a couple of weeks. Not only do we want to make sure we have NO MORE babies, I would like to reduce or eliminate periods, and because of migraines I can’t take anything with estrogen. But of course now I keep seeing all these horror stories about IUDs popping up in my social media feeds, which has me freaked out about that choice.

Anyway, so that’s the latest from our house! My maternity leave is half over- it feels like it has been both forever and no time at all since I was last at work. I’m not looking forward to going back but at the same time I really will appreciate being able to get out of the house and around grownups for a change.

Ups and Downs

Well as of today, Baby C is 3 weeks old! We are in the middle of a deep freeze that is supposed to last most of the week, so we haven’t left the house in a couple of days (and probably won’t for a few more) since wind chills are supposed to get to 50 (!) below. The upside of this is that my husband will likely have work cancelled at least 1 if not 2 days this week, so I’ll have some extra help taking care of the girls.

We had some drama last week- I had been bleeding (as one does after giving birth), but it seemed like more than it should for 2 weeks post-partum (but not the “soaking 1 pad an hour” they tell you to look out for) and I just wasn’t feeling well.  By Saturday I was having some small blood clots (which I hadn’t had up until that point), joint pain, and my uterus just felt heavy and tender, but no fever.  I called the on-call doctor, who told me to stay off my feet and nurse as much as possible (because the oxytocin from this would help my uterus contract). I did that for most of the afternoon, but by dinnertime I was having chills and feeling even worse (still no fever, giant clots, or crazy bleeding), so I decided to go to urgent care just to be on the safe side.  I went by myself while my husband stayed home with the girls, since I anticipated I wouldn’t be gone long and they’d just send me home and tell me I was fine.  Luckily we live in a small town so urgent care is NEVER busy and I got in immediately. However, they were concerned and did an ultrasound and blood draw which revealed slightly elevated white blood cells and something in my uterus that could be retained placenta. So they said I needed to go to the larger hospital (the one where I had Baby C) 30 min away for emergency surgery. So I called my husband, who had his mother come over (she has never apologized for her lateness when C was born, but must have learned her lesson because this time she was at our house within 5 minutes) so he could come take me to the other hospital. I also had a close friend come over, since I knew that bedtime with both girls was a 2-person job.

We drove to the other hospital (not quite as fast as we had 2 week before when I was in labor) and arrived at Labor and Delivery, where they put me in a triage room. I then had to explain my symptoms to 15 different people over the course of the next hour.  They wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything and I was dying of thirst. my regular OB is a family practice doctor, so she couldn’t do the surgery (a D&C), so the on-call OB had to do it. Unfortunately the one on call was the guy I had with my FIRST pregnancy (the miscarriage) and he was so condescending and dismissive of my concerns afterward (when my cycles took TEN MONTHS to return to normal). I purposely had Baby E at a different hospital in a different town to avoid having to see him again. The only reason I’d had Baby C back at that hospital was because I was able to have a different doctor. So I asked if there was ANYONE else available, but there wasn’t, so I was stuck with him. I’d explained to the nurse why, and she was really understanding and compassionate- she must have told him I didn’t like him because he was extremely nice this time, luckily. Anyway, so I ended up having an emergency D&C in the middle of the night, which went well, although it took twice as long as they said it would, so my husband was waiting in the recovery room worrying that something was wrong. Meanwhile, I was knocked out on some AMAZING anesthesia (seriously, the best nap I’ve had in YEARS!) so I didn’t care. I felt significantly better immediately- I hadn’t realized just HOW bad I’d been feeling until I wasn’t feeling it anymore! I then had to spend the night there for observation, while my husband went home to take care of the kiddos (his mom went home, but my friend stayed the night to help out). I didn’t mind being in the hospital in that I actually got some sleep, but HATED being away from my daughters. I was really glad to get home to them the next day!

A few days later the doctor’s office called with the pathology report and it confirmed there was retained placenta, so I was glad I’d followed my instincts and gone to get checked out. My own doctor called and was really apologetic- she’d carefully examined the placenta at birth and it looked intact. I can’t fault her, she did everything she was supposed to do- sometimes things just happen!

Meanwhile, we’ve been having to take Baby C to the doctor weekly for weight checks because she wasn’t gaining enough weight. Part of it was because for the first couple of weeks she was was sleeping ALL of the time (probably because she was born 10 days early) and we had to wake her up to eat, and partly because my milk supply was affected by the retained placenta. Finally, as of a couple of days ago, she was above birth weight, so we don’t have to take her back in for another 2 weeks.

So we’re now settling back into a life of no sleep. E goes to day care 2 days a week, just to give her social interaction and a sense of routine, otherwise I’d go crazy with a baby and toddler on my own every day. We’re still planning to move to my hometown in a different state this summer- this whole experience has just reinforced the need for supportive, reliable family members nearby- so we’ve also been preparing the house for sale. I have a job interview this week (a Google Hangout luckily, so I don’t have to travel) so hopefully that will pan out. If not it’s early yet so I think there will be other opportunities coming up. Then my husband just needs to find a job and we’re good!

Well that escalated quickly…

It’s January 9th- a week from my due date! Except that… she was already born 3 days ago!

On Sunday I’d been feeling a little “off” but nothing I could really explain- more Braxton Hicks contractions than usual but not painful at all. At 5:15 we were sitting down to dinner and I started to feel slight cramps but pretty mild and not distinct enough that I’d call them contractions. So I thought maybe I just needed to go to the bathroom and as I sat on the toilet, my water broke!

So, my husband called his mom to come sit with E, I called the doctor, and we were ready to go! Except, my mother in law, who lives SIX blocks away, wasn’t there yet. I waited in the car, contractions getting closer and faster, while my husband waited inside with E, for TWENTY minutes. The hospital is 30-35 min away (more with traffic) so we really needed to get going. Finally MIL showed up (she’d decided to walk the dog before coming over) and practically scoffed at my husband when he yelled at her for taking so long because in HER opinion, we had plenty of time (at least 6 hours according to her).

So we got on the road and my husband drove as fast as possible (he said he’s glad we got the new car with a V6 engine!) as I timed contractions with alarm (1-2 min apart) and uttered obscenities through gritted teeth. We made it to the hospital in 25 minutes and pulled right up to the ER entrance. I got out of the car and made it just inside before collapsing on the floor (in front of a waiting room full of shocked people) screaming that I was having a baby NOW. Then an angel in the form of a security guard came running and she TOOK charge. Tossed me into a wheelchair and started running, yelling for everyone to get out of the way. She whisked us into an elevator with me yelling that the baby was coming, and then right into a delivery room. Clearly they weren’t ready for us (the lights weren’t even on) and nurses started showing up and starting to get their “battle stations” ready (don’t think they realized the urgency or maybe thought I was just being dramatic). As my husband describes it, I tossed my purse to the side, climbed on the table, and screamed “this baby is coming out NOW!” While he yanked off my pants and shoes. He yelled at the nurses “there’s the head- I need some help over here!” And the nurses (and my doctor, who had just arrived) realized I wasn’t kidding and came running over in time to catch the baby as she came out. 1.5 hours after the first sign of labor. Her time of birth was marked as 6:40, although they said they weren’t positive of the exact time because there had been so much chaos. And so Baby C was born! 8lb10oz and 20.5 in.

After the 4 hours of pushing with E, this was definitely a different experience! I’d hoped for a med free birth this time and I got my wish! Very shortly after the birth I turned to my husband and said “I’m going to kill your mother.” He didn’t disagree and said he’d texted her and simply said “born.” No name or picture, just one word. Making a point that we’d been right about the need to hurry.

Soon we were left alone with our new daughter as we waited to be transferred to our room. We were definitely in shock after the crazy experience so the peace and quiet was a nice contrast.

I’ll share more later, but for now I’d say the birth story is plenty 😁

Happy New Year!

Arghh once again I realize months have gone by and I haven’t updated this blog. And now I’m sitting here at almost 38 weeks and soooo ready to just have this baby already! We’ve had some ups and downs with the pregnancy, but so far everything has turned out ok. I’ve been getting growth ultrasounds every 4 weeks- at the first one we were told that one of her kidneys was dilated, which of course had me googling like crazy, but by the next ultrasound (just as the doctor said would happen) that issue had resolved itself.  Then they told us the baby is measuring large (so much for that two vessel cord growth restriction, eh?)- she was estimated to be over 6lb at 32 weeks and then at our most recent one (37 weeks) they estimated her to be at 8lb 5oz. Yikes! The measurement is determined through a formula that combines head size, belly size and femur length. At first I thought maybe she’s just tall like E, so the femur size was throwing things off.  But it turns out head and femur are solidly average and it’s the belly that’s huge (95th percentile). So…I’m really looking forward to birthing a ginormous baby *eye roll*. I really don’t want to be induced this time (or have to get an epidural), since I feel like that made labor a lot more difficult last time and it increases the odds of needing a c-section. My doctor said they won’t induce before 39 weeks and after that it’s my decision, but that the research shows that risks associated with having a large baby aren’t really diminished by an earlier delivery. However, due to my age and the gestational diabetes, she said she probably won’t let me go too many days past the due date.  So right now my plan is to set an induction date for a day or two after the due date and then just hope the baby comes on her own before that.

Meanwhile, one of my other huge concerns has been about who is going to watch E while we’re having this baby. My parents will come right away, but it will take them 6-7 hours to get here, so in the meantime, my mother in law will be here.  Despite living nearby, we don’t see her much and when we do, she doesn’t interact with E much, which means E isn’t really comfortable with her. Then of course there’s the anxiety about what if I go into labor at work in the middle of the day- how will E get picked up from day care? What about her car seat? What if it’s the middle of the night? Will my mother in law actually answer her phone? What if we don’t make it to the hospital in time? It’s up to an hour away if there’s traffic (the doctor said not to wait till contractions are 5 min apart- as soon as I’m sure I’m in labor- GO). SO MANY THINGS to worry about!

We are also not NEARLY as prepared for a new baby this time around- we have the stuff we need since we already have it from when E was a baby, but as far as getting it READY, not so much. Part of the issue is that the new baby’s room is actually the guest room, and it needs to stay a guest room for now since my parents will be staying with us after she’s born, and she’ll be sleeping in our room anyway. So really, there isn’t an actual baby’s room. Clothes have been organized and put into drawers, diapers have been purchased, and the pack n play has been brought out of storage (but still sits folded up). I guess at this point, that at least covers the basics! Now if only I could get E potty trained in the next couple of days…… (that’s a whole other post in itself).

A few weeks ago my husband put the baby seat into the car and we realized that we needed a bigger car (an expense we did NOT plan on). Both seats fit in the back, but that means the driver and passenger seats are then crammed up against the dashboard, which isn’t especially safe. Then my husband took his car in for a recalled part to be fixed and found out the car ALSO needed a pretty expensive repair (50% of the car’s total worth). So we decided we definitely needed to get a new car ASAP.  Luckily my parents were in town so we were able to leave E with them while we spent the day at the dealership. We’d been researching new cars for a month or so, so we already knew what we wanted and what was a fair price to pay, and overall it was a pretty easy process (other than the anxiety of shelling out money for a new car!). So now we have a car that fits everyone (that’s not a mini-van- I KNOW the benefits and that they are great practical family vehicles, but I just couldn’t do it!).

Work-wise, I am feeling especially unsettled about being gone for 12 weeks, since they don’t seem to have done much to prepare for my absence (despite my repeated reminders). Just last week they finally figured out a plan for someone to cover for me, but will still need to contract with someone else to help with the full workload. I feel really guilty about leaving my coworkers to cover for me when they are already overworked, and when there are several things that only I know how to do, that I’m not sure are going to get done while I’m gone. Plus, we’re planning to move to be closer to my family this summer, which means that HOPEFULLY while I’m on leave I’ll be applying and interviewing for new jobs, so I’ll pretty much come back from leave in April and immediately give my notice that I’m not renewing my contract. So that’s a lot of stress on top of just the normal giant baby-having at an advanced maternal age stuff.

BUT, hopefully by the next time I post on here (and hopefully SOONER rather than later), the new baby will be here and I’ll be on maternity leave snuggled up and sleep-deprived in my cozy sweatpants with a new baby, not caring at ALL about what’s happening at work!

Glucose!? Gross!

Oh wow, I just realized it’s been 3 months since I last updated! This morning I’m sitting in the doctors office doing my 3 hour glucose test (🤮) so that gives you some idea what I’ve been up to!

So results of genetic testing came back normal and we found out we’re having another girl! And everything looked good so not much to be concerned with in that area. Meanwhile, I’ve faithfully gone in every 2 weeks for my cervical ultrasounds and there have been no signs of preterm labor, so now that I’m 25 weeks and it’s too late for a cerclage, I’m done with those checks.

Then at our 20 week anatomy scan, they told us the baby’s umbilical cord only has 2 vessels instead of 3, which could (and likely will) mean nothing, or it could signal heart or kidney issues, or it could impair baby’s growth. So we had a fetal echocardiogram and the heart looks good (whew!) and now I’ll need to have ultrasounds every 4 weeks in the 3rd trimester to check growth. Because of course I can’t just have a normal pregnancy!

Last week I did my 1 hour glucose and predictably, failed it (needed to be under 140 and I was 152). So here I sit, in the first hour of the 3 hour one, trying not to throw up from that awful glucose drink. At least this time they gave me a nice cozy private room to wait in!

I could dim the lights and snooze if I wanted (and I just might!). Definitely liking this clinic/doctor way better than the place I went last time I was pregnant!

Update: I checked my own blood sugar after the 1 hour draw and I definitely failed that one! Should be under 180 and I’m 192. Great.

Meanwhile, I’ve hit the uncomfortable stage of pregnancy, where I’m just all back and joint pain, it’s hard to tie my shoes, and I waddle everywhere. I’ve gained more weight this time (well I also started out 10lbs heavier), probably because I was on the low carb diet from 12 weeks on last time. Regardless, I feel huge and self conscious about it and it doesn’t help that no less than 4 people in the last week have made comments like “oh, are you due soon?” And “are you sure you’re not having twins?!” The last comment was made by one of my subordinates at work- kind of a ballsy thing to say to your boss I think! Especially given it was less than 24 hours after I had a talk with her about sensitivity after she made a rude comment about a coworker’s disability….

Speaking of work, it’s been a nightmare. The boss I was afraid to tell about my pregnancy never responded to my email (couldn’t tell her in person bc she was out of the office) and then she abruptly resigned a week later. SO I assumed several of her responsibilities and moved out of the school I’ve worked in for so long (away from my support system of colleagues) and up to the district office, which is quiet and boring. I miss working with kids. And of course several other staff resigned (they didn’t like the new superintendent or principals) which left a lot of holes to fill and a lot of stress on me. I’m still not sure what they’re going to do when I go on maternity leave since I’m the only one who knows how to do certain things!

Finally, some good news! One of my grad school classmates has been struggling with infertility and loss for a few years. In June she was 7or 8 weeks along and the baby’s heart rate was low so the dr was worried about another loss. I’ve been thinking about her since then but hadn’t heard anything so I assumed news wasn’t good. But yesterday she announced the baby is doing great and she’s now 20 weeks! Given all she’s been though I am thrilled! I love love love when things work out for people like that!! 🤗

Still Hanging In There!

I realized the other day that I never updated after my first prenatal appointment a couple of weeks ago (that was at 11 weeks), not to mention everything that has happened since then! But regardless, the good news is that so far everything is still ok so we’re trying to be optimistic.

I went for my first actual doctor’s appointment (as opposed to the short one to confirm the pregnancy). It’s a new doctor (and new clinic) this time and I really like her. She spent a long time talking with me and going over all of the pregnancy info, most of which was not new to me.  Because of my age and history of pre-term labor and gestational diabetes, she referred me to the Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic at the hospital where I will eventually deliver (it’s a HUGE hospital, as opposed to the tiny little small town one where I had E). She also said that she didn’t think a glucose test at 12 weeks was necessary and that she would just check my A1C. If that was high, THEN we would talk about a glucose test, but otherwise that can wait till 24 weeks (yay!).

Finally it was time to check for the heartbeat, which was the part I was MOST nervous about, obviously.  I’d checked at home with the doppler a couple of days before and was able to find it, but was still really needing reassurance.  Unfortunately after checking FOREVER, she was unable to find it with the doppler and I was starting to panic.  She said the options were to come back in a week and try again, or she could get the ultrasound machine and look for it visually.  One look at my face told her to get the damn ultrasound machine, stat.  She reassured me that she understood my anxiety given my previous loss (which I found out about in the exact same way- when they couldn’t find a heartbeat at my first prenatal visit). She said she’d had a previous loss as well so she understood the fear.  So she got the ultrasound, which was actually just a tiny little low-resolution handheld screen and not the big ultrasound on a cart I was expecting.  She explained that it wasn’t nearly as clear as the bigger machines but that was what they have at the clinic.  So with the small probe, it took her FOREVER to even find the BABY, but when she finally did she showed me why it was so hard to get the heartbeat- the little munchkin was literally doing back flips in there.  Just flipping around like an acrobat.  I was surprised we couldn’t hear a little voice going “wheeeee!!!!!” in there.  SO.MUCH.RELIEF.

So then the next week was our appointment at the Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic. I’ve heard good things about that place and all of them turned out to be true.  THEY.WERE.AWESOME.  The doctor was amazing and spent forever talking with us.  He was very critical of the way my last doctor had handled the preterm labor before and said that while he thinks it’s a fairly low risk of it happening again, I will still need cervical ultrasounds every 2 weeks until 23 weeks. If I’m dilated at that point they’ll do a cerclage, but they can’t do that beyond 24 weeks. He was also VERY critical of the first fertility doctor we saw back when we were trying to get pregnant with E.  That made me feel SO much better because I KNEW that place was terrible and I appreciated that he fully validated those concerns.  He also agreed that there is no need to test glucose until 24 weeks, given my A1C levels and he is hopeful that I won’t have GD again this time (though I remain pretty certain I will).  He also scoffed at the idea that we’re too old to be parents- he said that even though I’m at the upper end of the age range, I’m very healthy (shocking, given my awful diet and lack of exercise!) and it’s perfectly normal to have babies at my age nowadays.

THEN it was ultrasound time so they could check the nuchal fold as part of the prenatal genetic screening. Our 12 week ultrasound with E had been AWFUL, and we never got a picture from that because the midwife was such a horrible, awful, jerk, so this experience was so much better! We got to see the little munchkin happily swimming around in there with a heartbeat of 158 and a perfectly normal nuchal thickness.  The baby had it’s little hands up by it’s face a lot so it looked like it was sucking it’s thumb, which was adorable.  And we got great pictures!

ultrasound

Then it was on to talk to the genetic counselor, who was also awesome. I had been under the impression that we weren’t doing cell-free DNA testing this time, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that we were.  So she just went over the basics of our history and explained chromosome abnormalities vs inherited conditions and probabilities based on our age range.  She too was pretty optimistic, especially given that the nuchal measurements had been good on the ultrasound.  So she gave me a little kit and had me head down to the lab for a blood draw. Last time we did Panorama and this time we’re doing MaterniT21, but essentially they screen for the same things.  AND we will get to find out gender! Results should be in sometime next week, so we’re on pins and needles waiting for the notification from the doctor’s office. My husband pointed out that then we’ll need to start calling this kid by a name other than Oh Crap! and I said that given how E has taken to repeating everything we say, we probably need retire that nickname anyway. 🙂

Speaking of E, we got her a t-shirt that says “Big Sister” and took a cute picture of her in it for a pregnancy announcement.  Like last time, we will NOT be doing anything on social media, but will just send cards to grandparents and great grandparents (even though grandparents already know).  I do not want to put anything out there, especially given I know at least a few people on my friends list who are struggling with infertility and loss and I don’t want to do anything that might hurt them.

And finally, I have not yet told my bosses at work.  I am not really obligated to at this point, but I’m starting to show (ok, let’s be honest, I am very obviously showing) and I’m getting really sick of trying to hide it. But I’m hesitating because my boss is already REALLY stressed out because we had someone quit and we haven’t been able to replace her, which means a huge headache for the rest of us. So telling her that I will be on maternity leave for 3 months will not be well received.  Not to mention she was pretty rude (bordering on inappropriate/illegal) last time I was pregnant. So this really stinks. I should NOT have to dread telling my boss about my pregnancy and I should not have to justify why I’m having a baby. Is it ideal timing? No. But given all we went through to get E, I’m certainly going to take this as the gift that it is.

10 Weeks and Counting

Well, here I am, 10 weeks today. I still feel somewhat detached from this baby in that I’m having a hard time believing that I’m actually pregnant and that there’s an actual baby in there. This is of course ridiculous given that I FEEL pregnant for sure.  I had a few days in there where the nausea was very very mild (almost non existent) and I got nervous (because of course I did- have you met me!?) but this week it has been worse than ever.  And of COURSE this week I am at work for a 4 day training (specifically, 4 full days of the most boring training on earth) with all of my administrators. So I’m sitting there with ALL of the very people from whom I am trying to hide my pregnancy, for 8 hours a day, while trying not to throw up on any of them. And, as my sister in law predicted, I am showing MUCH sooner this time around- at 10 weeks I look 4-5 months. For (stupid) superstitious reasons I don’t want to start wearing maternity clothes quite yet, so I’m pretty much living in leggings and giant t shirts, except when I go to work and then I just stuff myself into work clothes and spend the day trying to strategically hold things in front of my belly (my laptop, books, stacks of papers, etc.). It’s been fabulous, let me tell you.

In other news, my first actual prenatal appointment is next week (as opposed to the “confirm the pregnancy” appointment I had early on).  It’s weird that this clinic doesn’t want to even see you until 10-11 weeks when the last two saw me at 8 weeks, but oh well.  My only apprehension is really whether they will do a 12 week ultrasound if they already did a 7 week one, and whether they will agree with the need for Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT).  We did Panorama testing with Baby E and it was SO helpful in easing the anxiety, so I would really like to do it again, especially given my age and the increased risk for some chromosome issues.

Today I was feeling a little anxious, which is silly, given that I’ve never felt MORE pregnant than I do this week, so I got old the trusty old fetal doppler.  My husband has said he doesn’t care to try the doppler this time because he’s feeling pretty sure everything is fine (while he hasn’t said it, I think he thinks I’m being a little ridiculous with all my worrying). I actually tried it last week (even though I knew darn well it was too early) and didn’t find a heartbeat.  So today I gave it a shot again and actually found it rather quickly! I only heard it for a short time before the baby moved away, but that was enough for me. Whew!

 

It’s Not Easy Feeling Green

Well, I’m 8w4d today and while I’ve been having a little bit of anxiety, since our first baby stopped developing at 8w4d, I’ve been so consumed with nausea that I really haven’t had the energy to be anxious on top of that.  With both of my previous pregnancies, the nausea started at exactly 5w2d and was always worse at the end of the day, and this time is no different.  I feel mildly nauseous pretty much all day, but then 3:30 or so rolls around and it REALLY kicks in full force. And this time it is SO.MUCH.WORSE. I haven’t actually thrown up at all, although there have been times when I’ve wanted to, if only to get a few minutes of relief.  So now I leave work immediately at the end of the day, and have avoided late meetings and after-work gatherings.  Yesterday I even had to miss our nephew’s high school graduation party because I was so sick.

Evenings pretty much consist of my husband making dinner (most of which I am too sick to eat) and putting E to bed, while I creep around lamenting how awful I feel.  Then around 9:00, when ALL I want to do is go to sleep, the nausea lets up (temporarily) and I have to get out of bed and go eat some carb-heavy snack (lately it’s been a toaster waffle and peanut butter sandwich) so I can get something in my stomach.  It’s hard to even watch TV because the sight of food makes me ill.  Yesterday I got ambushed with a Spam commercial in the middle of an old episode of Project Runway and actually gagged. But then again, Spam would make me gag whether pregnant or not!

I’ve tried wearing sea bands, taking vitamin B6, and Unisom, and ginger candy but none of them really work.  Well, the Unisom does, but I can only take that at night. I know SO many women have it SO much worse than me, so I am trying really hard to keep things in perspective, I”m just getting so worn down and tired of being sick all of the time.  I’m just really hoping this goes away at 12 weeks like it did when I was pregnant with E!

Meanwhile, I know it is just bloat, but I swear I’m starting to show already! I refuse to buy maternity clothes until at least 12 weeks (superstition) but I’ve been living in leggings and loose t shirts because nothing else fits. I’m planning to keep this from my boss(es) as long as possible- last time I made it to 16 weeks- but I’m not sure I can hide it that long this time.  In a normal summer, I wouldn’t be working that much anyway, but with my new position, I’m in a few days a week all summer, so someone is going to notice pretty soon.

Ultrasound

It was weeks of anxious (and nauseous) waiting, but the day of our scheduled ultrasound FINALLY came! I was really anxious because this one was at the same place as my ultrasound with our first baby- the one where I found out (alone) that there was no longer a heartbeat.

I spent all morning at work fighting a panic attack and the whole drive to the clinic reminding myself to breathe.  My husband met me there and got there just in time for them to call me back.  The tech was very quick and efficient this time- clearly they were trying to keep to a schedule.  She started with an abdominal ultrasound and said we only had to do the transvaginal one if she couldn’t get a clear enough picture.  She probably thought we were rude because we weren’t super cheery or chatty, but that was really just because we were so anxious and wanted to get to the important part (is there a heartbeat?) right away.

When the image first came up on the screen, I was straining to see the heartbeat, but couldn’t see it right away, though I could see some moving around so that was reassuring.  But then the tech moved the wand and I could clearly see that glorious little flicker.  The tech pointed out the yolk sac and fetal pole, and said the heartbeat was 165.

IMG_0131

 

The tech was able to get enough measurements abdominally that I didn’t end up having to get the transvaginal one, so that was a plus.  We didn’t really have a lot of time to sit and watch the little nugget on screen, but the tech printed out a couple of pictures for us and we were on our way. I swear we were in and out of there in 15 minutes!

Today I got a message from the doctor saying that the ultrasound confirmed the original due date and that he hopes I’m feeling well.  I thought that was really nice, since I definitely didn’t get that kind of treatment from my last two OB’s!

So I’ll be 8 weeks tomorrow, and while we’re certainly not out of the woods yet, it’s a major hurdle that’s now been cleared.  It’s funny- I FELT pregnant (in fact I’ve been feeing worse this time that last time in terms of nausea and bloating), but I’m not sure I actually BELIEVED it until I saw that little bean on the screen. My next appointment isn’t until 11 weeks (and I’m hoping they’ll do a 12 week ultrasound and not make me wait till 20) so now I have a while to wait before getting additional reassurance.  But we do have the fetal doppler at home from last time and should be able to hear the heartbeat in a couple of weeks at least.

So, as of today, I am still pregnant.