Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Before I forget, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! I'll be leaving work today and not coming back until after the New Year, so hopefully, I'll be too busy resting and working around the house to get online. ; )

We have so much to be grateful for this holiday season, but it's still hard to forget the difficult times we've had...especially thinking of the holidays. Three years ago, my grandfather passed away unexpectedly...on December 29th. I was away in Virginia for school already. I was actually doing a take-home final in my hotel room while he was in emergency surgery. Everyone thought everything was going to be fine. But in the middle of the night, the phone rang and Patrick answered, and as soon as I heard the tone of his voice, I knew what my mom had called to say. At that moment, my world came crashing down. I had yet to experience "loss" at that point in my life. I had never had a miscarriage, I had never lost a close friend or relative, I'd never been the one at the funeral that people were giving condolences to. My grandparents raised me until I was 14...he was as much my dad as he was my grandfather. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I still remember sitting in the airport that day waiting for my flight...time seemed to move so slowly. I didn't know how to deal with that kind of pain...but I guess God had me in training. Two months later I was pregnant, what a miracle...but over the course of 4 weeks, I would go through 2 more losses...I'd get good at it before it was all over.

But back to the holiday issue. I've found myself a little depressed this holiday season...what on earth do I have to be depressed about?!? Well I finally figured it out. The holidays have been the source of a lot of sorrow for me in the past few years. 3 years ago, the death of my grandfather...we buried him New Year's Day. 2 years ago, I was suffering through my 4th loss. I ended up with a D&C on December 23rd and spent Christmas at my parents in my pajamas, bleeding and cramping horribly. And then last year....all the promise that the pain was over only to have it end so very badly. I was pregnant last Christmas, that was actually when we told my family. I was pregnant but so very worried because I was still in the "dangerous" first trimester. I was pregnant last New Year's...but two days later I started spotting and then it was all over again...loss#5. I was wondering why I had such a hard time finding my Christmas decorations this year and why nothing was packed the way I usually do it. Then we remembered that I wanted nothing to do with it. Patrick put away everything, took down the tree, I'm pretty sure I was downstairs drugged post D&C. Another holiday season ending in tragedy.

So how do I do this now? Here we are, with everything that we've ever dreamed of this holiday season. As this little one kicks me as I write this, I think it comes back to the fact that I still have a hard time believing this is really happening. Patrick gets happier by the day. He'll be on the phone complaining about something at school and then the minute he walks in the door and sees my belly, his whole demeanor changes. She's already had such an impact on our lives, but why am I still so afraid to believe this is real?

That's my Christmas wish this year...I wish for the courage and the faith to enjoy every second of this pregnancy, every second of this little girl's life. Lord knows that we've fought long and hard for this, and I'm still in absolute awe that our prayers have been answered.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

22 weeks pics...getting rounder

I swear, the bump is really much more impressive in person, the pictures don't do it justice ; ) Just in the past couple of days, people have FINALLY started noticing that I'm pregnant. It's really much more exciting than I had imagined. Patrick is absolutely in love with this belly, he said seeing me grow just gives him reassurance that everything is going as it should. Of course, she kicked him pretty good yesterday, too, so that helps. ; )

So here are the latest pics! As usual, the progression...


the newest pic...notice my nice increase in weight! Finally, the scale is starting to move...hopefully it doesn't start to move too fast, but for now, I'm happy with the change of pace!

and then this is how I looked last night before the soccer booster club meeting.

Not much on tap for the next few days. I might try to get some holiday baking in, and we're definitely going to see I Am Legend tomorrow on IMAX (although I'm pretty sure that I won't stop crying for hours if/when something happens to the dog...). We're attempting a garage sale maybe on Saturday to try to get rid of some stuff, but we'll see if we're motivated enough to do it...LOL!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Extreme Makeover: Nursery Edition, Stage One

Well the room that was previously known as "the office" is now officially "the nursery". That room has been through major issues. It used to be functional, but honestly, I think I become more and more distanced from that room as things got worse for us. It was always "the office" but it was also always "the room that will be the nursery." So as that possibility grew less and less, I didn't even want to see the room. Over the course of the last year and a half, I don't even think I'd been in there but twice. The door had been closed, random things would get stored there, and it became the clutter room. I was too afraid to look in there because I knew I would think about the fact that there should have been a baby in there by now...

So this before picture, really doesn't do the room justice. There were bookshelves, a large computer desk, a sewing machine table, random boxes of books, backpacks, etc. occupying all of this room. It just became the room for things we didn't want to deal with. So to open that door was a huge step for us. Patrick cleaned it out in a matter of a couple of days. This is what it looked like once everything was out.

You can actually see our paint trial on the wall at that point...LOL!

So over Thanksgiving weekend, Patrick and my dad proceeded to paint the entire room in my preselected colors. : )


And they also managed to lay down new flooring which they were able to finish in a couple of days (Thanks to the tool loaning fairies for saving us!!).


So there it sits...waiting for my next move. ; ) I probably won't do a whole lot until after the showers. We need to order the furniture and the bedding. I also plan to do some painting of dragonflies, flowers, etc, but I really need to find the time! It would probably be easier to do that before the furniture gets here so maybe that will be my Christmas-New Years week project.

Anyway, we go in there once every couple of days and just walk around. It's so clean and fresh...just this wonderful new start for a room...it truly amazes me to think that this room will belong to someone we haven't even met yet...but someone we've waited for for so long...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Belated Tummy Update

I'm so bad at this. I'm getting ready to take my 22 week pictures in 2 days, and I'm just now posting my 20 week pictures!! Sorry!! There's definitely been A LOT of growth since we took these a couple of weeks ago!!

Here's my total progression again with the newest pic added (apparently my photographer decided to do a little more of a close-up this time...LOL!).



And here's what I look (looked...LOL!) like in clothes. Pardon Tristan's tail in the bottom of the picture...LOL!


I can't wait for my pictures on Wednesday. I've been SO sore everynight that there's all sorts of growing and stretching going on, it's GOT to show up in the picture this time!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Leaving the State of Denial

I'm truly attempting to leave the state of denial. There's an actual baby in here. I know because I feel her move. Patrick can feel her move (at 20w1d), and I can see my tummy move when she kicks if I'm paying attention (she's a strong one!). I'm having a baby. There's a room that's dedicated to her. Clothes and shoes and toys that we've gathered through the years...and it was all meant for her. I'm really having a baby, and whenever I start to doubt or forget that fact, she kicks me to remind me that she's really there...and she's really mine.

My hormones are a joy lately, and anything can make me cry. I've avoided everything baby for so long that now the sight of a tiny sock can trigger waterfalls from me. This is really happening. Patrick seems more well-adjusted to this fact than I am, but it's really starting to hit me now.

Speaking of Patrick, he's been completely cracking me up lately. First, we were driving home one day, and he started to ask me about the models in my Fit Pregnancy magazine. He said that maybe I could do that...LOL! When I told him that I am and always will be too short to be a model, he proceeded to say that half the pictures were of women sitting down, so he couldn't see why it mattered. I also told him that the pregnant women in the magazine, while really pregnant, were also real models...LOL! Just the fact that he considered me pregnant-cute enough to suggest I could model pregnant was enough to make me feel even more comfortable with this changing body of mine....or maybe he just wanted to golf this weekend ; )

Continuing with my goofy husband, last night he was attempting to talk to the baby, and I told him he needs to talk directly to the belly. So he puts his mouth on my belly and says what? "Baby.....I am your father" in his best Darth Vader voice. Luckily, she already appreciates his silly sense of humor and kicked.

I definitely owe you some pictures. First of the nursery work done over Thanksgiving. And then last week's belly picture at 20 weeks. I'll try to remember to download those tonight!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

As the Tummy Grows...

In all my excitement last week, I forgot to post the newest belly progression. I swear though, I've grown again since we took these pictures last week!

Here's the total progression to date.




And here's all of me! I always think I look more pregnant with my shirt down! LOL!

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's a.....

GIRL!!!

We had our appt with the perinatologist yesterday. We were both pretty nervous going in because you just can't help but wonder if everything is still going as it should. I mean I know we hear the heartbeat and I feel movement, but still, that doubt creeps in about heart defects, tumors, cysts, you name it.

Of course, everything was just perfect. As soon as he put the probe on, he said GIRL! Patrick, who had proclaimed he wanted a boy, started smiling and didn't stop until we left in separate cars. The rest of the ultrasound went great. Everything in the right place, 2 arms, 2 legs, he checked the brain, spine, stomach, bladder, kidneys, etc. Strangely when he was measuring the leg bones, he turned to Patrick and said "Now how tall are you Dad?" By the way, I love that they call us Mom and Dad at this office...LOL! Of course, Patrick is way tall (6'3"-4"), so it makes me wonder if we've got a long one in there. ; ) Anyway, she measured a few days ahead like last time, and everything looked just great...she was kicking and turning, and when he put it on 3D, you could see her chubby little cheeks (picture to come later).

In other good news, my cervix is doing wonderfully. It measured 2.5cm last month when we decided to put in the cerclage. Yesterday, it measured 3.1cm!! So that means the cerclage is actually making it stronger, I was so happy to hear this!

We were headed to our cars when Patrick said "She can be a girly girl but still be tough. I can see her saying 'Hold on, let me put down my Prada so I can kick your ass.'"
Yep, that's what we're in for. Lord help us if she gets Patrick's size and my temper and decides to play soccer.

Patrick wanted to head home to leave one car behind so we could shop. We ran around looking at cribs and girly bedding (not too girly though), and then we went and had dinner at the Melting Pot (our favorite fondue place). It was just nice ro relax and have a long dinner to talk about things.

We're having a daughter...I'm going to have a daughter. I didn't realize how much I wanted a girl until the dr. said it. In that moment, I remembered hearing about the chromosome testing from my last two losses....2 girls...had I never had a daughter, I think there would have always been that empty place in my heart...but now....a daughter...my daughter. I still can't believe this is real.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mr./Ms. Wiggles

I swear I can get nothing done once this baby starts wiggling around. I just sit here in awe of what's happening. The movement has really gotten more pronounced over the past few days, with tons of noticeable "wiggles" and even a few kicks. I'm loving every minute of it, but I can imagine that if the baby stays this active, I may not be getting much sleep in a few months...LOL!

Patrick and I also had our first trip to Babies R Us together this weekend...needless to say, he was a little overwhelmed when we walked out. I think it was part "how much is all of this going to cost?" and part "oh God, we're really having a baby". But he's very cute when he gets opinionated, and he proceeded to shake the crap out of every single Pack n Play before he decided which one was safest...LOL!

We're still undecided on bedding, and that just got worse when I introduced him to the more expensive bedding sets that they don't sell at Babies R Us. We're trouble when we're together because we both enjoy the finer things in life...it seems this baby will be no different. But then again, it is going to get pooped, peed, and puked on, so we need to learn to be a little more practical. That being said, I think we've both decided on a certain style of crib that we won't compromise on, so we'll just see if we catch any sales in the next couple of months.

I am fighting miserable headaches these days, and today's is bordering on a migraine. I'm in my office with most of the lights off and I'm functioning, but at some point, I've got to make a decision about when to drive home if it seems like it's getting worse. Sounds like a short day today.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Updates, updates, updates!!!

I know, I suck, I'm sorry!!!
Things have just been nutty at work, and my parents came to visit, too.

All is well (and growing). Let's see. I haven't had any appointments in the past couple of weeks, but there have been some developments. On Monday, I was sitting at my desk, and I felt the strangest sensation...like someone had touched my abdomen from the inside very lightly...as soon as I started to think "was that...?" it happened again...my first baby flutter!! Anyway, I felt the fluttering again everyday this week. Just this morning, I was thinking I hadn't felt anything, so I sat still, and as if he heard me, I got a big "thump"! I swear he must have flipped completely! This has been the craziest thing. First there was doubt as to what it was, but it's always in the same spot, and in the same area where we hear his loud heartbeat on the doppler!!

My parents were here this past weekend, and we had a blast. They are just so excited. We sent Patrick out golfing Saturday so we went to Babies R Us, and as Dad said, went through every single aisle. Mom was being great, just telling me all about this crap that I'm clueless on (I can tell you the intricacies of how to get and stay pregnant, but I sure as hell can't tell you what to do once you have an actual baby you're responsible for!!). Dad was also hilarious interjecting his own comments and toning Mom down when necessary (although he was on a relentless pursuit for a "man-boob"...seen "Meet the Fockers").

The best part was maternity clothes shopping!! For the love of God, why did I wait so long? Those pants were so comfortable that I literally walked out of Motherhood with a new pair of capris on! I don't even want to know how much my parents spent on me last weekend, but as Patrick put it "I made out like a bandit". Plus, I also got a Snoogle (this ridiculously long pillow that looks more like a creepy snake), which led to my first good night of sleep in a few days and my first morning without a headache. I am NOT a side sleeper normally, so this is really helping me!!

So here's what you've been waiting for. My dear genius husband forgot to send me my 14week pic, so for now, I'll just post the latest at 16w along with a repost of the original 6-12 week progression. Seriously though, you've got to see it now! Oddly, it FEELS way bigger than it looks, and I look more pregnant with my shirt down than with it up...note to self...take both pics next picture day!!
Original progression


16 weeks and a proud pooch!


Oh, one more thing to note. My parents upon arriving Friday were concerned to learn that I'd only gained maybe a pound the whole time (I used to be stupid about weight in high school, weren't we all). However, after seeing me eat all day Saturday, Dad was not concerned in the least...it seems I offered him some of my ribs at lunch and then proceeded to eat them all before he had a chance to have one...LOL!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ode to my Skinny Jeans

First off, I feel absolutely wonderful post-cerclage. Hard to believe it's even in there! Spotting stopped on Saturday, no cramping, nada!

What's more fun is that my nausea is now gone, but it has been replaced by MAJOR hunger! Seriously, yesterday in the span of 10 minutes I went from thinking I might be hungry to shaky hands, feeling faint, give me food NOW hungry. It was crazy! On another note, along with the nausea leaving, my energy seems to have returned (all of this happened yesterday!). I had the most productive day at work in 3 months and even made dinner last night (still fell asleep at 9pm, but what's a girl to do).

Now let's take a moment to remember my skinny jeans. We all have them...the tightest ones in the closet, the ones that say "I'm going out, and I'm looking good." They were my favorites, always flattering, always dressy...always buttoned?? Not anymore. Now you know I've been using the Bella Band to leave my jeans unbuttoned for the comfort factor, but I felt the need to point out that my pants still DO button (just not comfortably). Well, the same cannot be said for my skinny jeans. Just recently, I put them on and discovered that while they go on (and can be held up by the Bella Band), it is in fact physically impossible to button them...they were the first to go...I'm guessing because they're low-rise. Anyway, this happened a week ago. Just yesterday, my dressy fitted black pants met the same fate. Although these still will button, but if I'd sat down or sneezed, I would have lost a button and someone would have lost an eye.

That being said, tomorrow is picture day (again!), so let's see if there's a difference this time! I definitely look a little chubbier, but still don't look pregnant.

Oh, a random note on cravings...most women crave cookies, cake, salty chips, french fries...I on the other hand crave MEAT and most recently last night...get this...cooked spinach with butter. And it tasted SO GOOD!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cerclage....Check!

Well my cerclage is in!

We headed to the hospital yesterday, and it was a very interesting experience to be there. I've had 3 surgeries there (the other three were at the surgery center), so we've never really been there with good news. Plus a lot of my first BAD ultrasounds were there in the radiology department, so it's just a weird place for me. This was the first time I would come out of surgery still pregnant...and it was the first time passing the rooms with all of the big birth announcements posters didn't bother me. It was the first time I felt like I belonged there (it's strictly a woman's hospital).

So all went well in pre-op. They found the baby quickly with the doppler (160bpm), but all I was thinking was that I hope no one in the curtains next to me was there for a miscarriage...what torture that would have been. We also heard someone else later who they were taking FOREVER to find the heartbeat, and it was funny because Patrick and I both found ourselves listening and getting nervous for this person we didn't know. They finally found it though right before I was taken back. Patrick knows the drill really well, so it wasn't too stressful, but we were really worried about the effect of the anesthesia on the baby.

So in pre-surgery, they put in my IV, and I got to talk to the anesthesiologist. I told him I was panicking about the anesthesia's effect on the baby, and he put down his paperwork, sat on the corner of the bed, and did a magnificent job of calming me down. Apparently, he was 4 kids, all born with the help of a cerclage, all cerclages performed at that hospital under general anesthesia. He told me all the details of what they were giving me, that I would take the brunt of it, the baby wouldn't get much at all, and that it was perfectly safe and they did it multiple times every single day. So I felt SO much better. I also got to talk to Dr. Swaim and of course, she made me laugh and calmed me down again.

Funny thing is, I didn't get to have that usual pre-op "margarita" that calms you down before they wheel you into the OR. So I saw everything, was completely aware, and was very talkative...LOL They told me to take 4 deep breaths as soon as I felt the stinging in my IV. I remember the 4th breath, and that was it!

I woke up in the recovery room and apparently immediately started asking how the baby was doing. They checked the heart rate and found it right away at 148bpm. I asked if that was typical after surgery, and they said usually they're only at 120-130bpm, so my little muffin shook if off like a champ! He's tough like his mama. I had a great nurse in recovery. Actually every nurse I had yesterday was just awesome. It was such a reality check for me. For my other surgeries, everyone was very sympathetic, nurturing, careful...but this time, they would look at my history and tell me how amazing and exciting it was this time. Everyone was chipper and comforting but so upbeat. I was glad to finally be "that girl"...a different girl than I've ever been. Problem child...yes...but PREGNANT problem child. ; )

Anyway, as soon as I saw Patrick he looked worried, but once I told him we already heard the muffin post-surgery, he perked up right away. I sat in recovery and drank my Sprite and then did my job (peed...LOL!). Then they checked the heartbeat again! 156bpm that time, so we were both ready to go!

Leaving there was interesting. They wheeled me down and I waited for Patrick to pull up. There were two other women holding newborns and nervous husbands were attempting to load up the cars. After any other surgery, that would have been pure torture...but yesterday, I vowed that the next time I was wheeled out of that hospital...that would be me.

I feel pretty good. I napped a little yesterday, but I was really restless, last night, too. I got nauseous last night and had a hard time with dinner, but I think that was just the anesthesia. Usually I'm good and drugged post-surgery, but this time, I didn't even ask for any pain meds in recovery and I haven't even taken a Tylenol!

I'm home resting today, and just dealing with a headache that the computer isn't helping with at the moment, so off I go.

I'm so unbelievably grateful that everything went so well. Now we've done everything we can. I WILL have this baby...this WILL be THE ONE! We still take it one day at a time, but at 13w2d, I'm more and more confident that there will continue to be a tomorrow!!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Here's where you humor me

I certainly thought there would be this huge difference this week...and not so much apparently...LOL! I swear I FEEL the difference, I just wish it would show up on the pictures! Right now, I just look like I need to do more crunches! I want a belly already dang it!

My visit with the High-Risk OB

Yesterday was just an awesome day. We met with Dr. Kirshon for the first time. I really like him, and I'm happy to have him on my team. The rooms are really nice, and the ultrasound chairs are way comfy! They're actual chairs that recline and shift all over the place, so it was really nice. Plus the room is dimly lit, very relaxing, and there are 2 additional TVs to the normal ultrasound screen so that we can see what is going on very clearly.

As soon as he put the probe to my stomach...there was our little one. To see that profile of that little baby was amazing, so of course I started crying right away. Funny enough, he had the hiccups!! He kept trying to get his left hand in his mouth..almost like he was trying to get his thumb in his mouth. Then he was kicking his legs for a bit. His hiccups finally went away and then he was just relaxing.

The NT measurement was terrific. I saw the first measurement at 1.1mm, and I said "yay", and Dr. Kirshon explained to Patrick (who was confused) that it was a very benign measurement and meant that everything looked really great. The nasal bone was present, and overall he looked great. We saw 2 arms and 2 legs, heart rate was at 175bpm, and he measured 5.9cm (12w3d). Dr. Kirshon also switched it to 3D for a minute, so that was pretty cool. Although Patrick was having a Rachel on Friends moment and couldn't quite see the baby...I think the picture below is pretty clear, but the scan quality is never as clear as seeing it on the screen.

Dr. Kirshon was very positive (which of course I need to hear) and said that everything looked absolutely terrific and the baby looks perfect for this stage.

Then he measured my cervix. As soon as I saw what the measurement was, I said "Uh-oh", to which he said "Yep, I think we're going to need to place the cerclage". My cervix measured 2.5cm. The cutoffs for preventative cerclages can range from 2.5cm-3cm depending on the doctor. With a history like mine and a cervix that short, the choice was clear. There was no funneling, so it's holding together just fine, but we just won't take a chance.

In the end, I was glad that the decision was so easy to make. I think if it had been borderline and we'd decided to just monitor it every couple of weeks that I would be panicked between each appointment wondering if things were going wrong. Apparently there are no symptoms of an incompetent cervix...it just happens. I know my losses have been horrific, but that kind of loss...I just don't know if I could make it back from that after everything else. So I'm grateful that everyone was so forward-thinking to check me for this now and that they're being proactice.

So Dr. Swaim will be placing the cerclage. My pre-op appts at her office and at Woman's Hospital will be Wednesday, and then the cerclage will be placed at noon on Thursday under general anesthesia.

I'm nervous. I just want everything to be okay. Now that I've seen that little one inside of me (which I still can't quite grasp), I realize just what's at stake.

I've long said that I'll do whatever it takes...so this is just one more step along the way.

Here's my little muffin...cute profile shot


And the 3D alien looking pic...LOL! I can totally see his face though!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Updates

So my sweet husband finally scanned all my ultrasound pictures. I picked the best ones and have posted them on each of the corresponding appointment posts. Now that he has the scanner figured out, I'll try to be faster with my appt next week since those should be pretty cool pictures!

Speaking of sweet husbands, he came home from the grocery store the other day with the most random stuff...snacks, eye shadow brushes (I had complained my favorite one was falling apart), new eye shadow (now I don't generally use eye shadow from the grocery store, but hey, I'll give it a shot), and get this...purple glitter top coat nail polish...could this man know me any better??

Anyway, we're still taking it day by day here. We look forward to the daily muffin checks, and lately, he's been far more panicked than me. He really likes the doppler though, I think it makes it real for him, you know?

One week until my high-risk/perinatal/maternal-fetal medicine/whatever-you-want-to-call-that-dr. appointment.

Monday, September 24, 2007

PIMPLE!!!

Oh dear Lord...people said this might happen but I was not prepared for the monstrosity on my forehead at the moment. I mean it's a full out "stay-home-from-high school" pimple right smack in the middle of my forehead! I felt it coming on yesterday, then the pain from this thing actually woke me up last night. This morning...the horror...Patrick could only laugh. I believe this incident was initiated by the eyebrow waxing I had on Saturday. I noticed that I seemed to have a slight reaction to the post-waxing cooling lotion...and then slowly, it appeared..LOL!

In other news, I did manage to do a little shopping and got a few looser tops here and there. More importantly, I found a bella band, and I'm loving it. I CAN button my pants, but good Lord who wants to!! I'm miserable when they're buttoned, especially if I'm sitting down! I'm finally realizing I should stop trying to suck in because my efforts are producing no results anymore...LOL!

Muffin Watch with the doppler has been fun, and Patrick seems more addicted to it than me. He asked me this morning if I checked on the muffin before I left for work, and I actually hadn't since I planned on making it an evening thing, and I think he was disappointed.

10 weeks 5 days and I'm still here!!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

My Doppler Works!!

Yes, my doppler arrived yesterday. And of course, I got it to work in 5 minutes...I AM a scientist after all. In all seriousness, those were the longest 5 minutes ever, even though I knew that it would be hard to find. It was actually interesting because I kept hearing my heartbeat, but then there was this echo and the rhythm just didn't quite match. When I focused more on that area, a little this way, a little that way, tilt just so, and there he was, beating away!! Patrick got home about 15 minutes later, so I attempted this again. Of course, I'd made an exact notation of where I found him, I'm surprised I didn't draw an X on my stomach and label it "Place Doppler here", but luckily it was near my freckle, so I had something to go by. : )

Anyway, he wasn't there anymore!! I start moving around and that little brat had moved a good 2-3 inches to the left right in the middle of my tummy...LOL! Even as I was catching him that time, I was chasing him across my belly, Patrick was cracking up! It was fun though, and I'm really glad we decided to get it. Of course, when I have trouble finding it again, I'm sure I'll say that I hate the doppler...LOL!

The good thing is that it will only get easier to find it. A lot of people say to start at your bikini line, but he was a good inch or two higher than that, so he's on his way up...meaning my uterus is on its way up...meaning maybe my 12 week pic WILL actually be more impressive. ; )

One day at a time...but the days are getting easier...and happier.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Belly Shots!

That's right. If I'm going to pretend to be "just another pregnant girl", then you have to be subjected to bi-weekly belly shots. Behold the miraculous change below...what's that you say? They look the same to you? LOL!

So I started at 6w, then by 8 weeks had lost 2 pounds total, then at 10weeks, I've lost 3 pounds total...yet somehow maybe I look a little poochier down low in the last one? Maybe? Come on, throw me a bone here.



ok, I have to admit, I'm a little jealous. Everyone on the pregnancy boards is showing off their little 10 week "bump"...but according to every book I've read and Dr. Swaim, those other "bumps" are probably gas or too much ice cream...so I guess I'm supposed to feel better about looking mostly the same...LOL! But now is when changes start to happen, so let's hope for a difference in 2 weeks!

Even though there's little change, my jeans are driving me insane! They button, but the bug me and make me more nauseous. Not to mention, practically every shirt I have is tailored and fitted. So I'm on a mission this weekend. I'm going to find a Bella Band and see if that will help my jeans and make a couple of tighter skirts more comfortable, and then I'm going to go buy fun shirts! NOT maternity shirts, just those cute empire waisted/babydoll shirts that are at EVERY single store right now. That's going to make the transition period much easier! I'm TIRED of sucking it in every day...not to mention that lower portion I was talking about WON'T suck in anymore!!! LOL!

In other news, the DHL website just reported to me that my doppler is on the truck for delivery to my house today!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sure I'll drive myself, Patrick, the cats and dogs all crazy with it tonight!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

10 weeks

Really? It's been 10 weeks and I'm still pregnant? We've never made it this far...ever.

I had the best appt this morning with Dr. Swaim. First, the nurse decided to try the doppler, just to see. Took her a couple of minutes, but as soon as she found it, it was so obvious. That little heartbeat just thumping away. What an unbelievable sound.

Then I was not prepared for the ultrasound. He was moving...not just moving, but practically doing backflips! We've never seen movement before...never. It was such an amazing moment, to see that little life...inside of me. Is this real?

In other news, we went ahead and upped my Lovenox dose to 40mgs today, so that makes me feel better. My platelet count came back high which is common in people with clotting disorders, so everything is covered. I'll continue with this dose up until delivery, and then after he's here, I'll be on it for 6 weeks post-partum.

Funny story, Dr. Swaim said I could come in whenever I wanted, every day if that made me feel better. My doppler is supposed to be here tomorrow, so I just made an appt for next week with the nurse so she could show me how to use it, but odds are I'll have that figured out this weekend.

Anyway, she mentioned that she doesn't get that sense of panic from me this time and that I seem calm, and I told her that I did in fact feel better but still a little panicked, that we just weren't sure what to do now. Her response was that my panic is probably more from "Holy shit, I'm having a baby this time!". That's my doctor and that's why I love her...LOL!

Oh, one other thing. People have asked "do you know it's a boy?" since I keep saying "he". It's a defense mechanism actually. The two that we had tested were both girls...so somehow envisioning this baby as a boy makes me feel like everything will be different this time, does that make sense? In reality, we would be ecstatic no matter what...wouldn't it be a shame if I never had a girl to pass on all my fashion advice to? ; )

So we sit tight, wait for the doppler tomorrow, and then the appt with the high risk ob on October 4th (2 weeks from tomorrow) for the first trimester screen and cerclage consult. Then we'll see where we go from there.

Oh, one more funny story. My dear friend Jenn was trying to explain the cerclage to her husband and he said "I don't get it" to which she said "they're going to sew her up so the baby doesn't fall out". Sounds like as good an explanation as any!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Surviving

That's probably the best way to describe me right now. I had yet another episode of spotting on Saturday night which continued into Sunday. Seems to be pretty much gone now. But after promising I wouldn't, I still panicked. I also seemed to be having major cramps on Sunday...which later seemed to be due to constipation. While I told Patrick I forgot to take my Colace on Sat night, thinking back, I actually forgot it on Friday, too...oops.

I am having all sorts of weird cramps though...not horrible just noticeable, so it's freaking me out a little bit. But I'm also extremely nauseous, so everything seems "normal".

The sad thing is that I don't know what "normal" is for this stage.

We made it the farthest we ever made it last time. She stopped growing at 9w3d, we found out at 9w5d...I'm 9w5d today. I think that's why the spotting on Saturday really freaked me out, it just reminded me of what happened last time. All of that pain is still so real, I can't imagine having to relive it all over again. I just need to get to Wednesday, past all the bad memories, into new and exciting territory. I just need to get past all this pain.

Oh, speaking of pain, interesting occurrence last night. I was having this horrible nightmare that I had appendicitis and was in the emergency room. They needed to do surgery, I was trying to tell them I was pregnant, and the pain was excruciating. Imagine my horror when I wake up and realize the pain I had been "dreaming" was very real. Except instead of low and on my right side, it was higher up. I was in major pain under my ribs all the way down to my belly button and it hurt all the way across. I got up to pee thinking moving might help, but it was absolutely horrible. I came back to bed and woke up Patrick to tell him #1 baby is fine but #2 something is wrong with me. Somewhere in all of that, I decided that I felt a little better if I sat up. It hurt so bad that I could not take in a decent breath. Slowly, I started to move a little bit and finally it released. Boy, it was scary because I had no idea what it was and it was bad enough to wake me up!

So this morning, I'm describing it to one of my co-workers and she starts laughing. She asked me if I ate dinner. Well no, as a matter of fact, I was having a very nauseous day yesterday. I ate a tiny bit of breakfast, a small lunch at 11am, and then I just couldn't eat dinner so I had a little fruit salad. She told me, I had gas! I was like "no, but it was in my chest". She then asked if I felt better once I sat up. LOL! Yep, I had some trapped air, probably in my stomach, no food in there to keep it busy, and it wreaked havoc on me in my sleep.

I'm sure Patrick will be really pleased to know I woke him up at 3am because of gas...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Information Overload

So my first ob appt was this morning, and let me first say that everything still looked terrific!!

I was having a bad feeling this morning. I was still spotting brown, it was too familiar to last time, and I lost the last one right around this time, so I was absolutely terrified. Poor Patrick, I was a terror this morning on the way to the appointment...I really thought it was all over.

I love Dr. Swaim and her entire office. Her nurse was just great, calming me down while she went to track down the ultrasound machine. When Dr. Swaim came in, she was all excited, then of course, I broke the news about the spotting, and then she really wanted to do the ultrasound right away. Luckily, she's pretty good with it, so within seconds, we knew everything was okay. His heart was just pumping away. She didn't measure it, but she said it looked terrific and by this point, I can vouch that it did look great and strong. He measured 9w4d, but I think she overshot a little with the measuring and he's probably 9w3d, which is all fine considering that I'm only 9w today! Boy were we relieved, and she was so excited.

So here's where the information overload comes in. First, she is so amazing. She said we would do weekly ultrasounds (without me saying a thing) just to keep me sane, and that they would just make room in the schedule for me! I already have one scheduled for next Wednesday : ) Also, about the doppler, she said just order whatever one I want, bring it in to my appt, and then they'd show me how to use it. She said usually it's not reliable until after 12 weeks, but since I'm thin, she thinks we can get it to work at 10 weeks.

Drugs- They want me to stop my baby aspirin and I'm also done with progesterone...YAY! Especially since I think the progesterone is contributing to my spotting. Plus, I'm on 30mgs Lovenox now, so she wants to think about upping it to 40 mgs in the second trimester (SECOND trimester...what's that?)

Now here's the biggie that really threw us for a loop. Now in the back of my mind, I've always wondered about the possibility of incompetent cervix. I had a LEEP 11 years ago, plus I've had 5 surgeries that have required my cervix to be manually dilated. But Dr. Swaim is so conservative, that I didn't expect her to talk cerclage already today. She said in a case like mine, that if we asked 10 drs., 5 would say it's not warranted and the other 5 would say put in the cerclage. For those going "huh?", a cerclage is a purse-string like stitch that sews your cervix shut. I have no idea beyond that. I never seriously researched it, and obviously Patrick and I will both be doing tons of research on the risks and benefits. Dr. Swaim did say that she sort of feels like we should do it, and as I said before, she is very conservative, so that surprised me. I think she's so emotionally involved, that she just doesn't want to take a chance...and of course, neither do we.

On that note, I have to schedule a consult with a high-risk ob (maternal-fetal medicine specialist). I'm supposed to call tomorrow and schedule it in the next couple of weeks. They'll be doing the nuchal translucency first trimester screen as well as the consult on the cerclage. If I have the cerclage, it will be done in week 13 or so. As I understand it, it's quick and easy but I do have to be put under for it. Like I said, it's all still a little overwhelming right now. There's also the option of possible monitoring the length of the cervix by weekly u/s and just putting in the cerclage if it starts to shorten, but again, that's something else we need to research.

She also said that I'm at increased risk for a few complications due to my clotting disorder (mostly the Protein C deficiency), so we have to watch out for intrauterine growth retardation, premature rupture of membranes, pre-eclampsia, etc. She said I'll be having an ultrasound at every appointment because of that (oh darn...) and she said she'll be seeing a lot of me...LOL!

In other interesting news, while my due date is April 16th, she said I will not be making it that far. She said as soon as the baby is "fully cooked" (roughly 38 weeks), she will be delivering. Patrick (the dork) has requested April Fool's Day.

Then they gave me all the info for the high-risk ob, made my appt for next week, gave me my prenatal goodies bag (all these bags I've never had before, Dr. Mac gave me one, too. I'm too scared to even see what's in them yet...), took 5 vials of blood and a urine sample and sent me on my way...

So you can see why I'm a little overwhelmed. First, we are absolutely ecstatic that everything is going well...I honestly can't believe it. The idea of talking about trimesters, the big ultrasound, movement, delivery plans...it's all so foreign to me. I've never allowed myself to think that far, to think of the fact that I'm actually growing a baby, a baby that I might actually take home...

It's a little hard to come to the realization that I'll never be a normal pregnant woman...but I guess it's not all that surprising. Dr. Swaim said no exercise, if I get the cerclage, then no sex either, bedrest is probably a real possibility. I've already apologized to Patrick if I gain 70 pounds. Hey, Kate Hudson did it and she looks great again : ) But so far, I've only lost 3 pounds, so it could be worse.

I'll never be a normal pregnant woman...but at least right now, I'm still a pregnant woman...and I'll do whatever it takes to stay that way.
One day at a time...

Here is today's blurry u/s pic...LOL!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Random Monday Musings

So two more days until I go see Dr. Swaim and pretend to be like every other pregnant woman....yeah right.

I spotted again on Saturday night and immediately panicked. I swear, the stress of seeing the spotting makes me cramp. Then of course, it went away by Sunday morning and has been gone since...as has the cramping! I have been sore in my abs and back though. I'd mentioned that to Terri and Kara on Friday, and they both said it was everything starting to stretch and move, and I'd probably be sore, especially since I'm petite.

I did a good job of staying calm yesterday, and today I'm doing well, too. There's nothing I can do but stay positive, take care of myself, and wait....

I'm 8w5d today...the last loss we found at 9w5d (measuring 9w3d). No one can say if it will happen again, there's no reason to think it would even happen at the same time. I just have to tough out everyday, and know that every day gets me one step closer.

In other random musings...I look better than Britney Spears in my bra and panties (did you see the VMAs last night??)...not that it's any sort of accomplishment these days, but I am almost 9 weeks pregnant ; )

The Texans won yesterday...you mean we have a football team worth rooting for this year?? I'm going to have to pull out all my Texans shirts from the first year!

The Aggies won, too, but not before driving us all nuts with the overtimes!

I am in NO way complaining, but I do have to say it was hard to sit and watch our soccer game yesterday (Patrick and I usually play on the same co-ed over 30 team)...half of it was that I really wanted to be out there to help the defense, and the other half is the pressure of everyone knowing that I'm pregnant...I know we have lots of people rooting and praying for us, but at the same time, I can't help but think that I'll be letting all of those people down if something goes wrong again...I'm just so sick of being that "problem child".

Oh well, time for lunch, I'll continue on my quest for meat...seriously, that's about the only thing that sounds good to me these days. How I've eaten that much meat and still lost 2 pounds without ever throwing up, I'll never know!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Graduation Day

Well I started spotting again last night, now it seems gone again. But I had an appt with Dr. Mac today anyway. All was well!!! We're still measuring right on track, and the heart rate is up to 170. They still can't see any reason for the bleeding, but they blame my cervix and all of the stretching that's starting (my abs are sore!). Not to mention, duh, I'm on a blood thinner, so a tiny bleed would even make it down to the toilet paper!

I just sent Patrick to scan the pic, so hopefully he'll send it to me this evening.

So I graduated from Dr. Mac's today. I hugged everyone, and they were all very excited to see me get out of there for once! Terri gave me a lecture on staying calm and not stressing. Dr. Mac said I should just have a glass of wine or two when I feel anxious. Patrick was like "yeah right! She's neurotic". Yes, it's true I won't even eat peanuts....and I SO want some peanut butter....

Anyway, I called my ob's office, and they tried to say they couldn't see me for 2 weeks, to which I said I would panic by then. : ) So they're squeezing me in on Wednesday. I just want to get in to talk to Dr. Swaim, see what she thinks, and see if she'll approve my prescription for a doppler heartrate monitor. We decided to go ahead and get one. The spotting scare sealed it for us...

So now what?

I was talking to my friend Jenn, and I told her I don't know what to do now. I know what to do when things go wrong. I know how to prepare for that. But what do I do now? How do I have faith that things will continue to go well? How do I stop waiting for the bottom to fall out?

Only time will tell I guess. I think getting past 9.5 weeks will be key. I think getting that doppler and the reassurance that things are okay will help. But at some point, I'm just going to have to start believing that this is really my time...

Here's today pic

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A scare but all is well

Yesterday was an interesting day. I started spotting yesterday afternoon. Just a light/medium pink when I wiped. I freaked out as you can imagine...I mean I was doing the ugly cry and everything. I took a shower, and Patrick and I just didn't know what to do. He panicked worse than me. I was also starting to have cramps, but they felt like the kind I had last pregnancy when my uterus was contracting from stress. So we actually decided to go ahead and head down to St. Luke's ER (I do NOT trust the suburb hospitals to handle a case like mine) in the Medical Center (I actually work right around the corner from it).

The triage nurse there was absolutely wonderful! There was a horrific wait, but when she took me back to describe what was going on, she was just terrific. She was obviously sympathetic to what I've been through (to hear my whole history sounds like a horror novel), but she was sweet and understanding without seeming like she was feeling sorry for me...does that make sense? She understood my anxiety but also recognized quickly that I'm highly educated in my problems and can handle it. She made a few calls and had me in and out of radiology in under 45 minutes. The fact that my blood pressure was ridiculous probably helped speed things along! : )

In the hospital, the ultrasound techs aren't allowed to tell you what they see. Well thankfully, Patrick and I have stared at enough ultrasounds to know exactly what to look for. But they had to do the full work-up and look at everything so it took a while. They did an abdominal u/s first, and it didn't take long before we saw the muffin, and the muffin's heart beating away!! Patrick and I both saw it at the same time and we just looked at each other and laughed! She did a vaginal u/s, too, and of course, we could see everything much more clearly then. She did a close-up of the heart, and it was amazing to see the different chambers working. You could see that the sac was squished a little so my uterus was in fact contracting, but you could see it start to release when she was almost done...because I knew everything was okay!

Yesterday, I should have been 7w5d, the muffin measured 7w6d at a little over 15mm. So in 3 days, he had grown 5 days worth! His heart rate was also up to 160bpm, so everything was just terrific!

We still had to sit around for awhile, but that sweet nurse came and got me and let me read the ultrasound report on her screen as soon as it posted. Everything was normal, cervix was closed, no subchorionic hematoma, basically no cause for the bleeding that they could see in the uterus.

I had to wait for a room, then the dr. came in to see me. This was a nice time because while I had to get into the hospital gown, I got to lay in bed, and Patrick and I just watched tennis. We were so relieved and just kept laughing because we knew everything was okay. The dr. did do a pelvic exam and saw again that my cervix was closed and that the bleeding had stopped.

All we can think is that my cervix got annoyed by the progesterone...more likely I scraped the cervix trying to insert my progesterone with that stupid applicator yesterday morning...so I'm trying to not be so overzealous...LOL!

So I'm supposed to take it easy and then my normal appt with Dr. Mac is this Friday.

It really threw us for a loop though. For that split second, you just think it's all over...again...I don't want to feel that ever again.

It was so funny because they give you all these information sheets, and the first line says "Bleeding in pregnancy is common." Well I know that, but the "common" and "normal" things always seem to mean the end for me, so excuse me for panicking!!! : )

One day at a time...
Oh, I forgot to say that the muffin looks like a baby now : ) He was just floating there, you could see the cord and everything, and Patrick said he could see the little arms/legs sticking out. I was too busy watching that gorgeous heart beating. We've never seen one alive this late. The last one was the only one to grow past 6.5weeks. We saw her last at 7w3d, but when we saw her again at 9w5d, she measured 9w3d and her heart had stopped beating.

Please let this be the one we take home Lord. Please let this be the one we've waited for, the one we've fought for, the one we would not give up on. Just one...that's all I ask.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Muffin View #2

Well I had another u/s today, and everything is still terrific.
I say I'm 7w2d, but Terri has me at 7w1d. Today, the little muffin measured 7w1d with a heartrate of 148 bpm!! He looked a lot bigger and again we saw that heart beating away right away.
I didn't cry last week, but when I heard that heartbeat today, I just couldn't help it.
Everyone was really excited again.
So I go back next Friday, Sept. 7th...11years to do the day that Patrick and I first met, and WHEN all is well, then I graduate back to Dr. Swaim, my normal ob/gyn. That's going to be a rough day in so many ways...but I'm ready.

OK, here's the u/s pic finally!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Danes

And now to round out the bunch...the Great Danes. We got them as puppies from a Great Dane rescue group 6 years ago. Their mom was a full-blooded Great Dane and had been turned into the Humane Society...she was so skinny they didn't know she was pregnant. She went into labor that very day and had 9 puppies...4 lived...2 live at our house ; )

So here are some pics of Tristan and Skylar
Enjoying the foot of snow in South Texas


Just relaxing


Look how big my bone is...Tristan likes to howl occasionally



So that means that my next post will be my u/s update for tomorrow....I'm feeling miraculously calm...not sure what that means, but we'll see!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The rest of the cats...or The Girls

Continuing yesterday's theme of the furry family moment...
The cats used to be collectively called "the girls" until Noah came into the mix. Here are my favorite chickadees...

Kyla...known lovingly as "Mama". She was my first kitty in college. She came from a girl who lived across the street and rescued kitties from a horse farm. I picked her because she walked right up to me and said "meow!". She'll be 10 years old next month!!!



And then there's Spencer. She was adopted from the Humane Society in college on half-price kitty day (about a year after Kyla because she was driving us crazy and needed a partner!!). Spencer is actually a girl, although when we adopted her, her tag said boy...which is how she came to be named Spencer. We had already filled out all her records at the vet when the vet made the discovery she was a girl so the name stuck!! She just turned 9 this spring.
Spencer hanging out with Tristan...



And then there's Morgan. We actually went to the Houston SPCA to donate food because we had seen a horrible animal seizure story on the news. Well Patrick started playing with this cat through the plexiglass, before we knew it, we were walking out of there with adoption papers! We got her on our one month wedding anniversary. : ) She turned 8 in June. She's a gorgeous cat and don't think she doesn't know it!



So there are the girls...tomorrow...the dogs!

PS All is still well!! Just 48 hours to go until my next u/s!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why we rescue

So first, everything is going great. I'm nauseous, grouchy (Patrick will attest to that), and exhausted so all is well. My next u/s is this Friday, and I'm feeling very optimistic about it!

Today, I thought I'd post some pictures of my furry kids. Some of you remember when I posted those pictures of little kitty Noah when we first found him. He was a 5w old kitten found in a horrible rainstorm, dirty, cold, malnourished, dehydrated, and covered in fleas that were going to kill him they were so bad. These pictures were from 24 hours later.



Like the JCPenney photo dept. head tilt?

Here are some pics adjusting to life in our household a few weeks later. He had to be quarantined in the guest bathroom for a month, but he integrated well into the herd.
Taking a nap...

Hanging out with dogs...

Using me as a body pillow...literally...


And now my baby Noah as he is today...
Like all of the family...he enjoys HDTV...

Hey, at least he used his paw to cover up his naughty bits...

Uhoh, he's looking for trouble...


So you can see that this poor little thrown away kitten has become this wonderful part of our family now. He was our little "accident" ; )

Now I feel guilty for spending so much time on him, so I may have to post pictures of the rest of the kids tomorrow...gives me something to do while I wait for Friday to get here!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Favorite Muffin

OK, so later there will be an actual picture of the u/s, but for now you just have to use your imagination. : )

We have one little muffin in there. Terri said everything looked absolutely "perfect". She saw the heartbeat within seconds, so I luckily got to spend the rest of the u/s very calm. I did some deep breathing before actually, and my blood pressure wasn't too horrible (for my pre-u/s bp that is), it was only like 150/70 or so.

We're measuring about on track (1 day off, but the yolk sac was kind of in the way, it's so hard because they're so small right now), and the heart rate is a wonderful 122bpm. I love seeing that little flicker and then hearing that thumping...everything is going just right.

Terri was very excited, and I had barely gotten my skirt back on when there was a knock and here comes Dr. Mac in to give me a big old hug and shake Patrick's hand and say "good job"...hahaha! Everyone was in there just chit-chatting saying how excited they are. Terri couldn't stop going on about how great everything looked. They all really think that this is finally the one...and you know what...so do I.

I have however been told to start adding Colace to my daily pills...no one likes a constipated "problem child" pregnant woman apparently. Blech!

Oh, and in other news...I feel like crap. For the first time, I have REAL morning sickness. I have yet to throw up, and I don't think I will. It takes A LOT to make me throw up...like I haven't thrown up since I was in the hospital for my ectopic surgery and had too much morphine.
Anyway, I feel queasy pretty much all day, especially in the evenings when I don't feel like moving from the couch. I feel better when I eat, only to feel worse again 15 minutes later...and I'm loving every second of it.
Here's my favorite conversation.
Patrick: How are you feeling?
Me: I feel terrible.
Patrick: Good.
Me: I know!

Anyway, I'll attempt to scan the picture sometime this weekend, but you can also look forward to another report after my next u/s next Friday, August 31st!!!

I guess now I should let this really sink in...this is really happening...and statistics say that this should really be the one...please let it be...

Finally, the u/s pic!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Do you know the muffin chick?

OK, finally, I will tell the muffin story!!

Now my good friend Kerri has always been a part of my "fertility team"...she's right up there with my various assortment of dr.s and nurses, and really just below Patrick in the hierarchy. Well Kerri felt that we just weren't doing everything that we could to make sure I got pregnant.

So it was a mere few days before my IUI that a package arrived in the mail. Kerri said she had sent something, and I had actually forgotten until Patrick mentioned there was a package for me at home. So I open it, not having a clue what it is, and instantly the wonderful aroma of cinammon fills the kitchen. It's muffins....what? muffins? She sent me muffins in the middle of summer?

So the muffins come with a letter. The letter goes on to describe that these are special "good karma" muffins. Kerri made them for her REs office before she got pregnant, and then again for her OBs office and then went into labor 3 days later. These muffins had a pretty good track record so far.

So my job was to eat the muffins. Patrick, being the team player that he is, decided that he'd better eat a muffin or two as well. But then, I read further, I had to MAKE my OWN muffins and take them to Dr. Mac's. OK, whatever Kerri says, I'll do!

Continuing in his team player role, Patrick even went to the store and bought everything I needed for the muffins. I made the muffins on Monday night, and we took them the Dr. Mac's on Tuesday afternoon when I was inseminated (I still love to use that word)! I actually told them the story, and they thought it was just awesome!

And the rest is history...the muffins have worked yet again! And so when it came time to find a name for this little one (previous ones were named "pumpkin" because they were due on Halloween and "chicken" because Patrick decided it looked like a chicken embryo)....muffin was the perfect choice.

So finally you have it...the muffin story...
Here are the muffins I took to Dr. Mac's last month.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Muffin Beta #4

We're looking good!

At 26dpo, we have an hcg of 9,442 and a steady progesterone of 52.1. Everything looks terrific, my doubling time is hanging in there at 51 hours (it's supposed to be slowing down and is still holding strong), and the muffin's first u/s will be this Friday.

What a LONG week this will be.

Oh, and I promise to make Patrick download the muffin pic before he goes to tennis so I can tell the muffin story tonight. : )

One day at a time....

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Muffin Beta #3

Hcg was 2590....I continue to be wonderfully "normal" and very slightly above "average".

I feel better....I think....can I just sleep through the next few weeks please?

Off to brave the flood waters and try to get home!

The Secret

No I'm not talking about that stupid book that Oprah is all about (although I'm sure MANY people would like to sit me down and give me the "power of positive thinking" talk at the moment, but we'll talk about that later).

I'd just like to take a moment to give a shout-out to the little birdie that told Patrick that I have a blog. ; ) Seriously, I've been trying to think of how to tell him I have a blog without him thinking I was a total nerd...which we all know I am anyway. Then before I knew it, I'd been at it so long that I was worried he'd be mad that I didn't tell him...a vicious circle I tell you.

Anyway, my little birdie (can a turkey be considered a little birdie?) took care of that for me, we had a good laugh, and now I'm actually relieved!!!

Now I can tell him why I actually need that picture of my muffins from the camera so that I can finally tell the muffin story!!!

Oh....and I cheated and I'm having the lab downstairs run another beta because I started to panic and freak out and I needed peace of mind... : ) Update this afternoon!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Because I'm mental...

Remember when I said I was "normal"...well I found another site that I remember from last time and plugged in my numbers. I could NOT be MORE normal. Seriously, I should stop freaking out now right? I'm the red line...the line I'm following is the "high" line, and the green line below it is "average"....

Monday, August 13, 2007

Muffin Beta #2

OK latest results at 19dpo
hcg = 958
Progesterone = 55

Doubling time of about 41 hours.

OK, so it's time to slap me around. I'm freaking out because the numbers aren't nearly as high as my overachiever last pregnancy...who doubled between 24-30hours. I try to keep reminding myself that all of those ladies with the low betas are now delivering their perfect babies while I have nothing to show for it.

Patrick just gave me the speech, no complaining about being "normal". Betabase says the median number is seven hundred something...and I know we all know normal doubling times are 48-72 hours.

It's just so easy to let that doubt creep in, you know?
One more beta in a week, then hopefully an u/s next Thursday at 6w1d.
One day at a time...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Muffin Beta #1

I really have to tell this muffin story soon so you're not all in the dark.

But for a quick update on my favorite muffin, beta results are in.
At 12dpo, we have an hcg of 57 and a progesterone of 53.8. They're very pleased, and I go back in a week for more bloodwork.

As for the injections, my insurance is covering the Lovenox ($2500 worth of meds)...yay! This means 1 shot in the stomach per day instead of 2, plus I'm pretty sure they come prefilled so no more measuring, oh and low molecular weight heparin has lessened calcium depletion side effects!

On my way to pick it up now, and I'll do my first injection tonight!!!!

Lord help me...

Here we go. I cheated and took a test this morning...2 to be exact.
It looks like I'm pregnant.
I took a normal 2-line test to which Patrick proclaimed half-asleep at 5:30am "I don't even have to squint to see that one". Sad that after this long, HE's even an expert at starting at pregnancy tests.
Then I tried a digital, and in less than a minute, there came that beautiful word "pregnant".

I have to admit, I'm much calmer than I expected. I had a wonderful restful sleep last night, and the alarm actually woke me up. I panicked during the 3-minute wait period (which I spent kneeling in front of the toilet praying with a stop watch set at 3 min), but as soon as I saw the lines, I peeked out of the bathroom to yell at Patrick "I'm pregnant"...sadly, I've said it many times, but this time just feels different.

I called to Dr. Mac's right at 9am, and Terri must have called me back at 9:10. They wanted me to come in for my bloodwork this morning, so I did. We'll have results this afternoon. I don't expect them to be very high since it's so early (12dpo)...maybe around 50? Guess I should check betabase to prepare myself.

Anyway, we're also working on the heparin issue. I will be back on heparin injections this pregnancy (I truly believe that's the only reason I made it so far last time). We're just checking to see if Lovenox (low molecular weight heparin) might be a better option. It's 1 shot/day instead of the 2/day with normal heparin, plus it has lesser calcium depletion side effects for me. But Lovenox is way pricey, so they're going to check with my insurance and see what they cover. Either is totally fine, but we've got time to figure that out today. When my beta results are back, they'll probably call and tell me which prescription to pick up. I'll probably be giving my first heparin injection tonight...tomorrow at the latest.

So that's it...I'm on the roller coaster....and I can't help but believe that this is really it.

...must have been the muffins!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Progesterone time

Had my progesterone checked today at 6dpo...it was 46.5.

Don't say it, don't even think it. We all know I'm the queen of beautiful responses with nothing to show for it....

But what if...

7 days and counting.

IUI...or better yet...insemination

So I was inseminated on Tuesday, July 24th.

It was scheduled for 3pm, so Patrick was scheduled to "do his thing" at 1:45pm. I was slightly offended that he didn't want any "help" and didn't want me over at that clinic at all. He said he'd rather me be relaxed and just meet him at Dr. Mac's...the later admitted that it was just going to be awkward for him and having me there would just make him more nervous and embarrassed. I guess I can understand. It was his first "invasive" part of infertility...not like he'd had his feet in stirrups with more people than he could count staring at his crotch for years now. ; )

Anyway, do-do bird left a little late, got stuck behind a wreck, and had me worried that the stress would cause him technical difficulties. He got there and got it done, but not until 2:30. So I'm sitting at Dr. Mac's, he's sitting in the building across the complex. Finally, his sample is done...BUT they start giving him the insurance run-around (referral from the PCP, what??). I get annoyed, the nurses see me annoyed in the waiting room, so they call over to the other clinic and tell them to let him get over here with his sample : )

He comes over practically glowing. Apparently his sperm count was over 300 million. Every other factor was great, usually well above normal. At least one of us works! Amazing to everyone that after 3.5years this was his first semen analysis...hahaha!
Anyway, the IUI went smoothly. Patrick even got to actually inseminate me (he pushed the plunger), and he was so cute to pat my tummy and kiss me as soon as he's finished.

Oh, that reminds me. I need to tell the muffin story, but I need my picture to do that...have to get him to download it!

So we wait....

Going for it

When my friend Kerri was getting inseminated, I always liked to say that word and type it. Patrick and I actually joked about it all the time. Well, we got a wild hair and decided, what the heck, let's try adding an insemination. There's no indication that we actually need it (I've been pregnant 4 times), BUT I'm getting antsy and the longer this goes, the more likely Dr. Mac will want to take another peek inside to see if the endometriosis has come back.

So we decided we'd go it with the IUI (insemination...heehee).

I went for my mid-cycle ultrasound on Monday, July 23rd. I had an 18mm follicle on my right and one that after a few measurements averaged out to 18mm on my right. My lining was a gorgeous 9.4mm. Terri thought maybe we'd want to let them grow another day before triggering, but Dr. Mac popped in and said nope, trigger now! So I triggered at 2pm, went to the bathroom not but 15 minutes later, and I had EWCM all over the place! No way the shot did that, I was about to ovulate on my own, so good thing we had done the trigger!!

My IUI was scheduled for the very next day. : )

Sorry...

I know, I suck at blogging right now. Needless to say, last cycle was a bust and I was NOT pregnant. I guess I was so frustrated by it, that I didn't even bother posting about it. I took the test on the Saturday at 12dpo, hoping to have a surprise for Patrick...but nothing. Took another one that Sunday at 13dpo, just as blank as the one the day before. Stopped the progesterone and along came my period.

Given all the activity last cycle, I was convinced (as was Patrick) that I was going to have a cyst and we were going to be on hold again. We were seriously contemplating taking a break, so I think we were just going to let the cyst make the decision.

I got my period when my parents were here on vacation, so my mom got to go with me to the dr.s office. She knew that I was expecting a cyst...and low and behold all clear. I was surprised, Patrick was surprised, my mom even got all teary eyed.

I started my third round of Femara on Friday the 13th...it's always been a lucky day for me...we'll see...on to the next update.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Waiting....

It's like I've forgotten how to do this. I've been very pessimistic(realistic) about the whole thing, and it's totally a defense mechanism. I know this because I still practice in my head how I would tell Patrick and how I would tell my parents next week.

Patrick got called at the last minute to go to Minneapolis. Long story short, he coaches club volleyball, one of the older teams (17 and under) made it to nationals, their coach got pneumonia and couldn't fly, Patrick was pretty much the only option or the girls would be disqualified...so he left yesterday and doesn't come back until Sunday.

It sucks to be by myself, but we have friends in town (my favorite neighbors who moved and I've missed so much), so I'm staying busy. There's always that dissertation to work on, too....

Anyway, so this is making me want to test before he gets home...just on the off chance that it's positive and I can surprise him. My beta is Monday anyway. So the options are Saturday or Sunday if I want to surprise him or Monday if I just want to cry in the privacy of my own bathroom...we'll see how long I hold out.

I'm off tomorrow (to hang out with my friends that are visiting), so odds are I won't post again until I know...say a prayer for me...this never gets any easier.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Impatience

So all went well last week. I had a super painful ovulation, but we got the job done, and I'm fairly certain both follicles released.

I did get the guilt trip from Terri and Dr. Mac about soccer and even tennis (it was doubles!). So last Monday Dr. Mac said he would send the police to pick me up if I tried to play my 2 soccer games last week. He said he was less worried about the tennis, but that everyone would rather me just take it easy for 2 weeks...no one wanted to take any chances. So I also had to opt out of my doubles tournament this past weekend.

Patrick and I managed to win our mixed doubles match the day before I ovulated though. : ) But now we're sitting out again. It's one of those situations where it's frustrating because I keep wondering "is this all for nothing" and there's also the pressure of everyone knowing we're "in the window". Everytime I don't play a soccer game everyone assumes I'm pregnant, so we have to quickly say "no, just in the window". I probably would have been ok to play soccer last week (before implantation), but since there was so much activity on that right side (and I was in a bunch of pain Monday), they were worried about ovarian torsion..and I do NOT want to lose my ovary...especially since my right one seems to be the overachiever of the two.

In other news, I had my 7dpo progesterone check today....it was 41.5.
Just digest that for a second...
Yep, it's freaking me out, too...that's a new 7dpo record. I know, I know, it doesn't MEAN anything except that I had a gorgeous ovulatory cycle...but I can still hope.
This week is going to crawl.....................

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Video that's worth watching

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqfGqOx2iDQ

This is an amazing music video (and a great song for that matter) about infertility...I've seen it 3 times and I'm still crying. Sometimes it helps to feel less alone, just for a little while.

Friday, June 22, 2007

And again...

Well things are going well so far.
My mid-cycle u/s yesterday showed a 17mm and a 15mm follicle on my right with a smaller 12mm as well (that won't release most likely) and a few under 10mm on my left...no wonder I'm so crampy! How do you IVF girls carry around all those eggs?!?
Anyway, we're triggering Saturday (tomorrow) so that the 15mm will release as well. By Saturday, they should be at least 21mm and 19mm, making them around 25mm and 23mm when they release on Monday. My lining was already great at 8.4mm, so we're looking good.

I'm nervous of course, but extremely grateful for another try. Now is the "busy" part of the cycle, so I'll update again next week when the waiting begins!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Moving ahead

I've been superbusy lately, so I've barely had time to myself.

Last Thursday, I had an u/s and my cyst was completely gone. Stopped BCPs, started bleeding profusely on Sunday morning, started Femara on Monday, and took my last Femara pills this morning...I'm still spotting which is pissing me off, but we'll see what happens. I'm just hoping my body responds...I've definitely had a couple of hot flashes, I'm sluggish, but I didn't have the headaches that I've had before (I know, what a dumb bunny to complain about a lack of side effects with fertility meds). Anyway...midcycle scan is next Thursday (my mom's b-day) so we'll see what happens...trying my best not to think about it.

Other than that, all is well. I've been frustrated lately with pregnant women, but what else is new. One of my co-workers had her baby last week. I went and saw her at the hospital and went by her house this weekend to see the baby...he was beautiful and holding him just made me ache that much more for this. My other pregnant co-worker had her big ultrasound this week, it's a boy, she's barely showing and very, very skinny, I swear I just want to hold her down and feed her. And then there are other friends I know who drink occasionally while pregnant or exercise way too hard, and while I know that's "okay" with some doctors, it just hurts me that I can't get it right being so careful.

I'll just never understand how some people keep getting pregnant over and over again while here I am, doing every freaking thing I can, and I lose them over and over again...I've given up trying to make sense of it all, but it still hurts...

All I can do is keep trying...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

History Lesson

We went to visit my family this weekend, and I ran across some very old pictures. Some of my baby pictures, some pictures of when my mom was a kid, and pictures of my grandmother and grandfather in their twenties.

It was so amazing to see those pictures. I plan to put them all in an album the next time I visit, and we're making plans to slowly scan them all in and send them out to other family members (lots of my great aunts/uncles are also in the pics and I'm sure their kids and grandkids would like them as well). My grandfather was unbelievably handsome! He was still good-looking at 70, but I had no idea what he looked like closer to our age. My grandmother was apparently very fashionable, I couldn't get over some of her outfits (and the HATS!). And my mother was absolutely gorgeous as a teenager. I really had no idea. This long lean thing with the biggest smile...I don't think my grandmother had ever shown me those pictures.

Looking back at those pictures was a bit of a history lesson...things I'd known but forgotten. My grandmother was one of 5 living children, having lost 2 brothers at a young age. There were some pictures of them as children, and it looked like they lived in one of those camps where all of the houses looked the same and faced each other...I can't describe it so I'll have to post the pictures once they're scanned. They started out with so very little...but they looked so happy. My grandmother never finished high school, although by her own account (and by all of the pictures...LOL!) she had no shortage of social life. I swear she was posing with a different boy in every picture. The pictures of her and her 2 sisters were awesome...just 3 girls in pretty dresses headed to a dance. Then slowly you start to see each of their three husbands come into the picture. On a fertility note, I've always found it interesting that all 3 sisters only had one child a piece...something unheard of in those days...all 3 tried for more to my understanding...makes you wonder.

Anyway, my grandma had my mom in her early 20s. My mom had me right before she turned 17. In my direct line, I was the first to graduate high school, the first to graduate college, obviously going to be the first to get a PhD. I'm certainly not ashamed of where my family started, but it's just interesting to look back and see all of the opportunities that I have that they never did. What's more amazing to me is that I was raised knowing that I would go to college and go on to some sort of post-graduate education. My grandparents and parents never expected anything less of me.

So as I sat there with that box of pictures, I suddenly felt very proud...proud of my grandparents for toughing it out, proud of my mom for keeping me and doing what was best for me, proud to have had all of them in my life, and proud of myself for taking my family a step further in my generation.

I can only hope that I will have the chance to produce another generation...and that they'll do even greater things.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cyst

What else is new...

My scan last Friday showed a cyst. It was right at 15mm, which is the cutoff for cancelling a cycle...but it was also on my right ovary which tends to be more productive than the left. No one wanted to chance more complications or a bad response, so I'm on the pill again to shrink it.

I hate being on the pill...first of all, there's the whole bitter irony of having to take "birth control" when that's the last thing I want! But they also suggested a higher dose pill to be certain the cyst would shrink so I'm currently grouchy, nauseous and feeling miserable...

So I go back on June 7th to see if it's gone, and if so, we can take another shot with Femara.

In the meantime, I can drink freely for my 31st birthday this Saturday...I never thought I'd hate my birthday, but at this point, it's just a reminder of another year gone.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Nope

I took a test this morning...it was negative.

Over the course of the last few days, I had actually convinced myself that I was pregnant. Damn those meds for convincing my body, too. At about 4am this morning, I couldn't sleep anymore so I took a test...just ridiculously negative. I went back to sleep and kept dreaming (having nightmares?) that it turned positive...over and over I woke up to realize which was the reality.

There is something very difficult about that first negative after a miscarriage. It's like you're trying frantically to "catch up" to where you should be that the denial of a positive now just seems like such a betrayal. All you want is to be pregnant again, and to be so close, I guess it's just a bigger let down...the realization that there's still work to do, and that you have to pick yourself back up.

Yet, you find yourself grieving that loss all over again. And for someone like me, I guess I grieve all the losses at once. It just all comes flooding back to me. I don't think I'm able to truly move on from the last loss until I get that first negative.

I didn't cry very much this morning. I cried (and prayed of course) while I waited the 3 minutes for the test, but afterwards, there were very few tears. I'm just waiting for it all to hit...I know I'll have no control when it does.

I'm at work now, but taking a short day. My co-workers know why it's a bad day so they've convinced me to eat badly (there's a bacon cheeseburger on the way). I plan to go to the gym when I get home, then do a little more work, and then have a great night with Patrick. I'm basing what I want for dinner on what I want to drink...tossup between a good cabernet and some dark beer at the moment...we'll see what strikes me later.

I did go for my bloodwork this morning, so of course I'll have further confirmation that it's negative by the end of the day. Somehow hearing it from someone else makes it more real...I expect the breakdown to come sometime after getting the results.

That's it for now...we move on.

Friday, May 18, 2007

My Prayer as Test Day Nears

Dear Lord,
Please take care of me these next few days. I am overwhelmed with anticipation, hopefulness, and pessimism all at the same time. Please give me the strength to handle this, whatever the result.

To say that I've had a run of bad luck is a bit of an understatement. Not saying that I'm owed anything, just timidly reminding you that I'm still here, and functional, and happy, and determined...even after everything that has happened.

If it's negative....
Please give me the strength to take that test at home so that I can cry in the privacy of my own bathroom. If I manage to make it to work, please keep me from slapping my 2 pregnant, whiny, complaining co-workers. And if it's not too much to ask, please make my hangover the next day not so bad.

If it's negative...
Please don't let Patrick be too disappointed. Please let us be able to proceed to the new cycle easily and with hope. Please let the next cycle be the one.

If it's positive...
Please don't tease me or test me again Lord. Please, I beg you, if it's positive, please let this be the one that we take home. Let everything progress normally and on schedule. Let us never have reason to doubt that everything is going as it should. Please just give us a chance to raise that child.

Whatever the outcome, I can do this, you've shown me that I can. Just please prepare me for whatever it is to come.
Amen

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I miss my neighbor...

I miss my neighbor and close friend Jenn...

They lived 2 houses down from us for the past almost 6 years. During that time, they had 2 amazing kids. Most of you have heard me talk about Jenn and the kids many times. Gwen was born before we'd even thought about kids, and I think it was seeing them with her that made Patrick first utter those damn words "Maybe we should have a baby"...look where that's gotten me! And then when Cole came along, Jenn was one of a mere handful of pregnant women that I could stand to even be around. She handled it all with such tact and compassion that I swear she should write a book "how to handle infertile friends when you're pregnant!"

Anyway, they moved 2 weeks ago. And while I knew I'd miss them, I really miss them this week...when I'm counting down the days to test. They kept me occupied and distracted. And if Monday brings a negative, we would have had at least a bottle of wine or a pitcher of margaritas that night.

I've lost friends through this struggle, I guess it's inconvenient to be a friend to someone with one tragedy after another when you just want to be happy about your own fertility. But the friends that have stuck by me through this, both the fertile and infertile, you can't imagine what you mean to me. Thank you.

4 more days...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Another day down

Well one more day closer to the verdict, and I'm driving myself nuts!

I've been having mild cramping since yesterday, and I had a backache last night...what's bugging me is that it's all very familiar. I'm getting way too hopeful about this.

And of course, they've just added fuel to the fire because they called to say that my 6dpo progesterone results came back at 37.8. That's a record (this cycle is all about records), and the only time it's every been higher was when I was 5 weeks pregnant the last time (it was over 50). It's never been that high in the middle of a cycle though.

I'd really like to sleep until Monday...

As an aside, anyone reading this, please say a prayer for my sister-in-law who had a hysterectomy today (she's 28). I don't want to go into the details now, but she had been trying to conceive a second child for the past 4 years and was given bad news earlier this week. It's just made me extremely grateful for just the opportunity to try to conceive.