Friday, May 11, 2012

Second trimester already?

Today I am 14w2d pregnant and officially being in my second trimester is completely surreal to me.  We've officially gone public so no more long deliberations in the morning about what to wear that may somewhat cover the ever increasing bump (even if it is mostly bloat).  I've finally stopped throwing up every time I brush my teeth, and while I'm still fully capable of falling asleep mid-sentence, my energy level has definitely improved. 

Chillin' in the mommy hammock
The one problem with second trimester is that it puts me back in limbo as far as "feeling pregnant" goes.  As endearing as the nausea (with or without barfing), constant burping, bloating, sore boobs and mild narcolepsy was in past weeks, it gave me a connection to the little sproggin that was undeniable.  Now I'm feeling 10x better, but am left with fluttering around my uterus which may or may not be gas.  It's another 10 days until my next appointment when I will hopefully get to see the baby again and view what kind of acrobatics are going on in there. 

I know it's FAR too early to be buying things for the nursery, but my head is already wrapped up with colors and ideas.  Husband submitted to a walk around Babies R Us so we could get an idea of what is out there.  We were overwhelmed by options and he was greatly amused by the concept of a stroller with shocks (you know, for all baby off-roading we plan on doing).  It's kinda funny to look at all the stuff that we supposedly "need" for baby, but I suspect I'm thinking more on the minimalist side.  Meanwhile, I know that family members will probably want to buy absolutely everything that may be perceived as making our lives more convenient, while it gives me a mild case of anxiety to even contemplate where the hell we would put it all.  Yes, the moment when 1800 sq ft isn't enough.

I'm about to embark on a lifetime of making decisions - Which genetic screening to get?  What birth plan?  Cloth or disposable diapers?  Which daycare?  My brain is literally buried under thoughts of wanting to do the very best for our baby.  Meanwhile, pregnancy brain (which is certainly not a myth) is sucking the ability to think straight (or speak English for that matter) out of my body.  Fortunately, husband understands my gibberish, and agrees with most of it - a huge relief.  He even knows how to handle me in a hormone induced emotional crisis, shrouded by tears and snot, while mumbling unintelligible words in his general direction.  Bless him for that. 

So, here's to the middle three months, which are supposed to be the best three of the pregnancy.  I'm excited and strangely zen about everything...I just hope I can hold on to that. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Holy Shit Batman!

How does one recap 6 months in one blog post?  I haven't looked at this blog in a long time.  I will admit to having thoughts of potentially abandoning it as there are painful reminders here of my angel babies (yes, plural...will get to that momentarily).  I've wondering if posting would jinx the little peanut that is currently growing inside me.  Finally, I've succumb to the many things I just need to get out and so here we go. 

Angel #2
My last post here was in November.  A few days later, Thanksgiving Day...during dinner to be exact, I lost my second angel.  It was a natural miscarriage this time, with no need for any kind of medical intervention.  Tylenol took care of most of the pain and it wasn't unlike having a heavy period.  My wonderful OB saw me shortly after to confirm my body had expelled everything, and was also pro-active enough to send me for a full round of testing.  14 vials of blood later, everything came back fine except one thing.  I have the MTHFR gene mutation - which affects the way my body processes folic acid.  I'm now on a regimen of 5mg folic acid, B6, B12, and baby aspirin to treat this condition.  Is MTHFR (motherf&cker to those of us who have it) what caused my losses?  I doubt we'll ever know for sure, but I wanted to start making sure that I was doing everything possible to take care of the problem.

Super Sperm?
The first month that we had the go ahead to try again was February.  Heading toward ovulation, husband and I had sex the one time, and a day later I came down with the plague (or something that felt one hell of a lot like it).  I was sick for 3 weeks straight, dealing with coughing and asthma.  I figured the month was a wash, and was resigned to "next time".  I started acupuncture too - in part to help with lower back pain, to release the congestion in my chest from my illness, and figured I'd throw the recurrent miscarriage issue in there for good measure.  Later that week, the day after my period was supposed to arrive, I once again peed on a stick (or 3 to be exact), and once again found myself staring at the two lines in complete disbelief that once again husband had hit the mark.  At this point, he's 3 for 3 getting me knocked up on the first try - I'd say he deserves some credit as it's gone past being a coincidence.  Baby #3 was conceived on February 17th, 2012.  It's cool that we know that.

Circle of Life
During this time, husband's grandfather (Poppy) feel very ill.  At a little over 6 weeks pregnant, the entire family gathered at Poppy's bedside to say our final goodbyes.  We shared stories and laughed, but also cried at the anticipated loss of a truly inspiring man.  We believe that, although he was heavily sedated and at rest, that he could hear us and knew we were there with him.  Before leaving the hospital that day, I took a moment to whisper to Poppy that we loved him and that I was pregnant - a child that we would make sure would know of him and would have his spirit.  That night, Poppy passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 87.  I truly believe that he heard me and it was one of the many things that helped him to move on.

It took a while after getting my positive test before I decided to call my OB this time around.  It had nothing to do with not wanting his advice, but more than my days as a human pincushion the last round weren't enjoyable.  In fact, knowing that my numbers weren't rising as they should be just put me through worry waiting for everything to go wrong.  When I did call my OB, he must have been reading my mind and just asked me if I'd prefer to wait until my first scheduled appointment, which I did.  Our first appointment happened to be the morning of Poppy's burial.  I was 6w5d.  The first time I had an ultra-sound, nearly a year ago, was when we got the bad news that our first angel had died.  I couldn't help but hold my breath this time around, until my doc showed us the screen and the little 8mm flickering blob, complete with heartbeat. 


The two weeks until my second scan felt like an eternity.  I had symptoms - sore boobs, the occasional spontaneous barfing, extreme fatigue and a little bit of random weeping at the most asinine things.  Even though I'd seen the baby and seen the heartbeat, it's hard to relax and just enjoy that with the history that I have.  I continued with acupuncture to help enrich my body and keep circulation going nicely, as well as my buffet of tablets each day, now adding progesterone to the mix in case the low progesterone I'd had the first two times was still an issue.  The day I went in for my follow-up appointment, my OB was happy to inform me that everything was "normal".  Such a wonderful word!  My beta levels were normal, my progesterone levels were normal, my immunizations were normal.  I've never been so happy to be normal in my life.  The second scan resulted in a beautiful picture of what looked like an unshelled peanut (8w5d, 22mm, heartbeat still visible).  It grew the perfect amount, my perfectly "normal" little bug. 

And here we are....
Today I'm 10w1d.  We've told family (after weeks of being harassed with their suspicions), and my sister-in-law sent me all of her maternity clothes.  I'm completely unashamed to be wearing maternity pants now.  They're so freakin' comfortable, I don't know why I waited.  My symptoms have started to die down somewhat, although I still have sore boobs and can fall asleep anywhere.  These days, the nausea is mostly under control except for when I'm brushing my teeth, at which point all bets are off.  I still have another 10 days until I get my next scan and get to see my little bug again.  I hope he (or she) is happily growing in there - my little healthy bundle of joy.  Every day at this point is a milestone for me as I've never been this far before.  I'm entering uncharted territory and while I'm still nervous, I'm trying to stay zen (i.e. not freak out and actually enjoy this pregnancy!) 

Just another couple of weeks and we'll start telling the world.  Until then, my story is here for anybody who finds it. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Round 2....

I know I haven't been on here much, and to be honest, all's been relatively quiet in the baby making zone...until this last week that is.  This last month was the cycle where we had the green light to get back on the baby train.  There was something very different about the 'trying' this time though.  Apart from anything, husband and I are back on the same sleep schedule now that he's found himself a job, and we've both been so much more relaxed in general.  He's been quite entertaining with his way of assuring me - i.e. "don't worry, I got you pregnant that time" and "so, are you pregnant yet?"

So, 12 days past ovulation (DPO), I figured that would be a good time to take a test...and ended up with a big fat negative.  I mean, seriously, the line didn't even flicker recognition.  Same goes for 2 days later (14 dpo), which was getting to be frustrating seeing as my temperatures hadn't dropped and my phone app was telling me that at this point, over 90% of pregnancies have been detected.  Freakin' great.  (A perfect example of how technology can be a little TOO helpful).  I decided I was going to wait until the weekend to test again until this morning, while husband was getting ready for work, I checked my temperature (still high) and lay there feeling just that tiny bit nauseous.  I figured I might as well test one more time (the advantages to having a small stockpile of tests on hand I guess).

Let me tell you that between being first-thing-in-the-am bleary eyed, and the line that could hardly call itself a line, I almost missed the positive result.  Seriously, it took me checking under the bathroom light, opening the window for natural light, and then taking the test into the bedroom to check by my table lamp, before I was 100% sure I wasn't seeing things.  Sure enough though, squinting and in the right light, the line was definitely there, albeit really pale.  Morning brain decided that the line wasn't conclusive, so got dressed to go to the gym, fed the cat, and got ready to leave.  That's when I had a sudden panic attack that it was an evaporation line that I saw and not a positive test line at all.  Now I had to run back upstairs, pull out another test, squeeze out whatever tiny bit of pee (sorry, TMI) was left in my bladder, and test again.  The cat decided that the test looked very interesting and was deserving of a good sniff, which made the wait go by faster at least.  Sure enough, there was a positive line.  This was strangely unexpected to me, the skeptical one who has spent the last week convinced that there's actually something wrong with my cycle and no fucking way could I possibly be pregnant.  Husband, on the other hand, is now convinced that he has super sperm given his propensity to get me knocked up quickly.  I may be inclined to believe him. 

It's not like last time - no real symptoms, no signs, plus of course the late positive test.  I'm not peeing all day, or complaining that my boobs hurt, or eating like a total pig.  I guess my sense of smell has improved somewhat, a little bit of fleeting nausea, and I've been irritable as shit all week.  Then again, it's early in the game so who knows what's to come.

A quick call to my doctor and he's sending me in for blood tests to make sure my hormone levels are rising as they should.  I'm sending out positive vibes to the little seed that's planted in my uterus.  We desperately want you to stick around.

[By the way, I have been using the tests you can get at the Dollar Tree.  They work just fine and don't make you feel financially guilty if you happen to be a habitual tester.  For some reason I was getting a late positive this time around, but last time they had me with a positive the day I missed my period.]

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shaping up

I will admit that in the few weeks I was pregnant, I became a bit of a fatty very quickly.  It seemed like I as constantly starving and gained 10lbs pretty quickly.  For somebody who never goes to McDonalds, I found myself there 3 times in less than a month.  That should have been a sign!  I actually started to worry that I was going to pull a Kate Hudson and gain 70lbs over the course of the pregnancy, then have to go on a strict diet of broccoli and yogurt to get rid of the weight (seeing as I can't afford a fancy trainer to whip me back into shape). In my case, losing the baby put a stop to the weight gain, but I was still too heavy and wanted to be back to my original weight before trying again and getting pregnant a second time but already 10lbs ahead.

I'm definitely not a gym rat, but there are two activities that I really enjoy - Pilates and swimming.  When it comes to those, I don't get sick of them, which is about the best you can ask for when it comes to an exercise regimen.  Swimming is to me what running is to others.  It's my calm happy place where all I'm listening to is my own breathing, and bubbles.  In fact, I had a really "off" swim workout a couple days before I took the first home pregnancy test, which I didn't know at the time was my body trying to tell me something! 

Between the hormones dropping, pilates once a week, and swimming 3 times a week; I'm happy to say that 8 weeks in and I've lost the extra poundage that I gained.  They actually removed the scale at the gym, so I bust out a tape measure and I'm back to my most toned measurements from a year ago.  I'm thrilled at what I've achieved as I feel like I've reset and I'm ready to start over.  Interestingly, I've noticed a very subtle difference in my body shape - I have gained a bit of a booty.  Now, that may sound like a bad thing but I always had a super flat ass, and my pelvis seems to have shifted slightly so there is now a small bump where there was nothing before.  No amount of working out was ever going to give me the posterior that I wanted, so I'll consider this a small gift that came from a sad time.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The waiting game

Two months doesn't seem like an incredibly long time, unless it's two months of waiting, in which case it can feel like an eternity.  After I had my D&C, I asked my OB the all important question - "when can we start trying again?"  He told me 2 months. 

As a whole, there is a lot of waiting in this trying to get preggo business.  First it was waiting to see if I actually was pregnant, waiting for my first doctor's appointment, waiting to see if we would actually get a heartbeat, waiting to see if I would miscarry naturally.  After the D&C, there was waiting for my first period, waiting to see if I would ovulate as usual, waiting for my next period....and now here we are. 

Dear Aunt Flo arrived yesterday.  My cycle seems to sticking at 30 days and I'm apparently cramp free.  [Hey, something good did come of this right?]  Of course, I spent the last 2 months just wishing we could hurry up and start trying again, and now that we can, I feel strangely unprepared - which is totally not the case considering I've been anticipating this every single day.  Having said that, I'm also very excited, although a little anxious.  Just thinking positive thoughts that it'll all go smoothly this time.  I'm still yearning to decorate the nursery, sew and knit sweet little outfits, go on play dates with my best friends' children...

So, how are we celebrating that we made it?  Sushi for dinner.  Might as well get it in while I can right?

Monday, September 12, 2011

And I'm back

It's been a while since I posted but it's time to return.  Things are finally starting to settle down.  6.5 weeks after my surgery, and I had my first period.  I don't know if I've ever been so happy to see my period arrive!  I've started charting my temperature again, just to make sure that everything is doing what it's supposed to.  I'm also enjoying the forbidden fruits - deli meats, sushi, alcohol.  We even have a trip to Las Vegas booked (seeing as pregnant Vegas isn't much fun).  You get the picture.

In other news, husband got a job.  The company made a push to remove his temp contract early, so now he's soon to be making a nice salary with benefits and perks.  He's also gone back to school, working on his accounting degree.  I couldn't be happier for him - after the 2 solid years of unemployment, he deserves to finally have a job that he likes and goes to work every day knowing he feels appreciated.  I tell him that we'll even have enough in the budget for day care, when the time comes.  We bought a new couch yesterday and my heart melted just a little bit when he told the salesperson that we wanted something both child and cat friendly.

So, things are looking up.  We made it through one of the hardest things we've ever had to endure, and we're happy.  I'm finally feeling like I can talk about what happened, and telling my two best girlfriends was such a weight off my shoulders.  I'm both nervous and excited about trying again, but the timing is so much better this time around and I remain optimistic that we have a beautiful family in our future.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Saying goodbye

Last Friday, I had a D&C.  I would have been 9w3d pregnant.

The past month has been a whirlwind.  It's unbelievable to me that it was really only a few weeks ago that I took those pregnancy tests and this whole thing began.  If you'd told me we'd get pregnant within 6 weeks of going off the pill, I would have laughed.  If you'd told me that my first pregnancy wouldn't be viable, I would have called you a liar.  However, that is the truth of the situation and having gone through what I have now, I'll never quite look at myself in the same way again.  

When I went to see my doctor last Friday,  I was ready to have him perform the D&C to remove all traces of the tiny being inside me - the little embryo that never developed a heartbeat and was never destined to join us in the world.  My body obviously still hadn't caught up to the fact that "peanut" wasn't alive, and I was ready to move on and find closure.  I have been strangely calm over the last couple of weeks but sitting in my doctor's office while the nurse was scheduling my procedure with the hospital, and a miriad of hugely pregnant ladies wandered in and out of the waiting room, the bubble burst.  I just cried out everything that had been held up inside me.

My husband just started a new job, so for the first time during this whole process, he wasn't by my side.  I called my mother-in-law to take me to the hospital that afternoon, feeling at least optimistic that all the waiting would finally be over.  This would be my first time admitted to a hospital, in surgery, and under anesthesia.  They prepped me to be in the operating room, put in the IV, and I went from talking about Harry Potter with the nurses in the OR to waking up in recovery.  It seemed almost like I'd just woken up from a nap, but all I felt was a sense of relief that it was over.  I wanted my husband desperately and, fortunately, he'd made it to the hospital while I was in recovery, so was waiting for me in the patient rooms upstairs.

I'm so grateful that every single nurse that attended to me at the hospital was simply wonderful.  I've never had a group of complete strangers provide me with such a sense of comfort and security in my most difficult time.  I had decided when picking my OB that this was the hospital I wanted to deliver at, incidentally being the very same hospital where my husband was born.  After my experience there, I know for sure that when the time comes, it is the right place.  The nurses were all so sweet, saying how they hoped they'd see me again but in the delivery rooms next time around.  I hope they're right.  I also can't say enough about my OB.  I have only known him for a few weeks, but I trust him implicitly to provide the best care possible for me, and my future family.

By the end of the weekend, the spotting had stopped and I was back to feeling pretty normal - until last night.  I probably over-exerted myself a little bit, and next thing I know I'm dealing with horrendous cramping and I woke up in the middle of the night to bleeding.  I guess this is pretty normal in the first couple of weeks after a D&C, but it feels like a kick in the teeth.  It's a reminder that my desire for closure isn't quite fulfilled.  I'm trying to think of this in terms of my body needing to cleanse itself in order to reset, to provide a fresh start.  However, it's really just another reminder of what we've lost, and that's just so hard.

I know that what I'm going through is sadly so common.  I know that there's nothing I did, or didn't do, to cause this.  I know that there are millions of women in the world that have also gone through this, including my own mother.  I know that with time my body and mind will heal, and we'll start over.  I know that I have the strength to make it through this - the hardest thing I've ever had to endure.

Dear Peanut
It's amazing what a difference a few short weeks can make.
You were only inside me 
for a short time, but you'll always be a 
part of me.   I don't know how to explain the sadness that you
able to stick around and, although I understand that there 
was good reason that you couldn't stay, it doesn't make it any 
easier to say goodbye.

You've changed me as a person.  I'll never be the same as I was 
before you.  You were everything to your daddy and 
me - you showed us a future that just seemed like a distant 
dream before you were in our lives.  

You may be gone, but you'll never be forgotten.  
I will carry you in my heart always.