Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Double Digits

I feel like a bad blogger - not having updated in so long - but in my defense I try to start a new post the other day but blogger was down! So I didn't.

Truth is .. I don't have a lot to blog about. I feel like I'm pretty much holding my breath until May 12 - hoping that ultrasound shows that all is well - and that I'm still pregnant. Which, I assume I am, of course - but after infertility and pregnancy loss - well, it's hard not to let all of your worst fears dance across your brain occasionally. And then you worry that by allowing negative thoughts in your brain, negative things will happen, and so you quickly shoo them away, and replace them with loud thoughts that go something like this, "HEALTHY PREGNANCY! HEALTHY BABY!" And you hope that will appease the thought Gods. And that your baby is OK.

At least that's been my experience.

Physically - I'm fine. Have definitely experienced some nausea here and there - but then once it passes I doubt myself, and wonder if I imagined it, because feeling nauseous feels like proof of pregnancy. But I don't think I'm imagining it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I have felt quite lousy more than a few times over the past few weeks. Still having some cramping. Lots of pinching around 9 weeks. In fact - I had twinging/pinching/cramping for 2 and a half days around 9 weeks and was really pretty freaked out about it (of course) but it was never horribly painful and I had no spotting or bleeding - so hope that it was just stuff stretching - which seems to be the catch all explanation for just about every cramp and twinge and pinch you feel during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

So that's it. I'm fine. But still afraid. Really just biding my time until May 12 NT scan/ultrasound. We'll see how it goes .. and hopefully things will remain quiet for now. Quiet is fine. Right?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First Appointment

Well, first "official" appointment at the Midwife Center. All is well. I'm 8w1d today ... and while she did not check for a heartbeat (too early to hear on doppler) she did check my uterus and said it feels like an "8 to 10 week pregnant uterus." So I have to think that's a good thing - and indicative of a healthy little person growing INSIDE my growing uterus. That's my big fear - something happening in spite of our having seen heartbeat at 6w2d (which seems like FOREVER ago.)

I scheduled an NT scan for May 12. May 12 is my birthday. And nothing bad can happen on my birthday. So the NT scan will go well. I've decided.

Although actually I'm wavering on the NT scan ... I don't want it to freak me out. And I'll only not be freaked out if it's great. (Same with J. He will SPAZ OUT if the NT scan looks iffy.)

I don't want amnio. I don't want to risk miscarriage. So I'm wavering on the NT scan. But I'll probably go through with it. It's a chance to take a CLOSE look at the baby. And I really want to see the baby again. Whether we do NT scan or not - the next u/s after that would be around 18 - 20 weeks with high risk doctor (perinatologist.) That seems so far away ... I think that's like, early July or something. MONTHS away.

So we'll see. But for today - everything appears to be fine. According to my uterus, at least.

(QUICK UPDATE/CLARIFICATION - in re-reading this - it sounds like I think amnio and NT scan are the same thing. What I meant was - I'm having NT scan in the hopes that I get good news and so don't need to go on to have the amnio. If we get iffy news - we might do amnio. Or not. We'll see..)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Er, What Do I Do Now?

After having a big fat anxiety attack this morning over WHO WAS GOING TO OVERSEE MY PREGNANCY CARE???? (all in caps because that's how that question felt in my mind) I had a long talk with one of the midwives at the practice I've always gone to for my regular, well woman care - and she talked me down off the bridge.

I was so worried because my blood clotting disorders and being on Lovenox blood thinner injections make me a higher risk patient ... so I didn't know if felt comfortable going the midwife route ... but my RE discharged me yesterday after seeing a heartbeat (yay!) and I just felt ... lost. And scared for my baby.

So after googling all sorts of crap and e-mailing people and looking for recommendations and going crazy ... I talked to Nancy ... who was so kind and we talked about my fears. She told me I am in a category of care that they would consider higher risk but that they could work with me in conjunction with the high risk MFM's (maternal fetal medicine specialists aka perinatologists) they refer out to. She had already talked to the head MFM about me (I had left a message with her yesterday) and they had gone over my case. He wants to see me between 16 - 18 weeks - and the midwives will monitor me in the meantime. Nancy is ordering bloodwork/platelet count once/week for the next three weeks to see how I'm doing on the Lovenox - they are also upping my dose slightly (per MFM recommendation) and now I'll do injections twice/day rather than once a day. (30 mg/twice a day rather than 40mg/once a day. Two injections a day! Crap. Oh well. I'd walk on hot coals if it will help to ensure a healthy pregnancy and safe baby.) Nancy also ordered all my pregnancy b/w (testing for diseases, all standard stuff) so I'll have that done tomorrow too.

And she will set me up for an NT scan at 12 weeks - that will be done at the hospital ultrasound center (I'm assuming.) The midwife group I've always gone to see are all CNM's (certified nurse midwives) and while they do operate an independent birth center they also work closely with a local major hospital. And the MFM's are supposed to be very good (and nice) too.

So I feel better. Still terrified - but I feel like someone is going to look after me and help me and my baby be safe.

I'll give birth at the hospital rather than the midwife center and it may turn out that the MFM's totally take over my care if that becomes necessary at some point but we're going to see how it goes. Otherwise - I'll probably have a midwife attend the hospital birth with MFM checking in to make sure we're OK.

Deep breaths. This WILL be OK. Inhaling ... exhaling ...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I made it. I made it to today's ultrasound. And I wasn't even too horribly spazzy the night before - and though I felt like I was going to puke before the appointment this morning (and it was anxiety, not morning sickness) I did NOT puke. So that was good.

I drove to the appointment by myself - the plan was for J to meet me there since he had already gone into work earlier. I got to the office parking lot around 10:15am - appointment not until 10:30am. I sat in my car for five minutes and then decided that was dumb - so headed into the hospital where the office is located. Called J - he was there - parking his car. Took the elevator up to the fifth floor - got off - waited for J. Strolled over to a balcony overlooking an atrium and the hospital lobby. Looked over the railing - five stories down - felt dizzy - backed away. No J - so I headed back to the office to sign in - and then sat in the waiting room. He walked in a second later - gave me a kiss and we sat and held hands. My palms were sweating. Rachael Ray was on television - and, hoo boy, she is "something." Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for all that energy, given how anxious I felt.

Finally - after waiting for what felt like a REALLY long time - they called my name to go back for my ultrasound. J stayed in the waiting room - they don't have the husbands/partners come back right away - I have no idea why. But whatever. I followed the ultrasound tech back and admired her long curly hair that looked a little crispy (product related - not damage) and really - kind of 80's (it was pretty high on top) but she was working it so good for her!

I headed into the bathroom right off the ultrasound room to shed my jeans and underwear ... peed ... wrapped a sheet around my waist (I washed my hands first, of course!) ... and headed out to the ultrasound room and Curly was ... gone. OK. I sat on the exam table in my sheet and waited. Finally - she came back into the room and apologized - someone had grabbed her to ask her a question in another exam room while I was changing. No problem (except I was worried that J was going to get worried and wonder why no one was coming to get him.)

I laid down and put my feet in the stirrups - and Curly handed me the (trans-vaginal) wand so that I could do the honors - except I was so nervous that as I was reaching for the wand (awkwardly - since you're reaching under the sheet and trying not to wipe all the lube off on the sheet while doing so) one of my legs suddenly shot out and the stirrup shot out with it ... I nearly fell off the table.

"Sorry," I said. "I'm so nervous."

"It's OK," Curly replied. She slightly readjusted the stirrup and asked if I was OK with how they were positioned. I told her I was. (Even if I wasn't I would've lied - I was so embarrassed by my spastic-ness.)

We got started. Well - she got started. I just laid there. I could feel a tremor going through my body. I felt as if I might start shaking uncontrollably and tried to remember to breathe. This was it. I had already imagined and run through every scenario in my mind - well, mostly every worst case scenario. Which I am too superstitious to even type here. But you can imagine my fears. Would there be a heartbeat? Or would this day be - the end?

I could hear Curly pointing and clicking. This too seemed to go for a really long time. Finally, she said out loud, "Everything looks good."

"Is there activity?" I asked. "Yep," she replied. "I'll go get your husband so you guys can look at the screen together."

As soon as she said "yep" I had the biggest smile overtake my face - and big tears fill my eyes. I laid there waiting for her to bring J back and just said "Thank you God" over and over. And then I held my tummy and said, "I love you baby. You're such a good baby."

Curly and J came into the room and J whipped out his giant camera (he's a professional photographer) and started fiddling around with the flash! He walked by the screen before I had even seen it and said "I see it!" After he fiddled around for a few more seconds I was exasperated and said, "J!! You're holding up the show!" Curly laughed.

Finally - she turned the screen toward us and showed us the gestational sac ... the yolk sac ... and the tiny, pulsating .. baby. OK "baby" may sound like a stretch - but it was a baby. A little, unformed, tiny white blob of a baby - with a beating heart.

I asked about the heartrate - 120bpm. She said at this point they're looking for anything over 100 so 120 was great. (And given that it just started beating a few days ago - which is just so crazy to me) I think 120 was EXCELLENT. Good job baby!!

J snapped a bunch of pics - I'm sure I look absolutely hideous in all of them as I got very little sleep last night and had no make-up on, a puffy face, hair piled on top of my head and big fat tears in my eyes. But I don't care. I will put those pictures in the scrap book. They're from an important day.

Finally - we were done and we talked with a nurse. They discharged me (which actually I'm not thrilled about .. I wish they'd keep me a little longer but oh well. Heartbeat and don't let the door hit you in the ass! Now I have to figure out who my doctor is - and who's delivering my baby. That's a dilemma for another blog post.)

And then - we left. And I felt truly elated.

I have a million and one more worries. And certainly - it is still very early and by no means are we "out of the woods." But for today - I felt elated. I'm sure I'll be back to my spazzy, anxious self by Thursday morning. But today - was amazing. We saw our baby's heartbeat today.