Monday, June 30, 2008

Big Ultrasound....

Drumroll please ... everything looks great AND ...

He's a boy!! :-) :-) And he looks perfect .. out of 15 possible markers for down's - he doesn't have ANY. At this point, doctor would recommend against amnio - statistically - my chances of a complication from amnio are higher than anything being wrong with the baby. Being 37 years old - that is a huge relief for me and J - we are so happy about our healthy little boy. I just can't believe it.

And I DO have an anterior (front of the uterus) placenta - which explains why I have felt so little movement .. and I probably won't feel a lot for a few more weeks. I'm 19 weeks today. (Although the placenta is more off to the right - so he has a little window on the left and I did feel some taps there last night.) The u/s tech said the anterior placenta can be a good thing - a little cushion once those kicks get constant! She was great, same one we had for our 12w u/s - very nice and friendly.

High risk doc was very friendly and re-assuring too ... says my Lovenox/baby aspirin treatment is going great ... we'll take another peek inside around 29 weeks to check intra-uterine growth (an increased risk due to my blood clotting disorders) - if baby looks good - that will probably be our last u/s.

And he thinks there is a good chance I will be able to have the birth I want - midwife assisted and unmedicated at the hospital. So we're doing great. So far, so good. Will post u/s pics later - as soon as J scans them in and sends me a couple! :-) yay! Today is a wonderful day.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


My standard, pre-ultrasound anxiety has set in. It was sparked by a giant fight J and I had this week about whether or not we would be driving across the state in July - for a shower that his mother just announced she wanted to throw for me.

Now - that is a very nice idea. And I get that she wants to celebrate the impending birth of her grandchild - her youngest son's first child - in this way. (She only has one other grandchild - a grand-daughter - who is now a teenager and who she doesn't see much of.)

HOWEVER ... I was pissed. Yes, that's right, pissed. If you read this blog - you know my pregnancy is high risk. I have two blood clotting disorders - Factor V Leiden and MTHFR. I'm on Lovenox blood thinner injections twice a day to keep my blood from getting too clotty to sustain life (mine or the baby's.) I also take a daily baby aspirin, a folic/b supplement called Foltx, a PNV, and some other assorted pills.

This past weekend, I drove to Virginia to see my sister. The typically five hour drive took closer to 7 hours. I had to stop frequently and walk around and still, I was in pain after the journey there and the ride back. I was also nervous about blood clots the whole time.

Now - J and I do have another LONG road trip planned. We are supposed to drive to the beach in August. It's an 11 hour drive - which will probably take us closer to 13 hours. We were going to break it up into 2 days - and stay overnight at a hotel in between. Same thing for the ride back home after our week at the beach. I really, really want to go on this vacation. We go with a big group of friends who all have kids - stay in a giant house in South Carolina right on the beach - and it's just a really lovely week. This would be our third year going.

But this is all I was anticipating in terms of road trips this summer - all I was mentally prepared for - and all I was willing to do physically.

But all of a sudden .. I find out just this past weekend that my mother-in-law wants to throw a shower for me. Oh - and I don't know any of J's relatives in his hometown (6 hours from where we live by car .. so .. 8 hours while traveling pregnant.) J and I got married in Mexico - just the two of us - coming up on 5 years ago. So I didn't even meet these people at a wedding or anything like that. Now, over the years, I have met SOME of them at a very few, infreqent family gatherings. But that's it. I don't *know* them .. and they don't know me. So in all honesty - I can't imagine anyone who is invited to this shower will buy anything more than a onesie. Seriously. And I understand that! They don't know me - so a) why would they even come? and b) if they come, they certainly aren't buying some great gift.

So basically - I'd be stuffed in the car for an uncomfortable, potentially dangerous 8 hour car ride - to collect a few onesies - and then be stuffed back in the car for another uncomfortable (and now we can add painful since the ride back will be two days after the ride there), potentially dangerous 8 hour car ride.

Oh - and my in-laws don't have central air conditioning. Do they really expect the pregnant lady to stay in a VERY SMALL spare room with no a/c? Seriously? Why yes, they do. So J and I would have to buy a window unit and take it with us and install it in their window.

I DON'T WANT TO GO!! And I have never once, not in 8 years of being together and 5 years of marriage - said "no" to a trip to J's parents' home. In fact, I suggest them more often than J! (But somehow, I know I'm the imaginary villainess who keeps J away from his parents. Believe you me, that's not reality but I know it's what his mom thinks because, well, she has said so.)

So if we don't go - it will once again be ME being mean. His family has conveniently forgotten that my pregnancy is high risk ... and I guess has no clue that being stuffed in a car for a long ride is potentially a health risk.

Now ... if you are saying to yourself .. but you're willing to ride to the beach... well, yes, you are correct. If my doctors says it's OK - we were going to make that long trip. What I was not prepared to do was add ANOTHER long trip PRIOR to going to the beach. So now .. instead of 24 hours in a car between now and mid-August, we're talking about potentially 38 hours in a car between now and mid-August. You see what I mean? So .. ugh. We see our high risk doctor on Monday and I'll talk it over with him them. I'm hoping he says making both trips is a bad idea - and we should pick one or the other.

And my mother-in-law WILL be invited to the shower that is being thrown locally for me in mid-September. But she won't come. She won't travel. But the high risk pregnant lady IS expected to travel across the state or she's a big meanie.

So .. back to my first paragraph. In researching pregnancy, travel, Factor V Leiden and MTHFR .. I was reminded of the potential seriousness of my blood clotting disorders and it really upset me. I'm doing everything I can to make it to the end of this pregnancy and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby. But much of what could happen is out of my control.

I love this baby so much. And I say this not to be scary - but if something were to happen - I'm not sure I'd recover. My family has been through a LOT in recent years ... loss ... illness ... it's just been really hard. And through it all, I have been strong. And I was strong in my battle with infertility - and I think I'm being strong now. But I need this baby to be OK. I love this baby more than anything in the world.

So now I'm nervous about my Monday ultrasound. And I really haven't felt much movement if anything yet. Which everyone says is normal for first time moms - but I want to feel my baby.

OK - enough bitching and moaning. Just to lighten the mood - here's a picture of me in kindergarten!

kindergarten web size

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

17 weeks, 2 days ...

Had another check-up today - went great - heard baby's heartbeat, it's in the 140's so am happy with that. That is the most magical sound. I love it and will never get tired of hearing it.

And I've also only gained 1.5 pounds since my last appointment - given that by around 8 weeks I had gained TEN pounds plus ..(although I think some of that was IF treatment cycle related too) but anyways - I've definitely slowed down, at least for now, and that's not a bad thing. Especially given that I think I look pretty darn big for not being ALL that pregnant.

So, anyway, all is well. Big ultrasound on June 30 - less than two weeks!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No one ever told me about ...

... round ligament pain. They didn't! I had no idea that it could be perfectly normal to feel, well, pain during pregnancy. RLP (round ligament pain) is what they call it when the ligaments surrounding your uterus (underneath and to the sides) stretch as your baby and uterus grow. And for some people (like me) when these ligaments stretch - it feels kind of like cramps and kind of like being stabbed. LOL! OK, maybe not QUITE as far as being stabbed - but it can be a quite sharp pain. And no one told me this!!! Or maybe I didn't listen, I don't know.

My other OUCH moment came the other night - I was woken out of a sound sleep at 3am and nearly jumped out of bed - I had a searing pain in my lower back - toward the right - that quickly got worse and started to wrap around my entire right side. Just when I was ready to tell DH to wake up and rush me to the hospital he woke up and asked me why I was flailing about. When I explained - he started rubbing my lower back and while it seemed to help a tiny bit I didn't really think it would work - but it did! He rubbed and rubbed and found the very sore spot where the pain was originating from and rubbed it away. Thank goodness!! Within just a few minutes - the pain was gone. I went downstairs and got a huge glass of water, drank it down, and went back to sleep. Apparently - it was basically a charley horse or muscle spasm in my back.

I've had all sorts of aches and pain ... achey crotch (like a pulled muscle feeling) the aforementioned RLP, tight feeling tummy and uterus .. I guess that's what happens when you're 37 and in your second trimester for the first time ever. My 37 year old uterus and ligaments have never been asked to stretch so far so quickly and they are PROTESTING loudly.

But you know? I don't care!! About any of it!! I am still so incredulous that I am actually pregnant - I can't believe it. I can't believe that I am pregnant. For so long, I didn't think I was "allowed" to be pregnant .. it felt like a club I wasn't sure I'd ever belong to. And I love it. I can't WAIT to feel the baby move. Can't wait. I thought I did the other night ... but unfortunately ... I think that was gas. Oh well.

Our next midwife appointment is on Wednesday the 18th ... I will be VERY glad to hear heartbeat again .. I'm getting a little anxious having not heard it since around 13 weeks. Luckily I have a friend's wedding to distract me this weekend - and hopefully the days will go quickly. J is supposed to go to this appointment with me - he's never been to the midwife center (he's been to RE and u/s appointments with me - just not the midwife center yet.) So I'm excited to have him there and to hear heartbeat on doppler together. I have to figure out how to record the sound on my cellphone..

And on June 30 we have our BIG ultrasound and meeting with perinatologist to plot out my care for the rest of the pregnancy. The Lovenox shots continue to go fine, I have a bruise-y, sad lookin' tummy but that's OK. I do want to do maternity belly shots at some point though - J will have to photoshop the bruises out!!

That's my news .. I'll try to be better about updating .. and post more pics soon! :-)

Just for fun - round ligaments! Ew!!

round ligament

Monday, June 9, 2008

16 week bump pic!

So far, so good - although I think I'm BIG for 16 weeks. But that's OK! :-)

alicia 4 months web size