Saturday, July 31, 2010

Eleven Years...


Happy Anniversary to me and my fabulous husband Russ!  It's been 11 years since we had that glorious ceremony and party and while it feels like yesterday, it also seems like it's been forever - in a good way.

One year ago today, we celebrated 10 years of marriage (obviously).  The day started out with a trip to the RE to get my blood drawn for my beta on our 3rd IVF attempt.  Coincidentally, one of my best friends was getting her beta drawn the same day (CRAZY, huh?) at the same time so we met there and then went to breakfast.  Beta days for me were always highly anxiety inducing.  This one was both that and exciting because Russ and I were going to go away to NC to a sweet (and as it turned out luxurious) bed and breakfast to celebrate our anniversary, regardless of the phone call we were to receive.  I had been apprehensive about making plans on that day, not knowing what my state of mind would be later on when the call came, but we decided that sitting around here, waiting wasn't going to help.  (We always took the afternoon off work and literally sat here together staring at the phone, waiting for the call on beta day - perhaps not the most healthful of practices, but we couldn't do it any other way)

So we left for NC and started driving, butterflies in my tummy the whole way down.  At about 3 pm, the call came - we were on some highway in NC...  My angel nurse Farrah gave us the bad news.  I hung up the phone and we quickly realized we had missed our exit.  It was a great distraction as we turned the car around and tried to figure out where we were going.  I sniffled a little.  He might have sighed an expletive (likely "F**k") over the news and we literally moved on.  It was by the far the easiest BFN call we had received.  I guess it was because we still had so much to celebrate that day.  Also because we were going to a new place where we could just pretend that we weren't the infertile couple, we were the married happily for 10 years couple who were going to a romantic weekend together. Of course, we were both but why dwell on the IF part? 

At that time, we weren't sure that a 4th attempt was possible ($$$) and we certainly never dreamed that there would be a 5th IVF.  But when I think back to that time, a year ago today, I can't help but remember feeling happy that if I had to go through the evils of IF, I was blessed to be able to go through it with Russ.  In fact, I dare say, that if anyone has to go through it, let it be a couple like us who can manage it without many of the destructive words and behavior that impact so many couples through no fault of their own.  i know it seems easy for me to say considering my current condition, but I remember thinking that no matter what happened in the future, we were going to be OK - better than OK in fact because we had each other. 

So, happy anniversary Russ!!!  Things are much different this year and yet that sense of peace that you've always provided me has grown knowing that you're by my side as we begin our new adventure together.

Friday, July 30, 2010

BIG GIRL, part 2


I had my regular OB appt yesterday.  We chatted about my hospital visit over the weekend (no big deal), we discussed my swelling (ugh!), and then she finally said, "OK, let's talk about this big baby of yours..." 

Oh yeah.


She explained to me that Sofia's head measures in the 95 percentile, along with her belly.  In case you don't understand what that means, let me break it down for you.  She is big AND fat.  =)  And will be oh, so adorable! 

This brings on some pretty serious potential complications.  The dr that IF her head can fit through my pelvis, the risk is then that her big, fat shoulders won't.  Once her head is out, she isn't getting oxygen and if the shoulders become stuck they have to either yank her out (causing potential structural damage to her) or shove her back in and do an emergency c-section.  She said that she highly doubted that her head will fit anyway (to which I thought, "But have you SEEN my hips???").  She said if it were her, she'd schedule a c-section at 38.5 weeks. 

OK.  Sounds like a plan.

Remember that I was going to be induced at that point anyway.  Induction is something I really did not want.  My friends who have been through and those on TV seem to get induced only to labor for 25+ hours and end up with a c-section anyway.  So hearing that a c-section is being recommended was exactly what I wanted to hear.  It's being scheduled for Aug 23 (back up date of Aug 24 if the hospital schedule is full on the 23rd, they're working on that). 

SO.  No labor for me unless she comes early, which I still hope she does.  Only problem with her coming early now is that it won't give my parents enough time to get here.  (they live 8 hours away and are prepared to leave within 15 minutes of getting the phone call which would be fine for a regular birth, but won't be enough time to make it for the c section)  Aside from that, my hope is that around Aug 19 (38 weeks), I go into labor...labor at home for a little bit and then go into the hospital and have the c-section.  She did say that if I went into labor in the next week or so, I should try to do it since she isn't that big yet and I might be able to get her out.  As much as I want to meet her, I know that another few weeks is the best thing. 

I'll still continue to get weekly NSTs and scans after which they'll either tell me that all is good or "please go have your baby now".  I'm getting ready to go now.  I love sitting there listening to her heart for 30 minutes!  Then they'll measure my fluid. 

At this point, all I care about is her being born as safely as possible.  So we'll see what happens. There's some comfort in knowing that there is light at the end of this exciting, beautiful tunnel.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

False Alarm


Just a quick update about our adventurous Sunday evening...

Around 6 pm, I found that I had some pink spotting that quickly turned into a deeper pink, close to red spot that only showed up upon wiping.  I became concerned and called the dr on call who said there was nothing she could do to help figure it out unless we went into Labor and Delivery and had it checked out.  And so we were off...

Now just having the birthing class the day before, our minds were focused on the real possibility that this was the beginning of either water breakage (the slow leak kind) or the bloody show.  While Russ held it together pretty well, I immediately went into a controlled panic mode just trying to grab anything that I might need just in case this was indeed IT.  I threw my robe and flip flops in a bag along with some toiletries.

We arrived at the hospital and they put me on the NST and we found that baby girl was doing very well.  Lots of movement that coincided with small contractions that I wasn't able to feel.  The resident dr came in and did an internal and didn't see any blood.  They cultured a bunch of things and she said that my cervix was tightly closed. 

My urine test came back with a trace of blood in it!  So that's presumably where it was coming from, though I don't have any infection or anything.  Just weird.  They had me drink water until the contractions stopped and sent me home.  By the time I left, there was no more spotting at all and there hasn't been any since.

So while it was an anti0climatic evening, I enjoyed the experience of knowing what it will be like on the real day.  We got to ask the nurse all sorts of things and I feel even more comfortable about it all.  Part of me was hoping it was really it!!  But I know she's healthier to stay put for just a little while longer...

This experience did kick my butt into high gear and I'm happy to say that my hospital bag is almost all packed and my labor bag is getting there.  Also, there has been great progress on the nursery - pics soon!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Big Girl


I haven't been posting much lately and yet I do have things to say...You would think that being off work would give me more time to write/read./respond, but I realize that not being at work, in front of my computer, makes it more difficult.  I usually read posts from my iPhone and that means that I can't read anything other than the ones that show up in the window (maybe 2 or 3) because I can't scroll down the page (so I'm missing posts sometimes - sorry if I've missed yours!) and it also means I can't write from my phone. I am!

Over this past week+, we've visited 3 day care centers, taken a breastfeeding class, birthing class, and I've had my first NST and another ultrasound.  I've had no more painful Braxton Hicks (woo hoo!  It's been over 2 weeks since I've had any!) and am just plain TIRED.

The breastfeeding class was great, though the room they put us in was so hot, it made me sleepy and irritable. I believe that I will be able to do it, but I'm just not sure how long.  Once I go back to work, I can't see me keeping up with it for too long.  We shall see.  The birthing class was OK.  The Lamaze class we took was waaay better.  This class was at our hospital though so we learned a little about how they do things and got to tour the labor rooms and all that stuff. 

I'll post about day care some other time...point is that it's crazy expensive and there aren't wait lists that have less than 50 babies on it.  I feel discouraged and scared that we won't find something, but I know that the right situation will come around.  The place we really love is $1700 a month and it's not even that great, compared to other centers I've seen in my hometown that cost almost half.  On to the fun stuff...

Due to the gestational diabetes, I now have to have a fetal non-stress test (NST) each week along with a scan to measure my amniotic fluid every week.  On Friday I had my first one along with a real ultrasound that my dr ordered, though from now on the ultrasound will just be a quick scan.  The NST was awesome!  They put 2 belts on and measure baby's heartbeat and her movements (once in labor and delivery, this same system measures HB and contractions).  Healthy babies have a rise in HB when they move.  So I sat there for 30 minutes or so and just listened to her HB.  The cool thing was, I would feel her move and then see that her HB would rise from 138 to 160 or so.  Then it would go back into the 140s or even as low as 130.  They were happy that she responded the way a healthy baby should and I just loved feeling like I was so in touch with exactly what she was doing in there.  Of course my mind went into crazy-land and a couple times I worried that her HB seemed too low or that it accelerated too much, but I know I'm crazy and her report was excellent. 

Then I had an ultrasound, pretty routine.  I got the tech that I LOVE, so I was happy about that.  I was also curious to get a measurement because with the diabetes they're concerned about her getting too big.  As it is they want to induce me at 38.5 weeks...  So she's measuring everything and comments on how big her head is!  It's at least 8 or 9 cm already!  It's huge and that's funny because Russ and I both have big heads and we've always said how our baby is doomed to follow suit.  Then she commented on how long her thigh bone is and said she was going to be a tall one.  Then she gave me her approximate weight...Are you ready?  At 34 weeks, she already weighs 6 pounds 7 ounces!  Yikes.  It seems that these estimates tend to be high (based on other people who say "they told me it would be 9 pounds and it was only 7.5, etc...) so maybe it's wrong.  The dr came in to discuss it and was very concerned about the diabetes and controlling, feeling my endocrinologist should be more aggressive with my insulin doses (this is the fetal maternal specialist, not my OB).  Then he looked at the measurements and concluded that while diabetes may have some part, her bones are measuring very high and bones aren't impacted by diabetes (diabetes just makes babies fat).  So he feels like this might be more because she's just genetically large.  BIG GIRL =)

Getting back to the ultrasound, all of the sudden I look up on the screen and see a FACE!  It was Sofia's face!!!  I had no idea that regular machines could produce a 3D/4D image!!!  And I had no clue that the tech was going to turn it on, but there she was staring back at me!  So crazy and so beautiful!  She has super chubby cheeks and is just adorable.  She was able to get one good shot for me to take home and here it is!

That's our baby girl!!  Her right hand is on the right side of her face...ahhh, I could look at her all day!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reality Freak Out


I had my two-week appt today.  Everything looks great.  My OB (the one in practice that I know the best even though she's not officially mine - they have me see them all) filled me in on some things that I didn't know and that are making me panic just a little bit. 

Due to the diabetes, they won't let her stay in me longer than 38 and 1/2 weeks.  That means that I'll be scheduled for an induction sometime around August 23.  THAT means that most likely I'll need pitocin and THAT means that I'll have to get an epidural because I'm not superwoman.  Of course she could come on her own sometime before then and that's what I'm hoping for, though I hope it's not too soon.  She said that at 36 weeks they wouldn't stop labor should I go into it.  Also I will start seeing the high risk doctor each week (in addition to the regular OB) for ultrasounds and measurements of the baby and fluid.  I'm loving that idea as it means I'll get to really check in with her every week.  If they find she's getting too large, they may schedule a c-section, though not before 37 weeks. 

So then she starts asking me, "Is the nursery done?" and I'm like umm....kinda?  Not really.  Then she says "You have a car seat??" and I'm like well, yeah, but does it need to be in now???  She said I had a couple weeks but the sooner the better, she could come anytime.  YIKES.  Then she asks about day care and I tell her that's the most stressful thing right now and she encouraged me to get on it.  She didn't mean to make me freak out - really, she didn't.  She was very matter-of-fact about it all.  But now?  I'm freaking out just a little bit.  There is MUCH to be done.  On the top of the list is day care.  What are we going to do??  There just aren't places around (weird, considering I'm in a major metropolitan area) and the in-home care I've contacted all seem to be full or unwilling to call me back which indicates to me that they don't need my business.  There just aren't day care centers around like there are out in the more distant suburbs (I'm just a mile outside of DC, but still technically the "suburbs").  I guess it has to do with property value and places being unable to operate where it's so costly.  We've thought about nanny sharing but still there's much to be researched and considered.

Luckily, we're trying to work it out so that we don't need day care until January 2011.  I'll go back to work in mid November and then Russ will take off until I have winter break and then we'll start the new year with our new routine.

I know it will get done - what option is there?  I just feel very overwhelmed with the clear fact that this is all happening SOON.  And even though I feel I'm not ready logistically speaking, I am so ready to meet Sofia!

Also, last night we had pediatrician orientation and we love the practice!  They were warm and have awesome hours (they are open on Christmas day!?) and I don't think we're going to meet with any other doctors.  This practice was recommended highly by friends so I feel comfortable. 

Our infant care class with CPR training is on Saturday.  I'm already CPR certified but I need a brush up and Russ has not training.  Should be interesting...  Next week is breastfeeding class and then the birthing class at the hospital along with the tour of the labor and delivery wing.  Exciting!  And scary. 

We're having a BABY!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Catch Up


I realize that I am not using this blog for the one of its main purposes which is to document this pregnancy in detail.  Oh, I tell you guys all kinds of stuff, but I don't think I'm doing a good job of documenting things for me to have a history of what all happened.  And the reason why I think it's important for me to do that is because once I get over some little bump (like horribly painful contractions), I forget all about them.  And I want to have everything documented - good, bad, whatever.  So I will try to be more detailed in the things that I want to remember but I can tell already that it's not going to happen today.

So I've been in Buffalo all last week and am not home and feeling quite overwhelmed with everything.  We have a BABY coming really soon and we are so not ready - logistically speaking.  With the third (beautiful, fabulous!) shower over with, we finally have just about everything we need but now the nursery is full of stuff and if there's one thing I'm bad at, it's organizing.  I'm pretty good at most things that I put mind to (reproducing is an exception), but I become easily overwhelmed about where to put "stuff" and so I tend to have some clutter.  I don't know where to begin, but considering that I'm not working all summer I know it's my responsibility to figure it out and get it done. 

I'm suddenly feeling really scared about everything baby.  It's not the baby coming home part, it's everything that leads up to that.  We have our birthing class at the hospital next week so I hope that helps me feel more comfortable.  It's just becoming all too real that I could easily go into labor VERY SOON.  In less than a month I'm considered full term?  Unimaginable.

I believe that if you're reading this and you're currently expecting, you passed your glucose test and let me just tell that you really need to be thankful for that.  Because gestational diabetes SUCKS.  I can live with it - only a few more weeks left after all - but it's starting to get to me and my positive attitude is fading fast.  This regimented schedule is the worst and I'm just tired of it.  For instance right now I need to be thinking about what I'm going to eat for dinner and I'M NOT HUNGRY.  But I have to eat.  And not just eat anything; I have to eat a good, well-balanced meal.  Normally on a night like tonight I'd have some fruit and maybe popcorn.  Can't do that. I realize that I'm not a big protein person, no surprise there I guess.  And before bed i have to have a snack???  Man oh man.

This week I have my regular OB appt and my diabetes/thyroid appt.  Do I get any more ultrasounds?  I'm not sure.  I think I gained 2 pounds finally, so I feel good about that.  It brings my total weight gain to around 20-21 pounds, but I'll know for sure Thursday at the dr - you know how all scales seem to be different?  That's the one that I'm counting.

OK, time for me to force feed myself.  What will it be?  Salad and chicken?  That's new.  Read: blech! =)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Catching Up


I'm up in Buffalo for my family shower on Wednesday.  It's the final shower, which is good because we really can't fit any more stuff in our little condo!!  Not that I don't appreciate everything but it is getting tight.  The shower on Wednesday will be my aunts and cousins and friends that I grew up with along with some of my mom's friends from work.  It seems everyone is really interesting in "showering" us with love and good wishes - my mom's work people actually asked if they could come (mom was going to invite them but then it's getting awkward if they don't want to come and they feel obligated to buy a gift).  The shower is at some fancy country club with a sit down dinner and all kinds of crazy stuff.  Where I live now, no one does it like that but up here that's how showers always are.  I had never been to a shower at someones house until I moved to Virginia.  From what I understand though, that's the norm whereas spending all this money at fancy venues is more of thing just up here.  Who knows.  But I appreciate everything everyone is doing for us!

I felt pretty good all week up until Thursday night when those terrible contractions happened again.  they became regular, though only 45 min - an hour apart.  I know that can be normal, but it's the pain and intensity that throws me.  When I read about Braxton Hicks, it describes them and then says to call your doctor if they are painful (check!), feel like menstrual cramps (check!), involve pain down the legs (check!), and include back pain (check!).  So I don't think I'm a paranoid nut for being concerned.  Luckily I had an OB appt Friday anyway, so I was glad to go especially knowing that I was going to be out of town all week this week.  They checked me and my cervix is all good, they did that test again (why do I always forget the name???) to see if I'm out of the woods for going into labor in the next 2 weeks (no results yet unless no news is good news, with the holiday weekend, I'm not surprised I haven't heard).   I read one article that said since the baby is putting pressure on all of my internal organs, normal functioning can at times become painful.  I so feel this is the case for me.  When I eat, I'll get terrible cramping (sort of like you have to run to the bathroom before it's too late, though bathroom use is not needed at all - I know this because I run to the bathroom and just sit there like a dummy thinking it'll help).  It makes sense to me that food going through my system is putting pressure on my uterus and may be causing it to cramp/contract.  Just my theory.

I'm all done with work for the summer (and hopefully until after Sofia is here!).  We're spending this first week up here and then I'm home til the end getting the nursery ready and waiting.  Waiting.  I'm really happy to be done with work, but I'm a little worried that having nothing to do might make the waiting seem soooo long.  NOT that I'm complaining =).

My eating is a pain with this diabetes thing.  I have to check my blood, inject insulin, eat breakfast, wait 2 hours, check my blood, have a snack, wait 2 hours, eat lunch, wait 2 hours, check my blood, have a snack, wait 2 hours, inject insulin, eat dinner, wait 2 hours, check blood, eat a snack and inject more insulin before bed.  It's not the needles that bother me - I'm the needle pro after all!!!  (5 IVFs with 4 injections a day makes you that.  It's official.)  It's the meal planning that killing me.  I can fit almost anything i want to eat into my diet, but I have to always make sure I'm getting the right ratio of protein to my carbs and adding milk and all kinds of stuff that I just don't want to think about.  It's just a pain and all I think about is food all day and it's becoming obsessive because when I finish one meal, I start thinking about what I have to eat at the next.  And it's not like when I used to obsessed with food and think about all the great things I'll eat later.  This feels more like work.  Only 60 days left!  And the good part is that while baby girl is growing healthily, the rest of me is definitely losing weight.  My legs are back (to not being so big and swollen looking) and my parents who saw me just 2 weeks ago say that while my belly looks bigger, I look smaller.  So that's a good thing, right?  I'm still stalled at the 18-19 pound weight gain mark and I'm just fine with that.

So we're off to the beach today!  Hope everyone enjoys a fun holiday!!!