Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Been a while...

Worst blogger ever checking in.

The past month has been a complete roller coaster of emotions.  Some days are much better than others, but in the end there is still a very active little baby just kicking away inside me.  That doesn't stop the occasional breakdown.  While I am so happy that butterfly is still baking, over a month of bed rest really wears a person down.  I've had to back out of a lot of things we were looking forward to.  My friend's bacherlorette party and wedding, any trips up to Boston before baby gets here, no baby shower, no going out for my birthday on Thursday, etc.  It all seems pretty selfish in the grand scheme of things, but after struggling with infertility you really look forward to enjoying a semi normal pregnancy and doing normal pregnant lady things.

Okay, time to end the pity party.

I've had two ultrasounds at the hospital so far in the past month.  My cervix has stayed around 2cm long and the stitches are holding very well.  At the appointment last week we finally got a picture of butterfly's profile!  My mom, who stayed with us last week, was very excited to get to see her granddaughter.  Baby girl had her hands up by her face, you can actually see her little fingers in the picture.

The OBs have been happy with the ultrasounds, but my bed rest continues.  They do not usually check cervical length after 28 weeks as there is no data to compare it to.  Next week is my last cervical length check at the hospital.  They will be doing the first growth scan as well.  At the 24 week appointment she weighed 1lb 6oz, I'm interested to see how much she's grown.

Surprisingly, baby girl is now head down.  If she stays that way the cerclage will be removed at 36 weeks and likely be born soon afterwards.  Being head down also puts her feet up in my ribs, which she enjoys kicking.  I'm constantly amazed at how active and strong she is.   Today I told Dave that we'll have to sign her up for karate as soon as she's old enough.

Today I am 27 weeks pregnant, depending on who you ask this could be considered the start of the the third trimester.  As baby grows, so does the bump.  It's getting harder and harder to find a comfortable sleeping position.  My sleep schedule has also been completely thrown off by the bed rest.  Thankfully I can still work from home and make my own hours.  Trying to take it easy this week as I haven't been feeling well.  Hopefully it's just a minor cold and passes quickly, but I'll likely take tomorrow off to rest up.

Here is my bump pic from last week.  I'm not sure if I'll be going back to the weekly update posts, but will try to post more often.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A terrifying week: Part 2 (long)

On Tuesday morning we headed back to the OB office.  The tech started the anatomy scan portion and was able to get a few more of the needed pictures, but not the profile shot.  Baby girl just stared straight at us the whole time, refusing to turn her head.  We switched to the cervical length check portion and once again I could tell that it didn't look right.  After taking the measurements the tech tried once more to get butterfly's profile shot, but stubborn baby wouldn't give it up.  Back to the waiting room we went before being called back to see Dr. J again.  She calmly explained that I had lost about 2mm of cervix since Friday.  It was time to go back to the hospital.

I was admitted to the Evaluation wing again.  MFM assistant Dr. J came in and checked to make sure my cervix was still closed, which it was.  The contraction monitor showed some irritability in my uterus so they started a saline IV.  MFM Dr. H met with us again and went over our two options again,  Dave and I had decided not to take any more chances with progesterone and it was time to move forward with the cerclage.  Dr. H agreed and was able to get me into the 7:30am surgery slot for the next morning.

Once it was finalized I was moved to the Mother/Baby unit, a large wing of the hospital with all private rooms.  I was able to eat dinner and relax, fasting for the procedure would start at midnight.  Dave ran home quickly once I was settled to pack a bag for me.  The nurses were all very kind, though it surprised me how often they came in to check vitals.  As it got later I sent Dave home to sleep.  The chair that converted into a bed was very uncomfortable for him and someone needed to feed the cats.  I was able to sleep for a few hours in between nurse visits.

Around 8am they transferred me to Labor & Delivery to prep for surgery.  The L&D nurse sent Dave to get something to eat, saying that we would be waiting a while for the OR to open.  He wasn't allowed to be in the OR for the surgery, but would be able to see me off.  The anaesthesiologist came in and explained how the spinal would be done.  MFM assistant Dr. J and a student doctor, who would be observing, came in to help with preparations.  Dr. H arrived and it was time to go.  Dave had not made it back upstairs before I was wheeled to the OR.

Once on the table they had me sit on the side with a pillow hugged to my chest.  The student doctor held my shoulders as I arched my back as far as I could.  The anaesthesiologist quickly washed the area, felt my spine, and inserted the needle.  It felt like a small pin prick.  There was another little stab of pain, then a warm feeling washed down my body and into my feet.  I laid back down as they started adding attachments to the table.  Before I lost all feeling in my lower body they had my legs up in stirrups and my arms straight out to the sides.  I could somewhat feel people touching my lower body as they washed and prepped me, but there was no pain.

The table was tilted back to raise my lower body and I felt very vulnerable.  Blue sheets were placed so I couldn't see what was going on.  The anaesthesiologist sat by my head, making sure I was okay.  My upper body was shaking like crazy and they piled warm blankets on top of my chest and arms.  Dr. H got to work and I really couldn't feel anything besides the occasional jostling.  Everyone in the room remained upbeat so I tried to relax.  About 45 minutes after getting to the OR, the procedure was done.  Dr. H came over to talk to me while the others cleaned up.  He said the cerclage was successfully placed and not a moment too soon.  When he started the procedure I had been 2cm dilated with the membranes coming down.  If we had waited, who knows what may have happened.

I was transferred back to the gurney and wheeled to recovery.  L&D nurse went to find Dave after hooking me up to the monitors.  Dr. H checked on me again and warned about the coming pain once the spinal wore off.  It was at that time I learned they had placed a catheter during the procedure.  He explained that the spinal could impede my ability to urinate for a while so the catheter would stay until the next morning.  Awesome.  Dave came in, looking scared as hell.  He was very upset about not making it back up in time, but calmed down after hearing that everything went well.  I'll never forget the terrified look on his face when he learned that I was 2cm dilated at the start of the procedure.  We stayed in recovery until I regained enough feeling to wiggle my toes and bend my knees.

Around 11am I was brought back to the Mother/Baby unit.  My parents had already started their 5 hour drive down from Boston.  My mom would be staying with us for a while to help out as I would be on bed rest until further notice,  As the spinal continued to wear off I understood Dr. H's warning.  It felt like someone had beat my pelvis with a bat.  The nurse gave me a Percocet and some anti-cramping meds.  All the Percocet accomplished was making me very nauseous.  Zofran helped a bit and I tried to remain distracted by updating friends and playing iPad games.  My parents arrived a few hours later, just as the zofran wore off.  I greeted them by yelling for a bucket and puking up banana and water.  What a great daughter.

The pain was pretty bad for the rest of the day, especially when butterfly decided that kicking my cervix was fun.  After another Percocet failed to help, my awesome Nurse was able to get a one time order for Tylenol with codeine.  That worked like a charm and the pain went down to mild discomfort, mostly around the catheter.  Dave's parents came down and took him out to dinner.  My Dad had to head back home for work so Mom and I watched Frozen.  Dave went home to sleep and take care of the cats while Mom stayed with me overnight.

Dave arrived early the next morning with ice coffees and hash browns from Dunkin Donuts.  Have I mentioned before that he is the best husband ever?  Dr. H stopped by to see how I was doing.  He mentioned that I should expect to have bleeding for a few days and increased discharge.  That was all normal, but to be on the look out for leaking fluid.  Depending on how butterfly makes her entrance to the world, they'll either remove the cerclage at 36 weeks or just remove it during the scheduled C section.  We had an appointment set up to come back to the hospital in two weeks for an ultrasound.  They would check cervical length and the stitches.  He wished us well and said the on call OB from my office, Dr. B, would stop by to take care of the discharge paperwork.

The nurse came in and removed the IV and catheter.  I can't even describe how great it felt to have the catheter out.  We had a few more hours of waiting before Dr. B came in.  He laid out my bed rest instructions.  I could work from home for now, but if it became stressful then they would pull me out of work completely.  I could get out of bed to use the bathroom, take short showers, but could not be standing for more than 30 minutes.  Since we live on the third floor of the building with no elevator I can only leave the house for doctor's appointments.  Dr. B wanted me to schedule a follow up in the office for later in the day after the hospital ultrasound.  He left to go finish up the paperwork.  I took the opportunity to shower, which felt amazing, and changed into my regular clothes.  We were headed home within an hour.

The entire time I was in the hospital butterfly was perfect.  She was never in distress, her heart rate was always in the 150s during every check.  Whenever they strapped on the contraction monitor she would punch it.  As I write this now she is currently doing karate.  I am so thankful that the doctor's were monitoring for incompetent cervix and acted as quickly as they did.  Everyone from the OB staff, nurses, and MFM team were amazing and made sure we were in the loop and comfortable.  I look forward to seeing the hospital staff again for butterfly's grand entrance in a few months.        

Monday, September 15, 2014

A terrifying week: Part 1

Last week was probably one of the scariest weeks of my whole life.  Friday before last we headed in for the anatomy scan and cervical length check.  The tech pointed out everything she measured.  Seeing butterfly's little fingers and toes was amazing.  Being the trouble maker she is, butterfly would not get into position for all the pictures the tech needed.  After a quick bathroom trip it was back on the table for the cervical length check.  I could immediately tell that something was wrong.  The tech spent a lot of time measuring and getting different views.  We were then sent to the waiting room with no pictures as butterfly had not given up her profile shot.

When we were called back to meet with Dr. J I was practically shaking.  Dr. J came in and calmly explained that my cervix had shortened from 3.7cm last check to now 8mm.  We were to head over to the hospital immediately for observation.  After checking in we were taken to the evaluation wing and into a private room.  I was hooked up to the contraction monitor, which thankfully showed a quiet uterus.  They did another ultrasound to confirm the original tech's findings.  One of the MFM assistants came in, Dr. J, and did a speculum and internal exam to make sure my cervix was still closed.  It was, which she was very happy about.  Dr. C was the OB on call from my office and she came in to chat.  She said the MFM would come up after his rotation downstairs to talk with us about options.  Her recommendation was a cerclage, where they stitch the cervix shut, but the decision would be up to Dave, the MFM and me.

After a few hours, where I wasn't allowed to eat or drink in case we did the surgery, the MFM Dr. H came up to talk to us.  He explained the two options.  One, we could try progesterone and bed rest.  The concern about this route was it may not work at all.  Also, the study for this process had turned away anyone with a mullerian anomaly.  The second option was the cerclage.  With the cerclage there was a chance of him breaking my water during the procedure.  After discussing the options with Dave, we decided to try the progesterone and bed rest route first.  Once we got closer to viability at 24 weeks then we'd consider the cerclage.

I was discharged about an hour later with a prescription for Crinone, a vaginal progesterone suppository, and instructions for bed rest.  I could get up to use the bathroom and take short showers, but had to be in bed the rest of the time.  We would go back to the office on Tuesday for a follow up ultrasound and anatomy scan take two.  In the meantime I could work from home as long as I didn't get stressed.

We headed home, exhausted and hungry from the long day.  I got set up in bed and snuggled the kitties,  They were very happy to have us home after being gone most of the day.  With some sadness I backed out of my friend's bacherlorette party, knowing I likely would not be able to walk around that much in two weeks.  There was still hope I could at least attend the wedding, even if it meant being in a wheelchair for the day.

To be continued...  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Half baked!

I would first like to apologize for my absence.  Between work, vacation, and some anxiety I haven't been very good about posting blog updates.  We'll play a little catch up today, but I'll keep it short and sweet.

When we last left our intrepid heroes they were preparing for the next OB appointment.  On August 4th (16w6d) we left work a little early and headed to the office.  This was a big appointment involving the first cervical length check and one hour glucose test.  As we got closer I started drinking the orange glucola.  It wasn't too bad, just tasted like flat orange soda.  The appointment started with the ultrasound.  The tech started with an abdominal scan to check on butterfly.  She wasn't as active this time so the tech was able to get the measurements quickly.  Butterfly has both kidneys!  Since baby was looking down the whole time we didn't get a good profile picture.  The tech then switched to the dildo cam and measured my cervix.  Once she was done we headed out to the regular waiting room.  I was called back quickly to meet with Dr. K.  He was very nice and said my cervix was measuring nice and long at 3.7.  The Inherigen genetic disease test results had also come back all normal.  All that was left was getting blood drawn for the glucose test and the second part of the First Tri Screening.  Here is baby girl's ultrasound picture:

The next Friday we started our vacation.  We headed down to the Outer Banks for the week and had a great time.  The house was enormous and right on the beach.  There were 17 of us there, but it never felt crowded.  I somehow managed to not get sunburned so that is a win.  Experienced my first craving while there for amazing nachos at this one little grill.  Writing about it now makes me really want those nachos.  One thing I loved about the week was seeing Dave interact with his cousin's two young sons.  He's going to be such a good dad.

After getting home life has been filled with mostly work.  I've had some bad anxiety lately about reaching viability.  Many of the ladies in my UU support group have had losses between 18 to 24 weeks.  I'm so scared of losing butterfly when we've made it so far already.  Feeling her roll and kick is reassuring and I often poke and prod my belly to get her to move.  Hopefully the anatomy scan and cervical length check next Friday will help put my mind at ease.  Every night before bed I talk to butterfly about the day and ask her to please stay put until December at the very least.

Here are my bump pics from 17 to 19 weeks and below that is my full 20 week update.

17 weeks

18 weeks in the Outer Banks

19 weeks

How far along? 20w1d
Total weight gain/loss? Haven't weighed myself recently
Stretch marks? Nothing new
Maternity clothes? All the time except for a few long tanks and stretchy shirts
Sleep? Incredibly uncomfortable, thought the Boppy pillow has helped
Sex? Girl
Best moment of the week? 99% deciding on butterfly's first name
Movement? Lots of rolling and little punches/kicks
Food cravings? Indian food
Belly button in/out? In, but definitely getting shallower
What I miss: Comfortable sleep
What I am looking forward to: Anatomy scan next week!
Milestones: Butterfly is the size of a banana.  Also she is half baked!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

16 weeks

Seriously, where did the summer go?  I can't believe it will be August in just two days.  It feels like we have so much to do before baby girl gets here and time is just racing by.  One big thing will be marked off the list on Friday at least.  We'll be trading in my Nissan Versa for a Nissan Rogue SV.  Luckily we got everything in order before our big trip down to the Outer Banks in a little over a week.  It will be a nice test to see how much stuff we can fit in the car.

We also got started on our registries.  Started at Babies R'Us and Dave had fun running around with the handheld scanner.  About halfway through the store we decided to call it a night.  It was very hot in the store and we needed to research a few things.  I also started a babylist registry.  It's a really great site that lets you add items from anywhere on the internet.  To help get a handle on what we'll actually need I've been consulting Lucie's List.  There are just so many cute things, but we have limited space in our two bedroom condo.  Have to try and be conservative.

Our next OB appointment is next Monday!  I'm so excited to see butterfly again, but nervous about the cervical length check.  Really hoping everything looks okay and we'll be able to book the anatomy scan.  I'll also be doing the 1 hour glucose test.  Luckily I can drink the glucola before the appointment I can get the blood drawn either right before or right after the ultrasound.  Then we see Dr. K for the regular appointment and get to hear her heartbeat on the doppler.  I still haven't received the results from the Inherigen test, hopefully the OB office has them and it will be discussed on Monday.

How far along? 16w1d
Total weight gain/loss? +5.4 lbs
Stretch marks? Nothing new
Maternity clothes? Going shopping with MIL this weekend to stock up on new tops
Sleep? I've found sleeping with a pillow propped under one hip has been the most comfortable solution
Sex? Girl
Best moment of the week? Having a completely lazy Sunday at home with Dave and the cats
Movement? Feeling a lot more movement lately, lots of rolls and pokes
Food cravings? Broccoli and cheddar soup in a bread bowl from Panera
Belly button in/out? In
What I miss: Wine, we've had perfect 'sit on the balcony and drink wine' weather lately
What I am looking forward to: Picking up the car on Friday, seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, and my next OB appointment on Monday!
Milestones: Butterfly is the size of an avocado!  Also, this week baby girl is able to start hearing our voices.  Ever since the BFP I've talked to her before going to sleep.  It's nice to know she'll actually be able to hear me now.

Monday, July 28, 2014

I am a bad blogger (14 and 15 week updates)

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost three weeks since I last posted.  Sorry about that, life kind of got in the way.  Work has been crazy lately and my big project has hit some major speed bumps.  The latest one has put the whole project on hold for a week while the programmers review code.  It never fails, anytime we try to upgrade it breaks our system.  My bosses have been really pushing to see the new site and of course it goes to hell.  Really hoping everything is sorted out before we go on vacation.  I am not spending our week on the beach doing work crap.

Since I missed the 14 and 15 week updates (holy hell, where has the time gone?) I'll add them to this post.  It's mind boggling that tomorrow will mark 16 weeks!  We're almost halfway there!

How far along? 14 weeks
Total weight gain/loss? +5.5 lbs
Stretch marks? Nothing new
Maternity clothes? Regular tops are getting tight
Sleep? Very uncomfortable and getting up a lot to pee
Sex? Girl
Best moment of the week? Getting to hang out with my brother
Movement? A few more flutters
Food cravings? Still have the egg aversion
Belly button in/out? In, but I noticed it getting shallow
What I miss: Uninterrupted sleep
What I am looking forward to: Going up to Boston to visit family
Milestones: Butterfly is the size of a lemon

How far along? 15 weeks
Total weight gain/loss? +6 lbs
Stretch marks? Nothing new
Maternity clothes? Getting harder to find tops that fit
Sleep? Still trying to find a comfortable position
Sex? Girl
Best moment of the week? Visiting my family and spending time with my girlfriends
Movement? Started feeling some rolling sensations
Food cravings? No cravings, baby hates Chinese and Japanese food :(
Belly button in/out? In, but starting to stretch a bit
What I miss: Staying up late
What I am looking forward to: A completely plan free Sunday
Milestones: Butterfly is the size of a navel orange


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

13 weeks and NT scan

On Thursday we were having a BBQ at work for 4th of July.  Since our appointment was at 3 and we had to stop and check on our friend's guinea pigs beforehand we had planned on leaving work after the BBQ.  At noon the office staff headed downstairs to eat.  Well, the warehouse staff had already gone to town and by the time we got to the food there was only a meager amount of sausage and peppers (yuck!) and salad left.  Awesome.  Dave and I just left, figuring we could pick something up on the way.  After checking in on the pigs we ended up stopping at Wendy's to grab food.

We got home and loaded up the car.  Right after the appointment we would be leaving to head down to Wildwood for the holiday weekend.  Arrived at the OB office and got situated in the ultrasound waiting room.  The tech called us back and we got situated in the room.  It was an abdominal ultrasound, yay for getting to keep my pants on!  She started the scan and baby girl was moving and flailing around like crazy!  It was amazing to see, her little arms and legs were punching and kicking and she was bobbing up and down.  The tech started trying to get the needed measurements and shots, but baby girl had other plans.  Every time the tech zoomed in baby would jump out of the way.  The theme of the ultrasound ended up being the tech jiggling the probe against my abdomen and saying "come on baby, work with me".

Baby girl has two arms, two legs, bladder, stomach, nasal bone, and a NT measurement of 1.3.  Her heart was beating steadily at 165bpm.  The tech was very happy with how she looked and printed off lots of profile shots.  Here is she is:

Once the scan was finished the tech brought us over to the lab for the blood work portion of the test.  We had decided to do the genetic disease panel called Inherigen Plus as well.  It tests for 163 genetic diseases as well as Cystic Fibrosis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and Fragile X.  I had CF and SMA done during IF testing, but not Fragile X.  The blood draw was done quickly and it was back to the big waiting room.

We were supposed to be seeing Dr. B for the follow up.  After about 30 minutes of waiting the office manager came out and said that he was running about an hour behind due to earlier emergencies.  Unfortunately we could not wait that long.  Our hotel in Wildwood would only hold the reservation until 8pm.  We rescheduled the appointment for Monday and headed out.

The weekend in Wildwood was wonderful.  Two other couples joined us and it was a very relaxed weekend.  Arthur rained out the 4th of July festivities and everything was rescheduled for the next day.  Luckily Saturday was absolutely beautiful and we spent most of the day on the beach.  I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the weekend and very happy to get home to the kitties and our bed.  We posted our FB announcement after getting home:

How far along? 13 weeks
Total weight loss/gain? +5 lbs
Stretch marks? Nothing new
Maternity clothes? Maternity bottoms are a must, regular tops are getting snug in the chest area.
Sleep? Hard to find a comfortable position
Gender? Girl
Best moment of the week? Seeing butterfly during the NT scan
Movement? I felt some fluttering this morning, not sure if it was actually baby
Food cravings? No actual cravings, egg aversion is back though
Belly button in/out? In
What I miss: Staying up past 10pm
What I am looking forward to: Seeing my brother this weekend
Milestones: Butterfly is the size of a peach    
13 weeks