Monday, August 26, 2013

14 Weeks

This week was a busy week, with the start of second trimester, another appointment with the midwives, and a trip the E.R.

First things first, new baby apparently decided to celebrate being out of first trimester by moving all over the place, as I had a pretty hard time finding the heartbeat a couple of times.... and then so did the midwife. Each time she found it, a split second later it would be gone as the baby moved away. Sneaky thing :) Besides that, this month's appointment went well. I had been concerned with some of my lab results that the midwives had uploaded to the private file share/communication page (which is awesome and I wish all my care providers had that, by the way), and it turns out that not only had I misread the results, but I'm not even GBS positive (yet). So that was very good, and I started on probiotics this week to hopefully keep it that way.

But then Thursday night I started feeling not so great, and barely slept that night since my muscles on my torso were hurting so much. I thought it was just some normal pregnancy stuff (dealing with the digestive system), so I brushed it off even though I continued not feeling so great Friday either (which I then attributed to my lack of sleep from the night before). Saturday I woke up feeling fine, but by the afternoon my torso felt like it was being constricted, everything hurt from my midback up to my jaw, and I couldn't take a deep breath since it hurt too much. I tried laying down at one point and shot right back up, gasping for breath, since my back hurt so much and it was so difficult to breathe.

So first thing Sunday I went to Urgent Care, and of course I felt pretty good, with just some residual soreness at the bottom of my lungs when I took a deep breath. They thought I looked fine, but recommended I go straight to the E.R. anyway to rule out a blood clot. Did you know pulmonary embolism is the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the developed world? I sure didn't, but I learned this and much more as I frantically tried to conduct some internet research while sitting on a gurney so I could try to make an informed decision about the diagnostic tests they wanted to perform.

The E.R. suspected a possible blood clot in my lung, but also did bloodwork and tested for a UTI to try to see what might be going on, since I kind of suspected a virus might be at fault too, given Josie's random bout of throwing up Thursday night, my low grade fever Saturday, and Ryan waking up Sunday feeling like he got run over by a truck. They also wanted to do a CT scan, but I pushed back because of the risk of exposing the baby to radiation. So instead we did a V/G scan, which involved a chest X-ray (which has a lower level of radiation than a CT scan, and the baby was double shielded), and then getting an injection of radioactive isotopes (which go through my heart and then stay trapped in my lungs for 24 hours) and then having images of my lungs taken with a gamma camera. So also not great, but still well below the level of when radiation is normally damaging to babies. They also did a reduced dose of the isotopes and skipped the ventilation part of the scan, since the perfusion part looked fine, so that further reduced the baby's exposure. This is all still quite concerning to me, but since I'm no good to anyone if a blood clot takes me out, I felt like I needed to risk the exposure to confirm if that's what was going on.

And after all that - and 6 long hours on "E.R. time" as I started to call it as the minutes slipped away while I laid around waiting in various hallways - they were able to rule out a blood clot, said my vitals and bloodwork looked great (including no white blood cell elevation, so I guess that disproves my virus theory), but still didn't know what was causing all the pain. I feel much better today though, so who knows, and hopefully the opportunity won't come up again to give the doctors another shot at figuring out what it was....

Below is this week's comparison shot. Apparently I can still suck in my belly, seeing as how it appears to have shrunk this week :)
IMG_0311     IMG_0338

Sunday, August 18, 2013

13 Weeks / 12w3d Ultrasound / NT Scan

Well, the big news from this week is we started telling people :) It was time for two reasons: 1) our ultrasound/NT scan on Tuesday went well, so we felt comfortable letting family in on the secret, and 2) I could no longer suck in my belly comfortably at work, so I started telling people there. It's both exciting/a relief to be able to tell people now, and still nerve-wracking, since I'm not out of first trimester yet and I'm still so anxious about losing this little one too. So the doppler has gotten quite the workout this week, but at least as of this morning, I was able to get assurance that things are ok in the form of a nice, strong heartbeat :)

So we had our first ultrasound since I was 8 weeks along on Tuesday at 12w3d. New baby looked good, measured a couple of days ahead, and was kicking and flipping all over the place. The heartbeat had dropped down from the 171bpm measured at my last appointment 3 weeks ago and is now 147bpm, which is fine since it's still over 120bpm. Josie went with Ryan and me to this appointment since we didn't think we'd have time for Ryan to drop her off at daycare and then get to the doctor's in time, although we ended up waiting almost an hour anyway, so poor Josie was a bit of a mess by time the ultrasound started. It was still nice to have them both there, though (until Ryan had to take off with her), and we had a nice family moment watching new baby kick around with Josie sitting on Ryan's lap and Josie and I holding hands (ignoring the fact that we were doing that to try to prevent her from melting down).

The NT scan is to check for increased risk for Down syndrome and Trisomy 13/18, determined by the thickness of the nuchal fold (area behind the neck), presence of the nasal bone, and bloodwork. So we knew before we left that day that two of the three looked good, since the baby has a nasal bone and the nuchal fold only measured 1.6mm (anything under 2.5mm is good). We got the bloodwork back a few days later so I'm officially lowered to a risk of 1 in >10,000, which is great.

For symptoms this week, I'm thinking the possible movement I felt last week wasn't a fluke, since I've felt fluttering a few more times since then. The nausea is still hanging around, and is actually worse now, since I've had to wear my Sea-bands all day several times. I also, sadly, came to the conclusion that naps are no longer allowed for me. Sleep is still a joke, as I wake up each morning utterly unrested from a night of crazy dreams and waking up repeatedly from 3am on, and I'm not even able to get my one sleep-in day on the weekends since I'm always awake and unable to get back to sleep by 7am anyway. So I had been looking forward to napping during Josie's naps on the weekends, except the last two times I did that, it took me over an hour to fall asleep at night, and then about an hour later, I would wake up and then basically be awake more than asleep the remainder of the night. So... no more naps :(

Here is the comparison picture for this week. And, as I did with Josie, I'll make public the private posts I've been writing for new baby, so several older posts will be suddenly appearing shortly :)

IMG_0306     IMG_0311

Sunday, August 11, 2013

12 Weeks

Ryan didn't believe it would happen so soon, but someone actually noticed my belly at work this week :) Normally I'm still able to suck it in enough that no one would notice, but I was alone in the kitchen and not thinking about it when one of our (very observant) directors came in and immediately called me out. Only another week before I'll stop trying to hide it anyway, so we'll see if she is able to keep a secret until then too ;)

Besides that, this week my nausea got a bit worse than it has been. It has been fairly easily alleviated by Sea-bands and pretzels or ginger (tea or candies), but this week there were a few days when none of those things helped.... leading to a very rough commute home (where I normally have some trouble anyway). I've had a weird relationship with food this week too, though. I haven't really felt like eating a lot of the time, and yet I'm so hungry most of the time, and giving in to some of my cravings has really hit the spot. Ryan made me scrambled eggs for dinner one night, which was great, and then I also got some pasta at work one day. So, in case it isn't obvious, I take notes every day (both for these weekly updates and for Josie's monthly updates - there is no way my memory would be good enough to remember all this minutiae otherwise ;) ), and my note from that day pretty much sums it up: "had penne with meatballs for lunch and it was seriously the most delicious thing ever".

I've also still been checking the baby's heartbeat on my doppler every other day since I was first able to find it at about 10 weeks... it's such a source of comfort to me to be able to check in and at least know this little one is still with me. I'll just feel so much better once I can feel it moving too. And speaking of which, I possibly felt the baby move already! It seems really early, but I've heard it's possible to feel it this early with subsequent babies. My belly was rhythmically pulsing for maybe 10 seconds right at 12 weeks, so we'll see if I feel it again anytime soon.
IMG_0288     IMG_0306

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Yes, I'm giving up on doing "#X Month" updates and just switching to calendar months. One of the benefits of Josie turning two is I no longer need to remember how many months she is :)

So for this month, Josie learned a few more shapes and can now identify (and say) circle, square, triangle, rectangle, star, and heart. She started asking for certain books by name now (albeit made-up names, but at least recognizable), and knows several color names, although she's not very good at actually matching the names to the correct color quite yet. She loves to yell bye to everything ("bye Roomba!" "bye meat!" "bye bug!"), and also said her first few sentences (we forgot to record the first one, but I know one of them was "Mommy drink water"). Josie has also gotten spoiled by the nightly parade of deer past the play room windows as we eat dinner and has taken to yelling for mommy deer and baby deer... which usually show up, much to her delight :)
[Saying bye to everything]

Josie's drawings have also really gotten more sophisticated (at least, for a 2-year-old) this month. She has started drawing things (rather than just circles, lines, or dots) and telling us what they are - so she's apparently drawn a banana and octopus now (the latter of which she has been obsessed with lately, along with crabs and fish). I also didn't understand her one time when she asked me to draw a rainbow, so she did it herself and I actually recognized it. 

Besides all that, the big adventure from this month was our annual trip to the lake. We headed back to Lake Gaston for a week with Ryan's family, and had a great time - I especially liked my little slice of terra firma, since my motion sickness doesn't let me hang out on the dock or in the water for very long with everyone else.

One of Josie's favorite parts from the trip seemed to be digging around in the sand, so when she wasn't out on the water in her float, she (and her cousins) kept me company.


One of Josie's other favorite parts of the trip appeared to be the large number of Little People (and accessories) that came with the house. That was the first and last thing she wanted to play with each day (probably because it was directly outside our bedroom door).

We all had a great time this year (helped in large part by Josie's awesome sleep the whole week - an extra hour each night and usually an extra hour each nap), although I suspect Josie got a little overstimulated again, since she stopped playing so nicely with everyone about midway through the week and just wanted to be left on her own. It turns out she does basically the same thing at daycare too (plays with the other kids for a couple of hours, then just wants to play on her own or cuddle with the adults). But before all that happened, she learned to say her aunts' and cousins' names better and "Papa great", and how to blow it up.

The only real downside to the whole week was this: the endless flight of stairs from the house to the water. I could only handle going up them 1.5 times a day (making the last half of the second trip especially tiring/painful).

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[Even getting a haircut, her finger had to stay in her mouth]
[Counting - with some repeats and skipped numbers, but counting nevertheless :)]

Saturday, August 3, 2013

11 Weeks

As when I was pregnant with Josie too, I was worried about what would happen when I stopped my meds.... and as when I was pregnant with Josie, my symptoms continued on just as usual, and actually seemed to get a bit worse, which was comforting. I even had a few days this week that the nausea got pretty bad an hour or so before I left work. Since I already have to wear my Sea-bands for the drive home anyway, that made me a bit nervous to be feeling sick before even leaving work. Despite that, I was fine every day except one, where I was basically laid out for a couple of hours after getting home before I started feeling better.

I've been craving doughnuts for at least a couple of weeks now, and I had a chance to satisfy this craving with a free doughnut on Monday... and then quickly remembered why I don't like doughnuts all that much as it sat like a brick all morning. Now I'm craving apples, which is much better :)

Besides that, I've felt just fine except for being hungry all the time (and yet not wanting to eat anything except apples and pretzels), sleeping poorly (complete with crazy dreams every.single.night), and going on two weeks with a cold.

IMG_0265     IMG_0288