Wednesday, February 24, 2010

14 weeks (and 2 days)

Well, there isn't anything exciting to say this week.  Work sucks this week, and I am just trying to make it through to my next ultrasound next Tuesday.  Our trip to Sacramento was really nice.  One of my good friends in California is pregnant and due just 5 days before me.  She had a miscarriage just this past summer, so we are both in the same boat emotionally.  Its really nice to have someone who understands exactly how I feel.  I think it will be really cool to have our babies about the same time too.  I am excited to find out what we are both having!

I don't feel sick much anymore, but I am starting to feel very uncomfortable off and on.  I get random aches and pains and my lower back hurts sometimes.  I'm afraid of how I will feel later on if I'm already having this problem.  Hopefully it will just stay like this and won't get much worse.  I can handle this.

I have always been a stomach sleeper.  Its just so much more comfortable to me.  Right after I found out I was pregnant it became really uncomfortable to sleep on my stomach, so I had to adjust to sleeping on my back.  I had finally adjusted to the change and was doing fine, when it started to become uncomfortable on my back too.  So, now I have to sleep on my side, which I have absolutely never done before.  I kept having to turn over every hour or so because my shoulder and hip started hurting on one side.  It was terrible!  I mentioned it to my sister and she said I need a body pillow.  I am a 1 pillow kind of girl.  Darren has 6 pillows on his side of the bed, but I have always only had 1.  I don't like to be constricted when I sleep.  I enjoy spreading out.  Unfortunately, I don't have much of a choice anymore.  I broke down and got the body pillow.  I hate using it, but it definitely makes sleeping on my side more comfortable.  It will just take me a while to get used to.  It doesn't help that I get up about 3 times every night. :(  I have always said that if I have kids I would like to have at least 2.  I may rethink that if it means being so uncomfortable for months.  I know Darren says no way on 2 kids, but the option will remain open.  We'll see.  I have to make it through another 24 weeks or so.

Monday, February 15, 2010

13 weeks (the 2nd trimester begins)

I am 13 weeks along today.  According to my book I am now beginning the 2nd trimester.  Things are going well as far as I know.  I think these next couple of weeks may be the hardest though.  This is the time when I start feeling better, but I am not big enough yet for anyone to tell I am pregnant.  I know everything is fine, but if I'm not feeling "bad", and I can't visibly tell I'm pregnant, its hard to know for sure how things are going.  I have another ultrasound in 2 weeks, so I just have to make it until then.  We are flying out to Sacramento later this week and staying for a few days.  Its always nice to have a bit of a distraction. :)

I have always heard about pregnant women becoming very emotional, but I don't think I had really experienced it much.  I know I have had a shorter fuse about certain things and I have been quicker to get annoyed about stupid things, but nothing really that set me off.  Well, Saturday morning I had my first official breakdown.  I can laugh about it now, but it was not a good experience when it happened.  I woke up pretty early because Darren had morning airport standby.  He left and I just got up.  My mission for the morning was to find some new jeans.  You can't tell I'm pregnant yet, but my jeans are definitely tighter and getting uncomfortable.  I only wear them on weekends because my weekdays are spent in scrubs (which is wonderful!).  I figured I should just go out and get a pair of those nice stretchy jeans that pregnant women wear since I will need them in a couple of weeks anyway.  I figured Kohl's would be a good place to look.  Before I left I needed breakfast of course.  In the past I have had a problem throwing up if I didn't have anything to eat, but I haven't thrown up in a couple of weeks.  I didn't have much left in the house for breakfast since we hadn't been shopping, but I had a small amount of cereal left.  I polished it off, without milk.  It was maybe a third of the amount I usually eat, but I felt ok.  I finished getting ready, took my pills, and left for Kohl's.  I normally go to the one in Southlake, but headed toward Hurst this time instead.  That was a mistake.  There was major construction on the road to that Kohl's and it annoyed me.  I made it to Kohl's and started walking around their store.  I know they have a maternity section, but I walked around the entire store twice and couldn't find it.  My annoyance meter had started to climb.  I finally asked someone and she told me they had moved it to the middle of the toddler section while they remodel the store.  I found the area and was disappointed to see just 2 racks of clothes!  Fortunately, they did have the stretchy pants I wanted.  Unfortunately, they didn't have them in petite sizes.  I am not a small person, but I am short.  I have to wear petite pants or I am constantly stepping on them.  I decided to go ahead and try a regular sized pair, but of course they were too long.  I left the store frustrated and even more annoyed.  Walmart is just down the street from Kohl's so I thought I'd stop in there and see if they had maternity clothes.  I figured they would have something.  I walked in and looked around a bit, but didn't see anything, so I stopped to ask the dressing room attendant.  This was another mistake.  She apparently did not speak English.  I had to ask 3 times before she finally said "oh ya at the front".  Well, I knew that was wrong because I had just looked all over at the front.  I walked up there anyway and found another employee who looked like she spoke English.  Sure enough she told me they didn't have maternity clothes.  What a waste of time that was!  By this point my annoyance was getting extremely high and my hunger started to kick in.  I walked over to the deli section just to grab a bagel or donut or something, but they didn't have anything like that!  My normal Walmart has a whole section of single serving donuts, muffins, and bagels.  I thought for sure they all would.  Oh well, I figured I'd just drive down the street some more and stop in at QT.  They always have fresh muffins and donuts.  So I get in the car and back out to that crappy construction road.  I am only allowed to turn one way out of the parking lot, the wrong way.  Now I have to fight through the stupid construction again and find a spot to make a u-turn the other way.  I am getting really hungry by this point.  QT is literally right there, but I couldn't get to it!  After another 5 minutes I am finally heading down the street the correct direction when it happened.  I couldn't stop it.  I am in the middle of the road with absolutely nowhere to stop or pull over and I threw up all over myself!  Of course, I had absolutely nothing in the car to catch it or clean it up with.  So, now I am covered in vomit with no way to clean it up and I have to drive all the way home that way.  This totally set me off and I just started bawling.  I cried all the way home.  I felt so humiliated with vomit all over my clothes and my purse.  I didn't even have anything to wipe it off my face with, and it was in my hair too, and it smelled terrible!  It took about 10 minutes to get home and I had to immediately strip off all my clothes and throw them in the wash.  I even had to dump out my purse and wash it too.  Then I had to take another shower.  I cried the entire time.  At this point I couldn't stop.  Darren called when I got out of the shower and I had to tell him the whole story.  He was very good about not laughing at me right then, though I bet he wanted to.  I finally calmed down after I talked to him and managed to scrounge up some food to calm my stomach a bit.  Then I had to go out and clean up my car.  There wasn't much to clean, but the seatbelt got some on it.  Unfortunately no amount of scrubbing could get the smell all the way out, and now my car smells bad every time I get in it.  I have learned my lesson though, always eat enough breakfast so this doesn't happen again.  I did go out later that afternoon and found a Motherhood Maternity store.  They had all kinds of stretchy pants and I found some in the perfect size!  It made me much happier. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Down's Syndrome Test

I had the first part of a 2 part Down's Syndrome test done last Monday.  Prior to this I had never thought much about Down's Syndrome or the testing for it.  This prompted me to do some curious research and I thought I would share what I learned because it interested me and some people have been asking questions about it since then.  I'm going to try and explain it all as simply as possible.  Let me first say that this test is not just for Down's Syndrome, although that is the most common diagnosis from it.  The test also determines the risk for Edward's Syndrome.  Both of these conditions are due to a trisomy at one of the chromosomes.  Humans have 46 total chromosomes in 23 pairs.  Everyone inherits 23 from each parent, including 1 sex chromosome from each parent.  In these syndromes, a baby will actually inherit an extra chromosome, so Down's Syndrome babies inherited 3 copies of chromosome 21 and Edward's Syndrome babies inherited 3 copies of chromosome 18.  Edward's Syndrome is much more severe than Down's Syndrome and only 5-10% of babies born with this condition will survive the first year.

Every pregnant woman has a standard risk for having a baby born with Down's Syndrome.  This risk is based purely on the age of the mother.  For example, my risk based on my age of 30 is 1 in 900.  The screening test they perform then adjusts that risk up or down based on the test results.  This test does not diagnose Down's Syndrome, it only assesses your risk.  If the test is "positive" it only means your risk is higher than normal and they will offer another test, such as an amniocentesis, to determine for sure if your baby has Down's or not.  The test I was given is a 2-step test.  The first part is completed between 10-14 weeks. I had mine done at 12 weeks.  The test includes the nuchal fold thickness measurement, which is a fluid filled space behind the neck of the fetus.  If this fluid filled space is unusually thick it is a preliminary indication that the baby may be at higher risk for Down's Syndrome or Edward's Syndrome.  From what I read, anything under 3mm is considered normal.  They measured my baby's at 1.6mm, well within the normal range.  After that test they took a blood sample from me to measure a couple of markers in my blood.  Each of these markers would show as either higher or lower than normal if my baby were at higher risk for Down's Syndrome.  If after these 2 tests I screened "positive" they would offer me the extra test.  If I screened "negative" I would have the blood test repeated in 4 weeks to be totally sure of the low risk.  I hope this makes sense to everyone.  It can be confusing.

Anyway, the results of my blood test came back on Friday.  Based on these results, they have lowered the risk of my baby having Down's Syndrome or Edward's Syndrome from the standard 1 in 900 to 1 in 10,000.  This is an excellent result.  Now, I just have to go back at 16 weeks and have the 2nd blood test.  Honestly, I don't think I really even need to do the 2nd blood test, but I won't skip it.  Its not a big deal, I am just kind of sick of having my blood drawn, especially since they have problems every single time.  Oh well, I will survive it. :)

On another note, I have had some people tell me that my baby is a girl based on the heart rate.  That is an old wives tale and it is not true at all.  My baby may very well be a girl, but not based purely on the higher heart rate.  This also piqued my interest, so I did a bit of Google searching and actually found a scientific study done to investigate this.  The study also determined the predictive value of 2 other common myths to determine sex, the Chinese calendar method, and the Draino method (which I had never heard of before).  It was an interesting study and proved there is absolutely no basis in fact for any of these methods.  They are no better than guessing at predicting sex.  I guess we will just have to wait for the ultrasound to tell us (which isn't fool proof either).  Anyway, here is the link to the study if anyone else is interested in it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

12 weeks

I am 12 weeks pregnant as of yesterday.  You may have noticed the new pictures posted earlier.  I had an appointment with the high risk OB yesterday, and had a pretty detailed ultrasound.  I guess that's the good thing about my situation.  I get a bunch of extra ultrasounds that most women with normal pregnancies don't get.  Its extremely cool to see how the development progresses every few weeks.  The rate of change is absolutely amazing!  My next appointment is at 15 weeks with my regular doctor and I am scheduled to have an ultrasound then too.  I'm looking forward to it. :)

Anyway, about that appointment yesterday.  I had to drive all the way into downtown Ft. Worth for it and the weather was terrible.  Thankfully I left with plenty of time because I had to fight slow traffic and an accident.  The paperwork I received in the mail specifically told me I may be waiting a while because they tend to take longer with women when they notice a problem.  I totally understand that and I took my Kindle along just in case.  My appointment time was at 12:30, but I didn't actually get called back until 2pm!  The waiting room was packed the entire time.  When I went back I was taken into an ultrasound room with the ultrasound technician.  She did the initial look and took a bunch of measurements (and the pictures).  The ultrasound equipment looked pretty much the same as my doctor has, but this room had a 42" flat panel on the wall for the patient to see.  Its amazing the detail you can see when the picture is blown up so large. :)  The baby was moving around like last time and looked just fine to me.  The heartbeat was 160.  It did measure a bit longer than what is expected for my due date.  They had me about 5 days farther along than I am, which is impossible, but I guess the baby just had a big growth spurt, or I may just have a large baby.  I hope that's not the case (for birthing sake), but its definitely possible.  So, after the technician left I just sat there and waited for another 20 minutes or so for the doctor to come in.  When he finally showed I was very unimpressed.  I don't like him at all.  The first thing he asked me when he walked in was if I liked taking the shots.  I said no, but it wasn't really a big deal.  Then he proceeded to tell me that I can stop taking them any time because they aren't doing anything for me and he could write me a prescription for M&Ms and they would do the same thing.  Now, I already knew this doctor didn't agree with my treatment, but the way he said it really annoyed me.  He could have a little more tact anyway.  It seems to me that a man in his position would have a bit better bedside manner.  The rest of the meeting went ok I guess.  He did his own ultrasound and took more measurements.  He didn't say much, but did tell me my baby has a nice facial profile.  I guess that's something anyway. :)  He did the nuchal fold measurement for Down's Syndrome and it was well within the normal range.  That was about it.  He said everything looks fine.  They did have me get some blood drawn to do the full Down's Syndrome test.  I got a brochure about it.  The test is a 2 step process.  They do the measurement and the blood test and then if you screen negative, the blood test is repeated in 4 weeks.  If you screen negative after that part the risk of Down's Syndrome is very low.  I think this is a standard thing they do at this office because the desk receptionist gave me the brochure about the test when I checked in.  The good news is all I have to do is go back to this office in 4 weeks for the 2nd blood test and then I never have to go back there again, unless I get a positive Down's screen anyway.  I'm not at all worried about that though.  The doctor said everything looks fine, and I did a bit of my own research after I got home and reassured myself that there isn't anything to worry about with that.  I'm glad, because I will be happy if I never have to see that doctor again.  At least I got some good pictures out of the appointment!

It won’t be like this for long


It won’t be like this for long

by: Darius Rucker

He didn't have to wake up
He'd been up all night
Layin’ there in bed listenin’
To his new born baby cry
He makes a pot of coffee
He splashes water on his face
His wife gives him a kiss and says
It gonna be OK

It won’t be like this for long
One day soon we'll look back laughin’
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby just hold on
‘Cause it won't be like this for long

Four years later ‘bout 4:30
She's crawling in their bed
And when he drops her off at preschool
She's clinging to his leg
The teacher peels her off of him
He says what can I do
She says now don't you worry
This’ll only last a week or two

It won’t be like this for long
One day soon you'll drop her off
And she won’t even know you're gone
This phase is gonna fly by
If you can just hold on
It won’t be like this for long

Some day soon she'll be a teenager
And at times he'll think she hates him
Then he'll walk her down the aisle
And he'll raise her veil
But right now she's up and cryin’
And the truth is that he don't mind
As he kisses her good night
And she says her prayers

He lays down there beside her
‘Til her eyes are finally closed
And just watchin’ her it breaks his heart
Cause he already knows

It won’t be like this for long
One day soon that little girl is gonna be
All grown up and gone
Yeah, this phase is gonna fly by
So, he's tryin’ to hold on

‘Cause it won’t be like this for long

It won’t be like this for long

It's Got Legs.....And No Idea How to Use Them!

In the last photos, legs weren't visible. I wasn't present when the photos below were taken, but almost like the Dr. knew....the legs were identified and marked. Nice. Apparently I missed out at the last visit as the office has a 42 inch flat screen set up just for the "baby daddy" to watch.

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Click on the photos for larger versions.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

11 weeks (and 1 day)

The last 3 weeks have been difficult to get through.  My thoughts have been the enemy.  It even went so far as a couple of nightmares about miscarriages.  The cruise last week was great!  We had a wonderful time and ate a lot of food.  I think that helped a lot with my sickness.  I was so full all the time that I didn't throw up the entire time we were gone.  Of course, we came home and the next morning I did throw up again once.  Hopefully that has passed.  I find that when I eat more I feel better, but of course that means weight gain.  I am trying not to worry too much about that right now.  I am still exhausted all the time though.  I didn't really feel it so much when we were on the cruise, but I think its because I got plenty of sleep every night and I wasn't doing a lot during the days to make me tired.  Now that I'm home and back into my normal routine I am really exhausted.  Hopefully that passes in a few weeks as well.  I know it really bothers Darren, but there isn't much I can do about it.  I haven't been awake for the 10pm news in a long time.  We used to watch it every night before we went to sleep.  Oh well, its the same stories as the 6pm news. :)

Anyway, the good news is that after 3 weeks of torturing myself with bad thoughts I had another ultrasound today and things look great!  The baby is exactly where it should be on growth right now.  It was moving all over the place, which I hadn't seen before.  It was very exciting to see.  The heart rate was at 163, which is excellent too.  I know some people think that a heart rate that high means its a girl, but that is completely untrue.  Its an old wives tale.  I am still thinking boy, but I don't really care either way, and I won't speculate.  I will wait for confirmation from a medical professional.  I am just happy we have a perfectly healthy baby so far.  My doctor is extremely happy with my progress.  Darren was even able to come today so he saw the real thing for the first time.  The next step is a visit to the high risk OB on Monday.  I think it will just be this one appointment to check everything out.  If I look fine to them then I don't think I will have to keep going back there.  We'll see what they say though.  After that, my next appointment with my doctor is on March 2nd.  I will be 15 weeks then.  Hopefully I will start showing by then.  Perhaps I will feel better about everything when I can actually see and feel that I'm pregnant.  I am feeling much better about things now though.  The chances of something going wrong at this point are extremely small.  This treatment really does work!!