11 weeks pregnant

For the first time yesterday in over 5 weeks, I went an entire day without feeling terrible.  Beginning on day one of week 6, and continuing for 3 solid weeks I was sick day and night.  Then, it began to subside starting in the morning.  Over the next few weeks I would start getting sick later and later in the day.  I don’t think the pregnancy sickness is gone for good, but i was relieved to have a day off.

On Monday, I have my Nuchal Translucency Screening Ultrasound.  Each time I go in for an appointment, I am super nervous.  SO much so, that I can’t bring myself to look at the screen until she confirms that she sees the babe’s heartbeat.  I have noticed that my blood pressure is higher than it normally is, each time I go in for an appointment.  Will this anxiety ever end?

My body is starting to kick into high gear also.  In perfect time with the pregnancy sickness respite, the constipation and heartburn started this morning.  My belly is starting to pop out, although it has been working its way out since week 9.  The first couple of weeks though, the protruding layer of belly pudge was all that was there.  It is starting to firm up, and feel more solid.

I took a leap of faith after my last doc appointment and allowed myself to unpack my maternity clothes.  I was desperate for maternity underwear.  One of the difficult parts from the miscarriage last year was packing up my maternity clothes (that I had just pulled out of the garage).  It is an odd thing to be pregnant one day, and not pregnant the next…with nothing to show for it.

I having also been paying keen attention to my body and being hyper critical of every symptom.  Every time my stomach hurts, probably from eating wheat, I look for spotting and worry that I am going to miscarry.  I analyze my stomach size and firmness daily.  I check to be certain my breast are still sore and tender.  I don’t want to be blindsided again.  As if you can ever be prepared for a loss…

The boys are excited about the baby.  Elliott is especially so.  He will randomly look at my belly, and say “baby!”  Whenever he talks about the baby, he prefaces it with, “when the baby comes out of your vagina.”    Spencer is more aloof about it.  He doesn’t realize how it will change his life yet.

We have told most of our family.  And for whatever reason, be it our own calmness or their true feelings, they seem happier for us this time around.  Which is a welcome relief.


1st prenatal appt.

It seems that bad luck follows on birthdays.  I found out we lost our 3rd baby last year on Spencer’s birthday.  And this year, 2 days before my birthday we almost suffered another loss.

I had my first prenatal appt. on Monday Aug 20th.  I went through all of the normal 1st appt. questions.  We got to the trans vaginal ultrasound and the nurse said she saw a large sac, but didn’t see any of the normal fetal structures.  She didn’t see a heartbeat and she couldn’t really measure a fetal pole.    She suggested that I return in a week to look again, that perhaps it was too early.  In all of my pregnancies–I have always seen a heartbeat at 7 weeks.  So, needless to say, I was freaking out.  She also suggested I have some basic blood work done.  If the results yielded anything she would call me.
She did call me that evening, and said that after consulting with another doctor, she thinks I am having an abnormal pregnancy.  She indicated that my blood work combined with the ultrasound results indicated either a molar or an ectopic pregnancy.  Ok, this sucks.  She said I should go to radiology first thing in the morning for a detailed ultrasound.  Hubby and I were dumbstruck.  If it was a molar pregnancy, and all signs pointed that way, I would need another D&C.  I couldn’t get an IUD, and I couldn’t try for another pregnancy (not that I would!!!) for 6-12 months.  Not to mention the loss, and grief and recovery.

I went to radiology at 3pm Tuesday.  The tech did an abdominal US first.  He immediately saw my baby, the heartbeat, and that everything looked normal.  I was nervously relieved.  He also did a vaginal US to make sure the baby was in the correct place (and not ectopic).  All signs pointed to a normal pregnancy.

The nurse called that evening and confirmed the diagnosis–we have a normal pregnancy!  I agreed to keep my 1 week follow up appt with her, rather than go over all of the ‘next steps’ over the phone.

What a crazy 24 hours!  

Our New House

Pregnancy loss happens frequently.  There are tons of stats on-line that speak of 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in miscarriage, often before you are even aware of begin pregnant.  And, while I am a very logical, rational person, nothing prepares you for the loss of your baby.

It is life altering.  It changed the way I thought in ways unimaginable.  It has affected my relationships with people and how they view their own pregnancies.  It changes the way I view myself and my reproductive capacity.  
When we discovered that we lost our baby, it was a sadness I had never in my life experienced.  It was a pain I had never known.  There was a pit in my stomach that was empty and vast.  It was a pain, that if left unattended, could sweep on into a dark abyss of depression.  
As time has worn on, I have healed.   I have allowed love and happiness back in and pushed the despair and sadness out.  I learned to appreciate my family with renewed intensity.  I felt lucky and grateful to have my boys, when so many families long to have just one healthy child.  
My husband felt like the miscarriage was the universes way of saying that we weren’t meant to have this child.  I resented him for saying that.  I knew that science just didn’t align.  But, I also felt a small sense of relief.  The pregnancy was wanted, the baby was very much wanted and loved.  But, the timing was all wrong.
We were living in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1000 sq foot, 102 year old house.  We didn’t have heat or A/C, we didn’t have a driveway or attached garage, and we were always on top of each other.  I know that families make due with much less every.single.day.  And I would’ve made it work–but, it was beyond stressful with 2 small kids and the possibility of a 3rd on the way.  
In many ways the loss is what motivated our family to buy a bigger house.  We moved into our new house at the end of March.  It is more than 2 and a 1/2 times bigger than our previous house and totally upgraded.  4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, a wonderful kitchen and yard, with a massive attached garage.  We loved living in a small space–it forced us to be cozy, uber organized, and very conscience of our purchases and possessions.  But, the kids are so much happier having their own space.  The boys still share a room, and I hope they always will.  But, they can play in different rooms and spaces and not be right on top of one another.   The boys ages or this new space has had a very positive effect for everyone: we are all finally sleeping better! 

Pregnancy Loss

June 15th would’ve been my due date with baby #3.  I had a ‘missed miscarriage’ in December.  

I knew I was pregnant on day one.  My morning sickness, in typical fashion, began on the first day of the 6th week.  I had my first prenatal appointment and ultrasound at 7 weeks and saw the babies heartbeat.    
For Thanksgiving weekend, we went to visit my hubby’s BFF and his family in Santa Fe, NM.  The weekend was pleasant, and I was finally starting to feel better.  My morning sickness was not as bad as it was with my first two pregnancies.  I thought I was getting away with something.  I felt lucky, and thankful.
I had some very minor spotting, but not anything major.  I didn’t fall.  I wasn’t cramping and I didn’t notice anything different.  Except that I was feeling better than I had with my other 2 pregnancies.
My doctors appointment was on my son’s 2nd birthday, Monday November 28th.  It was an evening appointment, so the OB office was closed.  The midwife was nice, I had seen her once before.  She did another ultrasound since I was having some spotting.  She didn’t find a heartbeat, and the baby stopped growing around 8 weeks 6 days.
I was so stunned.  I was alone.  Jeff called me on the cell to be sure everything was ok, as the appt. was taking a long time.  I could barely speak the words to him. 
We had a birthday dinner for Spencer and a cake.  
The next day, as the midwife instructed, I called to schedule a D&C.  If my body had expelled the ‘contents of the pregnancy’ on its own, I would have had a natural miscarriage.  But, since my body wasn’t handling things on its own, I was encouraged to have surgical intervention.  I also could not bear the idea of having a dead baby inside of me.  There was a major miscommunication with the office staff and the surgical scheduler.  It took until Thursday for someone to call me back.  That was the longest 3 days E.V.E.R.  I spent the whole time crying and the most sad I have ever felt.  I was scheduled for pre-op Thursday afternoon, and surgery first things Friday morning.  
Since it was such short notice, we didn’t have any coverage for the kids.  So, Jeff dropped me off for surgery and left with the kids.  The hospital staff and surgeon were amazing.  So sensitive and supportive.   I was under general anesthesia, so I don’t have any memory of the procedure.  
It was a difficult recovery.  Both emotionally and physically.  There was a point where I knew that if didn’t get off the couch RIGHT THEN, that I was going to slip into a major depression.  Having to put away the maternity clothes that I had just taken out of the garage and washed.  Having to cancel my baby center subscription.  Getting my period back.  Putting aside the idea that our little house was soon going to be welcoming a baby.  But mostly coming to terms with not being pregnant any more.  Once day I was happily expecting my 3rd baby, and the next day my baby was dead and I wasn’t pregnant. Slowly, we shared the news with our friends and family.  I had to tell all of my Stroller Strides Mama’s.  I even had to tell some people that I wasn’t expecting (friends from the park, or playgroups).  
Sharing was an interesting experience.  I am not a private or secretive person.  But, sharing something so deeply personal was beyond difficult.  For some people it seemed harder for them to hear, than it was for me to talk about.  For a few people, I was a way to bond over shared experiences.  And for most they were very supportive.       
It has been 6 months, and I feel better, almost recovered.  I don’t know if I can ever go through that again, but I am trying to move on.

Day 1, third time around

I wrote this post on the day I discovered I was pregnant for the third time (approx. Aug 2011).  I was so nervous about the positive test result that I made myself sick.  I wanted to capture my feelings that day so that I could remember them.  Here they are:

Today is day 28.  For those who know about menstrual cycles and luteal phases and pregnancy tracking you will know what I mean.

I didn’t get my period today.  I was bitchy and short according to my loving husband.

What I got instead is that gross taste in my mouth–the one that tastes like you have dry mouth combined with bad breath.  About a week ago I also got heartburn, and it hasn’t let up.  I haven’t had heartburn like this since I was pregnant.  Ouch!  I also woke up in the middle of the night last night, sat straight up in bed and walked to the kitchen for a drink of water and a snack.  Odd.

So, this morning, when I still didn’t have any cramps or any period symptoms (discharge, purging of the digestive system, etc.), I took a pregnancy test.  

And it was positive.  Holy shit.  

Getting back on my bike

I am negligent.  I have been thinking of blogging.  Feeling guilty about it.  Writing down topics to discuss and share.  Yet, in the last 6 months so much has happened that I want to share.  Where do I begin?

I guess the first place to begin is the pregnancy.  And then the pregnancy loss.  The depression.  The weight gain.  The recovery.  And now the aftermath.

I will start there.