Quick Update – 29 weeks

We’re now at 29 weeks! 11 weeks until the due date (and 8 until the baby is considered “full term”).

It is butternut squash week. All is well on the baby front.

I think the womb conditions are getting kind of cramped…this week I sensed more stretching out and a little less kicking. I feel like Lucky Thumper is doing yoga or something. Lots of pushing (versus kicking) going on. It is an interesting sensation.

My instinct is to try to push back and shove his little hands and feet back in. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t seem to do much good. He doesn’t listen to reason either.

As those of you who are friends with me on Facebook might have seen, I got some major relief from the oppressive heartburn by taking Zantac this week. What a blessing! It hasn’t totally resolved all of the heartburn, but it is much, much better. My friend Jill had suggested it my doctor made the same suggestion (saying she had two Zantac/Pepcid babies herself). Well, okay then.

The medical visit went well. Everything looks great. My blood pressure was 92/66. These nurses…they take my BP and say, “It’s normal.” I want to respond, “No, it’s not. It’s freakin’ awesome! 92/66 is excellent. How about some credit??” 🙂

This week the OB listened to the heartbeat (sounded great!) and measured my belly. With a tape measure. From my, uh, pubic area to my chest.  I was too busy talking about other stuff to ask about it.

I did ask about the baby’s position. I told the OB that I was trying to guess what limbs I was feeling. She thought I had guessed right that the baby is currently head down, with his little butt hitting a bit below my breast bone. So, he’s facing my spine.

Meanwhile, between the Teva flip-flops (hey, they’re wedges) that I’ve started wearing at work because of my swollen feet and my increasingly casual work wardrobe, I have visions of walking around the office in my nightgown and slippers pretty soon.

Earlier today I sent my boss an email that explained that I need a “reasonable accommodation”

Something that involves a lounge chair (or a recliner). Maybe a masseuse. Good thing your door is closed or I would come in and show you my feet again. They’re HUGE!

We’re heading to Blacksburg this weekend so the night can complete “Mountains of Misery” ride on Sunday. 104 miles of biking and 10,000 feet of climbing! Yikes. Personally, I don’t get the appeal. I’ve never been a strong climber. But he is looking forward to it. I promised not to cry this year (like I did when I saw him appear near the finish line last time).

From the race website:

Don’t worry — or maybe, worry — the route finishes with the 5 kilometer, Category 1 climb to Mountain Lake, with an average grade of 11.9%, and sections up to 16%!

Mountains of Misery Century Elevation Profile

Elevation profile

I hope you all have fun plans that don’t involve the word “misery” or being miserable.  Stay cool!

Pregnones

My adorable husband invented a new word last week: Pregnones.

Pregnancy + hormones = pregnones.

I actually think it is pretty hilarious. While I generally hate it when people, mostly male, blame anything on hormones or PMS, I can’t deny that I’ve got them – the pregnones. 

Now, it may be that I’m just sad that the Knight is away (he is traveling for work for 8 days). But I admit that my metal state is not, well, normal. Yes, I miss him, but my emotions just get carried away and next thing I know I’m a crying mess. That’s not me – at least not usually.

So, chalk it up to the pregnones, I guess. I can accept that there are some things that I can’t control. At this time, my hormone level is one of them.

In other news, I heard this morning that my glucose test result came back normal. Yippee! I’m so excited that 1) I don’t have gestational diabetes; and 2) I don’t have to endure the 3-hour glucose test. Yay!

 

I’m 9 weeks!!!

Okay, I admit it. I’m getting excited. 9 weeks is a really good milestone to reach. Someone told me that the risks after 9 weeks drop significantly. So, as much as I was shooting for 12 weeks/second trimester – and I still am – I am totally thrilled to reach this day and have nothing but positive news to report.

As of today we’re about the size of an olive.  Oooh, I wonder how the Knight would feel about calling the bambino “the little olive.” He probably won’t be too wild about that given his distaste for olives.

The Latest

Tuesday was a big day. We started off with a visit to Shady Grove. Not just any visit, but our FINAL visit. Yes, we “graduated.” No, there were no fun hats or tassels.

But that’s not all. We had an ultrasound. It was so cool! They did some image enhancements and gave us some [alien-like] pictures of the Little Olive (LO). We saw the beginnings of the little feet and arms, and the umbilical cord. Way cool! The Knight keeps calling the Little Olive the “Little Thumper” because it had a good strong heartbeat going (175 bpm). Funny.

There are a lot of rumors out there about heart rates at this stage indicating gender. My research suggests that it may be a boy. But maybe not. It could also be a girl. So there you have it.  We’ll all have to wait (but I’m still convinced it is a girl).

I also had my first appointment with my OB’s office on Tuesday. It was just an introductory visit, but it definitely helped things move in the “feeling real” direction.

I debated posting these, but here they are.  This one is the enhanced image. Can you see the head, the little feet, and the umbilical cord? Is that cool?

See what I mean about this being-alien-like?

This picture is the latest traditional ultrasound picture.

LO is upside down - Measuring 8w6d, HR 175 bpm

Compare it to the previous shots.

7 weeks

Weight Challenge
 
Many thanks to my friend Janene for being the official Weight Challenge Photographer and for reminding Joe and me that today is picture day. 🙂
 
 

Weight Challenge - Week 2 (Joe reports that he hasn't lost any actual pounds; I've gained a couple)

How I’m Feeling

I read recently that some pregnant women get irritated when people ask them how they’re feeling. Relax, ladies. People are asking because they care.

You don’t have to ask me. I’ll tell you. I feel good. I feel pregnant!

My nausea (which I don’t called morning sickness b/c that just seems so inaccurate) comes and goes all day. Some days are better than others. There have been a couple of puking incidents, none of which have been in public. I really feel like my symptoms are on the low end of the scale and I’m coping just fine.

Sleep is the big challenge right now. You all know that I am a big fan of sleep. I believe it is the cornerstone of good health. So I’m particularly frustrated that I have not slept through the night in almost 2 weeks. I have gone from waking up once per night to twice on some nights. The sleep intermissions have gotten shorter and it has helped that I have started leaving food (nuts and dried fruit) by the bed. I think I just need to wait this phase out.

What’s Next

My next acupuncture appointment is tonight. Then I have my first real visit at the OB’s office on Tuesday. They’re going to do another ultrasound to check on my subchorionic hemorrhage (aka the blood blister).

I can’t believe there are only 3 weeks left in the first trimester. It is a crazy and exciting time!

Good Needles and Week 8 update

Happy Holidays, my fine readers! I was going to do a Merry Christmas post but, really, I decided that the cheese factor would just be intolerable. I was feeling so happy, fortunate, and blessed that I was even annoying myself with all of my sappiness. I decided to spare you. You’re welcome.

We’re officially at Week 8! Hooray! The baby is now the size of a raspberry.

Needless to say, things are going well. I haven’t had any medical visits since my last report but I can say with certainty that I am definitely still pregnant. The symptoms are going full force so I’d tried something new:

Acupuncture

My friend J read my post about the nausea and emailed me her recommendation. She told me to see the acupuncturist that she saw when she was pregnant at this time last year. I figured it was worth a try. Tuesday morning I had my first ever acupuncture visit and I am here to say: I’m a believer.

After talking about my medical history and current symptoms, Dr. Bill Reddy (he’s an M.D.) placed just four tiny needles on me: one above my knee, one in my wrist, one near my belly and one on my head. I barely felt them at all. Then I listened to relaxing music for 20 minutes while I “baked.” That was it.

I didn’t notice a huge difference immediately, but as the day went on I realized how dramatically different I felt. That day my appetite for salad and fruit was back and I felt like myself again. The Knight commented that I was like a new person. We both realized how much I’ve been dragging the past few weeks.

So yeah, my first acupuncture session was a huge success for me. Unfortunately, a different issue has intensified: insomnia. It is a blood sugar/hypoglycemia issue. I been waking up hungry in the middle of the night.

This may or may not be related to the acupuncture or the return of my appetite. It has been tough. Before you think I’m not eating enough, I will say that is definitely not the problem. Trust me. I have been eating very well (maybe too well) lately.

I actually feel better while I’m eating and immediately afterwards. So, I have been eating. Lots of carbs. Actually, I initially I thought the problem was eating too much before bedtime, but I’ve tried adjusting my diet but I haven’t found the right mix yet. I’ll keep experimenting. I have another acupuncture appointment scheduled for Saturday morning so hopefully we can fix this up. It is worth a try.

The Weight Challenge

Notice I didn’t say weight LOSS challenge. Nope. This isn’t a weight GAIN challenge either. Well, actually, it is kind of both.

Meet my friend Joe. Joe and I work together. Joe is the Ironman who initially bamboozled me into signing up for my first tri. Let’s just say Joe hasn’t been following an athlete’s training regimen or diet for a while now, but he’s trying to be better.

When he told me that was considering signing up for our agency’s weight loss challenge I jokingly said I’d do it too. And then I suggested that we have an opposite challenge. For every pound I gain, he has to lose at least one pound himself. He liked it.

I think it will be fun for us to document our progress, so here’s our starting picture. Thanks to Joe for being a good sport and agreeing to let me blog about this.

20111229-181608.jpg

20111229-181637.jpg

What’s next?

My next ultrasound (and final appointment with Shady Grove – wow!) is Tuesday morning. I’m more excited than nervous – yay! We’re just confirming that the baby is doing well and checking the size/heartbeat. I will then be officially “released” from SG’s care. As it turns out, later than morning I have my first OB appointment. It is starting to seem just a little more real.

We’re still holding our breath, but just a little less intensely right now. Just four weeks left in the first trimester, which is when I’ve decided that it is okay to get excited. Keep those fingers crossed, people!!!

Whew!!! 7 week update

Yes, we are breathing a sigh of relief this morning. Today’s ultrasound went pretty much perfectly. The Knight and I both noticed the big size difference in the baby between this week and last. The little bambino is measuring just right, and has a nice strong heartbeat (125 bpm).

The bleeding. Well, my friends S & B called it. I have a “Subchorionic hematoma/hemorrhage.” The way I understand it, it is a like a little blood blister on the uterus. That’s not at all correct, but that is what I’m envisioning. The nutshell version: It happens. It is probably fine. We’ll watch it. Here’s a good article that explains it way better than I have.

 Here’s an obligatory pregnancy picture. No I don’t expect you to understand what you’re seeing unless you’re a mom (or dad) yourself. Just trust me, this is the little baby at 7 weeks:

A picture of the week 7 sonogram picture

  So, right now we’re about the size of a blueberry.  

Source: Creature Gorgeous

I’m still pretty queasy. After three near misses yesterday, it is just a matter of time before I puke in public.  I should probably start carrying a barf bag. It’s all good though. I will gladly take the pregnancy symptoms if it means I’m still pregnant  🙂

OMG, look what I just found at morningsicknesshelp.com. They’re called Morning Chicness Bags. Ha! More Christmas gift ideas:

Thank you all for all of the well wishes, good thoughts, and prayers. We’re not out of the woods yet, so keep it coming. Still one month until we finish up the first trimester.

Belated 6 Week Update

As of today we are at 6 weeks and 5 days. Here are a couple of pictures we took on Friday before the ultrasound (6w1d). I’m just a few pounds up from my pre-pregnancy/pre-IVF weight. I’ve actually lost around two pounds in the past few weeks. [No, I have not been trying; I should be gaining weight now!] Go figure. Maybe the lack of sweets cravings I mentioned last week has something to do with that. Or it could be muscle loss since I’ve stopped P90x and lifting.

Week 6 pregnancy pics
The Latest:

The bleeding/spotting is still happening. Grrr. Do we not get a break from this nonsense during the nine lovely months of pregnancy? Apparently not. Fortunately, I’ve heard from a couple of friends who had healthy pregnancies who also experienced this joy, so I am comforted by that.

On the plus side, yesterday afternoon major queasiness set in. Unlike many pregnant women, I am not going to complain about this. I am going to cherish it.

I know I am going to get email about this, but I’ll admit it anyhow. Last night’s dinner consisted of a large bowl of white rice. That’s it. It is all that sounded good to me. I even have an emergency stash of Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese in the freezer, but not even it sounded good. Hopefully this is just the start of some good and entertaining pregnancy symptoms.

What’s Next?

Ultrasound # 2 is scheduled for Thursday morning. It can’t come fast enough. I really wish I had a friend who is a sonographer. They sell home fetal doppler machines that you can use to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, but I think it is too early for that. It might be a good Christmas gift though…

My Sunday Morning Scare

Let’s put this post in the category of a public service announcement. Because, despite the books I have read, I had no idea that you could go through what I am going through and it could be fine.

This morning I woke up having what I am guessing is not an uncommon pregnant woman’s nightmare. I was dreaming I was losing the baby. When I woke up I realized that my pajamas were wet so I figured I was having a bit of discharge or something.

I got out of bed and went to the bathroom and panicked when I saw blood – and quite a bit of it – in the toilet. The Knight had already left to go to the team ride. I called the Shady Grove emergency line and was promised a call back.

I reached the Knight and couldn’t help but sob uncontrollably as I told him I thought I was miscarrying. (He came straight home.)

I finally heard from a nurse at SG. She asked me a bunch of questions. Since I was not soaking a pad per hour or cramping, she seemed unconcerned. Well, not unconcerned, but not alarmed. She told me that 30% of women bleed in the first trimester.

Really?!? Could someone have told me about this? How did I not know about this phenomenon?

No wonder there are women who don’t know they are pregnant. This bleeding, which is still happening, is as heavy as any normal period. If I hadn’t just seen the heartbeat on Friday I don’t think I would believe I am really pregnant.

So, here’s what I think may have caused it. The nurse listed a bunch of possible causes and one kind of rang a bell. When she said [cough] long distance walking [cough] I suspected that we might have identified the culprit.

Ummm, yesterday was the day of the Team in Training Lousy Medal Virtual 5k. Run Faster Mommy had this clever fundraising idea where you donated to TnT and promised to run (or walk) a 5k on 12/17. And then they send you a medal. Sounds good, right? You know I love medals.

I woke up yesterday exhausted and debated for over an hour about whether I should stay in bed or get up and go walk in the cold. I finally decided that I would feel better mentally and physically if I just did it.

So I got out there and walked at a very leisurely pace. The first 30 minutes or so were good. It felt great to be alive and I was enjoying being out and about. But then, at about the 2 mile mark, I felt like I was at the end of a 20 mile run. I was just totally exhausted. I made it home and quit at 2.91 miles (in 51 minutes). I walked in the door and laid down on the floor.

No need to say I told you so. I learned my lesson. While I will never consider 3 miles to be a long distance, it was obviously more than I should have done. I am hoping that I have correctly identified the cause and that the pregnancy will go smoothly from this point forward.

The lessons we learned today:

1) bleeding in the first trimester, which isn’t accompanied by passing tissue or cramping, does not necessarily mean miscarriage (but please call your doctor anyhow);

2) if your body tells you for over and hour that it doesn’t want to do something, and you’re pregnant, listen to it;

3) pregnancy is scary.

I vow to take it even easier from this point forward. In fact, I am going to chill the rest of the day and let the Knight cater to me. I need some bon bons..

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