Monday, November 30, 2009

Dr Appt

I broke down and called my doctor last Tuesday.

They were able to get me in.

I took a urine test, and to no surprise to me, it was negative.

I expressed to my doctor, I'm not worried about if I am pregnant, I'm worried about my cycle, and the fact my last period was Sept 27, and that I have been having cramps for SIX weeks!

He wasn't concerned at all.

He kept trying to tell me it was ovulation. FOR SIX WEEKS?!!?

Come on!

Mr. Joggersaur went with me, and was not impressed at all.

I repeated myself like three times about the cramps, and it didn't even phase him.

He wants me to come back in TWO WEEKS for a blood test. Not sure why they couldn't do it while I was there...

So, I have made an appt with my former ob-gyn that I only left because we moved.

I'm hoping to get a more thorough check up, and know more this Thursday.

And in the future, I plan to make that drive to see him. It's definitely worth it!

Friday, November 27, 2009

1st Ultrasound

Last Tuesday I went for my first ultrasound and I was super nervous and so excited at the same time!

By my own calculations I was putting myself at 5w5d on the day of the appointment. The doctor's office had calculated me at 7w5d and after the ultrasound, we discovered I was 6w1d and my EDD is July 19, 2010. We talked about it and because of my crazy long and irregular cycles, this was normal. They also said that everything looked great and normal! I was so excited to hear that :-) We saw the heartbeat and even got to hear it, which I didn't think we would be able to since I was still pretty early.

Today has been brought to you by the letter F



And that´s F for fail, as in failed the pregnancy test. So all these zits that make my face look like this
have been for nothing. I knew that this cycle was a long shot, but with all the zits, tender breasts, feeling icky this morning and no spotting and no sign of Flo this CD 28, I thought I might be KU. Nope.
So how did I celebrate this negative pregnancy test? I broke out the antibiotics the doctor presribed for me on Wed, which I had been holding out on taking "just in case" I might be KU. So I wasted two whole days on the road to recovery for nothing. I hope the meds kick in soon so I can knock this hacking cough and get on with life and ttc.
I mean there´s always this next cycle, right?

Insulin Shots

It's been two weeks since I've been on the gestational diabetes (GD) roller coaster. On Wednesday I met with an endocrinologist who has put me on long-acting insulin, twice a day. I have to take it, via injection, once before bed (10 p.m.) and again upon waking (by 7 a.m.). We're starting with this protocol first, and then, if it's not working I'll have to go to injecting short-acting insulin 4 times a day (before each meal and before bed).

I was devastated at first, especially since I found out on my birthday that I'd need to start shots (last Tuesday). By Wednesday I had resolved myself to this new turn but was still not too pleased. I don't care how many people say "this is not your fault - it's nothing you've done," it doesn't make it any easier. To me that's like telling someone with cancer "it's not your fault" - does it make it any easier for them to deal with the diagnosis and treatment that follows? I highly doubt it.

Intellectually, I know this isn't my fault. I know that it happens to many women of all shapes, sizes and ages. I know it happens for some in one pregnancy and never again. I know some can control it with diet and exercise and that some, even though they follow that regimen perfectly, still need to take insulin. I know. I know. And yet, knowing all of this does not make it suck any less.

What's worse is that the endocrinologist was coming at me with all of these assumptions. Having never met me before and only peeking at my chart, I guess I can understand why. My weight, my age, the fact that my mother and her parents are all Type II diabetics. She asked if I needed medical assistance to get pregnant (especially because this is my first baby)...assuming, I guess, that I have PCOS or some other IF issues. The answer is no. 4 cycles off BCP and two cycles TTC did the trick. I don't have PCOS and have even been tested for it by a reproductive endocrinologist a few years ago. My thyroid is fine. My blood pressure is always on the low side (although it was a bit higher that day, probably due to the stress of it all). Cholesterol is good. Never been hospitalized. I eat well and exercise most days and have only gained 10 lbs. this entire pregnancy. All of this seemed to just floor her...for surely this pregnant, twinkie-eating-soda-slurping, coach-potato-with-gray-hair-shining-through-her-dye-job must have seen this coming! UGH.

Then she casually blurts out, "This means you have a 90% of having Type II diabetes after the baby is born." WHAT?!?!?!? This is the first statistic of this gravity that I have heard. I have read 50-60% of GD women will go on to develop Type II in the 5-10 years after they give birth. But not 90%. That's damn-near a guarantee in my book. In fact the statistic I've read is that 90% of women with GD will have it go away as soon as they give birth. So that pissed me off. And I looked at my husband and said, "well, I'll just have to be that 10% who doesn't." She wrote out a script for 6 units of insulin, twice a day and made an appointment to see me in 4 weeks. I couldn't get out of her office fast enough.

The type of insulin I am taking is called Humulin and it comes preloaded in an injection pen called a Humalog Pen, made by Eli Lilly. I have to prep it each time with a new needle and some clicks and pumps and then stick it in my belly (pinching an inch or so of fat), push the plunger on the pen and hold it there for 5 seconds. That's it. It doesn't really hurt. Although I'd say pinching an inch on my belly right now is more of a challenge than I thought it would be! For one, my belly is tauter than it usually is without a growing baby inside of it. And second, my boobs are so big that in order to find a place to pinch that I can actually see itis interesting. And I have to change the injection site each time, which adds to the fun.

After my appointment on Wednesday I went to the pharmacy to fill my prescription for the Humalog injection pen and needles. It took 90 minutes! I swear I could have filled it myself...I could see the boxes right on the shelf behind the counter! Later that night Mr. Divasaur, nurse-in-training, gave me my shot. It wasn't so bad (although I cannot stand the smell of the insulin...it's very medical/chemical smelling to me). By Thursday morning I was ready to do it to myself.

So here I am...four injections of insulin later. They seem to be working, especially with my morning numbers. I have been under 95 the past two days. I was even under 120 after my lunchtime Thanksgiving meal (I had a teeny bit of cranberry sauce and sage stuffing with my turkey). Last night, after having some leftover turkey, a smidgen of sweet potato and a little more dressing for dinner, I was 121. So it's working, I think. I see my GD counselor next Thursday and hopefully this will be working enough that I don't need to progress to more frequent injections.

I will continue to track everything that I eat (portions as well as time of day consumed), my blood glucose 4 times a day, my ketones (by POAS) each morning (I have to drink a glass of milk between 2-3 a.m. to keep them in check, so I do it when I get up to potty in the middle of the night) and inject myself with insulin each day and night. And I am doing all of this for Libby...I love her so much and will do anything to bring her into this world safely.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cycle #4 - Already!

AF surprised me by showing up this past Tuesday! That means that cycle #3 was only 21 days long. I found this to be depressing and frustrating. My last 3 cycles (since the miscarriage) have been 27, 32 and 21 days long. Not very regular, I'm afraid. Mr. Pharmasaur and I took a little trip on Tuesday night which helped me to feel a bit better.


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This ice cream store is pretty new in my area so it was quite a novelty to go there. I had a great big Rocky Road cone which was one of the best things I have ever tasted!




I was feeling pretty low and wondering how we would ever conceive with wacky cycles like this. Mr. Pharmasaur was great and told me that he is sure we will conceive when the time is right. He seems pretty convinced of this despite my doubts.

Tuesday also marked the 4 month mark since my miscarriage. Mr. Pharmasaur has been an absolute God-send throughout my grieving process. No one has ever held me and encouraged me to cry before. He just listens and is there for me. I have really needed that support lately and I'm so grateful. Actually, I'm not sure how I would cope with all of these emotions if I was pregnant again. I think I've needed these past few months to deal with my feelings.

I mentioned in a previous post about trying meditation. I haven't really started it yet. I keep putting it off until later. I have been thinking about "The Plan" for cycle #4. My motto is "Keep It Simple and Relax." I will not be using OPKs this cycle. I am going to try to tune into how my body feels and we are going to have sex when we want to. I don't want to keep pressuring myself to conceive. I want it to happen when (and if) it is meant to be. Therefore, there is no plan for this cycle.

Stepping on the scale, putting on the pounds

After reading Citysaur's last post, I feel somewhat guilty for what I'm about to write. But here it goes: thus far this pregnancy, I've gained about 8.8lbs. This is bad. I know what you're probably thinking - 9lbs (give or take a few ounces) is a pretty hefty gain for 17 weeks. But not for twins.

At this stage, I need to explain that instead of relying on my doctors, I've gotten most of my health and nutrition information from this book:

Choosing a book over your physician might seem odd, but there's a very good reason behind my decision: my doctors aren't very well informed about multiples pregnancies. This isn't saying anything bad about them - I live in a small town, and there simply aren't a lot of twin births here. So although the doctors are lovely people, they don't really know the ins and outs of a multiple pregnancy. Dr Luke, on the other hand, does. For years, she ran a specialist clinic for women expecting multiples at the University of Michigan, part of the University Consortium on Multiple Births. Her book is the Bible of anyone expecting more than one baby - unlike most pregnancy books, which tend to treat multiples as just being a little extra pregnant, WYETTQ is full of highly specific information for women carrying more than one baby, including dietary recommendations.

When I first began this pregnancy, my doctor recommended that for my height and weight, I should gain around 15lbs (it probably would have been a bit higher if I was in the USA, but Aussie docs are a little more conservative). The problem is, this recommendation is based on the weight gain needed to sustain a single pregnancy. WYETTQ's recommendation, on the other hand, is that I gain somewhere between 31-36lbs. That's more than twice the amount recommended for a single pregnancy. And not only that, but Dr Luke recommends gaining most of that weight in the first 28 weeks.

The idea of gaining this much weight (especially in such a short period of time) made me feel a bit nervous - I've battled my weight my entire life and was firmly in the 'overweight' category when I conceived. The idea of intentionally putting on 35lbs frightened me until I read the reasons behind the recommendation.

As most people probably know, twins often have lower birthweights than single babies. This isn't just due to being born earlier or space constraints in the womb, but often because they're simply getting less nutrition - after all, they're forced to share the energy the mother's body provides. Twins with higher birthweights are healthier than those who weigh less, and evidence suggests that good in utero growth may reduce the likelihood of a premature birth - and even if they are born earlier, preemie twins who have had plenty of nourishment before birth have fewer illnesses and quicker recovery times than those who didn't. All excellent reasons for wanting a higher birthweight!

The reason that most of this weight needs to be gained in the first 28 weeks is simple: the more babies you're carrying, the less time you'll have to put on the needed weight. Twins are usually born at about 36 weeks - that's a full four weeks less of in utero growth time than a singleton, so they need all the energy they can get, as fast as they can get it.


Bun in the oven scale from here

Ideally, for my height and weight, I should gain:
15-20lbs by week 20
23-28lbs by week 28
31-36lbs by week 38 (if I make it that long)

With a current weight gain of approximately 9 pounds by week 17, this means I need to pack on another 1.5lbs per week for the rest of my pregnancy to hit my targets - in fact, I'd need to gain more than 2lbs per week in the next three weeks to reach the low end of my week 20 goal!

This is harder than you might think, even for someone who is habitually overweight (such as yours truly)! I've actually found it quite challenging to consume enough calories to put on the pounds - good calories, that is. Sure, I could eat a box of brownies every day, but that's not an especially healthy strategy. I've increased my portion sizes, eating extra protein and carbohydrates at every meal for the last several weeks, and faithfully eating three full meals plus two (sometimes three!) generous snacks per day, but even that doesn't seem to be doing it - these twins are consuming far more energy from my body than I expected.

I've never faced this kind of weight battle before - in fact, I never even dreamed it would be an issue! WYETTQ recommends upping your servings of full fat dairy, protein, grains, eggs and good oils/fats to help put on the pounds, and I thought I'd done that...but clearly not well enough.

So I'm putting out a call for help: what's your favorite hearty, protein-based (not low fat!) meal?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Slowing it down...

My weight gain, that is.

Mr. Citysaur and I went to see the midwife for our latest check-up yesterday, and almost everything was great. Baby's measuring well, heart rate sounded good, everything was right on track. Except, of course, for the weight gain.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but at 23 weeks, I'm up 25 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I've had a weight problem my entire life, so I'm really not surprised. Disappointed, yes, but not surprised.

Here I must say, I absolutely LOVE our midwives! There are two that practice at the birth center, and the one we saw yesterday was wonderful. She took out lots of time yesterday to sit and talk with us about our concerns, and then hers as well. She explained clearly and directly, but without being condescending, that I absolutely must not continue to gain weight at this rate. She said that if I do, we will not be giving birth at the birth center - and will most likely have complications that will result in a much less pleasant birth experience than what we're hoping for.

But in addition to all of that, she spent plenty of time explaining what I needed to do differently. She's putting me on a diet. She wants me to watch my carbs and eliminate all sweets. That's right - all sweets, two days before Thanksgiving and a month before Christmas. I should more or less eat like I'm on the South Beach diet. And I need to be exercising every single day.

It's all fairly elementary stuff, and I know I can handle it. I lost 80 pounds in college on Weight Watchers - so I know I can do it. And this time, it isn't just for me - it's for our son too.

Luckysaur- Week 23

I'm feeling like I look bigger this week. I think Sophie has been doing some growing in there since I last posted. I've also gotten three comments from patients this week asking me when I was due so other people seem to be noticing it too. Here we are at week 23...


We hit a big milestone this week...Mr. Lucksaur was able to feel Sophie move last night. I've been noticing that her movements have been getting stronger and stronger lately. They started out as little twinges, but now they feel more like thumps from the inside. Now I know why no one can tell you exactly what it feels like when a baby moves around inside. It's very hard to describe the feeling because it's not like anything else that I've ever felt before. I felt Sophie from the outside a few nights ago when she started moving around as I was getting into bed. I was lying on the couch last night after dinner and she started moving around and I was able to feel it again. I pulled Mr. Luckysaur's hand over to where I was feeling it and sure enough she gave us another kick and he was able to feel it too. We were both so excited. Mr. Luckysaur kept rubbing my belly and talking to Sophie, which I think is the most adorable thing ever. He is going to be a great dad. I can't wait to see him interact with her in person.

Time is flying by so quickly. I can't believe Thanksgiving weekend is finally upon us (for those of you in the US). I'm heading back down to Florida with Mr. Luckysaur to celebrate the holiday with my family. I'm looking forward to seeing my family and friends again, but I'm also really looking forward to all the food! I like turkey, but the side dishes (and desserts) are my favorites...mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole, and pumpkin pie. YUM!

What Thanksgiving dish are you the most excited about?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Little Update on Me

I'm not even sure what to post...

I have not had a period since we started trying the first of October.
I have had negative results on about half a dozen home pregnancy tests.
I have had no symptoms of AF or pregnancy, except cramps and lots of them.
I have gotten kind of depressed because nothing is going on, which makes it hard to keep at it.
I have gained about 5lbs.
I have cut way back on workouts, down to like 2 a week.

The most frustrating part of all of this, is I was having regular periods before we started trying. All I can think of, is what if we missed our chance!??!

Thirty Weeks (and my 35th Birthday)

Today is my 35th birthday and I am 30 weeks pregnant. Only 10 weeks to go! I cannot believe it. I remember when I was 8 weeks pregnant and feeling like this would take forever. Now it seems like it's not quite time to end!

It's been 10 days since I started on the Gestational Diabetes eating plan. I have been sticking to it perfectly but, unfortunately, my fasting numbers are still higher than they'd like to see. At my OB/GYN appointment yesterday, she mentioned needing to add in insulin shots in the evenings. So I have an appointment with an endocrinologist tomorrow afternoon. I am not happy about that. I know it's nothing that I am doing to cause this (other than being pregnant), but the fact that I cannot control it with diet and exercise has made me feel like even more of a failure. With insulin shots comes non-stress tests on baby at every appointment. And there's an increased risk of low blood sugar with insulin, so I'll have to carry glucose tabs with me, just in case.

I know it could be worse and I am grateful that it isn't, but this has still been hard. I am a very sturdy person and have never been sickly, save for the occasional sinus infection or bout of strep throat. I have certainly never required medication on an on-going basis or regularly scheduled doctor's visits. Thank goodness I have great insurance coverage and can get the best treatment available without worrying about how I'll afford it. This certainly would not have been the case a couple of years ago when I was a self-employed artist and that fact is not lost on me in the least.

So this will be the first birthday in about 20 years that I am not having chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream to celebrate. My sweet husband did find some frozen mini profiteroles (cream puffs) that meet my limited carb count requirements, so I will get to enjoy six of those instead of big slice of frosted layered chocolate cake and vanilla bean ice cream. I am really fine with this, since my entire focus right now is on keep Libby safe and healthy.


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Guess I'll have to save the chocolate birthday cake for Libby's birthday celebration!

We got a sneak peek at her yesterday. She's measuring at 3 pounds, 10 ounces and has a heart rate of 133 bpm. She's been head down since our last appointment (two weeks ago) and the doctor predicts she'll stay that way. Seems to be a very long time to be upside down, but I guess it's totally normal.

Here's a look at her face...she was wiggling all around and stuck her tongue out at us!

Yesterday we did share our birth plan with our doctor and she said that she will only induce if I go past 40 weeks or if the baby seems stressed before that or if my health is at risk, but not automatically because I have GD. That was reassuring. She also was fine with all of our preferences except waiting for delayed cord clamping (she said waiting could cause jaundice, which I had never heard before and need to research further) and not administering Pitocin to deliver the placenta (she said the majority of women require it, even if they breastfeed immediately). I don't agree, but at this point, I am picking my battles and can live with those two concessions (I think).

We've also completed our crash course in the Bradley Method and have decided to hire our instructor to be our doula. She is a registered nurse and has been a certified doula since 2000. She also has given birth to seven of her own children! The last three were home births! So she has a wealth of knowledge and experience and we feel very comfortable with her. From here forward we just need to practice daily (relaxation techniques, rehearsing contractions in the the difference stages of labor, etc.) and prepare ourselves mentally and physically for labor. For me this includes 200 elevator Kegels each day, tailor sitting, pelvic rocking and walking at least 30 minutes. I am personally also practicing daily affirmations and positive visualization and meditation so that I can be confident moving forward towards a natural birth. Most of all, I am getting very exciting to finally meet our little girl.

According to BabyCenter, here's what's going on with her this week:


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Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)




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Monday, November 23, 2009

Feeling Emotional

It seems this week I have hit all the emotions, happy, hopeful, frustrated, worried, angry, and impatient. I was happy because this last week was supposed to be the end of my acupuncture treatments. I am feeling twinges in my uterus and ovary area and was hopeful it was moving my cycle along. I went in on Thursday in a great mood because Mr. Relaxasaur and I had bought our first real Christmas tree and decorated the house. I was feeling very jolly. Then Dr. Frank tells me he still wants to see me twice a week for the next four weeks. He said I should be getting my period any day now, which is something he has said a few times. He said if not this weekend then definitely next week. He wants me to spend another 600 dollars on top of the money I have already spent for the previous 13 treatments. I made the appointments but I have yet to pay and I don't think I want to; at least not with him. I am not sure he has treated anyone else for fertility. His wife usually does the fertility treatments and she is out on maternity leave. I also thought about seeing him for chiropractic care but I found out he is going out of network after the new year. I will keep my appointment for Monday because its too late to cancel it and then I want to find other options. Don't get me wrong I feel better, I have more energy, and I am sleeping better, but I don't think it has done anything for my long cycles. I am on day 31 with no signs of ovulation. I am thinking of finding an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility.


Source

With that said I am also thinking of finding a new obgyn again. I really like the one I have now but she doesn't know how to help my cycles. When I told her my cycles were 77 days she didn't even blink. Josh went and got his "boys" tested two weeks ago and the results have been in her office since wed and she wont call me back with the results despite me calling her everyday. The same thing happened when I wanted to get the results from my last pap which was back in August and I still don't know them. I think she is better with std's than fertility. I also want to get a second opinion on my HPV. She told me if I were older she would take my cervix out and it makes me wonder what another doctor would do. I want to find someone who can do some tests to test me for PCOS because my insurance wont cover a reproductive endocrinologist. Finding two new people to help me are at the top of my list and is something I plan to take care of on Monday since it is the weekend and offices are closed.

I have been reading The Infertility Cure and it has helped me figure out what kind of foods can help my body balanced. It shows where I should apply acupressure, and breathing techniques. I have been using a warming pad on my pelvic area. I would really like to do things as natural as possible before I have to rely on any prescriptions, or medical intervention. I am trying to give up caffeine, and sugars, and processed foods. It is not easy but I am taking it one step at a time.

Cycle 2 Update

I'm cruising along in my second cycle and continuing with the acupuncture treatments. I have 4 left and it has been wonderful. I feel so great when I am done like I am floating on a cloud. I heard the euphoric/relaxed feeling has been compared to a runners high. If this is true I am seriously thinking of taking up running. I also have so much more energy. Or I should say I actually have energy. I would normally feel sluggish all day but now I can just go, go, go. I also feel twinges of sorts from my uterus and my ovaries. My energy being stirred up makes me so thirsty. I have been drinking much more water than normal. I swear I go through at least a gallon a day which makes me go to the bathroom a million times a day.

This is how I feel during acupuncture (Source)

The other day we went over to our friends house and I went to bathroom about 4 times in the two hours we were over there and she was joking that I go much more than her and she is the one that is pregnant. It is funny because all of her symptoms are a part of my everyday life. She was telling me that she hates being pregnant. She doesn't like all the sickness and tired feeling that comes along with it. Normally I might be upset about her statement but she doesn't really know that we are going through acupuncture, or what we are going through to try to have a baby. I didn't want to tell her because I didn't want her to have any feelings of guilt because she got knocked up on accident. I just finally told my mom that we were doing this and that we would be starting to try real soon. We were also finally able to get Mr. Relaxasaur a referral to get his sperm checked out. We got up early last Friday so we should have the results this week sometime so cross your fingers for good swimmers.

I do have a question for all you lovely women out there. My last period was just a couple days of light brown spotting it started November 4th and ended on the 6th and if my cycles don't change it looks like my next ovulation will come on New Years Eve. I am not sure if this will effect this our chances of conceiving this cycle. I am wondering if we should not even try until I get a solid period. Does anybody have any advice? I would appreciate it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

19 Weeks and 26 Years Old Next Week!

Wow, when I thought about my birthday when I first found out I was pregnant it seemed SO incredibly far off in the distance. I thought it would take ages to get to this point and now here we are a matter of days away. I made sure I got my hair done yesterday to help me feel a little bit more celebratory, but this year I think I will be celebrating the 19 weeks part more than the 26 years old part. For the first time I do not have a single plan for my birthday, and I think it might even be more enjoyable that way. I kept thinking that I would have all these amazing plans with the friends I haven't been home to enjoy my birthday with in the past few years, but so far with everyone's busy schedules it just hasn't worked out. I think my husband and I will just lay low and enjoy some quiet time (with cake though, there has to be cake) together.

I went for my monthly appointment with my midwife, and asked her a few questions, but thankfully nothing critical has popped up so far. Apparently, my uterus is measuring 16 cm's which according to her is right on track even though I haven't gained a single pound yet! I had about ten or fifteen pounds extra weight on me before I got pregnant, so I do feel like this lack of weight gain is not unhealthy for me and the baby. I think probably in a couple of weeks I'll start to notice some increases there. As long as the midwife isn't worried, I'm not! It just will be nice not to have to lose a ton of weight after having the baby, but we'll see maybe what happens. Thankfully, I'm not depriving myself of anything or dieting in any sense of the word, but I do wish I was able to eat more and want more of the healthier things too. Right now I'm just trying to eat whatever I can as healthily as I can and it could be going much easier.

Also, I asked about the H1N1 vaccine, and it was actually interesting to hear what she had to say about it. She gave me the information as a doctor would and then answered the questions I had. According to her I am not in the high risk category of the already high risk category of pregnant women, so that means that because I'm still less than twenty weeks the baby isn't compromising my lung capacity and won't while the flu is in it's peak period (until Feb). They are most worried about that because of the complications the flu brings to respiratory function. I explained how I felt about the vaccine and she said that while she couldn't tell me what to do she could give me some facts about prevention etc. She also noted that my job doesn't not put me in contact with many people, and any socializing I would normally be doing with potentially infected people has been drastically reduced because of how miserable I've been feeling. She also mentioned that Tamiflu (the common treatment of H1N1) is available at their office so I wouldn't even need an appointment with my family doctor. It isn't a perfect cure but it reduces the effects of the flu drastically. I feel comfortable with that information and have decided not to get the vaccine. I can influence the chances of getting the flu by washing my hands as often as possible, drinking warm liquids, gargling with salt water, and even salt water up the nose if I'm really ambitious or worried (I don't see that last one happening).

On a less scary note I think I'm starting to feel something in my tummy! I am at the stage where I truly can't be absolutely positive of what I'm feeling, but I think there's a good chance it's the little one. I heard the heartbeat at my appointment again yesterday, and I can't help thinking each time, "Oh good, you are still in there!" I keep thinking that it might not be real, and then my husband says.... ummmm your belly is growing..... but I can't really tell... Like I said before I had about ten pounds sitting on my belly before so it's hard to see much more of a change there.

Only twelve more days to the big ultrasound! Which like I mentioned, doesn't necessarily mean anything considering we won't find out the gender at the actual ultrasound. I hate that we have to wait for the report! It's so silly! I can't get over my frustration about that, but I am very excited to begin thinking about this little person as having a personality as well. I'm really hoping for a boy, but I could make peace with a girl I'm sure. My friend is having a girl just before me so it would be cute to have the same, but I'm in love with the idea of having a little boy. I think it will take some of the pressure off having another child because my husband really, really wants a boy. I think we can really only afford to have two kids, and if we get two girls I think he will want to try for a third. I know he would love a baby girl just as much as a boy, but he really wants a little hockey player, and I think it's the cutest thing in the world to picture them out on the ice together.

Anyway, I will write again soon, and sorry for the late update on the H1N1 vaccine. It took ages to make up my mind and the midwife certainly helped me out.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cycle #3 - Update 2

Today is CD17 and I have not yet detected an LH surge. If my cycle is long, like the last one, then it is entirely possible that it is still coming. I'm not feeling like I'm ovulating or about to ovulate though. I used to be able to tell from ovulation cramping and cervical mucus. Now, I have no idea. Perhaps my body is still adjusting after my miscarriage in July. I am committed to using the OPKs until at least CD20. Hopefully by then, my body will give me some clues about what is happening.


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I just got back from my new family doctor's office. I had my yearly physical and I was surprised at my reaction today. When I saw the examining table and paper gown, I wanted to burst into tears. Then I realized the last time I was on an examining table, in a paper gown, I was going through my miscarriage and follow up appointment. I guess these emotional flashbacks will continue for some time.

However, today was different. I liked this new doctor and I felt comfortable with her. I felt that she really listened to me and took time to explain what she was doing. This support is a big contrast to how I felt with my previous cold, impersonal family doctor. I am really glad that I made the switch.

I expressed concern about my irregular cycles. She did some testing for thyroid hormones, FSH, LH and Prolactin. She also did the pap test and tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea. When I expressed my concerns about pelvic inflammatory disease (due to my previous use of an IUD), she assured me that I would have symptoms with that infection. That eased my mind a bit. She also encouraged me to continue with my regular dental appointments and eye examinations, which I am going to follow-up with soon. I feel like she really cares about my health.

image source

My new family doctor is going to gather all the test results and then refer me to a gynecologist. The gynecologist can further investigate to determine if there are any medical reasons for my irregular cycles. In addition, she can also look for any possible barriers to conception.

All of these tests and doctors visits leads me to gratitude that my health care is covered (for the most part) here in Ontario. I hope that this path leads to our goal of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

First bump pic!


16 weeks, 2 days down.

23 weeks, 4 days to go.

I’m not even halfway there.

I feel I may look like this by the end of it:


That's what twins will do to you, folks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Twenty-Nine Weeks

I am actually 29 weeks and 1 day pregnant. This past week has been a whirlwind of emotions and I am still coming out of the fog. Last week I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GD) and have run the gamut from shock to fear to sadness, anger and finally acceptance. Last Friday I met with a Diabetes Counselor with my husband and together we learned just exactly what I'll need to do for the rest of my pregnancy to manage this condition.


Yes, I am a dork and wore the same outfit as last week. Oops!

I am now testing my blood with a glucose meter four times a day. My fasting (pre-breakfast) glucose reading should be between 60-95; 2 hours after meals should be >120. I also have to look for ketones in my urine each morning and POAS (Ketone Strip Test) with FMU. I need to have less than a little or trace in my urine or else it's a cause for concern.

I have been prescribed a way of eating that incorporates a certain number of grams of carbohydrates at each meal and snack. I have breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a snack between each meal and a final snack before bed. This last one is crucial as it is the one that will help me bring down my fasting glucose reading, the one I take first thing in the morning after waking. This is the number that flagged in the first place and led to my GD diagnosis. My after meal numbers are great...it's the morning number that's a concern.

For me, the dietary adjustments have actually worked in my favor...I get to eat more carbs that I usually do. 240 grams worth each day which I estimate to be about double of what I am used to eating. The key is to spread them throughout the day and eat about every 3 hours. Here's my breakdown:

Breakfast: 30 grams/carbs
Snack: 30 grams/carbs
Lunch: 45 grams/carbs
Snack:30 grams/carbs
Dinner: 45 grams/carbs
Snack: 30 grams/carbs

Higher protein items and higher fiber items go a long way in keeping me from getting too hungry. They also help the carbs that I do eat not send my blood sugar levels up to high. So what does this all look like in a typical day of eating?

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with 1 oz. shredded cheese, 2 small low-carb tortillas and 8 oz. 1% milk

Snack: 2 oz. hummus with 2 oz. baby carrots and 8 whole grain crackers

Lunch: 1 c. green salad with 2 tbsp. salad dressing (lower-carb like ranch), 1/2 c. pasta (I like quinoa pasta), 3 oz. shrimp, 1/4 c. alfredo sauce (jarred), 1/2. sprinkled of parmesean cheese, 1/2 c. of steamed asparagus, 8 oz. 1% milk

Snack: 1 small apple with 1 c. plain yogurt

Dinner: 1 c. spinach salad with 2 tbsp. salad dressing (lower-carb like oil and vinegar), 4 oz. of baked sweet potato oven fries, 6 turkey meatballs, 1/2 c. steamed broccoli, 8 oz. 1% milk

Snack: 2 mini ice cream sandwiches (2 oz. each, full fat and regular sugar)

Not too bad for a gal who's been really limiting daily bread, pasta, etc. for most of this pregnancy. Of course I have had to give up my morning O.J. (which I only started drinking once I got my BFP...on the recommendation of my OB/GYN), and my Sunday bagel with lox and cream cheese. But I don't really miss them. What's more I know I need to do this for my baby girl...so that she can be born healthy. With the majority of GD cases, it is resolved soon after giving birth...so I know that bagels and lox will be available to me once again, after Libby is born.

Speaking of Libby, she's as active as ever. I have felt her tap dancing on my ribs, just below my under my breasts, which is the oddest sensation. We get to see her again next Monday, at our 30 week appt. For now, here's what's happening in there, according to BabyCenter:

Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Confession



When I very first became pregnant, women told me to enjoy our sex life while I could, before the morning sickness struck. When the nausea hit, the same women told me to look forward to the second trimester, which apparently was full of hot sex, especially because a lot of them seemed to feel amazingly confident and sexy with their new pregnant body.

So here's my confession: I'm 16 weeks pregnant, and I don't feel sexy. At all. Not even a little bit.



I'm sure my ridiculous allergies don't help, but it's more than that. I don't feel confident or empowered. I feel fat. I feel bloated. I feel unsure and incredibly self-conscious of how my body looks. I'm hyperaware of how heavy and low my breasts have gotten - they're not the perky girls I used to be secretly proud of (because seriously, I had a FAB rack). I feel strangely off balance with a bump that now extends out well beyond my bust line, and immensely self-conscious about how it sticks out. I see the stretch lines forming on my stomach (yes, already!) and the last thing I want to do is let someone else check them out at close view.

This is, to say the least, extremely unusual for me. I've always enjoyed myself in the bedroom, and I don't know what to do with these new feelings. Mr Bibliosaur has been fantastic - very sweet and encouraging, always telling me that he still thinks I look sexy and beautiful. But I don't feel sexy and beautiful, and that makes it hard for me to get in the mood. I won't estimate the number of times we've gotten it on since I became pregnant, but I think there's a distinct possibility that it could be easily counted on two hands.

So I know this is all very TMI, but does anyone have any tips? Wearing lingerie doesn't do anything for me, and I've never been one to set the mood with candles and music, etc. (I secretly find those things super cheesy and certainly not a turn on). Is there anyone else out there who just didn't feel sexy when they were pregnant? How do I get my confidence back?

P.S. Don't you love these books? I still find it hilarious that there's a market for romance novels about knocked up women.

Can Puppy-sitting Cure Baby Fever?

Apparently, it can. I spent the weekend with my husband's parents new puppy, and for the record, it is the cutest thing on earth. However, it is seriously crazy.

The experience began so nicely. DH and I had a great breakfast and then headed over to his parents house. We chatted while they were still getting ready to go, and the puppy was being an angel (of course). Then..... they left.... The poor little guy was really not feeling good, but despite that he had wayyyy too much energy and is obsessed with biting to the point of drawing blood. I really thought this was going to be easy and super fun. I mean, who doesn't love being around puppies?! DH and I played with him and actually got a kick out of his puppy antics. Then my husband wanted to go watch the hockey game and stay over night in the city with his friends, and at the time I really knew I needed to be supportive because he really did deserve a night out. However, I did not anticipate the night this puppy would put me through!

After DH left we were ok for a couple hours. Then the puppy started not feeling good and even though I was watching him like a hawk he still managed to have extremely, extremely messy accidents all over the house. I am not kidding it was one of the grossest and exhausting nights I have been through in a long time. One good thing that came out of it is that apparently I can deal with a lot of sick poop, so hopefully that part of a baby will be no prob. The frustration of not being able to talk to the little guy to figure out what was going on, and taking him out COUNTLESS times for him NOT to do anything until the second he came inside was beyond me.

Keep in mind that the fatigue aspect of this pregnancy hasn't even come close to letting up yet, and I tend to fall asleep (whether I like it or not) at about 8:30 or 9 every night. This particular night I managed to squeak in a half an hour while the little monster was asleep and then had to monitor/ try to keep him from drawing blood until about 1am. Not cool. I was a wreck by that point. I was supposed to be able to just put him in his house and he'd sleep... ummmm no... that did not happen he barked and cried and banged around his house for almost half an hour before I buckled and took him into bed with me. Now this was the cutest part of the night. He was such a little snuggler! That part was nice. Waking up every two hours from 1am until morning was not. I had to call my husband and beg him to come home at about four o'clock in the morning. Although, I felt bad it was worth it to save my sanity.

Anyway, I had strong, serious doubts about my ability to deal with a screaming baby for any longer than I dealt with the poor little puppy. This was intensely scarily eye-opening for me. My husband tried to put it in perspective to say at least I wouldn't be running outside every time I saw the baby sniff the floor because at least a baby wears a diaper, but seriously, I'm not sure I'm cut out for this role as a mother. It's terrifying to think I might do a bad job at it, it's not like you get a second chance! Granted at least babies don't bite as much as a puppy either... so maybe there is some hope, and if not at least I have another four months to forget about this experience.

I also had my first experience with crazy hormones this week. Wow. It's like PMS times a thousand. It was over something so silly too! It is my birthday coming up in about a week, and this birthday will definitely be unlike many that came before it. First of all, it's the first time I've been able to be home for my birthday in about three years, and second, it's not like I will be having an celebratory adult beverages for obvious reasons. So rather than plan a regular party I planned a Partylite Party so that my friends and family could start their Christmas shopping and I would still get to see them etc. Well, so far two people are coming of more than thirty. Hmmmm, so I was already upset that being pregnant changes your friendships more than I anticipated anyway, but I can't even count on them for my birthday? Not even my sister will come, and that unfortunately, was the straw that broke the camel's back. I actually got really mad at her and said all the things I hadn't even known I wanted to say to all my non-existent "friends". I should feel bad, but I'm still so upset that I can't even help myself. So currently I will not be celebrating my birthday except with my amazing husband.

It's a strange place to be in when you are the first one of your friends to change this dramatically I suppose. I really thought it would be different. Thankfully one of my friends is pregnant too, but she lives much further away, so it's different for her. I face the changes of my friends almost every day at least she can excuse them based on distance. Strangers have been more interested in me than my closest friends have. It's a devastating realization that I have to come to terms with sooner than later. Thankfully my husband is so supportive that it makes me miss them less, but it's still tough. Anyway, I was shocked at my response to something that I would normally be fairly calm about. Thanks hormones, but now that I have experienced you I'd like you to go back where you came from.

In other news, I am eighteen weeks today! I have an appointment with my midwife this week and I'm going to ask about the vaccine to put my mind at rest about that. I get to have my hair done that day too so hopefully that will brighten my spirits! I'm seriously 25 and finding greys popping up it's not very cool. Also, we have our BIG ultrasound on December 2, so hopefully the baby is feeling "showy" that day and we will potentially find out what the gender is. The hospitals around here are so stupid. One won't even TRY to find out the sex and the other will only do it if it's obvious and won't even tell us at the time- they wait and write it in the report so that I have to wait for a call from my midwife to find out, which could be days later! Now that I made the decision to find out now I really want to know!

Anyway, sorry this was such a convoluted post, but I'll write a more organized one soon!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cycle #3 - Update 1

Firstly, my apologies for not blogging for so long. I have been struggling with negativity and frustration over my TTC process. I didn't feel that I had much to contribute to this blog.

Cycle #2 (since my miscarriage) was a difficult one for me. It was 32 days long as opposed to 27 days for Cycle #1. I had about 5 days of spotting at the end of the cycle before AF finally decided to arrive. Then I had a few days of heavy to moderate flow and AF was gone. A few days later, I had more spotting for a couple of days. Even today, CD13, I had a bit of spotting. I am pretty confused by all of the strange things happening with my body right now.

I have started using the OPKs I got off the Internet. I have the strips for home use and the midstream tests for use at work. I am testing at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily. I started testing on CD10 as recommended by the instructions for the tests. So far, I have only had very faint LH lines. I am waiting to see if I can detect a surge this cycle. I am not even sure if I am ovulating.

I am still dealing with my grief over my miscarriage. I gave my seat on the subway to a pregnant woman the other day. I had to fight back tears while I was standing there - wishing it was me who was pregnant. It was amazing how many people sitting closer to her did not offer their seat.


I am reading a few books about recovery after miscarriage which I find helpful. They remind me that I am not alone with these painful feelings. After the tears flow, I usually experience some healing. I am trying my best to focus on the future while still honoring the past without dwelling on it.

During my last two cycles, I was very hopeful that I would conceive again. This cycle I feel differently. I am trying not to get my hopes up. I don't want to be disappointed again. I know we haven't been trying for very long - since May 2009. The fact that we conceived on our first try is probably contributing to my impatience now. Part of me wonders if that was our only chance. Mr. Pharmasaur turned 40 this weekend and in 2 weeks, I will also be 40. I can't shake the feeling that time is running out.

I have a book about meditation during conception to birth and beyond. I think this will help me to relax and improve my chances of conception. It is definitely worth a try!


I will continue using the OPKs in hopes of detecting an LH surge. Mr. Pharmasaur and I are still doing the "baby-dance" regularly in case the tests are incorrect or miss my surge. The result of our efforts is now up to a power beyond ourselves.

The Bradley Method


We had our first Bradley Method class yesterday afternoon. Our sessions started early due to the holidays. Our instructor condenses the classes into 8 weekly meetings that usually run 8 weeks in a row. Due to the holidays, we'll have two classes this month, two classes next month, three in January, and the last one in February.

Eight sessions of 2.5 hours each = 20 hours of childbirth instruction. That's a lot of talking about childbirth! I learned yesterday, however, that we'll not only talk about childbirth, relaxation techniques, and all those typical things, but we'll also discuss nutrition, exercise, breastfeeding, and newborn care.

Our instructor is the local childbirth guru. In addition to teaching Bradley classes, she is also a Doula, a Doula trainer, and a lactation consultant. As she put it, childbirth is her business! And she had lots of fun props, like these:

Of the seven couples in our class, five are giving birth at the local Birth Center, and it was nice to not feel like we were in the minority for once. One couple giving birth there even has our same due date!


Yesterday's class was pretty introductory, though we did get into a few relaxation techniques and she gave the partners some good tips and tricks for pressure point pain relief. Part of our homework for next week is that the non-pregnant partners get a massage every night. Mr. Citysaur really liked that assignment! Oh, and did I mention we have two workbooks full of information?! I'll be doing most of the reading, since Mr. Citysaur is pretty busy with his four graduate classes on top of working full-time. I'm lucky I got enough of his time to attend the classes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Blood Tests

I HATE getting my blood taken. I know it doesn't really hurt and it's really quick, but I hate having to wait until the next day to get my results.

Since my BFP, I called my doctor and expressed my concerns about being so nervous and paranoid about this pregnancy. She said it was completely normal and asked me to come in and get my blood drawn once on Wednesday and once on Friday just to see if my numbers were going where they are supposed to and make sure it is a growing pregnancy. I went on Wednesday morning pretty optimistic. Thursday, my nurse calls me to tell me that my numbers were lower than she thought they would be. However, because of my irregular cycles, it could just mean that I'm not as far along as I thought I was. I went back in on Friday morning pretty bummed because I knew I wouldn't get my results back until Monday. On Friday afternoon, around 4pm, I got a call from my nurse. She had my results back already! My numbers had gone from 382 to 950!!! She said this is excellent progress :-)

She also mentioned that my progesterone levels were a little low so they would be prescribing Prometrium, a progesterone pill, for me to take twice a day. She warned me that they would make me pretty sleepy and boy was she right!

Normally, my doctor's office doesn't schedule the first appt. and ultrasound until 8 weeks. Because of my past miscarriage, she scheduled it for November 24th. I'm not sure how far along I will be at that point, but I'm guessing 5-6 weeks. I am ecstatic and I can't wait for our first ultrasound and appointment. I never made it to my first appointment with the last pregnancy, so this will be a totally new experience.

Still praying that this will be the sticky baby :-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

She has arrived!



Yes, our beautiful baby GIRL (it's a girl!!!) arrived this past weekend. We couldn't be more in love with her if we tried.

I cannot believe it's been a month since I last posted on Pregosaur. I'm sorry for my silence, ladies, but the bed rest was getting to me and I really didn't feel like I had much to add to the blog. Mentally, I was just exhausted from thinking about all the medical information being thrown our way, and did not feel like writing about it...

Long story short, I started getting ultrasound monitoring (which still showed zero amniotic fluid, but growth on target), a fetal echo test, and daily home visits from ante-natal nurses (they did non-stress tests) starting in my 24th week. The nurses were optimistic and told me to hang in there. The doctors were mostly doom and gloom, preparing us for the worst.

We had a couple of labour scares, but we were able to complete a round of steroids in my 25th week.

And then the BIG EVENT happened on Sunday, November 8, 2009. Our daughter was born after 26 weeks, 1 day gestation.

My labour was pretty quick, which I understand is normal for pre-term babies. The evening before she was born, I started getting lots of pelvic pressure and I felt like the baby had dropped. I had talked to the nurse about it, but because I was not exhibiting any other symptoms of labour, she was unconcerned. I went to bed at my usual time, around 10:00 pm, and I slept well.

At 3:00 am, I woke up to pee and started feeling a backache and menstrual type cramps that were coming and going. After lying there for about 45 minutes, I woke up Mr. Legalosaur and got him to help me time them. We timed them for another 45 minutes or so, when it became obvious that they were coming and going every 4 minutes very predictably. Despite the fact that I was not having any contractions in the front pelvic region, we thought it best to go to the hospital to get assessed.

So we hopped in the car and made our way to the hospital. When I got there, the nurse hooked me up to the non-stress machine and walked away. The pains were now coming and going every 3 minutes. But there were no contractions showing up on the monitoring strip. I am no medical expert, but I had seen enough monitor strips over the few weeks previous that I could tell that the baby's heartrate was dipping every time I had one of my labour pains. Yet, they just let me sit there and wait.

I could tell the nurse did not believe I was truly in labour and thought that I was being a big baby. They had me sit on the monitor for almost an hour before the resident finally came in to see me. And that was only after I started vomiting that the nurse started to take me seriously and went to go get the resident.

A quick speculum check showed that I was already at 6 cm. (Turns out I had back labour only, which means no contractions showing up on the monitor!) The resident said, "I can see lots of black hair."

And that's when chaos broke out in my little assessment room. Suddenly there was a flurry of activity. Four nurses swooped in and started putting in my IV, filling out paperwork, adjusting my bed for transport, etc. I was very scared at that point, and in pain, so I don't really remember much of this point. I know I asked if I could get something for the pain, and they answered that I could...

They did another check of my cervix just 10 minutes later, and at that point I was at 9 cm. And they freaked out that I had progressed so quickly. The NICU team was called down stat, and I was wheeled away to the delivery room in the OR.

As I was being wheeled to the OR, I asked again about pain medication. I was told no, there was no time, we needed to get this baby out now. While I am not averse to the idea of a natural labour, I had intended to have some idea of how to breathe and focus, how to push, what to do... But I didn't have a clue. I wasn't ready. I was reeling from the idea that we were having our baby NOW and I wasn't ready for it. I really, truly thought we'd make it to at least 28 weeks.

In the OR suite, Mr. Legalosaur met with me after changing into scrubs and a fancy hairnet-shower-cap thingy. They put my legs into the air, and then I was told to push. And so push I did. It was painful, but not as painful as it could have been given my baby's tiny size. Really, the worst part was the resident pulling and stretching open my perineum so that there was lots of room for the baby to come out with minimal trauma. I think it took about 5 "episodes" of pushing (you push three or four quickly successive times when a contraction comes), about 15 minutes total, and our child was born.

They quickly cut her cord and rushed her over to the waiting NICU team. I heard one weak cry, and that was it. They didn't even tell me if I had a son or a daughter. I had to ask the ob-gyn to go check and let me know. She came back and told us it's a girl... and I remember thinking "A daughter! Our daughter." but mostly I was dying to see or hear her. And I was worried to death that she didn't survive the birth or was not going to live before I could feel her and touch her.

Sadly, the whole thing was such a whirlwind and we forgot our camera in the car. By the time we remembered and wanted to run down and get it, there was no time because baby was coming NOW. So all we have of our daughter's first hours of life are a couple of cell phone pictures on Mr. Legalosaur's blackberry. We had discussed previously that he should accompany her to the NICU, being that I would have to spend some time in recovery. If she did end up passing away, I didn't want her to pass on without a parent there. Luckily, he felt the same way.

I had to stay in the OR to deliver the placenta and to monitor my bleeding. I was there for almost an hour after the birth until I was finally put into a wheelchair and wheeled to my room on the recovery ward. Then they had to do vital monitoring, go through aftercare, and the nurse wanted me to go to bathroom with her watching to make sure that all was well down there. And then they forced me to eat breakfast before they would wheel me to the NICU, so I ate my food in record time and paged the nurse to take me up to see my baby girl.

The first time I saw her was almost two hours after she was born. I dissolved into tears at how tiny and fragile she looked. The neonatologist told me a bunch of stuff about her lungs and condition, but I don't really remember what she said now...

Turns out the likely reason for my early labour (aside from the premature rupture of my membranes) was infection. My placenta had areas of pus and infection on it.

Today, our little baby girl is doing amazingly well considering her prematurity (*knock on wood*). She is tiny, but feisty. She's proven to be the fighter I always knew she was, all throughout the pregnancy. When she grips my finger in the NICU, I cannot help but think that she would not be here if we had decided to terminate our pregnancy when my water broke at 20 weeks. I am soooo glad that we made the decision to wait and see what the future would bring. She is our miracle, the light of our lives. I treasure and cherish every moment I get to spend with her, and wouldn't trade them for the world.


And with that, this will be my last post on Pregosaur. I have decided that I have too much on my plate to go on and post on Littlesaur, as much as I would like to share my experience as a NICU parent. But I know I need to focus all my attention and energy on our daughter, and so that's what I'm going to do.

Thank you to all the readers for your thoughts, support and encouragement throughout my pregnancy. I will check back and see how the rest of the Pregosaurs are doing from time to time, and cheer you all on from the sidelines. Good luck to you all!

Guilt

Last night, I laid in my bed in tears. I’ve mentioned before that I’m fighting allergies, but I don’t know if I really described how severe it is. You know how when you have a really bad cold, your nose gets so stuffed up that your head hurts and your sinuses start screaming at you? It’s like that. Every minute. Every hour. Every day. But in addition to that, my throat feels like it’s closing up, so I can not only not breathe through my nose, but I have difficulty breathing deeply through my mouth as well. I can barely sleep at night because breathing is so difficult, even when I’m propped up on three pillows (which is in turn giving me back and neck aches). I’ve blown my nose so much that I’ve started getting nosebleeds. My eyes are swollen and feel like they’re on fire, even when I use saline eyedrops to try to relieve some of the pain.

And that’s on a good day. I literally cannot be outside for longer than a minute or two or the symptoms instantly grow worse (I’ve actually had to take time off of work because I couldn’t physically cope after having to be outside for a couple of hours the previous night). I can’t step into my yard, can’t play with my dogs outside, can’t go for a walk or a picnic. I live inside a sealed up house, dash to the car to go to work, stay inside a building all day, and then repeat in the opposite order. If my husband opens a window at home to let some of the stale air out, I start gasping within minutes. 


And I still have another 3.5 months to go, as the allergy season for hayfever sufferers in Australia runs from about October to February. It’s going to be a long spring.

This is all worth it, because this is what I need to do to keep these babies healthy. But last night, I woke up at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep because my allergies were so severe. Today, I’m desperately tired. And when I was lying in bed, watching the light from the dawn creeping through the blinds, I realized: I can’t do this again. I just can’t.

My plan was to breastfeed our babies for the first 12 months, as the AAP recommends. I’ve now cut that down to 5-6 months, depending on when my allergies start up next year. Because next year, I want – no, I need – to be able to take strong allergy medication, and I won’t be able to if I’m breastfeeding.


And I feel unbelievably guilty. How many times have I had it drummed into my head that breast is best, that if you don’t breastfeed your child for at least a year, you’re doing them a disservice. I don’t want to be a bad mother! But then I remind myself: there is nothing wrong with formula. Formula is not bad. Formula is not evil. It may not quite be the naturally perfect baby food that breastmilk is, but it’s absolutely the best substitute in the world. Women who are unable to produce enough milk to feed their child - and you never know, I could be one of them and then all of this would be a moot point - are not abusing their children by giving them formula, and I won’t be abusing our children either. I've read that most of the benefits of breastfeeding are in the first 6 months, so hopefully I'll be able to breastfeed for that long - but if not, it won't be the end of the world.

I want to be able to breathe freely and play with my children. I want to be able to get whatever sleep I can, instead of gasping for air at night. I want them to have nice, fresh air in our home. I want to be able to take them out in the stroller for a walk instead of being trapped inside a sealed house for five months. Yes, breastfeeding is a wonderful thing, but so is quality of life – not just for myself, but for my children. I know this decision might open me up to some judgment (especially since I'm making it so far in advance), but I'm OK with that. Because if this is what I have to do to be happy and healthy so I can make our children happy and healthy, then it's the right choice for our family.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Feeling Great

Who thought I would look forward to having needles stuck in my skin. But I do. I see Dr. Frank three times a week and I just finished my first week and I feel great. I have so much more energy or I should say I actually have energy. Through out the week I can feel twinges in my uterus and near my ovaries. I feel happy and rested and I am wondering why I haven't done this sooner. Even as I type this I can feel the energy flowing in my pelvic region.

Here is how my appointments go:

I walk in and fill out a progress report. Then they take me back to a dimly lit room with a massage table. They heat the table as I roll my pants to above my knee and roll my sleeves to the elbow. Then Dr. Frank comes and in and we talk about how I have been feeling and how I should be feeling. We talk about my stress levels (low), my job, my eating habits (getting better). We also just talk about everyday normal things like how the Bears suck right now. While we are talking we inserts the needles in my legs, stomach, arms, face, and head. He attaches an electric current to 4 of the points in my legs and ankles. Then he points a heat lamp towards my pelvis, puts on soothing music and leaves me be. I lay there for about 20 minutes and its great. I leave flying on a cloud. He also gave me 3 vitamins to take 3 times a day with food. I am taking a multi-vitamin called catalyn, a vitamin B supplement called cataplex B, and finally symplex F for healthy functioning of multi organs including my ovaries. I still have 8 more treatments left until we talk about our next move.


Also, in my last post I mentioned Mr. Relaxasaur was going to get his sperm tested but that was a bust. We did like we were supposed to; have sex 3-5 days prior and then abstain from sexual activity for 48 hours prior. We woke up at 6:30 am which is nowhere near the time I normally wake up. We arrive at the office and they have no record of our appointment. Plus, they tell us even if we did have our apt they would not see us with out a referral. I told the receptionist that I when I made the appointment I told the woman we didn't have a referral and she said it wouldn't be a problem. Turns out she was wrong. So we were sent home only to receive a phone call saying they found our apt and they made it for the wrong day but without a Dr.'s order they weren't going to see us. It was too early for all that crap and I was a little crabby. Today, I called my gyno and she will send over an order tonight so I will call tomorrow and reschedule.


Has anybody heard from legalosaur? I think about her and keep her in my prayers.

Gestational Diabetes

image source


As you know, earlier this week I failed the one-hour glucose screening for Gestational Diabetes. Since then, I have been monitoring my blood glucose levels each day (my mom is Type II and has an extra monitor that I have been using)...drawing blood and testing upon waking, and one hour and two hours after each meal and snack (my fingers are SO sore from all of the needle pricks!).

After two days of testing, I've decided to go ahead and skip the three-hour test tomorrow and go straight to the Diabetic Counselor. Hopefully I will get to meet with her tomorrow or Monday.

The plan right now is to modify my diet and up my exercise in an effort to balance my blood sugars. Actually, my numbers after I eat are in a pretty good place, but it's the number after fasting (from the last snack of the day/bedtime until waking the next day) that is the major concern right now. It's been between 95-105 each morning and it really needs to be below 95. Since I am already eating really healthfully, I am truly boggled at what sort of adjustments needs to be made. I am thinking more protein at every meal and a snack closer to bedtime or even in the middle of the night (when I wake up to go to the bathroom) might be in order. we shall see.

So, we'll start with overhauling my diet and exercise plan even more (honestly I cannot even imagine where I'd be if I had been eating pasta and drinking soda, etc. throughout this pregnancy!) and if it's not controlled that way I will most likely have to take insulin shots at night before bed. The other option would be taking a pill, Glyburide, but it crosses the placenta and can negatively affect the baby at birth and I'd prefer that whatever medication I might need to regulate this not cross over to the baby if at all possible.

I'll meet with a nutritionist tomorrow or Monday and have some more information then, but for now Dr. Google and the High-Risk Pregnancy Board on The Bump has been very helpful in understanding this all. My emotions about this have been swinging from fear to anger to guilt and even though, intellectually, I know that there's nothing I've done to bring this on (aside from having a few risk factors because of my family history, weight and age) it still hurts. I have been SO lucky throughout this TTC and PG and I am trying to be grateful for that and keep a good perspective on things (for example I am not dealing with anything nearly as terrifying as Legalosaur or other mommies with compromised pregnancies).

That said, I am definitely feeling depressed about this situation and hope that now that I am in a place to take some action my mood will lift some. The tears have flowed often and plentifully since Monday night (they started after our hospital tour). In fact I awoke sobbing on Wednesday morning. Maybe I had a bad dream? I don't know. The world just feels very heavy to me right now.

I hate crying at work, especially. And I am not planning on telling anyone that I work with about this so for now I have to play it off like it's just hormones making me emotional. I am pretty sure no one has seen me breakdown (thank goodness for office doors), but I am sure my eyes have been red and teary looking. Some of my colleagues may have their suspicions that it is more than that because my husband arrived unannounced with flowers for my desk to cheer me up on Wednesday. He's been trying his best to brighten my spirits about all of this, but in all honestly, there's really nothing he can say or do to change this situation. I have to process it all in my time. And although he'll be supporting me all the way, he's not the one going through it, I am. He fails to understand this right now, so it has been less than sunny in our household all week.

I have already talked to the doctor about my options and how they might affect labor and delivery and right now her goal (and mine) is to get everything under control so that I can still aim for a natural labor and delivery. We will know more in the coming weeks. So we're going forward with our Bradley Classes this week and next. I am on-the-fence about contracting the doula. It's a lot of money and right now I am not even sure if we'll be able to use her services when the time to deliver comes. What I do know is this. I am praying that the next 12 weeks just fly by with me in good health and then, I can finally meet our little girl. Staying healthy for her is my #1 goal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Back to normal?

Things are slowly getting back to normal in the Citysaur household, after a jarring and emotional week last week. I was swamped at work when I returned on Monday - I was gone a week and a day, and walked out in the middle of a work day with virtually no notice. But I'm getting back into the swing of things, both at work and at home.

I'm 21 weeks today, and I finally got around to taking a new belly pic, my first since week 17.


I've had this shirt in my closet for a while (ever since the big maternity shopping spree) but today was the first day I wore it to work. Because it's fitted, it needed a bit of a belly before I actually looked pregnant in it and not just fat. I tried it on this morning and figured I looked pregnant enough, so it passed the test. :o)

In other news, our crib was delivered last week, and Mr. Citysaur had it put together in about an hour! It's lucky that we were actually both off work that day, as the UPS guy called me when he came to deliver it. Because the box was so big, he didn't want to just leave it in our building office. We have a good UPS guy! Here's the finished product, sans mattress and bedding and all of that fun stuff, of course:


We also moved the spare futon out of the nursery finally, and we'll be getting rid of it this weekend - no place to keep it in our 2-bedroom loft! And on Sunday, I found a glider and ottoman on craigslist for a great price, so that also has a home in the nursery now. It's slowly coming together, though we still have quite a bit of work to do yet. My father-in-law is building us a changing table/dresser combo, my mom is buying us some carpet tiles to lay down over the hardwood floors, and of course then there's all the decorating! But I feel pretty good about where we are in the process at this point.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from where we are on the nursery is how I've felt lately about all the decisions we have left to make! I had a bit of a freak-out session last night when I started to think about all the big, major decisions we have to make - and soon! Where will Benjamin stay when I return to work? What pediatrician will we take him to? How am I going to fit pumping into my work schedule, and where in the world am I going to do it, when I work out of a cubicle? What school will we send him to, eventually?


That's the one decision, ironically, that sent me into the biggest panic, and it's the one that's the farthest away. We live downtown in a mid-size city that isn't used to having families living downtown yet. Our inner-city schools leave a little to be desired...sometimes a lot. Most families in our area flee to the suburbs when it's time to send the kids to school. But Mr. Citysaur and I are different. We want a different experience for our child - not so different that I want to send my child to a struggling school where drugs and guns and gangs are daily issues though. However, the likelihood is that we'll leave this city altogether before Ben is school-aged anyway - so therein lies the irony of why that particular decision sent me over the edge!

I finally just told myself to calm down and take things one at a time, so that's what I'm doing. First up on the list? Find a pediatrician!

Two years ago today.....

Two years ago today I had my first miscarriage. I was devastated. I thought it wouldn´t or couldn´t happen to me. I had only known I was pregnant for about five days, but I had already carefully planned out how and when to tell my family. I was ecstatic. And then the bleeding started. I was in disbelief, in shock when I wiped and saw the blood. I told myself that some women spot and that it would be ok. Then the cramping came. The cramps that left me doubled up on the bathroom floor and later in bed. I couldn´t bring myself to wake Mr. Lillysaur up and tell him, so I lay beside him and cried silently. In the morning he got up and went to the bathroom where he saw the blood in the toilet. He came back to bed and asked me what this meant. I cried. He began to cry, the realization of it coming to him. I spent all day at home crying and researching this on the internet. The gyno didn´t want to see me until five in the evening. We went together and heard the words I knew were coming, yet didn´t want to hear. "I´m sorry, but it´s over. Your body has dealt with it quickly and efficiently. You shouldn´t bleed much more." She told us to wait three months and try again. This kind of thing happens all the time, but rarely twice. It´s the bodies way of practicing for the big act, she said.

Funny, at the time it seemed sort of comforting. Like hey, you´ve got this behind you and now the baby-making can begin in ernest. Little did I know just how it would all turn out. Now two years later I´m at home all by myself, with a horrible head cold, Mr. Lillysaur will not be home until tomorrow, and my fur baby is off with the dog trainer because I felt too sick to get out of bed this morning. Two years ago I would never have dreamed that I´d be here writing and remembering my little one without the comfort of holding a new little one in my arms.