Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Flutter!

Last night as I was in bed watching TV before lights out, I felt the very first flutters! I am absolutely sure that is was the baby as the sensation immediately took me back to my experience with Missy. It is unmistakable and I so wish my husband could feel it. I felt the baby moving today too and I am so excited that he/she is letting me know that everything is okay in there.

13w 2d gestation - first flutters!!!

Oh, and just for documentation purposes, I threw up again today. My nausea has returned to a certain degree but I would say my main issue is the fact that I look forward to certain foods and then when I have them, can't eat them. They are not cravings, just mental preparations for the upcoming menu. For the record, my cravings have been decaf carmel macchiato (finally got one today!) and a Johnnie's Dog House sauerkraut dog (I know, I know) which I will have to get tomorrow - they BETTER be open - as I missed them today by about 45 minutes. At least these are the latest which could change at any given moment.

Boy, would I love a hotdog right now! I can't wait! Oh, and a milkshake - vanilla! Perfection!

Finally, as far as the shopping thing, we never went. It was crazy to think it wasn't going to be a madhouse on Labor Day weekend. We did the Carters bit but left out of frustration!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

To Shop or Not to Shop?

Today we are headed to the outlets to get some new clothes for Missy for the fall. At 25 months, less than 22 months adjusted, we are working on potty training and so far, she's been hugely successful! I couldn't be more proud. This transition to big-girl underwear is a sad one for a mom who just adores onesies. Although it appears onesies stop at size 24 months, I feel we could have milked them for at least another 6 months or so. So now it is off to buy undershirts and tops that need to be tucked in. Yikes!

Since Labor Day is just around the corner, it occurred to me that the only pair of fitting maternity pants I have will need to be retired. They are white! I love them! They were a carry-over from Missy's pregnancy as I have not made any baby/pregnancy related purchases at all.

The thought hit me that I could run into the one maternity store in the strip (not sure what store it is even) and check it out. But my nerves are getting the best of me. I don't want to be superstitious, but I can't help but flash back to the days immediately after Missy's early birth when my online Gap order arrived in the mail. It was a new swim suit, maternity undergarments and other fun fashions for my upcoming fall as a supposed to be pregnant woman.

It was a miserable day when I had to return the clothes at my nearest Gap store. I was full of ammunition if ANYONE dare challenged my return. I was so ready to bite the head off anyone who even so much as gave me a funny look. I can still feel the emotion brewing inside.

Oh, you know, I take back the part about not buying anything for baby. While shopping for a shower gift for my friend back in June, I came across this adorable navy overall set (yes, boy) with corresponding white onesie. I bought it, knowing the Gap would take it back within 90 days if the baby happened to be a girl, not if God-forbid anything happened to the baby. Then I purchased a bunch of matching girl things at Talbots Kids. Now that return may be a little trickier as Tablots Kids is going out of business - darn! So, I suppose, that is progress. Maybe I just answered my own question. I suppose I'll go and see what I can find...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Turning 13 Weeks in the ER

The point of this blog is to share my high-risk pregnancy experience. And while what I'm about to write is quite embarrassing, it is my pregnancy experience and to ignore the events of the past 24 hours would prove dishonest to myself, my readers and ultimately to my baby who will learn about the months leading up to his/her birth through this documentation.

So here goes...

Last night I was watching TV in bed laying on my right side. At 10:50, I attempted to turn over and felt this sudden excruciating pain along my lower right side. It took my breath away and in spite of many position changes did not relent. Hubby and I went through all the potential things it could be: my appendix - wouldn't I be sick, throwing up?, constipation - no, constipation just doesn't cause extreme pain, does it?, my placenta tore/uterus ruptured/active labor - wouldn't I have bleeding? Everything we read online and in books said to call your practitioner. I just couldn't bring myself to do it at now well after midnight.

I held on a little longer and then decided it was best I go to the ER. The pain was a definite 10! I didn't want to wake my mom and felt funny calling a neighbor to sit with the Miss so I drove myself.

The drive wasn't so bad but my emotions got the best of me as I couldn't help crying as I explained I was just 13 weeks and had extreme sudden onset abdominal pain.

It turns out the ultrasound tech had to be called in from home. They ran labs both blood and urine in the meantime. I was offered IV narcotics many times but declined them as to not risk harming the baby. I did request some IV Zofran as I was on the verge of throwing up.

They ordered a complete abdominal ultrasound and the tech started with the study of my gallbladder and kidneys. All I wanted to see was the flicker of my baby's beating heart! It was the longest 15 minutes as I waited for the focus to turn to the baby.

I learned quite a few things. During my last ultrasound at 12 weeks exactly, the baby was measured by crown-rump length. At 13 weeks, the baby was too big for this measurement and so the head was measured along with the leg. The baby measured 13w 5d with a heart rate of 161. I was so excited to see that the baby was well! It was moving and bouncing all around. I was also saddened to know that Little Miss might not have been 24w 5d at birth because her measurements were always behind my LMP gestational age. Not to mention the whole HCG issue too. Hubby and I talked about it when I arrived home and are reminded just how blessed we are to have a thriving and healthy 2 year-old micropreemie.

My tech endeared herself to me as she felt it was bowel all the way. She had been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease during one of her pregnancies and was very sympathetic to my bowel struggles thus far. She was able to connect my extreme pain with the movement of the transducer over my large intestines. There was an amazing sense of relief to know that it wasn't anything with the baby, my uterus, placenta, etc. Basically the pregnancy was healthy! My digestive system, on the other hand, needed some major help!

Once this was determined, I just wanted to get home. It seemed like my discharge took longer than the workup. Why is that when I was one of two people in the place? Anyway, I convinced the doctor to order me a colonoscopy prep kit. I need a major dose of colon blow to get rid of the "back-up". I am well beyond Milk of Mag and Colace, thank you very much. Additionally, I got an order for Miralax too and left for home at 4:00 A.M.

Too exhausted to go out of my way to stop at the 24 hour pharmacy, I went home for a big gulp of MOM, hoping it would start to work before I got the big guns down. I attempted to get some sleep but the pain was just too intense. Between my husband and my mother, by 10:00 I got my hands on the stuff that is so far, cleaning me out. It was recommended by my peri's office. Yes, I broke down and called to let them know my situation. After I hung up with the nurse, she called me back to tell me to skip the prep kit and drink a half bottle of Mag Citrate. It's this lemon-flavored stuff that within 1/2 hour, started working. The cramps were unbearable and my poor husband stood while I sat (yes, there) so I could hold his hand.

So here I am, feeling better. Not 100% by any means, but better. My stomach is so sore. It still hurts to move and certain positions are still too painful. But I do feel an improvement. I slept from about 1:00 - 5:00 and basically took no solids by mouth for almost 24 hours. I just didn't feel up to eating.

I am clearly losing weight this pregnancy. Probably the nausea from my morning sickness (the vomiting for the most part has thankfully subsided), and my food aversions are causing this. I am curious as to what the doc has to say about it.

Here is this week's photo along with a photo of me at 13 weeks with the Missy. I clearly look different. We are preparing for a boy!

13 weeks preggo with Little Miss Girl

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good News!

Genzyme called this morning and said that we are in the lowest risk category at 1 in 10,000 for both Downs and Trisomy 18. All we want is a healthy baby and child so this is good news. Dr. Davis' office came back with the same numbers. I know there is always a chance they made a mistake but I'm going to revel in the good news anyway.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Feeling Better and Resuming the Prenatals

I must say that I am feeling much better than I had been. I have more energy lately and in spite of feeling sick immediately after dinner, my nausea has, for the most part, subsided. I feel so much better that I began taking my prenatal vitamins again. Hopefully, they will be well tolerated.

Today marks 12 weeks 4 days and I must confess I am enjoying the fact that there are many moments throughout my day when I forget that I am pregnant. My mind is not consumed with this pregnancy like it was when I was expecting Miss. Speaking of my little peanut, we had a fabulous day together. All days are good days with her but today was just remarkable! She was so loving, understanding, sweet and funny. I just love her so and know she is going to make a great big sister!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

12 Weeks!

Here I am at 12 weeks! Almost to the second trimester. I was sick this morning but recovered quite nicely. I'm getting used to throwing up and moving on.

I faxed the results from the first trimester screen Dr. Davis did to Dr. C's office and Nurse Barb said it is not the same test that they do. So I kept my appointment today for my ultrasound and labs.

Daddy came with me today as he hasn't seen the baby in weeks. It has gotten so much bigger since he last saw it and it was very cute and active, putting its hand in its mouth and kicking its legs.

I also spoke with my GYN about the antibiotic situation and she feels strongly that I should not do it. I feel torn but have two strong opinions not to take it and one opinion to take it. The argument is that there is no data to support the treatment. She assured me that if there was an infection, I would be diagnosed and treated prior to it affecting the baby. I think I have to go with the majority on this one.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


After getting the insurance code from Dr. Davis for the injectible progesterone yesterday, I called Personal Choice this morning to ensure coverage as I was told previously that injectibles weren't part of my plan.

It turns out P17 is covered along with a home health care nurse to administer my weekly shots! If my primary care orders the P17, it's a $10 copay. If my peri or MFM orders the P17, it's a $20 copay. I am going to try to see my primary this week. Why spend an extra $10 per week if I don't have to?

Dr. Davis

Little Miss and I left the house at 10:30 yesterday morning. I picked up my uncle to have some company for the almost two hour drive and then dropped the Nut off at my mother-in-law's. Hubby met us there with lunch that my uncle and I ate in the car on the way to New Jersey. We arrived at 12:45 for my 1:00 appointment.

The long story short is that Dr. Davis was called into surgery at 1:15. I had yet to be scanned and he said to give him an hour. The tech then took me back to complete the remainder of the First Trimester Screen. Everything looked good. The baby is measuring right on target, exactly 11w 5d and is 5.03 cm. This was all determined with a transabdominal ultrasound. The baby was quite active to start with. It bounced back and forth and was very cute to watch. It actually reminded me very much of my scans with Little Miss. The profile and shape of the head is very similar.

The tech wanted to get a better view of the baby so she did a transvaginal ultrasound. I asked her to please check my cervix as it had yet to be evaluated. She couldn't locate my cervix beyond seeing the stitch. We made the assumption that my uterus was still flipped. She went back to evaluate the baby but the little stinker decided to take a nap and was now sleeping on its tummy. After much prodding, she gave me some juice in hopes of waking it up. Sure enough, the gymnastics show continued and it flipped over and over.

I got dressed and waited for Dr. Davis to return. By my estimate it wasn't going to be more than 15 or 20 minutes. Thankfully I was finishing a book for book club and had plenty to do.

As he walked in with his med student shadow, he called me into his office. He looked at the ultrasound and announced that my uterus was in perfect position. Then why is my cervix not visible??? He said he didn't know and that we should go take a look. Off I went to another scan room and had another transvaginal ultrasound. This time it was right there, measuring 2.4-2.5. I had a completely empty bladder the first time and this time could have used to go before the exam but didn't want to take the time. Thankfully I didn't because that made all the difference in seeing what I wanted them to see.

Dr. Davis then ran off to write orders and announced I should wait in his office so we could talk. After much more waiting, we basically discussed the following:

1. My first trimester screen came back with values less than 1 in 10,000.
2. He dictated a letter to Dr. C, explaining the TAC and how bed rest is not indicated unless there is a problem. He also stated his case for wanting to prescribe antibiotics and P17. The P17 I will have no issues with but the antibiotics, I think will be harder to convince Dr. C to agree to. I am going to call my regular GYN this week and see what her thoughts are as she was going to talk to her high-risk OBs down at Penn for me.
3. Dr. Davis acknowledged again that pregnancy is NOT just physical, that it's emotional too. He feels it's very important to treat both aspects and has agreed to see me whenever I feel the need to be evaluated. He explained that based on his 20+ years of experience he knows I will get far into the third trimester. But he knows that my experience is a 24w 5d Cesarean delivery of a 1lb 6 oz micropreemie and that I need to do all that I can to not worry. If that means being seen by him everyday, so be it. I like that understanding and wish more doctors believed in this way of practicing such a sensitive discipline of medicine.

Of course at 4:15, my visit ended with tears, a big hug from Dr. Davis and the scheduling of my next appointment in two weeks on September 4.

By the way, in an email posted to Abbyloopers, Marie, the woman from CA is doing great post-surgery on Monday. Just another reason Dr. Davis is the very best!

So our long day was even longer as we drove home, picked up the Nut, grabbed Boston Market and ate dinner at my mom's. I was so exhausted my mom and brother had to drive us home. I just couldn't drive anymore. We didn't get home until 8:00 pm.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Better Day

So, just to recap, yesterday I threw up in the morning and then suffered from horrendous cramps throughout the rest of the day. I took Dr. C's advice and did the MOM and sure enough, after much more cramping, I finally felt better.

I feel so much better today that we took Little Miss to see some farm animals and had lunch out. I'm tired and this is normally my nap time, but I am trying really hard to push through so I can go to bed early tonight and sleep well.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Calling the Doc...

So I broke down and called Dr. C today, Saturday, because of terrible cramping and pressure. We came to the conclusion that I needed a little Milk of Magnesia to move things along. I expressed concern that my cervical length has yet to be evaluated since my uterus has been "tipped"each time I've had an ultrasound. My stitch is visible and looks great but the status of my cervix is still unknown. He assured me that cervical checks don't normally begin until week 15. Okay, I need to trust him on this one.

It looks like pregnancy and my intestines just don't agree as this was an issue with my pregnancy with Little Miss too. However, my friend Wendy just informed me that progesterone slows things down and is more than likely adding to my discomfort and difficulty. Great, just great.

My appointment with Dr. Davis was bumped from Monday to Tuesday. They called yesterday to tell me. I was wondering how Monday was going to work. There is a woman on the Abbyloopers board who is flying in from CA to have Dr. Davis place a rescue TAC for her on Monday. I feel good that I was instrumental in helping her connect with him as she had had a failed surgery with a doctor who has only placed five TACs. When I read her story, I called Dr. Davis and confirmed that it was okay to give this woman his cell phone. He is so dedicated and committed to what he does. He is really an amazing man and takes doctor to the next level.

Anyway, I wish her luck with her surgery and hope she gets to term with her little one. If anyone can help her, it's Dr. Davis! Thank God he's so close. (Not really but worth the sacrifice for me to drive two hours!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

11 Weeks!

Here we are at 11 weeks! I am feeling really anxious to know if this baby is a girl or boy. We found out with Little Miss at 17 weeks and change.

I have a series of mental milestones at this point the first being Monday when I see Dr. Davis again. I'm sure he'll schedule me for another appointment in two more weeks but so far, it's not on my calendar. I have an ultrasound for Dr. C on Thursday of next week (at 12 weeks) and then I see him in early September. In five weeks, I start my P17 shots (at 16 weeks) and I guess if the baby cooperates, we should know the sex within a couple weeks from there. That's as far as I've been able to go at this point.

Anyway, the concern about gender is prompted by my horrible breakouts. Little Miss just zapped me and I had these large, painful pimples when I was pregnant with her that continued during my first few months of pumping. I look terrible now and I looked terrible then.

I suppose I should wrap this up with the statement that I just want a healthy baby: from pregnancy, birth and beyond!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Much Better!

Wow, what a difference a day makes! I feel great! No complaints whatsoever!

My sickness subsided yesterday around 4:00 p.m., just as my husband was arriving home with my Phenergan Suppositories. Upon doing some research, I decided against taking them. They are listed as a category "C" and all the literature I could find clearly said that they should only be taken in pregnancy if absolutely necessary. My feelings were that a bag of fluids at the ER would be a safer bet than risking a category C drug. Why would Dr. C prescribe something like this when perhaps a little hydration could have made all the difference?

My plan is that if I am ever sick again like I was yesterday, I will just go to the ER.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So Sick...

Today has been an awful day. It is 2 p.m. and I have thrown up five times. I haven't eaten anything and I'm still throwing up. I am dry heaving and pulling up what little bile is down deep. I called my doc thinking I would need an IV. I am clearly dehydrated. They said if I am still sick tomorrow morning then they'll entertain that. In the mean time, they've called in an anti-nausea suppository. Fabulous. Just fabulous.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Rough Afternoon

Little Miss and I got home from having lunch out with friends and did our typical nap time routine: diaper, wipe down, books and snuggles. She fell right to sleep and I did the same minutes later. I was awakened by the doorbell which then prompted both dogs to start barking. No sooner did I quiet them down when it rang again and they started right back up. The three of us (me and the dogs) were asleep in my room and the doors were closed but Little Miss was still disturbed. I ran down to see who was at my door but they had disappeared. I looked up and down the street until I heard a voice at my neighbors and there stood the woman who looked just like the Verizon rep that rang our bell the night before. The answer was "no" then so why would it suddenly be "yes" today?

I was fuming mad! As I raced back upstairs, Little Miss was crying at her door. I was hoping to salvage the nap and so needed her to fall back to sleep. We snuggled and rocked and thankfully she was tired enough to drift back to sleep. I then jumped on the phone with my township and then the local police department to find out if Verizon had a permit to solicit. They did not and the cops were on their way! Justice!

Then I had a moment of confusion because I didn't know for certain that it was Verizon. I knocked on my neighbor's door to find out because he actually let the woman in. My hunch was correct, Verizon was canvasing the neighborhood for the second day in a row.

Coming back in the house, I crossed my fingers that Missy was still sleeping and not a cranky mess standing in her doorway (she's gated now that she's in a big girl bed). Since my nap was thrown off course, I sat down to read the mail which just happened to be a letter from the school Little Miss will start in the fall. I was so emotional reading about her teachers, orientation and the like. I started to cry. Then I spotted the Verizon woman walking up the street with her male counterpart. I raced out front and shouted to them. We walked toward each other and I started to explain that they needed a permit to solicit. That's when they asked if I had turned them in. As I realized that the police had done what they said they would, it also dawned on me that the Verizon people now know where the snitch lives. The exchange was non-confrontational (in my opinion) and I explained that they already came to my house the day before. This seemed to validate my complaint. Hopefully they won't hold a grudge and seek retaliation. There are tons of other neighborhoods for them to walk through, why mine?

So after this whole ordeal I settled back in with a healthy and hopefully HELPFUL snack of prunes, walnuts and craisins. My whole snack came up with little warning. This was by far, my worst episode of illness. My snack cleaned me out - it was just the wrong way. What a day!

Double Digits!

So here I am at 10 weeks, what in reality should be 1/4 of the way there. I saw Dr. Davis on Monday and my uterus had resumed its tipped position. It was causing me tremendous pain so I opted to have him "adjust" it again. It didn't hurt as much this time and he felt it wasn't as far back as it was the appointment before.

When I saw Dr. C last week, he put the transducer on my stomach (without a full bladder) and there was the baby, clear as day. On Monday when the tech put the transducer on my stomach, there was nothing, no uterus, no baby. I had a moment of panic but a transvaginal ultrasound quickly showed the beautiful beating heart I was was longing to see. It was clear to me that my uterus was not in the proper position - something that can cause issues a little later in pregnancy. Dr. Davis has assured me this will not be the case as I am being very closely monitored. Typically a tipped uterus will right itself between 11 and 14 weeks.

I am doing my best not to take the Zofran. It seems as though my nausea has moved to afternoon so I usually end up taking just one sometime after lunch. And for some reason, my afternoon progesterone pill makes me so dizzy, I feel drunk. Dr. Davis said this is all normal.

I go back to Dr. C's office tomorrow to repeat my urine test. For some reason it came back a little questionable.