Category: She Said


ER = Long wait time

Yesterday was a big day of firsts for me.  My first mat pilates class, my first ride in an ambulance and my first trip to the emergency room.  All of this only to find out that my sub-chorionic hematoma was acting up and causing me to bleed profusely (as in puddles).  Since the ultrasound they did in the ER showed that “Baby Wiggles'” heartbeat was still at 184 bpm and there was still movement and my cervix wasn’t dilated, I wasn’t actually miscarrying.

My OBGYN informed me this morning that I still had a 50% chance of miscarrying and that this bleeding from the hematoma could continue throughout my pregnancy or it could clear up at some point in the future.  So what did I get out of this day of firsts?  I lost 4.5 hrs of my life to waiting for blood tests, an ultrasound, and a pelvic exam in the ER as well as a bunch of stress and the conviction that working out during this pregnancy is going to be an issue.  So it’s kind of a catch 22…  Working out creates endorphins and relieves stress, but if it causes trips to the ER the good benefits don’t outweigh the bad.

So I’m taking a couple of days off from work to get some rest in hopes that the bleeding will abate.  I am also pondering how my airline travel for work next week could potentially affect my rather overractive hematoma.  At this point all we can do is take a “watch and wait” stance to see if this vote is even going to be necessary.




Share

Baby's Length = Lime

According to TheBump.com, now that I’ve reached week 11 in my pregnancy “Baby Wiggles” is the size of a lime; the fetus is  approximately 1.6 inches  in length (crown to rump) and weighs about .25 oz  (if baby was a letter I could mail without adding extra postage).  There is now a 1:1 ratio between body and head and the fingers and toes are no longer webbed.  So in other words, baby looks less like a lizard (no more tail) and more like an alien (large head with wide set eyes).

As I mentioned in my post from yesterday I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time but because we did the fetal doppler, I didn’t have an ultrasound.  So other than the approximations I listed above, I can’t tell you exactly how long “Baby Wiggles” is now or what the beats per minute are.  I have another ultrasound appointment next week so hopefully I will have some more insight into the baby’s size and heartbeat bpms at that time.

For me the extreme thirst and trouble sleeping continue unabated.  How much have I had to drink today (non-alcoholic beverages only, of course…)?  Let’s see, I had an orange juice in a McCafe cup this morning with breakfast (I believe that’s 16 oz), one twelve oz can of Sprite Zero (no caffeine) and I’ve already put away 64 oz of water (currently working on my next 20 oz water bottle).  That makes 92 oz of fluid so far today (almost 3 liters) and my thirst continues unquenched.  Can drinking too many liquids lead to an electrolyte imbalance?  It seems that if dehydration throws off electrolyte levels then over-hydration would affect them too.

The netti pot drains my sinuses and my will to live

I also got sick last week with major nasal congestion.  The worst part about being sick when you’re pregnant?  There are very few medicines that are considered “safe” enough to consume during the first trimester while baby’s organs are forming.  I found out that congestion during pregnancy (especially the first trimester) is common enough that it has it’s own name.  Rhinitis of pregnancy is difficult to treat because pregnant mothers are limited as to what medications are acceptable.  So I got to try new homeopathic remedies that I had never used before.  I tried out the netti pot and a separate saline spray. 

If you’re not familiar with a netti pot, you fill it with a saline water solution, stick the end up one nostril and then hang your head over the tub or sink while the solution drains through your nasal cavity and out the other nostril.  (If you think it sounds disgusting, you would be right).

I also tried a medicated chest rub (keep away from eyes if you don’t want to feel a “burning” sensation) and some dissolving therapeutic shower tablets.  This last item I actually liked because they cleared my sinuses non-intrusively but dissolved way too fast, so I went through a whole package (3 tablets) during one shower (yes, long, HOT showers are my friend).  I am feeling better now, but still find myself draining my nasal cavity and coughing up phlegm.  What a lovely picture!  Want to enjoy some other lovely pictures?  Do a Bing image search for “netti pot”.  You might be surprised by how many people were willing to have their picture taken while using one of these things…




Share
Fetal Heartbeat Doppler

Fetal Doppler Triggers Scary Memory

So today I went in for an OB check with my OBGYN and I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time.  I was actually kind of scared when I saw that the doctor had the fetal doppler to listen for the baby’s heart.  This may seem silly, but that little machine was the beginning of the call of doom for my first planned pregnancy that ended in miscarriage in January of this year.  The nurse took it out at my 16 week appointment and couldn’t find the heartbeat.  She acted like everything was okay and that it was not always easy to hear the baby’s heart with the doppler, so she took me into the ultrasound room “to find where the baby was located”.  The idea being that she could then place the doppler directly over the baby, but of course the ultrasound showed that there was no heartbeat, so this wasn’t necessary.

And when the doctor took several seconds to locate the baby’s heartbeat during today’s appointment my anxiety level skyrocketed.  But then we heard Baby “Wiggles” heart come through that crackly fetal doppler speaker and I was able to relax.  At the end of my appointment I met with the nurse and we filled out some more of my paperwork.  They had been holding off in case this pregnancy didn’t “stick” and I miscarried early.  During my chat with the nurse she laid out the next few appointments I would need to make with her and the doctor.  I was also given some handouts and instructions to add to my regimen of supplements.

I’m already taking 2 children’s complete vitamins as well as extra folic acid every day.  I’m not taking the regular pre-natal supplements because I have a difficult time digesting the amount of iron that they have in them (even if I take them with food they make me vomit). 

Children's vitamins eliminates Iron-induced vomiting

Now I get to add 2 – 3, 000 units of vitamin D3 and 200 mg of DHA (I was given a coupon for Expecta LIPIL).  I was able to get the D3 in 1000 unit softgels, so if you include the Metformin I’m taking for my insulin resistance, I’m up to 8 or 9 pills a day.  I feel like an elderly person who needs to have an organizer so that they don’t forget to take any of their drugs for the day.

I have an appointment to go in again next week for another ultrasound.  The next few weeks are going to be crucial because with the miscarriage I had in January they believe that the baby’s heartbeat stopped at around 13. 5 weeks.  Today marks the week 11 checkpoint, so the next few ultrasound appointments are going to be very nerve-wracking.




Share
Increased Thirst = More Restroom Trips

Increased Thirst = More Restroom Trips

Everyone talks about the symptoms of early pregnancy: morning sickness/nausea, breast enlargement/sensitivity, heightened sense of smell, food cravings…  What I had never heard of before a year ago was abnormal thirst.  Apparently during the course of a normal pregnancy a woman will increase her blood volume by up to 50%.  That’s a lot of extra fluid in the body.  About 30% of this blood volume gain happens during the first trimester often starting around week 7 or 8.  Our bodies try to increase our blood fluid volume by taking in more liquids, so all of the sudden we may start to feel extreme symptoms of thirst.

So now not only is my expanding uterus putting more pressure on my bladder, I’m also taking in a TON more liquids to help alleviate my thirst.  And people wonder why pregnant women need to make so many trips to the restroom…

What’s surprising to me is that I had never heard of this phenomenon before.  I’ve been lucky that I don’t suffer from morning sickness or nausea, although I did encounter a short period (a week or less) where if I didn’t eat almost constantly I started to get an upset stomach or faint feelings of nausea.  However once I ate something the feeling went away for awhile until I was hungry again.  As far as other indicators; breast tenderness (check), heightened sense of smell (check), food cravings (check) and now extreme thirst.  If I hadn’t already seen the ultrasounds I would definitely know based on these other symptoms. 

Another pregnancy indicator for me is the inability to sleep more than 8 hours at a time and increased frequency of dreams that I remember upon waking.  I am one of the lucky people who doesn’t have any problems getting to and staying asleep.  It’s very rare for me to wake up during the night even due to loud noises like thunderstorms.  Last night, however, I woke up at 4 am and had a hard time getting back to sleep.  It wasn’t due to the cats, needing to  use the bathroom or even a loud noise (that I’m aware of).  I just woke up and it took me probably another 45 minutes or so to get back to sleep. 

Does it really seem fair that I’m already more tired than normal due to the pregnancy, but now I also can’t get an uninterrupted night of sleep?  Maybe this is my body’s way of preparing me for the potential of having a newborn and going without sleep in order to take care of the little one.  Instead I would like to enjoy the most restful pregnancy possible to make up for those first months where getting more than two hours of sleep at a time is almost an impossibility. 

Has anyone else encountered any strange pregnancy symptoms that they had never heard of before becoming pregnant for the first time?  If so, I would love to hear them so I’m more likely to be prepared for it to happen to me!




Share

What is PCOS?

If any of you read Pete’s most recent blog post you’ll see that we decided to use the Intelligender “at home” gender prediction test to determine the likely gender of Baby “Wiggles”.  Unfortunately I missed the part in the FAQs on their website that mentioned it is not recommended that women who have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) use the test as it is likely to return a positive “Boy” result.  Although they don’t come out and say it, this is likely due to the fact that women (like me) affected by PCOS often have increased androgen (male hormone) levels, hence the likely “Boy” result.

What is PCOS?  According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, PCOS “is the most common hormonal disease among women of reproductive age”.  What does this mean for my pregnancy?  Well, not much actually.  I’m already taking Metformin to help alleviate my Insulin Resistance and it’s supposed to help with the PCOS as well.  The biggest worry for women who are trying to conceive is that PCOS can cause infertility.  I’m already pregnant so that’s not really a concern for me right now.  The other indicators (obesity, insulin resistance/prediabetes) are being addressed through medication, diet and exercise.

Why would we care about the baby’s gender if we’re considering abortion?  Why not?  It’s one of those questions that will drive people crazy the entire pregnancy.  If you can find out early on, it’s just one less thing to obsess about.  Unfortunately this test isn’t necessarily accurate for women with PCOS, so my positive “Boy” result means about as much as my “feeling” that Baby “Wiggles” is a girl.  So just like every other couple that wants to know the gender of their baby as soon as possible, we will have to wait a little while longer (although according to several articles I’ve read gender indicators can be read as early as 11 or 12 weeks). 

At this point we would be happy to have a healthy baby of either gender, but we both agree that we would like to start our family with a boy.  As I mentioned in my We’re Pregnant post, I have several young nephews and it would be fun to have a son so that he could play with his male cousins when our family gets together.  For any subsequent pregnancies I would be happy to have as many girls as possible!




Share

I have been going in for weekly ultrasounds to make sure that the baby is developing on schedule.  You may ask yourself “Why?”, if we are considering terminating the pregnancy.  If we decide to continue with the pregnancy I want to make sure that I’ve taken every precaution possible to insure that I give birth to a healthy baby.  I don’t drink alcohol or use any type of tobacco product, I exercise regularly and I don’t have any caffeine intake (other than what you get from chocolate).  The only negative indicator is that I am obese and was working on changing that.  

Despite doing everything right (except the obesity factor) I started having some heavy spotting at 6 weeks.  As any expecting mother can tell you, this is a definite cause for worry…  At the ultrasound that was done at the end of August they found a large subchorionic hemorrhage.  When these occur there is a higher chance of an early miscarriage so they wanted to keep an eye on the size of the hemorrhage as well to make sure that it wasn’t getting bigger.  Now the hemorrhage seems to be completely gone and the spotting has stopped too.  Both are good signs.  Baby “Wiggles” continues to develop as expected and has now reached the 10 week mark.  The hearbeat (as shown in the video) is at 175 bpm and the baby’s length (crown to rump) is approx. 1.2 inches (roughly the length of a prune).  According to TheBump.com, baby’s length will double in the next three weeks.

This pregnancy can go one of three ways: it continues and I give birth to a healthy baby, we decide to abort, or something goes wrong and I miscarry again.  The only one we have any control over is a decision to abort, anything else is decided by God, fate, etc.  So I will continue to document what is happening with my pregnancy and (hopefully) you all will continue to vote.




Share

 

External ultrasound image at 8 wks (approx. 5 wks from ovulation) hearbeat at 180 bpm.  Although this image was taken one week after the previous internal ultrasound the measurements showed 8 wks instead of the 8.5 expected.  Ultrasound tech indicated that this could be the difference between the internal and external ultrasounds and their measurement accuracy.

External ultrasound image at 9 wks gestation (approx. 6 wks from ovulation) heartbeat at 177, embryo is almost 1 inch in length.  Which, according to my nurse is “larger than a gummy bear”.  This ultrasound was the first time we were able to see movement besides the heartbeat.  So I am going to call this the first picture of “Baby Wiggles”.




Share

 

Internal ultrasound image at 6.5 wks gestation (approx. 4 wks from ovulation) heartbeat at 103 bpm.

Internal ultrasound image at 7.5 wks gestation (approx. 5 wks from ovulation) heartbeat at 137 bpm.




Share

So it’s official.  I’m pregnant.  And I’m not certain how I feel about it.  Sure, Pete and I have been married for almost a decade now with no kids to show for it, but I’m not convinced that I want to change the status quo.  I feel that as I age I’ve actually gotten more selfish and set in my ways.  I’m afraid that I will eventually regret starting a family and “settling down”, as they say.  I fear that the constant pressure to be the perfect wife and mother while maintaining a full-time job will eventually cause my brain to implode and lead to a nervous breakdown.  And the fact that this pregnancy puts a big hold on my weight-loss progress is disappointing.  Add in the fact that I’ve had three unsuccessful pregnancies already and I’m sure you’ll understand why my stress-level is going through the roof.

On the other hand I’ve always loved kids (okay, most kids) and encountering a baby in a store or a park will undoubtedly lead me to silly smiles and “baby talk”.  I enjoy attending baby showers for my friends and family and look forward to the opportunity to spend time with my young nephews.  I glance wistfully at mothers pushing baby strollers at the fair and continually decorate our nursery in my mind.  I imagine what it would look like to see Pete holding our son or daughter in his arms and the goofy smile that it would bring to his face.  All of this leads me to believe that maybe having a little one to cuddle and love wouldn’t be so bad… 

But this is where it starts.  If I wasn’t pregnant there wouldn’t be a decision to be made, but I’ve definitely got one “on board” so I guess that we’ll just go from here.

On a side note I’ve found that the digital pregnancy tests (like the ClearBlue ones I used for this pregnancy – pictured above) give an accurate reading earlier on than the non-digital ones.  Besides the fact that unless there is a language barrier the result is definitely clear as day.  The only negative aspect being that the display is only visible for 24 hours while the batteries last.  So if you’re one of those people that wants to hang onto every momento of the pregnancy, you’re going to need a picture of the digital result which isn’t the case with a standard “at home” pregnancy test. 

I’m curious as to what other people have found with their “do-it-yourself” pregnancy tests.  How soon have you gotten an accurate result?  Any false positives?




Share