Thursday, February 28, 2013

At some point soon, I need to start planning for Gabriel's fourth birthday party.  He turns four in April.  He told me that he just wants a "regular" birthday with a cake, presents, and balloons. I think I probably handle that.   Sounds simple enough.

Birthdays are special but sometimes I think a lot of the decorating, food preparation, and party planning is more about what we moms desire than what our little ones really want and need.  Martha Stewart has some beautiful cupcake recipes, but I am pretty sure that Gabriel will be just as happy with the Betty Crocker cake in a box. 

If he wasn't a picky eater and was into coconut, I'd love to make him one of the cut up cakes that I had as a child.  My grandmother had the old Baker's Coconut cake recipe book and made them for my mom, my aunt, my cousins, and myself.

Most likely,  I'll set up some art tables, order some pizzas, make a salad, buy some soda, get some balloons, and put candles on a cake that comes out of a box.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

12 weeks and change

At my last OB appointment, I was 11 weeks along, exactly.  She was able to pick up the baby on the Doppler.  Baby Bean had a HR of 158 BPM.  Our doctor said that was great!

 I had my pelvic the week before by the nurse practitioner and she said everything looked great.  She did a very brief ultrasound at that time to check for the heartbeat.  Unfortunately, because the screen was small, and she was in the way, only my husband got to see the little one.  However, he said the baby looked just like Gabe did at 10 weeks.  Felt a little sad she couldn't move to let me see, but I guess that's how it goes sometimes.

Right now, I am 12 weeks and 6 days. I will be 13 weeks tomorrow.

We announced the pregnancy to folks the day I turned 12 weeks.  Our immediate families knew I was pregnant since the end of December when I got the BFP, but we wanted to wait to really announce it to the world.

Still nervous about miscarriage.  I know so many women who've lost babies..from a few weeks into a pregnancy to shortly after birth. I had a miscarriage in 2011, so these weigh on my mind.  When I told a friend about my fears, she said that I will probably be worried until I am holding the baby in my arms.  I said, "I'll probably be worried until the kid hits forty!"

Of course, there are probably moms whose children are in their forties and fifties who are worried over them!  I think that is just what happens when you become a mom: your worrywart neurons get activated and never turn off!

So far, this pregnancy has been similar in some ways to Gabriel's, and different.  With Gabriel I had unrelenting nausea and an aversion to chicken.  With this pregnancy, my nausea comes in waves and is strongest after sundown, though as we journey out of the first trimester, the nausea is tapering off.   With Gabriel, I was always exhausted in the evening.  With this pregnancy, I am most tired in the mornings.  I also can stand chicken.  Especially in the form of wings with bbq sauce.

I craved ice cream like crazy with Gabriel.  I also ate clementines by the boxful.  This time around I like salty things, though I am eating a lot of clementines.

Except for one pair of jeans, nothing fits. I have a distasis recti from Gabriel so I already looked pregnant on the top of my belly before I ever got knocked up!  Plus, this not being my first time at the rodeo, things are popping out much quicker. 

 I bought some cute maternity jeans and khakis at Target, along with several tops on clearance.  I also got legging and a few tops, plus the greatest gift to woman kind: comfy maternity underwear at the Destination Maternity shop at the mall.  Had to buy some new bras as well.   Since I am plus size, I was a little worried about finding decent stuff that would fit me....but the XXL Liz Lange stuff works great with plenty of room, and the plus size stuff at Destination is great...super comfy!

Though I am sure I will be changing my tune in the fall, right now I love wearing maternity clothes. I love being comfortable and it being okay to have curves. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013



 My husband and I conceived our first child quite easily.  So, when our son turned 18 months which equals 18 months post C section, we started trying again.  I thought I'd be pregnant again within the year tops.  This was in the Fall of 2010.

The reality is that almost as soon as we started, my cycles went crazy.  I was bleeding so  heavily that I had to go to the ER to be monitored.  Then my cycles stopped altogether for several months. It was like my body went on a full sit down strike at the mention of the words, "second baby."

I underwent ultrasounds of my ovaries, uterine biopsies, blood labs which are really not that big of a be told that I probably had PCOS and was given a prescription for Metformin.  I was sent across the parking lot to Reproductive Endocrinology.  The RE said I met the criteria for PCOS clincially, but at the same time my symptoms weren't so severe that she was worried too much about my ability to conceive at some point in the future.

I opted out of going on Clomid.   I decided that I would take the Metformin and pray a lot.    In Dec 2011, we got a long awaited BFP.  I called the doctor. I called everyone I knew.  I went in for a beta.  It was barely there. I started bleeding the next day.  The next beta was zero.  The baby was there, and then he wasn't.

After a couple of months we started trying again.  Taking the temperature, trying to figure out exactly what the damn mucus was trying to tell me.  Month after month of BFNs and frustration.

In August of 2012, on my 38th birthday, I told my husband that I was done "trying."   No more temperatures.  No more charts. No more mucus.  If I didn't get pregnant by my 39th birthday in 2013, I was getting my tubes tied.   The risks for chromosomal abnormalities go up after 35, but they skyrocket in your 40's.

My son started preschool. I got busy with all my sister's issues, and her high school education.  I decided that the School Years were pretty cool. I made peace with only bearing one child.   All kinds of families can be happy families.   I honestly didn't think I'd ever get pregnant again.

Anyhow, the crazy of the holidays happened. Apparently, I got a little crazy after Christmas because on Dec 28 my husband brought home a pregnancy test and said, "The only time you are like this is when you are pregnant."  I laughed but figured I'd placate him by taking the test.

BFP.  Bright pink line.  No way to blow it off as an evap line.   WTH? 

We thought my LMP was around Thanksgiving.  So we figured I was due around Aug 28 or 29.  Called the doctor after a couple of days of taking tests that all came out positive.

Started having similar, though less intense, symptoms to my first pregnancy.  Although this time I do not have an aversion to chicken.

My betas more than doubled between Jan 2 and Jan 4.   Being a nervous mother with a pregnancy preceded by miscarriage, they said I could come in for a scan on Jan 11.

Everything that could go wrong did.   My uterus was so tilted that the OB couldn't see anything with the transvaginal scan.  The abdominal scan showed a sac but she couldn't zoom in to tell if there was even a baby or a missed miscarriage or blighted ovum.   The boatload of HPTs we bought to soothe my nerves meant nothing.  Since the placenta produces the pregnancy hormone that is detected in HPTs, two pink lines or a blue plus line doesn't actually mean there is an actual baby.   The only way to definitely confirm the presence of an embryo or fetus is with an ultrasound. 

Our OB referred us to the fetal diagnostic center, about ten days later.  On January 22, we nervously went into our local children's and women's hospital located in a beautiful brand new building on the medical center campus.  After a short wait, we were called back to a one of the rooms for the scan.   I got on the exam table, pulled up my shirt, and waited.  Right across from me was a giant flat screen monitor.  The tech was lovely.  She asked me my story and listened while I told her about the pregnancy and empty sac.  Then she started the scan.  I could see everything on the screen.  At first it looked like an empty sac when she first started, and I thought, "Oh, no!"

And then I saw a blurry thing in the corner.  As the mouse moved toward it, she said "There's the baby! It's heartbeat is 156 bpm!"  My husband and I both said, "OH MY GOD!" almost simultaneously.  We both teared up.  The tech said that the baby was measuring 7 weeks and 5 days, and gave me an EDD of Sept 5, 2013.