Tag Archive | 1st trimester

Pregnancy Post: Small Steps Forward

After every ultrasound and every doppler check, I get such a high. The sound of that heartbeat is my drug and it courses through my veins. But the next day? Gone. It is always surprising to me when it doesn’t last longer, when the worry sets in and even the reminder of a good heartbeat one or two or three days ago is not enough to comfort me.

But I feel as though this cycle of highs and lows is starting to diminish.  Proof? I am beginning to picture our future, our family of four. Over the weekend, I took a few steps forward in believing that Skittle might just be coming home with us this autumn. First thing, I put away my infertility books and brought out my pregnancy books. I started reading about what being 10 weeks pregnant means and reviewed the development of an embryo at this stage. By the end of this week, Skittle will become a fetus and weigh a quarter of an ounce. It is hard to believe that I somehow successfully sequestered myself all these weeks and was able to remain in the dark about this baby’s growth until now.

Today, I had my husband bring in my box of maternity clothes and my body pillow from storage. I am not quite ready to clear my closet of pre-pregnancy clothing, but I am starting to “show” ever so slightly. It startled me at first, but I know it often happens sooner with subsequent pregnancies and my dear friend told me she was in maternity pants at 9 weeks. Strangely, my pants don’t seem tight at all, but hiding the belly that peeks over the top of my waistline is getting a little more challenging. It will be time to start transitioning into a different wardrobe soon.

Also, my mom arrives in two days. She will be staying with us through the end of the month. I’m very much looking forward to our extended time with her and I want to utilize our time well. Which means we need to do a few baby things. Like go shopping for the maternity clothes that I lack.  (Yes, I could do this alone, but what fun is that?!) And I need to start turning our great room into an office so that the office can become Cupcake’s room and the nursery can stay the nursery. I really wanted to wait to take these big steps until I was at least in my 2nd tri, but I rarely get this much time with my mom. And while I’m working on the organization and rearrangement of our house, she can watch my daughter or help me move furniture. For practical reasons, I have to do these things now. And so I will. A bit grudgingly, but I will.

I guess this is just another sort of milestone that we infertiles must all face: moving from doubt to belief, from waiting to planning, from standing still to moving forward. For some, it comes sooner than others. I think it is coming earlier for me than I ever expected. But maybe that’s good. Maybe it means that I’ve come to see my risk of “jinxing” everything has passed, if it ever existed at all. Maybe, finally, I have faith. Faith that, in the end, everything will be okay. This this baby, our cherished Skittle, will be in my arms in another six or seven months.

Please God, let that be so.

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Going Home: My 1st OB Appointment

I had some serious trepidation as I went to visit my OB for the first time today. This was in part because a few symptoms had started to wane over the weekend (and then returned mildly yesterday, somewhat alleviating this fear) and partly because I had no idea if Dr. Smiles would be listening to the heartbeat or not — and any potential for a doppler-check or ultrasound creates so much anxiety in me. You know, because what if there’s not a heartbeat?

But as I arrived at the office and was given my plastic cup so I could provide a urine sample and went off to the bathroom without anyone having to give me directions, I realized it felt like I was coming home. Everything felt so familiar, so safe. It was nice to be in a place where people recognized me and knew my story without my having to tell them. These people are the ones who saw me through most of my first pregnancy, the ones who were there when my second ended too soon, and the ones who will walk with me through my third, however and whenever it comes to an end (hopefully in about thirty weeks). These people feel like family and the office holds bad memories, but mostly good, just like home should. Which makes me know that, surely, it is the right place for me.

I needn’t have worried, though. As usual. The baby is perfectly fine. Dr. Smiles did a quick ultrasound and Skittle had a heart rate of 167, was measuring 10 weeks exactly (two days ahead), and was moving around with a cartoonish wiggle. Impossibly cute. It’s so amazing to get to see this. I never saw Cupcake by ultrasound until I was 21 weeks. But I have had the opportunity to watch this little one grow from a dot on the screen to something that actually resembles a baby. It’s been incredible.

I did have one concern other than a beating heart weighing on my mind as I went to see my doctor today: my risk of placenta previa. I had it while pregnant with my daughter, and though the placenta eventually moved enough to allow us to try for a vaginal delivery, I had a lot of restrictions (no sex) throughout most of my pregnancy and, at 39 weeks, I had a choice between an induction or a C-section because Dr. S didn’t want me going into labor at home thanks to the possibility of hemorrhaging (a 33% chance). Can we say, scary? It was indeed. Certainly, it was not the ideal I had hoped and planned for, but all’s well that end’s well and, in the end, I had a perfect delivery free of unnecessary bleeding and a beautiful baby in my arms. However, I would really like not to go through it again. But apparently, having placenta previa once does increase my chances of having it again. The doctor stressed the risk was only slightly increased though and we needn’t even worry about it until my anatomy scan. So I will try not to.

My next OB appointment is in four weeks and my NT scan will be in about two. I am constantly surprised to have nothing more to write here than generic pregnancy updates. Everything is going so well with Skittle, it sometimes feels surreal. And sometimes it feels like I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop, you know? But for now, I am so thankful to have nothing more to report.

And for those of you still in the trenches, I want to say this: I know posts like these can be hard and tedious to read when you’re dying to get here. If you have made it to the end of this post to actually read this, I tip my hat to you because I know it’s not easy. Please know I have not forgotten about you. I have not stopped hoping and praying for you. I have always believed that we each have a story to tell, however long or hard our journey is, and however it ends, so I will not stop writing. But I want to be sensitive towards you, gentle and tender with you, so please call me out if I say the wrong thing, okay? I will *try* so hard not to take offense. And likewise, I will always make an effort to make it clear when I’m writing a pregnancy post…which is a lot these days, I know. I love you guys, each one of you, and just as you have walked with me on my journey, I will walk with you on yours.

P.S. Another pic is up on the Skittle page, if you are interested.

Doppler Success

This was going to be a post about how I had expected there to be a change at eight weeks and, knowing the miscarriage rate at that point, how I thought my fear and anxiety would start to subside. As it turns out, this did not really happen. I suppose, with every day that passes, it gets a little easier to manage, but I still check my underwear for blood obsessively. I still have miscarriage nightmares. I still feel ridiculously down if I go any amount of time without feeling any pregnancy symptoms. And all week, I have been dreading next Tuesday’s 1st OB appointment because, what if there is no heartbeat?

But last night, something extraordinary happened. I found Skittle’s heartbeat with my newly purchased doppler. To be fair, it was not the first time I tried. I also gave it a shot Wednesday night, but that was a BFF. A Big. Fat. Fail. I did not completely freak out, because I knew it was early (I was only 8w6d at the time) and maybe it required more practice, but it did concern me. It did weigh on me and disappoint me and, Thursday morning, I woke up feeling sad and worried.

So I decided to try it again last night. I had already watched several YouTube videos about how to use the doppler, but I watched more and I read several online articles as well. I wanted to get all the tips I could. And from that advice, I filled my bladder until it was nearly ready to burst. I found a quiet place in our bedroom, free from the distractions of Honey and Cupcake. I used lots of gel. And I prepared myself to be patient and take my time. No rushing through this.

And there in our chilly bedroom, reclined as much as I possibly could be on our queen-size bed, after only five minutes of trying, at just 9 weeks into my pregnancy, I heard the heartbeat for the first time.

It was the most beautiful sound. Glorious. I was worried that I might not recognize it from other maternal sounds (my own heartbeat, an artery, etc.), but there was no mistaking this. It was unlike anything I had heard the night before and measured at about 171bpm. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Now, this did not completely molify every fear I have. This afternoon, I have had some cramping and I have been feeling uneasy. I have gone to the bathroom to check for blood countless times. But I know this is crazy. I know that, as of last night, Skittle was perfectly fine. And probably continues to be today. And probably will be tomorrow. And hopefully, for many, many years to come.

I am still scared, but today I feel elated at hearing that sound. And I am beginning to believe that maybe, just maybe, this baby will get to outlive me. There’s nothing I want more.

Another Sigh of Relief

I’m not a superstitious person at all (give me a mirror to break, and I will!), but as we approached our 10am ultrasound today, I started to get nervous. The last two Fridays with my successful ultrasounds, the day was sunny and mild. Cupcake stayed with a friend, I was having a good hair day, and I had my ultrasounds in the same room. Today? Rain and wind. An absolutely miserable day. Cupcake had to come along with me, too, and I could not get my hair to lay flat, and I learned that my ultrasound would be in a different room. To me, this spelled doom. All I wanted was to replicate the same set of circumstances that would *ensure* another successful u/s and I couldn’t. I felt panicky.

But alas, it was all for naught. I did end up in the same cozy u/s room with my favorite sonographer and Skittle’s heart was pounding away at a perfect rate of 170. The little one continues to measure ahead at 8w5d (I’m 8w1d today) and I couldn’t be more relieved or happy. All is well. And it’s a good thing, too, considering that’s it’s Honey’s and my 7th Dateversary — that is, the anniversary of our first date. What a sad celebration it would have been if things had gone the other way.

And I know things can still go south. Technically, once reaching 8 weeks, the miscarriage risk declines to 3% (according to the research I’ve read), but we all know people who have fallen on the sad side of this statistic. I still have worries, fears, and trepidations. But I am also feeling more optimistic and more hopeful than I have in so long. I am starting to plan for an October 3rd due date. There are still plenty of things I won’t be doing for a few more weeks, but I will be giving my sister the news this weekend. And I may start reading my week-by-week (or day-by-day or month-by-month) pregnancy books soon. And right now? I’m off to buy a doppler. So I have something new to obsess over, of course!

Wishing you all a happy weekend. And for those of you who are interested…the Skittle page is now up and running. XO

Jinx?

My husband is the King of Creative Gifts. Many times, he will make them himself. I have received handmade earrings, necklaces, bracelets, Christmas ornaments, shadow boxes, even flip-flops. And more.

At other times, Honey will come up with a clever idea and have someone else make it for him.

For Valentine’s Day last week, I received a heart-shaped box made out of chocolate by some local students from the city. It was filled with some fantastic truffles that I am trying not to eat all in one sitting. Pure deliciousness.

And I also received two maternity T-shirts that Honey designed himself:

IMG_5168 IMG_5170

My belly obviously isn’t big enough to fill them up right now, but I love them. I love that they are unique and that Honey has the confidence in this pregnancy that I lack.

But, the moment I saw them, all I could think was Good God, I hope this baby doesn’t die.

Please don’t let this have jinxed it. Please, please, please.

All is Well in the Dash Home

This morning, as I drove to the fertility clinic, I somehow convinced myself that Skittle was probably dead. I had not felt any pregnancy symptoms for the day yet and there was dread in the pit of my stomach. As I waited for my favorite sonographer (yay!) to come into the room, I felt sick. And no, I don’t think it was morning sickness. I’m fairly certain it was nerves. I was scared to death, perhaps more than I’d ever been so far. Which is saying something. I just knew they were going to tell me my baby was gone.

Thankfully, I was wrong. Completely. There was a heartbeat — a strong, beautiful heartbeat — with a heart rate of 153. Over 120 is normal at 7 weeks, but according to my sources on Google Scholar, 146+ is ideal. So I’m very pleased with 153. Today I am 7w1d and Skittle is now measuring 7w5d, which is a relief. We have officially passed the point where we lost Teddy Graham, which is one more small step forward. I am beginning to think maybe, just maybe, this baby will actually come to be. I know there is still so far yet to go, and anything can happen at any time, but for now we are planning on an early October due date.

Holy crap.

I return next Friday for one last ultrasound (my request, not their suggestion) before “graduation.” My RE has been urging me to make an appointment with my OB, so I finally bit the bullet and did that today after my successful u/s. I will be seeing him for the first time on March 5, when I will be almost 10 weeks.

If next week’s u/s is as successful as this one, I have three goals:

  • Start shopping for an at-home doppler in the hopes that it may help my sanity in between the monthly OB appointments.
  • Deliver the news to my sister. You all know there will be a post to come about that!
  • Make a “Skittle” page on this blog, where I will post the photos I’m collecting. And maybe start bumpdates. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

None of this feels quite real yet. Especially because Skittle seems to have come out of nowhere, when I least expected it. But every day, I fall in love with this baby, and the idea of this baby, a little more. And if next week’s u/s doesn’t go well? I do think that will be the end of the world.

Here We Go Again….

This is another “one more sleep” post.

One more sleep until my second ultrasound.

One more sleep until I am at 7w1d, the exact point where I started bleeding in my last pregnancy.

One more sleep until I find out if my baby is still alive, or dead.

I have managed to remain pretty serene over the last week. Much more so than I ever was while pregnant with Teddy Graham. Is that because, somehow, I instinctively knew that Teddy would not survive? Or have I only learned that meltdowns, freakouts, and nonstop worry will not get me anywhere? It will not save my baby; it will not kill my baby.

The times when I start to feel like I’m spiraling a little out of control with my fear and anxiety is when I spend too much time analyzing my symptoms. I am 7 weeks today and have I experienced a lot of cravings, a few aversions, and some nausea, some exhaustion, some breast sensitivity. Some. I always think “some” is not enough. “Some” is often barely worth noting. What I hold onto, long for, and obsess over the most is the “morning” sickness. My biggest wave of nausea was over last weekend, which is too long ago for my comfort. Today, I have felt pretty decent, maybe just a little extra tired and hungry. This does not leave me feeling overly warm and fuzzy about my ultrasound tomorrow.

And I know this really means nothing. You can have a thousand pregnancy symptoms and still have a dead baby in your womb. You can be asymptomatic and Baby can be thriving. It probably doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s still too early for the worst of my symptoms. Maybe this is just a “good” day. I had plenty of them amongst all the bad days while carrying Cupcake. Maybe this pregnancy is just going to be totally different, which so many of my friends have assured me is perfectly normal. I don’t know, but I sure would love to go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow knowing that Skittle is all right. But I won’t. All I have is hope.

What I do know is that I certainly feel more pregnant than I ever did with Teddy Graham. I know that I fell asleep at 10:30 a.m. on the sofa today while Cupcake played with her new Cookie Monster toy that she got for Valentine’s Day. I know that, while I often don’t feel nauseous, I also don’t often feel my best; I feel “off” and unlike me. I know that it was only two nights ago when I felt a wave (albeit, a brief wave) of nausea.

Please, someone, tell me these are signs that Skittle is fine. That we are all fine. That everything will be fine.