Friday, January 29, 2010

Miscellaneous thoughts and updates...

The results from the amnio are in and everything that was tested appears to be "normal." Whew!! A genetic counselor from my MFM's office called to let me know, and we will meet with our obgyn next week to go over the results more thoroughly.

Getting past the amnio is another milestone for me. I definitely appreciate knowing that the baby has the correct number of chromosomes, etc. However, my anxiety has not been focused on the possibility of a chromosomal abnormality. We lost our son last year at 21 weeks unexpectedly for unknown reasons. His heart stopped beating one day, and our doctors were not able to determine the cause. So the not knowing what happened is what bothers me. How do I know it can not happen again?

I've dopplered a couple of times now, on a as-needed basis, and am so glad I bought that thing. There have been a couple of days where I didn't feel any flutters and my mind began to worry. Both times I was able to find the "galloping horse" quickly. Thanks to those of you who recommended the monitor and provided me with helpful information!

In 2 weeks, I am planning a (much-needed) surprise weekend getaway for dh & me. It's going to be his birthday, Valentine's day, and we will have just reached 20 weeks. I am very much looking forward to some relaxation for both of us!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Amnio: check!

Yesterday I completed my amnio. This appointment was one that I was not at all looking forward to. Yet I knew it was something that I should do. During the past couple of weeks, I tried not to think about the pending appointment because I was developing a sense of dread. Tuesday, the day the before the appointment, reality set in and I felt very nervous. I was not afraid of the possibility of pain- that I can handle. During pregnancy we do everything we can to protect our babies, and the thought of an invasive procedure (with a small risk attached to it) is one that probably most pregnant women are not too comfortable with. Before going to bed Tuesday night, I reminded myself that the purpose of having the procedure was to help this pregnancy and decided that for the baby's sake I had to be strong.

As it often happens in life, the anticipation turned out to be worse than the actual event. The doctor who performed the amnio is our MFM/Perinatologist, who is known to be the best in this city. He performs 2-3 amnios per day, and has been doing so for over 20 years. The genetic counselor pointed out the importance of this, versus going to someone who does one or two per month. I made sure to look away during the procedure and tried to visualize that I was on a beach in the tropics somewhere. (yeah, right!) The needle went in quickly and rather painlessly. The doctor informed me that I would feel some pressure (when he withdrew the fluid). The process was over in less than 5 minutes. Apparently the baby decided to squirm around after the needle was inserted, but the doctor quickly moved the needle out of the way.

I am currently concluding the last couple minutes of the 24 hours following the amnio. If something horrible were to go wrong, it likely would have during this timeframe. Light cramping and a feeling of pressure are normal side effects. The symptoms to watch out for are severe abdominal pain, fever/chills, or a large gush of fluid (i.e. water breaking). Now I have 24 more hours of bedrest, to be followed by a week of "taking it easy." In two weeks I will meet with my obgyn to go over the results.

Whew! Glad to be done with that part, and looking forward to/hoping for good results in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I am now at 16.5 weeks. During the past few days I have started to feel the occasional flutters of the baby moving. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

To Doppler or Not To Doppler

After much consideration, I have finally taken the plunge and purchased a doppler. I know it's really not a big deal, but it's a decision that I put a lot of thought into and delayed as long as possible. Part of me wanted to be able to transform myself into that pregnant woman who doesn't worry, whose mind would not question the well-being of their baby.

But, I lost the possibility of being that pregnant woman a year ago. Of course, at every moment I am grateful to be pregnant- yet it's going to take some work and more time for me to feel confident with this pregnancy.

The doppler should arrive in a few days. My husband believes that we will not know how to use the machine correctly and will end up in a panic not being able to find the baby's heartbeat. (Another reason why I didn't buy one sooner). However, I've promised myself that if I run into that scenario, I will remain calm and rational. :) I've read on other blogs that the doppler brings much needed comfort at times and I am really looking forward to that.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

7 Things About Me

The lovely Emi at The Lilly Pad kindly tagged me with this fun, little exercise.

The rules are simple: just give 7 facts about you and then nominate 7 people for the beautiful blogger award...

1. My favorite thing to do is travel. I was bit by the travel bug early on, and there is nothing that I enjoy more than the adventure of experiencing a new place and learning about its culture. I've traveled on 5 of the 7 continents, and plan to visit the last two at some point.

2. I've always known that I wanted kids, but it wasn't until my early 30s after a couple years of marriage that I seriously started thinking about it. I never thought having a baby would be easy to accomplish, but I did not expect for the past 3 years to be so hard. Bringing a healthy baby into this world has become my top priority, and now I want nothing more to be a stay at home mom for a little while.

3. I will feel so blessed to have one child here on earth, and even more so if I am fortunate enough to eventually have another. Now that I've reached my mid 30s and have struggled with fertility issues, I hope but wonder if my dream will ever come true.

4. I grew up in the South and went to school in the West. Now I live in a big, crazy city where- try as I might- I do not feel at home.

5. My husband is such a wonderful person. Everyone who meets him adores him, and I think you would too. I am not sure how I got so lucky in that department, and it's amazing how he puts up with me sometimes. I am so grateful to have him as my life partner.

6. I love to cook (and eat for that matter!). I often spend Saturdays trying out new recipes. My preference is seafood, vegetarian and ethnic cuisines. I'm not a big sweets eater, but could easily devour a block of cheese.

7. The idea of starting a blog never occurred to me. I accidentally stumbled across a lostbabymama's blog while researching information. As much as I wish no of us were part of this club, I am so incredibly thankful to have discovered people who are dealing with infertility and/or baby loss who can relate. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and offering me your support!

Now, please play along (if you'd like)! I am interested in knowing more about each of you. So I am going to cheat..if you are reading this to consider yourself tagged!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The 2nd trimester begins!

I've graduated from my RE. Yay! I am happy about this step, partly because the RE that I recently inherited was a moron. I am so glad to be returning to my obgyn who we like and who knows us.

As soon as my ob received my paperwork and learned that I was pregnant, he called to congratulate us and let us know he is optimistic. We've completed our first trimester screening with the perinatologist, who has the rolls-royce of ultrasound machines. We got to see our wee one wiggling around on a large flat screen tv screen- very cool. The nuchal fold looks fine, thankfully. Due to my history and age, they also had us meet with their genetic counselor.

The first trimester screening results point to us having to do an amnio. I was very much hoping this would not be the case, but we are mulling over the recommendation- which is also what my obgyn suggests. This is mainly because of my history of a 2nd trimester loss and largely because I am now 35 and have therefore reached "advanced maternal age". Ugh! Seriously, it's like crossing that cut-off age changes everything.

Of course no one likes the idea of a long needle being inserted into their pregnant belly. I am not that concerned about the discomfort or possible pain. What I worry about is the small risk associated with the procedure. The risk, however, is indeed small... 1/400, or .25%. I actually have a significantly higher risk of their being something wrong with the baby... 1/120.

In order to gain more information, I will likely move forward with the testing. I hope and pray that everything goes smoothly with this pregnancy. If for some reason there is information we should know, we would prefer to find out. I may feel this way due to the nature of the loss our son.. I went in for a normal visit and found out at 21 weeks he had died. It was like being hit by a truck. In addition, the cause was never determined. As a result, I can't help but worry somewhat that whatever it was could happen again.

I am happy have reached the second trimester. I'm also hoping that soon I will be able to breathe a little easier.