now and ever more

each journey begins with one step . . . a baby step

1st official OB appointment and announcement . . . June 28, 2012

Filed under: Pregnancy — nowandevermore @ 5:37 PM
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So our appointment went well.  Doctor did a little exam (no need for a pap as I had one in February), dipped the urine sample, and we listened to the heartbeat.  I also had to go for blood work after the appointment.

Urine came back good.  They test it for protein (which could indicate a problem with the blood pressure, etc) and sugar (which could indicate an issue with gestational diabetes), both were great!  And my blood pressure was 110/74.  That is really great for me!  I typically have the “white coat syndrome” at the doctors and my blood pressure is always a bit high because of nerves.  So I was happy!

I asked the doctor a few questions.  I have read that you should not wear under wire bras.  The reason is because people say that it can block the milk ducts or potentially cause issues as they develop.  Doctor said it was perfectly ok to wear them.  He said the ducts are all over so there should be no issue.  He also suggested not to wear a sports bra if I was planning on breastfeeding (which I am) because that actually puts pressure all over and that for women who after birth decide not to breast feed they actually tell them to wear the sports bra to help reduce the milk production.  So yay!  Because the bra I have now with no under wire is not supporting me the way I need.

Then came the time where we were preparing to hear the heartbeat.  He asked if we had heard it before.  I reminded him that we did at the REs office.  I also told him that I had purchased a fetal doppler.  I half expected him to scold me or tell me that he advised against it, but was pleasantly surprised when he was great with it.  He asked if I was able to find the heartbeat and I told him yes.  And that actually the last few times I found it right away.  He said he was VERY impressed.  He said sometimes in the office they can’t even find it and it could take 10 minutes.  So I was happy.  He even said we could use it every day if we wanted!

So he found the heartbeat quickly and it was going strong at 164bpm.  Overall it was a great appointment and we will go back in a month for another checkup.

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So after the appointment we got home and I went to work constructing an email  and also a Facebook post to finally let everyone else know the news.  In the email I let people know that we got pregnant through IVF.  I had decided that I wanted to let people know.  I like the idea of spreading the world about infertility and that it is in fact a disease and nothing to be ashamed of.  It felt really good to get that out there.  I haven’t talked about the IVF yet on FB.  But I will probably do so in the near future.  I did more of a cute post there.  I posted the picture I used on here a few weeks back of the sheet music.  I think it was a cute way to tell people.

I just can’t tell you how great it feels to have it out there and not to have to hide it anymore.  Such a load off and now it feels “real”.  Like I can openly be excited about it and let my bloated belly hang out instead of sucking it in.  🙂

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Still dealing with morning sickness.  Yesterday was actually a pretty bad day for me.  I threw up a couple of times and just felt sick the entire day and I even took the medication.  Today has been better.  Although I am starting to get that feeling again this evening.  Praying that it only last another week or so!

Thanks for reading!

 

12 weeks . . . June 27, 2012

Filed under: Pregnancy — nowandevermore @ 11:32 AM
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WOW!  I can’t believe we are here!  I know technically the 2nd trimester doesn’t start until next week, but I think I am just going to go with it.  I think I may even “come out” tomorrow on Facebook and to everyone else.  I have been waiting so long (it seems) to tell everyone.  We have our OB appointment tomorrow, so I will at least wait until after that.  I think it will feel so good to have it out in the open.

I listened to the heartbeat again last night.  Still going strong.   I am proud of myself for not doing that every day.  I wasn’t sure how I would be, but glad that I am not that obsessed. 🙂

My parents are coming for a visit this weekend so my mom and I may go check out some maternity shops at the mall.  I am not a big fan of shopping, but since it is getting to the point of needing some new tops to accommodate “the girls” I might as well, get some nice maternity ones.  And I could user another bra.

I have still had spotting on and off.  Can’t remember if I said anything, but the doctor put me on pelvic rest.  The goal is to have 2 weeks of no bleeding/spotting.  So Back to a 2WW (2 week wait).  I have had a day or two here but then I spot the next.  So far Monday this week started the 2WW again, so praying that it lasts!

As far as symptoms, still have the trouble with nausea.  And I have actually thrown up about 3 times within the last week.  It is usually when I haven’t eaten for more than 2 hours.  Trouble is, I eat, then I start to feel nauseous, so I don’t want to eat.  But then the longer I go without eating the more nauseous I feel.  Then all of a sudden it hits and I throw up.  Then I feel fine and can eat.  It is nuts.  I am still holding out hope that within the next 2 weeks, this starts to go away….praying that it does.

I got my hair cut yesterday.  To understand a bit about be, I do not get my hair cut every 6-8 weeks like most people.  I typically get a shorter cut and then let it grow back out.  It could be several months!  Actually I think it has been probably at least 6 months.  So my hair had grown out pretty long and I decided that I was ready for a change.  I went from long layers to a shorter bob (with layers).  I got about 5 inches cut off.  It still feels so weird not to have so much hair, but I like it.  Hubby likes it too and even said I looked younger! BONUS!   🙂

Thanks for reading!

 

11 weeks . . . June 20, 2012

Filed under: Pregnancy — nowandevermore @ 1:25 PM
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Today I am 11 weeks along!  There are times when I feel like time is moving slowly, which is not necessarily a bad thing and other times when I think, I can’t believe I am this far along already!

Yesterday and today I was thinking a lot about our journey.  How May marked 3 years that we had been trying.  We had decided to begin June 1, 2009 but May we were not really trying to avoid anything and I actually thought that I was pregnant.  It was the 1st time ever that I was late and I thought, wow, we weren’t even trying.  Obviously I wasn’t pregnant and had no idea that our journey would be down the road that it was, but here we are, 11 weeks pregnant.

Even though I will be technically 3 months along a week from now, we will wait to “tell the world” until I am 13 weeks or thereabouts.  The doctor said that each trimester is 13 weeks, 2 days long.  So I will wait until then.  That will take us into the 1st week of July.  I will probably make the announcement at the end of that week.  It will be so nice to have it out there!  Being able to talk about it openly with everyone!  Not worrying about sucking in my stomach or trying to hide the baby bloated stomach around friends, etc.  It doesn’t seem as far off as it once did.  It is only just over 2 weeks away!  YAY!!

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So I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about fetal Dopplers.  Early on, I told myself that I would not get one.  I didn’t need the added stress.  By stress I mean, if I could not find the heartbeat, I would probably freak out that something was wrong.  I had read about women doing that.  Rushing to the ER because they could not find the heartbeat.  Everything was of course ok.  But I did not want to be one of those women.

Well, as time passed and as I was released from my RE, I started to think about it again.  I knew I would have to wait a lot longer in between appointments with the OB.  My once weekly appointments would become monthly.  I knew I would suffer withdrawal from the lack of ultrasounds, but I wasn’t sure how I would feel about not even being able to hear the heartbeat more often.

So I started doing research.  A little bit about me.  I have never been am impulse shopper.  Unless you count getting a candy bar at the checkout of the grocery store.  When it comes to big or important purchases I do my homework.  I ask around, I look at Consumer Reports, I read online reviews, etc.  I don’t like jumping into anything.  So I asked around about Dopplers (meaning my lady friends on Babycenter).  I Googled different Dopplers, looked at the reviews and even watched a couple of YouTube videos.

So on Monday this week, I decided to bite the bullet.  I ordered one from a place outside of Chicago.  I told myself that I was not going to be crazy if I could not find the heartbeat right away and I was not going to do this everyday.  Maybe once or twice a week in between my OB appointments to help me get through the waiting.  At least until I start feeling the baby all the time.

Imagine my surprise when I got the Doppler yesterday!  Woo Hoo!!!  So I got it ready to use, read the instructions and went to it.  I knew that I would probably hear several different things.  I would probably pick up my own heartbeat right away and could even hear the placenta.  And of course I did.  I moved the probe around and finally thought I was picking up the heartbeat.  At least that I what I told myself.  The monitor showed the heart rate and it was faster than mine.  I let hubby hear it and that was it.  I looked online at some more videos and convinced myself, it was not the babies heartbeat I heard because it was in the wrong spot.  The baby was probably not where I thought it was, yet.  And I also read, having a full bladder might help.  So Hubby left for work and I waited until my bladder was fuller and tried again.

After a few minutes, there it was!  Very distinctive and obviously the baby.  The heart rate was around 160-170bpm.  It was so beautiful and I cried out of happiness.  I told hubby when he got home and was going to show him the next day (today).

So this morning I tried again.  I could pick it up here and there but not for an extended period of time.  My bladder was not full, so I gave it some more time and drank some water.  About an hour later I tried again.  I wanted to be able to video tape it to send to my parents and to post a link here.  This time I was successful.  I found it pretty easy and had hubby come in and I also recorded it on the camera.

I feel good about the purchase.  I am glad I got it.  I will say, it isn’t for everyone.  Like I said, I did not freak out when I could not find the heartbeat right away.  I knew in my heart that the baby was ok, there was no reason to think otherwise.  So I think that helped to keep me calm.  And I think it will help me to not obsess and have to listen every day or several times a day.  My goal is to do it no more than once or twice a week.  I am still having a lot of nausea, so in a way that gives me some reassurance that everything is still ok.  But I have been told that will probably be going away in the next couple of weeks.  So maybe I will want to “check in” on the baby more often after that.  I don’t know.  But right now it felt so good to hear the heartbeat and not have to wait.  I also emailed the video to my parents and called them and talked while they listened.  They were so excited.  So for that alone it was worth it.  Just helps to keep making it real!

So if any of youmight be thinking of getting one, I would caution to be sure.  Do your research and try to imagine how you would feel if you were unable to find the heartbeat.  Would you freak out and have to run tot he doctor or ER every time?  Ultimately it is a personal decision.  As it was with me.  I like to think I made the right one for me.  I guess only time will tell. 🙂

Here is the video if you are interested.  You will notice that it starts off slow.  I was trying to get a good location and I think the baby may have been moving a bit which is why the heart rate appears to move up and down a bit.  I paid $50 for this one, so it is not like the ones the doctors use.  I take it for what it is.  I knew it was the baby because the heart rate was a lot higher than mine.

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Cravings – I haven’t talked much about cravings.  I get them every now and then.  Sometimes I will be sitting at my desk and imagine a taste in my mouth.  If that makes sense.  I guess it is more of a memory of a food I have had and I will think, that sounds really good.  I haven’t had ferocious cravings too many times.  But today I do!  For some reason the thought of Chilli’s Skillet Queso sounds soooooo good.  So I told hubby this morning (9:30am) that is what I wanted.  Obviously they were not open then and he had a gig to go to, so he said if I still had the craving when he got back we could go to Chilli’s.

I haven’t been the one that when I needed something, I needed it at that moment.  If that was the case, I was more than capable of going to get it myself.  But I thought it would be nice to have a lunch out with the hubs.  So I am patiently waiting for him to get home so we can go.  Yes, I still want it!!!!  I can taste it and my mouth is watering.  I know it isn’t that healthy, but I can’t help it if that is what baby wants. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

 

ob consultation . . . June 15, 2012

Filed under: Pregnancy — nowandevermore @ 1:51 PM
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The appointment we had yesterday was informative and a little overwhelming.

I knew this wasn’t going to be an exam, it was strictly going to be talking with the doctor to discuss going to a high-risk specialist.

The first part of the appointment was discussing the NT scan and whether or not to have one.  I really thought I was prepared to go through this and deal with whatever outcome we got.  I did want the doctor’s opinion.  He is the expert as far as I am concerned and his opinion was important.

He asked us one question to determine how to respond.  “Would we consider terminating the pregnancy if the results came back as positive for some chromosomal issue?”  Our answer was no.  We have no intention of terminating this pregnancy at all.  Religion aside, we have come so far to get to this point and went through so much, that would never be an option.

So he said since that was the case, he would recommend that we NOT do the testing.  This was his reasoning:

We have already gone through so much with all of the fertility procedures.  If we were to have this scan and it were to come back say a 1 in 40 chance for something wrong, the next step would be an amniocentesis.  The amnio is an invasive procedure ( a needle is placed in the abdomen and used to draw out some of the amniotic fluid around the baby to test).  There is a miscarriage risk of 1 in 200.  Some might not think this is too bad, but when you have gone through so many treatments just to get pregnant, you certainly don’t want to do anything that might cause a miscarriage.  The doctor also mentioned that he just had 2 women suffer a miscarriage with this procedure and one of the fetuses tested normal.  How heartbreaking.

So there is that.  Then also, if you do get a positive for a potential problem, you might worry the entire pregnancy about this result.  Thus causing you to have stress which is not good for you or the baby.  A friend mentioned that she had 2 friends who went through this and tested positive and worried the rest of the pregnancy and their babies were born completely normal.  Who needs that stress?

I went in to the appointment telling myself that if I did have the test and came back positive, that there is still a chance the baby would be ok, but that it would be good to at least know what to expect when the baby was born.  I thought I would be able to handle this.  At this point, who knows how I would have handled it?  More likely than not, I probably would have been a basket case the rest of the pregnancy.

He also explained that I will have an ultrasound at 20 weeks.  At this ultrasound they would be able to look at a couple of things that they would look at during the NT scan.  The neck fold and the heart.  So we would get an idea of things at that appointment.

So hubby and I decided not to have the NT scan done.  I feel good about it.  I would have loved the opportunity to get another peek at the baby on the ultrasound, but it isn’t worth the potential stress that could ensue after.  So our next ultrasound will be at 20 weeks or the last week of August!   I will have my first official prenatal appointment on June 28 at 12 weeks.  We won’t get to see the baby but we will get to hear the heartbeat and that is better than nothing. 🙂  We will see the OB every 4 weeks until we are weekly.

So some other things talked about during the appointment:

1.  Apparently babies who were conceived through IVF are at higher risk for being still-born.  The doctor said that they don’t know why but the statistics show this.  So I will most likely be seeing the doctor weekly starting at 30 weeks or even 28 weeks.  And I believe he said they hook me up to fetal monitors twice a week during this time to make sure the baby is ok and to monitor the amniotic fluid.  I am glad they are extra cautious about this, but jeesh I wasn’t aware that this would be something I would have to worry about.  Trying not to stress over it, but certainly did not expect to hear that.  He did say that even though there is a risk of this, once the baby comes out, he/she is fine.

2.  My OB currently is affiliated with 2 hospitals.  One is closer to us than the other.  The one that is closer (17 min, 9 miles) is also the one I went to when I had the emergency a few weeks back.  I learned that the one that is farther away (35 minutes, 15 miles) is actually better equipped to handle the higher-risk complications should the need arise.  Leaving the appointment yesterday I thought we would decide as we got closer to the end of the pregnancy, once we had a better idea of how the pregnancy and baby were progressing.  Well, I looked at the other hospital online this morning and I think that may just be the one for us.

“Should complex needs arise during delivery, our status as a Level III perinatal center (the highest designation possible) provides access to experts in the fields of perinatology (specialists in maternal fetal medicine) and neonatology (specialists in newborn care). You won’t find expertise like this at many other hospitals. In fact, many hospitals across Chicagoland and as far away as northwest Indiana and southern Wisconsin transport infants to our neonatal intensive care unit. “

After reading this, I felt a sense of relief about it, knowing that we would be in good hands.

I asked some other general questions, covering c-section, episiotomy, going into labor early/late, etc.  It was a very informative appointment and I am glad I had prepared some questions for the doctor.  I am sure as I progress I will have more.

When I moved up here to Chicago, I had no doctors and didn’t know very many people.  I was lucky that I had asked the wife of hubby’s friend about OB-GYNs and her co-workers who lived in our area had recommend this one.  We met with him once or twice and he got us started on our TTC journey with Clomid.  Then he referred us to the infertility specialist.  So it had been a few years since we have talked with or seen him.  After our appointment I felt another sense of relief that we had the right doctor and that he was the kind that I would think anyone would want.  He takes time with us (even if that means he does not run on time – I would rather not feel rushed), he gives it to us straight, no double talk, and he genuinely listens to our concerns without “blowing them off.”  I even asked who to talk to in the office if I were to have silly pregnancy questions and the first thing he said was “there are no silly questions.”  I really liked that and am happy to have found him.  Oh and a bonus…his office is less than 3 miles from home! 🙂

Thanks for reading.

 

i graduated . . . June 12, 2012

Filed under: Pregnancy — nowandevermore @ 11:58 AM
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Today was a little bittersweet.  It was my last appointment at the RE’s office.  I didn’t know it was coming so it was a little sad at the end.

Baby looked great!  Heart rate was 174bpm and baby measured 10 weeks.  I will be 10 weeks tomorrow (1/4 of the way through the pregnancy!).

Got to see the baby move again and wave again.  So happy that hubby was there!  The nurse said that the baby was kind of facing us (you can see a little in the photo) and holding the arms up by the face.  Nurse practitioner said the pictures were text-book.

So even though I have an appointment scheduled with my OB for 12 weeks, she said I should call and see if I can see him before that or at least talk to him.  He might want to send me to a high-risk specialist for some testing.  Nothing is wrong, but because of my age, my history of Crohn’s and the fact that we did IVF, I am considered high-risk.  I have no problem with that.  I have come to far now and anything like this I am totally on board for.  Better safe than sorry.  I know there is an NT scan (Nuchal Scan) that has to be done between week 11 and before the end of week 13.

<A nuchal scan is a sonographic prenatal screening scan (ultrasound) to help identify higher risks of chromosomal defects including Down’s syndrome in a fetus, particularly for older women who have higher risks of such pregnancies. High thickness measurements are also associated with congenital heart defect. The scan is carried out at 11–13.6 weeks pregnancy and assesses the thickness of soft tissues of the nape of neck of the fetus. There are two distinct measurements — the nuchal translucency, which is measured earlier in pregnancy at the end of the first trimester, and for which there is a lower threshold for increased diameter, and the nuchal fold, which is measured towards the end of the second trimester. Fetuses at risk of Down’s Syndrome tend to have a higher amount of fluid around the neck. The scan may also help confirm both the accuracy of the pregnancy dates and the fetal viability. Its high-definition imaging may also detect other less common chromosomal abnormalities. >

So I need to call and see what I can find out.  I definitely want to get that test done.  It is no fool-proof, but it is certainly less invasive than an amniocentesis or CVS test.  It is a little scary, but something that I feel needs to be done.

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So these past couple of days I have found myself feeling a little of the guilt that comes with being a part of an infertile community but now someone who has “beat the odds” and become pregnant.  There are several blogs I follow and posts I read in BBC from women who are still struggling to become pregnant.  I can’t help but feel badly.  I still feel like I am empathize with them to an extent.  But here I am pregnant and feeling guilty for it.  I think this is just something that comes with the territory.  I always try my best to show support and be there for them, but I know it can be tough.  So to all of you brave and incredibly strong women out there.  I am still here for you, to listen and to offer advice when you need it.  And I am here praying that you too will soon get your BFP.

Thanks for reading.

 

best hubby . . . June 9, 2012

I have the best hubby!  I got these today . . .

Gerbera Daisies are my favorite!  Oh I can’t wait to see him tomorrow!

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On a different note . . . I had true morning sickness this morning.  I got up and felt fine, went about doing a few things and about an hour after I had gotten up, I was sitting at my desk reading emails and then it hit.  All of a sudden I had to run to the bathroom.  Yep, I threw up.  I had been pretty good about eating a few crackers each morning.  But I actually felt fine this morning so I thought I would just wait a bit and then eat some breakfast.  Big mistake.  I can’t get over how fast it hit.  But I learned my lesson!

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Went on to Kohl’s.com and ordered 2 more pair of pants.  And for those not familiar with the website, check out http://www.retailmenot.com.  You put in the website of the place you are shopping and it gives you coupon codes.  So I saved 30% and also got a free shipping coupon code!  Woo hoo!  I should be set for a while now!

Happy Saturday everyone!

Thanks for reading!

 

movement and pants . . . June 8, 2012

Filed under: Pregnancy — nowandevermore @ 1:41 PM
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OK, so I didn’t feel the baby move, it’s too early for that.  But I did see him/her move on the u/s.  I saw it wave and then its whole body moved.  It was so cool!!  I really wished hubby could have been there.

Baby is measuring 9 weeks, 1 day and the heartbeat was 170bpm.  So happy to see our little one again.

We see the nurse practitioner on Tuesday and then that may be the last appointment until I see the OB.  Not sure.  Maybe I can get one more appointment squeezed in.  I did schedule the appointment with the OB for 12 weeks.  We will see him on June 28.  That is 3 weeks away!!!  WOW!!!  I don’t think we will get to see the baby that day, but we should get to hear the heartbeat.

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I finally found pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I went to Kohl’s this morning and although it is small, they do have a maternity department.  I was able to find 2 pairs of pants.  They have this seamless belly band built into the pants and it is so comfy!  I got one pair of Capri’s and one that is a long pair but you can roll the pants up just above the ankles and button into place.  I will probably do this as they are a bit long all the way down.  Or I can try to hem them.  We will see.  I was hoping to get a pair of black ones, but they didn’t have my size.  Maybe I will check back next week.

Thanks for reading!