Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas (14w2d)

Merry Christmas everyone!

I missed posting my 14 week update, so I'll start with that.  This week I am officially in the 2nd trimester and have entered the 4th month.  Where is all the time going??

I see why they say the 2nd trimester is the best. All my energy has returned, I feel good and I'm starting to show, but not uncomfortably yet. This is definitely a fun and exciting time. Though I still have little worries here and there, I believe I'm past the joy-stealing anxiety of the 1st trimester that something was going to take this away from me.  Reality has kicked in for us that I really am pg.  It definitely helps that I'm now visually pg and can hear the HB anytime we'd like.

I bought my first maternity top the other day.  While all my tops still fit, most of them are not long enough to cover the fact that I can no longer zip/button any of my pants.  I've gotten some serious mileage out of my BellaBand and BellyBelt already!

Not looking so big from the front:



But take a quarter turn and holy cow!!!  Yeah, I'm growing fast and I just know I'm going to be huge!



Symptoms:

Sharp cervical pinches, the kind that make you jump and say ouch!  This one is freaking me out just a tad as I fear my cervix is giving out.

Very mild heartburn starting to kick in.

Occasional mild pain in my ovary area.  I believe this is the start of round ligament pain.  I really have no idea what round ligament pain feels like, but all my pg books say that this starts this week.

Up next:

11 days till my next u/s where hopefully we'll find out if we're having a little boy or girl!  We cannot wait to find out!!!  We're anxious to start thinking of a name, picking out nursery themes/colors and finally get to buy pink or blue.  You think we're having a boy or girl?  Stop by the "Guess the Gender" poll and cast your vote.

Christmas Eve:

Today we spent Christmas with my mom and step-dad.  We enjoyed dinner, a movie and opened a few gifts.  It was a great time.  The best part was all the gifts for little Seven!  Seven received 6 little outfits and a teether.  I can't stop looking at the outfits, they're so tiny and cute. I just smile and thank God that these little outfits are for my baby.  I keep having to pinch myself that these are not shower gifts for someone else.



A few family photos:

 



Looking preggo yet?  Not so much, still looking more like a beer gut.




My aunt sent my folks a pair of really warm and comfy wearable blankets.  The guys put them on and we about lost it as they looked like a couple of monks.  Check them out!






Christmas Day:

Today we spent Christmas with Kerry's family.  We enjoyed lunch, exchanging gifts and playing cards.




Kerry is so proud of my "beer gut".



Christmas Evening:

This evening Kerry and I exchanged our gifts, though nothing could top the gift we already received.

I was so excited to be handed a gift bag from "Pickles & Ice Cream Maternity".  My hubby got me maternity underwear!  He's been concerned that the elastic from my regular undies are getting a little too tight on my growing belly.  So over-protective already!  He also got me 2 maternity tops from Motherhood Maternity.  Needless to say, I'm quite giddy!



Kerry got a little something from Seven.  It says "I Love Daddy".



That's all for now.  Lots of love from Tall Dude and Short Chick!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

13 Weeks

I'm 13 weeks today and depending on which book you read, I'm either entering or about to enter the 2nd trimester!  Little Seven is about the size of a peach now.  It's been a week of ups and downs and a few firsts.

12w3d
Started spotting pink
Experiencing sharp pinches in upper uterus
Friends are noticing a belly bump

12w4d
More pink spotting and sharp pinches

A lady at church that has followed our journey for quite some time saw my belly and made her way through the crowd. She put her hands on my belly, looked up at me teary eyed and said, I'm so happy for you.  I then ran to Kerry all giddy and said, honey, people are starting to rub my belly!!! 

Later I attended a baby shower (so happy for you Tarryn!!!). It was so nice to be able to enjoy the shower without having to force the tears back.  A few people noticed my growing belly and one gal couldn't stop rubbing it. 

Throughout my trial with infertility, that is the one thing that choked me up more than anything, and that was seeing these beautiful bellies surrounded by people wanting to rub the belly.  Now I'm finally getting to experience this.  I'm no longer a sad outsider looking in. I know a lot of pg women are freaked out by people rubbing their belly bumps, but I'm loving every minute of it. This pg is finally shifting from surreal to real.

12w5d
More pink spotting and sharp pinches

My local nurse called to tell me that my NT blood work came back normal, yeah!  This just basically means that my risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities is very low.  This doesn't surprise me as we did transfer a genetically normal embryo, but there is a 10% error rate.

I told the nurse that I've been spotting for 3 days and was a little nervous about it since I hadn't had my hormone levels checked since I was completely weaned.  Spotting can be a sign of low progesterone.  All she said was "240".  I said, 240 what?  She said, be here at 2:40.  I said, for what?  She said, an u/s.  Wow, I wasn't expecting that. I was just looking for a little reassurance, but I wasn't going to turn down a chance at another u/s.

They always check my urine, blood pressure and weight at every appt.  The nurse that weighed me commented that I haven't gained any weight.  I said that was ok because I gained it all in the beginning when I went through my "hungry man" phase.  My appetite has thankfully returned to normal.

We had the u/s and little Seven was moving all over the place nonstop.  S/He has really grown in a short amount of time.  My cervix was closed and appeared normal. We didn't take any videos because we felt that this needed to be a quick check.  I did ask for a souvenir photo though. 

Here's Seven.  It's definitely not the best pic, but just happy to have one.



I then had my hormone levels checked just to make sure there are no issues there.  This is my first check since completely weaning off all meds a week ago.

Estrogen: (2074, up from 1555)

Progesterone: (23.64, down from 48.19)

My progesterone level concerned me, so I emailed my IVF nurse.  This is her reply:

"Your estrogen will continue to rise during pregnancy, however the progesterone levels are pulsatile (meaning is has daily highs and lows), as long as it remains above 20 there is no concern. The drop could have caused the spotting, but it could also have been caused by other factors (cervical irritation, low-lying placenta, over exertion). As long as you are not having bright red bleeding and/or cramping there is not a need to worry."

I feel much better now, but I did have to chuckle at the "over exertion".  Yeah, not so much an issue!

12w6d
Today we got to hear our baby's HB for the first time.  My friend loaned us her fetal doppler a week ago (thanks Mags!!!) but we haven't been able to find the HB until today. It takes awhile to find it and it's easy to lose as the baby moves around quite a bit.  The bpm ranged from 152-162. It was music to our ears and I could have listened to it all night.

13w
I seem to be past the exhaustion phase, sooooo happy about this.

My belly seems to be growing.  I'm in the "beer gut" phase. I figured I'd start showing early since I'm only 5'1, very short waisted and the fact that my mom showed very early.  My mom said she was as big as an elephant with me and I was only 5 lbs 11 oz. 





I warned Kerry that I may get huge.  He said he didn't care if I got as big as a house as long as I incubate his baby. We'll see what he thinks if I get as wide as I am tall, lol.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

12 Weeks

I cannot even believe I'm 12 weeks along already!  I received a couple comments that I've been slacking with the belly pics, so here you go:



My mom called me today to tell me that my aunt saw a wee-wee on the first u/s pic in my previous post. I was insistent that it was impossible to see a wee-wee this early and that it was either part of the umbilical cord or leg.




This of course got my curiosity up and I started researching early gender detection.  I ran into this link.

If you look at the "9 week old embryo - 11 weeks Pregnant", you can see that both genders have a "nub".  The boy's will become a penis and the girl's a clitoris.

If you then look at the 12 week "Angle of the dangle", you can see that a boy has a 30~ degree from the spine while the girl's is parallel to the spine.

This link contains early boy nub u/s photos that were later confirmed as boy.  Many of these look a lot like Seven.

This link contains early girl nub u/s photos that were later confirmed as girl.  These really don't look like Seven.

So after viewing all this, I'd have to say that it sure does look like Seven has a nub.  I held up a piece of paper to the spine and then another to the nub and it was a near perfect 30 degree angle.

I then posted this u/s pic on the website listed in the link above and asked for opinions.  Everyone predicted boy, not a single one said girl.

OMG, could we really be having a BOY???

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

11w6d

Today was my NT Scan. This u/s measures the fluid in the nuchal fold on the back of the neck. If it's too thick, it can mean you're at risk for things like Downs Syndrome or Trisomy 18. Another marker for abnormalities is not seeing the nasal bone. I'm happy to report that all is perfect!

Waiting with my mother-in-law and grand-mother-in-law. Wow, I didn't realize my belly was poking out so much already!


Being scanned:


Here's a few u/s photos. Seven has transformed from cute gummy bear to ummm, a little scary looking. The skull, legs and arms are now showing that bone has formed.





Seven was a little uncooperative today. S/He insisted on facing us and the tech needed a profile view in order to measure the back of the neck. She kept jiggling my belly with the transducer trying to get Seven to turn over. She had me coughing, laying on my left side, then my right side. I lost count how many times I had to lift my hips and shake my booty. Kerry started singing "put your butt up in the air, and shake like you just don't care...". He's so funny. We finally got Seven to roll over and she must have measured that fold about 20 times. I could see the measurements on the monitor and saw that all were less than 2. I'm thankful that I looked up the normal value before hand or I would have started to think something was wrong.

The scan lasted about 30 mins but the DVD I received only contained just over 2 mins of video (below). The sonographer was contantly moving around trying to get a profile view, so we got nothing more than short little clips of Seven moving. I really just wanted her to hold still for a little bit so we could watch Seven in action. Around 1min 14sec, I think Seven was fed up and flipped her the bird. Some cute things the video didn't capture was Seven waiving and sucking it's thumb.

video

Here's our stats from the u/s:

CRL: 56.2 mm, measuring 12w1d (2 days ahead, yeah!)

HB: 171 bpm (previously 117 and 173, check out all those 7's!)

Nuchal Fold: 1.3 mm (they want this below 3, so all perfect!)

Nasal Bone: present

Amniotic Fluid: normal

Placenta: posterior (the placenta is behind the baby which means I'll really be able to feel baby's movement)

Cervical Length: 3.5 cm (up from 3, yeah!!! I just need it to go to 4 cm)

My ob/gyn said all is progressing normally! My next step was a 20 week u/s which is 8 weeks away. But since we are going to watch my cervix as a precaution, I'm to come back in 4 weeks for a 16 week u/s. And maybe, just maybe, we'll get a peek between the legs.

Today's hormone levels:

Estrogen: 1555 (up from 1498)

Progesterone: 48.19 (up from 23.35)

So my placenta is definitely taking over hormone production. After $1052.13 in estrogen and progesterone support and 18 blood draws, as of tonight, I'm completed weaned! YIPPEE!!! I graduated from CCRM. Now I can finally live like a normal pg woman.

Symptoms:

Exhaustion let up significantly for 3 days and then hit me hard again yesterday and today. So it seems that it's going to improve very soon.

Irritability. This is caused by the rise in progesterone. My poor husband is all I can say!

Prominent blue veins on my boobs. This is due to the increase in blood volume.

Constipation. The prunes aren't working, they just give me thunder. This is heard nightly from Kerry; "OMG, you stink, wave the covers, get it out of here!". I just proudly smile at him and tell him it's pay back time!

Friday, December 4, 2009

11w2d

Another hormone level check today....

Estrogen: 1498 (up from 1108 after reducing to 1 patch)
Progesterone: 23.35 (up from 14.31 after reducing 1 supp.)

Finally, my placenta is starting to take over!!! Wahoo, yippee!!! This is such a huge relief. It was really stressing me out weaning off all my meds with my progesterone being way below where it should be. An ideal level would be 30+ and now I believe I'm on my way.

CCRM called and said congratulations and that I could stop all meds. I'm going off the patches as I'm very comfortable with my estrogen level. I asked if I could finish my last 7 progesterone supps at 1/day just to be on the safe side. They said I could be on them for 4 more days and then at 12 weeks they want me off everything. So I'm going to do 4 more days, get my level checked and if all looks good, I'll be completely weaned!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

10w6d

Today I had another low-tech u/s to help relieve my anxiety. This time my ob/gyn did trans-abdominal instead of trans-vaginal.

As the transducer was placed on my stomach, I immediately saw little Seven, but there was no movement and I couldn't see a heartbeat. I held my breath and quietly watched as the OB moved the transducer around. Still no heart beat. In a panicked voice I said, where's the heart beat??? The OB zoomed in, pointed, and said, right there. OMG, that was the worst 10 seconds of my life! I am feeling overwhelmingly blessed to have seen that little flicker.

What I didn't realize was that trans-ab isn't nearly as detailed, especially on this little portable machine, as trans-vag. The heart beat is so prominent with trans-vag, but with trans-ab, it was almost unnoticable. I now have a whole new respect for the trauma that must accompany a woman experiencing a m/c after seeing the HB. I'm still feeling the effects of those 10 seconds, it really rattled me.

Here's a photo of Seven with head down. The body has definitely lengthened as the head is no longer twice the size of the body.

Within a few minutes, little Seven started really wiggling. It was so cool and a much needed sight! We tried several times to catch it on video, but every time we turned the camera on, he/she would freeze. Below is our attempts at catching some action.

video
video
video

Then on our last attempt, we finally we caught the little gummy bear in action:

video

OB didn't measure the CRL or the HB, so I unfortunately don't have those details. She wants me to come back in 1 week for the NT scan. This will be a very detailed u/s on the high-tech machine. Wahoo!!! It will assess the baby's risk of abnormalities. We were told to bring a DVD as they will record a copy of the u/s for us and to invite up to 3 family members. I've invited my mother-in-law and grand-mother-in-law. I can't wait!

My OB Panel results came in. I asked what all this tests for and they said all STDs, antibodies, proteins, Rh factor, CBC, things like that. All came back normal.

I also had a hormone level check today.

Estrogen: 1108 (down from 1175 after reducing to 2 patches)
Progesterone: 14.31 (down a hair from 14.77 without reducing any meds)

I don't know why my progesterone isn't climbing, worries me that the placenta isn't kicking in. CCRM wants to me drop down to 1 patch tonight and down to 1 Endometrin suppository tomorrow and then recheck my levels Fri. I'm almost weaned!!!

That's all for now. Nighty night!