Monday, April 30, 2012

17 Weeks

How Far Along: 17!
Size of Baby as Relative to Common Household Fruit or Vegetable: A Turnip!
Total Weight Gain: Oh boy, I'm up 9lbs! I don't want to gain much more.
Gender: BABY GIRL!!!!!
Movement: baby moves but not as much as Bremy did. I love to feel her in there. 
Sleep: The constant bathroom interruptions is starting to become a problem
What I miss: not getting 3 times a night to pee :)
Cravings: nachos!
Symptoms: I feel the weight of the baby in my abdomen now. I have been so worried that the weight I feel is my cervix dilating, but so far so good. 
Best moment of the week: having B surprise me at my Dr.'s appointment. I really don't mind that he can't make it to most of my appointments, but it was really comforting to have him there this week. He rarely surprises me, so it was awfully sweet to see his smiling face that morning. 
Worst moment of the week: Being constantly worried. On Wednesday, I just felt different and couldn't help but think something was wrong. I struggled to get an appointment in with either of my doctors and I just felt helpless. I also felt silly for being so worried, but luckily no one else made me feel that way. 
I just want these next 10 weeks to fly by with no issues. I have a feeling they will go very slowly. Week 23, particularly. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dear Baby

Dear baby,

You are just so sweet I can't put it into words. You always look so precious on the ultrasound screen. You move, but always in a graceful way. Last week, you had your knees crossed. I think you will be my little lady.

I'm sure you can sense my stress lately. I'm trying so hard to stay calm for you. I started feeling your weight this week and that heaviness is making me paranoid that my cervix is dilating like it did last time. Luckily we were able to see the Dr. today and everything still looks quiet.

I made the appointment last minute. The Dr. told me to call if I was feeling pressure, so I did and she squeezed us in. Daddy surprised us and showed up at the appointment. I didn't want him to have to miss work but there he was in the parking lot as I pulled up. Having him there always makes me feel better. Dr. let us see you which is always a treat. You just look like the most peaceful baby.

After my appointment, I was able to buy a couple things for you. My head tells me I should wait, but my heart wants to start preparing for you. I found two really adorable outfits. A rosette sleeper and a little onesie with elephants on it. Your Great-Grams collected elephants and I know she would have loved this outfit. Looking at all of the girl clothes is absolutely the best. I can't wait to dress you up. Hopefully you love all things girly just like me.
your current closet...

We are starting to brainstorm names for you, little one. I have a running list and will mention them to Daddy here and there. He's pretty picky. He has been a little impatient with me and all of my name shouting. He finally asked me to stop. He's having a hard time, he's so worried after what we went through last time and I am too, but baby names is my favorite part. We will wait a while before we officially name you. There's no rush, I know you will have the perfect name.

I'm trying with all of my might to be positive and optimistic. I picture you in my arms. I picture you being born, nice and chubby and healthy. I picture that moment between you, your daddy and me and it always brings me to tears. I just hope that it's a beautiful experience for all of us.

Stay cooking little one. I'm going to do my best to keep you right where you need to be.

All of my love,

Monday, April 23, 2012

16 Weeks

How Far Along: 16
Size of Baby as Relative to Common Household Fruit or Vegetable: A yummy Avocado
Total Weight Gain: Not quite sure, so far 5lbs
Gender: BABY GIRL!!!!!
Movement: baby is moving! I feel her just about everyday. It's the best feeling and I've missed it so much in between pregnancies. No real kicks yet, just lots of rolling movements. 
SleepStill sleeping great!
What I miss: It was hot this week-would have loved an ice cold beer :)
Cravings: nothing really this week. I've had a bit of a sweet tooth
Symptoms: Feeling slightly swollen thanks to the heat this week. Peeing every minute, it seems. I literally went to the restroom, washed my hands and then sat right back down and went again! I swear one day I felt my bladder bouncing. 
Best moment of the weekFinding out we are having a GIRL! I am so excited. Knowing there is a sweet baby girl in there just melts my heart. Seeing her growing was great too. We get to see her so much and I feel so lucky. Her heartbeat was 150 this week. 
Worst moment of the week: Finding out I have bacteria vaginosis. My Dr. assured me it would be ok. I'm on the antibiotics and it's still early. My cervix and the cerclage still look great--but still it's a hiccup and it's scaring me a little. I'm just thankful we caught it. 
Here's to a great week 17!

Friday, April 20, 2012

16 Week Appointment

It's hard to describe the feeling of waiting for a Dr. appointment. This time B was with me, and he couldn't help but notice that I was practically bouncing off the walls with anticipation. I was swinging my legs, picking my nails, staring all over the place. I took heavy breaths and sighed over and over. He kept trying to calm me down, but it was no use. The Dr. was running extremely late. As they walked us back, they led us to a room I did not want to enter. It was the room where I learned that my cervix was incompetent. I paused at the door and asked the nurse if I was going to see Dr. G, the man who had placed my cerclage. The man I felt 100% confident in.

She shook her head and told me I'd be seeing Dr. M. The Dr. who treated me while I was in the hospital on bed rest with Bremy. The Dr. who was cold. The Dr. who couldn't do anything for me. I bent my knees and cringed. "I don't want to see Dr. M!" I whined. I could not physically hide my frustration. B looked embarrassed. I knew I sounded like a child, but I was not happy. She offered to reschedule, but I knew I needed to see a Dr. and B had made it to the appointment so there was no going back. I reluctantly sat down.

After what seemed like an hour, the ultrasound tech came in. I've had her for my past three appointments and she's very sweet and seems very knowledgeable. As soon as I saw my moving baby, and heard the heartbeat, my body relaxed. There's nothing like that sound. The viewing went well. Baby's heart rate was 150 and everything measured perfectly.

Then the Dr. came in. I felt like they told her. She was more chipper than usual and acted like she recognized us. She took a look at my cervix and said it was looking beautiful. The cerclage was in perfect position and there'd been no change to my cervix. It was measuring  at over 4 cm. A great length.

She asked if I had been having any problems, and I mentioned that for the past several days my underwear had been more wet than normal. She asked a few questions about how much, whether it had an odor (it didn't) etc, etc. She decided to be safe and take a swab to rule out an infection.

She was able to test and see that I did in fact have an infection. Bacterial vaginosis. I'd had it before in 2007, when I was not pregnant. That time it had an odor and I'd gone in to get it checked.

I told her that last time, with Bremy, at my 16 week appointment, I told my OB that my  underwear was wet and she had told me it was normal. I asked if I could have had this infection then, and if it going untreated may have caused the loss of my baby girl. She nodded and said it was certainly possible. It made me angry, but I understand that without knowing my history, it made it hard for them to think anything was wrong last time, at 16 weeks. At my 20 week appointment, my cervix was still closed, but open at 22 weeks. So somewhere in that  time, my cervix inexplicably opened.

She wrote me a script for flagyl, an antibitoic and told me all should be well since we caught it early and all still looks well with my cervix. I'm so glad she checked for me.

I am taking this as a hint that I really need to be hypersentive to every little thing. You never know. With IC, you don't feel much so I have to pay attention to what I'm feeling.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's A GIRL.....and the Truth

We are very excited to announce that our little baby is a GIRL! I am over the moon and am so thrilled. I absolutely knew it was a girl. But only for the past two weeks. For the first 12 weeks I thought baby was a boy, just because I felt so different this time around. When I look back, though, I see that there were a lot of similarities in the pregnancies.

Once I compared baby's heartbeat to Bremy's in the last three weeks I was pretty sure we would be hearing baby was a girl. Since B was able to join me at the specialists office, I asked if the sonographer would be willing to look for us. She was more than happy to, and while it took her a while (I think baby's legs were crossed) baby finally moved and let her see. She said she was 95% certain!

I was not shocked, but I think B was. I think he really thought it was a boy and might have had his heart set on it, but he also wasn't really in to finding out this time. I was able to convince him. So he just smiled and stared at her on the screen. We are so torn on baby names, I think we are going to wait to discuss it more seriously.

Now for some truth...

There's something I never, ever wrote about during my last pregnancy with Bremy. On my birthday, my family was in town and I made an appointment at a boutique ultra sound place to find out the gender. I was 17 weeks. I was pretty sure it was a boy and we both really wanted a boy. I had it in my head that I'd have a boy and then a girl. It was the opposite in my family, I was the older girl with a younger brother. I wanted my family to be different so that I wouldn't compare it to how my brother and I were. I also just liked the idea of an older brother. Anyway, I just had it perfectly planned in my head and could not see it any other way. I ALSO thought that I'd be ok with two boys, but would NOT be ok with two girls. So if I had my boy first, I was "safe".

I guess what they say is true, if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans! Oh my goodness. When we found out it was a girl I was speechless and so was B. My parents tried to insert some enthusiasm, but I wouldn't have it. I cried for twenty minutes. I had no idea why I was crying and my family looked at me like I was nuts, but all I could think was that this was not my vision! The poor ultrasound lady probably thought I had 10 daughters at home by the way I was acting.

I called my grandma, who was still alive at the time and she heard me crying. All of her great grandchildren were girls, and that was another factor. I wanted her to have a great grandson before she passed. She tried not to laugh at me. She tried so hard to be gentle and understanding, but I know she was thinking I'd gone insane.

I was so upset it was embarrassing.

By the time we made it home my family and B were getting pretty pissed at me. I was being unreasonable. The next day we went to a Giants baseball game and I pouted as I saw all the little boys dressed up in their gear. I was having such a hard time getting a grip.

After a few days, I was getting more excited. We bought some adorable outfits and I started imagining the idea of a daughter. I was pretty embarrassed at the way I acted and made everyone vow that they'd never speak of it again. I confided in a few friends and those with kids of their own said they knew how I felt. They'd mostly kept their feelings to themselves, though. I don't know why I couldn't conceal my own feelings, but it was nice to know that others had been "let down" by their gender reveals.

As the next couple weeks went by, I got really used to the idea and was so excited to have a daughter. I started planning the nursery and picturing such a fun life with a little girl. So when Bremy passed I knew that if we got pregnant again I'd be secretly hoping for a little girl.

And I was. Although I absolutely did not feel as crazy this time. There were things I'd be excited about for a boy and things I'd be excited about for a girl. I'd just bonded so closely with the idea of a daughter that the news that this baby was a girl just made me completely giddy. It was like I had a piece of Bremy still. I'm not sure if that's the right way to feel, but it's the truth. I miss my girl so much and this feels so familiar.

B and I both know we are so blessed and are just so happy that things are going well and that we feel like we are in good hands. I have started to understand how people wait to find out, but for me I just wanted to know more about who was growing inside me. I'm so incredibly happy it's hard to describe. I know I would have felt like this either way.

I did not think I'd ever write about the experience with my gender disappointment, but I feel more evolved and ok with admitting to it at this point. Of course when we lost Bremy, all I could think about was how foolish and selfish and childish I'd acted that day. I will never forgive myself for that behavior, but I've learned that it's all about learning from your past and becoming better.

I know I'm better now and I can't wait for this precious baby.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

15 Weeks!

How Far Along: 15 Weeks!

Size of Baby as Relative to Common Household Fruit or Vegetable: An apple!

Total Weight Gain: I'm hoping I'm still at 5lbs

Movement: I did not feel much movement this week and it was very scary to me. I know it's very early, but last week I felt quite a few distinct movements. So when I went 5 days without feeling a thing, my mind was racing. Towards the end of the week I felt very faint flutters, so I'm hoping baby is ok in there. I think it just moved positions and wherever it is, baby is harder to feel. I'm still a little anxious though.

Sleep: Despite the nightly 3am bathroom calls, I'm sleeping really well

What I miss: A cocktail sounded pretty good this week!

Cravings: nothing stood out this week.

Symptoms: I keep forgetting to mention this here, but for the past 4 weeks I've noticed I've been stinky! I usually don't have to use much deodorant on a daily basis, and have never dealt with body odor. But I've been noticing by the end of the day that I'm one stinky mama! I've fixed the situation, but it caught me off guard and I'm attributing it to being pregnant.

I also am really hairy all of a sudden. Neither of these things happened last time! My face is full of peach fuzz and it's really grossing me out. I've always had a slight peach fuzz on my upper lip, but we're talking a full on fuzzy beard type shape. It's driving me nuts, but I'm just thankful that it's transparently blonde hair and hoping people don't notice!

Best moment of the week: This weekend was B's birthday and my whole family came up to celebrate. We walked in the Autism walk, went out to a nice dinner and hung out and relaxed. It was a really nice weekend and we had a great time. I felt really good all weekend (with the exception of some stomach issues) and really enjoyed our time together. My parents brought up the rocking chair that was used for me and my little brother, and it's already in baby's room. It's making me happy, anxious and sad all at the same time.

Worst moment of the week: As I mentioned earlier, I'm pretty nervous about the sudden lack of movement. There were a couple times where I thought maybe I was feeling flutters, but they were not as strong as last week. The main difference is that it felt as though they were coming from right beneath my bellybutton, and last week the baby was definitely sitting on my right side, pretty low. I'm just hoping baby has relocated and it's harder for me to feel. It's still causing me a lot of anxiety. My appointment is Thursday and I'm chomping at the bit!.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This time last year...

At this time last year, I was 6 weeks pregnant with Bremy, and we were prepping for a vacation with B's family to British Columbia. I was 14 weeks by the time we left, and for the most part I was feeling great. Bremy was the focal point of that trip. We talked about her the whole time, even though we still didn't know she was a girl. We talked baby names with B's grandma, bought her a Christmas ornament at a gift shop and took photographs, where I tried to highlight my belly, even though I had no baby bump yet. It was a very welcome two week vacation to somewhere we'd never been. B and I spent a lot of great quality time together taking in the sights, and breaking away from the group to go on our own adventures.
passing under the Golden Gate Bridge on our cruise trip was so fun

Our favorite off-ship adventure was whale watching in Victoria. We had a great boat and captain and it was super fun. We saw lots of Orkas, but my absolute favorite was spotting a humpback on our way back in. It was a rare sighting for that spot, and they were just mesmerizing. This is my favorite picture from that excursion.

Enjoying a movie on the deck of the ship. It was freezing, but we were bundled up!

I'm not sure why I never blogged about the trip, but I came across some photos and wanted to document it here. It was a very, very happy time in our life. I'm working on being more at ease than I am right now, during this pregnancy. Looking at these pictures makes me want to let go and enjoy this time even more.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter 2012

Am I wrong that Easter candy is better than any other holiday candy? My weakness, is a hard to find hershey's product called, candy coated milk chocolate eggs. There is nothing like them. Yum. Other than that, Easter is just another holiday to me. Obviously, I understand the religious magnitude of Easter Sunday, but at this point in my life, finding a way to celebrate is a challenge. Since it's a Sunday event, with no days off, we do not see my family for Easter. We usually spend it with friends.

This morning I woke up early to get my dishes prepared for our Easter get together. I had to run to the store. It was a very beautiful morning, much like the Easters I grew up with in southern California. As I drove home from the store, I found tears streaming down my face. I just started remembering all of the Easter dresses I wore as a child, all the egg hunts and all of the great memories of the holiday. Those thoughts then transformed into the thought that this should have been Bremy's first Easter, and how beautifully I would have dressed her up and how much fun I would have had taking pictures and getting into the spirit of Easter. I tried my hardest not to cry, but even B could see I was upset when I walked through the door. I buried my head in his shoulder and just let myself feel the homesickness and disappointment I was feeling. Luckily, I bounced back quickly and got busy making my deviled eggs. These short lived bursts of grief have become my new normal. I don't know if I'm coping with her loss in the right way, but it still hurts so much and sometimes the pain is just too much.

The rest of the day was fine. A quiet get together with our close friends and an egg hunt for the children there. All I can do is day dream about next Easter and all the joy we will feel with our little one.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dear Baby

Hi baby,

I haven't written directly to you yet. This pregnancy has been a lot different than it was with your sister. Lot's of appointments, lots of worry, lots of decisions and lots of what-ifs. I'm finally to a point where I don't doubt myself every time I talk about your actually being born and surviving.

Sometimes I feel guilty, as though I'm not bonding with you properly because I'm so scarred over the loss of your. And when I lost your twin, I felt even more distant. I promise you I'm working on it. And I know our past experience will only make us more grateful to have you and o parent you.

I somehow feel that your twin was a girl. I'll never know, but that is my intuition. I'm not sure what you are, though. I thought I was either having two girls or one boy and one girl, so that doesn't tell me much. For the first 12 weeks, I thought you had to be a boy, as my symptoms were pretty different than they'd been in my first pregnancy. But now, I am starting to think you are a girl. Last time, I'll tell you, I did have a preference and I was very anxious about finding out whether your sister was a boy or a girl. This time, I'm in no rush to know what you are. But I would like to know, just for daydreaming, decorating and wardrobe purposes, of course.

Your daddy is toying with the idea of us not finding out. I don't think he'll be able to resist. Especially since I very much want to know if you are a boy or a girl. We both know the reason he is hesitant, is because he is trying not to get too attached. It's hard to admit that to you, but it is the truth we are living right now.

Now that I'm feeling you and you are showing in my belly, my attachment to you is growing and growing. I'm bonding with you and your movements and starting to talk to you a little. I find myself rubbing my belly a lot. Something I did last time, too.

I still hold my breath right before every ultrasound. I can't breathe until I see your heartbeat flashing. By now, you usually move instantly and that takes my anxiety away. You are more and more active every time I see you, and at our last check up you were measuring beautifully. Thank you for being a cooperative little baby.

We have a lot of people rooting for you, baby. So many prayers and well wishes have been sent our way and I know your arrival will be very joyous and emotional for us, and for a lot of our friends and family who have walked with us down this very difficult path.

You are due Oct 1st. I'd love to have you then, right around daddy and my 3rd year wedding anniversary. But, I keep thinking you will be born on September 7th, which would be at almost 37 weeks. That would be just fine, but of course each day with you in my belly I'll be more at ease. I just really hope mommy can keep you safe and where you belong up until then.

Keep growing, baby! We love you and are so thankful for you.

14 Weeks!

Today, I finished my final day of my 14th week. The past three weeks have gone very fast.

How Far Along: 14!

Size of Baby as Relative to Common Household Fruit or Vegetable: A lovable lemon!

Total Weight Gain: Thankfully, still at 5lbs gained

Movement: I definitely felt my baby moving this week. It's a wonderful feeling that I have greatly missed. It's still not kicking movements, but it feels more like turning movements. They are still pretty slight, but I feel them mostly at night or after a larger meal.

Sleep: sleeping really well. Better than I remember with Bremy. I'm now getting up almost every night to use the restroom, but not every night :)

What I miss: I am still missing coffee more than I ever did with Bremy.

Cravings: so my cravings tend to last about a week. This week: Ocean Spray Cran-Grape juice. I could have eaten nothing and been completely satisfied with just juice. Since I have gestational diabetes again, I am really not supposed to be drinking this. So, I was limiting myself to about 1/2 a cup diluted with water. It just tasted so dang good. But, happily I have not bought any more. It's just not part of the GD diet!

Symptoms: My belly definitely popped out this week and a few people noticed. I have to admit it makes me so happy. I never really popped out with Bremy, until right before we lost her, so I never truly felt pregnant in public. As far as symptoms, I think I was definitely feeling more emotional and more hormonal this week. Tears would come from seemingly nowhere, and I found myself picking a fight with B for no reason. Luckily, he didn't take me seriously and he didn't even bother arguing with me, but I hate realizing after the fact that hormones are at play!

Best moment of the week: I had my first post-cerclage appt with the peri on Thursday. It was a very quick appointment. The u/s tech did all the baby measurements and Dr. came in to look at my cervix. They did a vaginal u/s and he showed me where the cerclage was. I had zero idea what i was looking at. He kept smiling and saying that everything looked great and he couldn't be more pleased. I asked him what could have potentially gone wrong at this point, and he said that sometimes the cervix begins opening above the cerclage and so far my cervix was cooperating. It was really great to hear, and great to know baby was progressing well. Baby's heartbeat was about 155.

Worst moment of the week: For about four days after the cerclage, my anxiety was really high. I just didn't know what to look for, what to feel or what to think was worrisome. I had some mucousy discharge the Monday after the surgery, and I just didn't know if it was normal. My appt really calmed my nerves, and I finally feel like I am accepting my lack of control in this situation. I just have to try to enjoy this pregnancy and not worry so much. So, since the appointment, I've been feeling really good. I see the perinate in two weeks, so hopefully things stay quiet until then.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

13 Weeks!

How Far Along: 13 whole weeks

Size of Baby as Relative to Common Household Fruit or Vegetable: A shrimp? I prefer the fruit comparisons to seafood

Total Weight Gain: 5lbs gained.

Movement: I'm pretty sure I felt the baby turn this week. I felt the bulge and felt it move. No kick like feelings yet.

Sleep: slept well this week!

What I miss: It rained all week so I was missing my warm cup of jo. I had about two cups of coffee during my last pregnancy, and this week I gave in again and had it twice in the mornings. I know it's considered "ok" but I still only drank half the cup...

Cravings: ceasar salads like crazy. I found a good store bought dressing and have been going through it like crazy this past week or so.

Symptoms: My jeans are definitely getting tight, but my maternity jeans are falling off so I'm at that point where nothing fits right. Other than a growing belly, no new symptoms.

Best moment of the week: I had a regular OB appointment this week before my cerclage procedure. I wasn't sure if I'd get an ultrasound, but they wheeled it in. As she was squirting the gel on my belly, I told the Dr. that this baby was a lot less active than Bremy had been. At 12 weeks, it was hard for the Dr. to even keep her in view on the u/s screen because she was moving everywhere. I'd seen this baby at 11 and 12 weeks and it hardly moved at all, just a wave and a little wiggle. Seconds after I finished my sentence, this baby did a complete sommersault, waved and then flipped around. We both laughed and I looked at my belly and said, "Ok sorry, you are just as active as your sister. I guess you are showing off now!" it was a really cute moment. The Dr. let me stare for a long time, which was nice. After baby was done flipping around, it returned to it's original position. The Dr. and I looked at each other and both said, "it looks like it's praying?" and it did. Baby's legs were tucked under it's body, arms were bent, hands under chin and head dipped down. The outline looked exactly like one of those precious moments figurines. I tried not to get emotional, but it was just the sweetest thing. My Dr. quickly tried to get a snapshot of the pose, but it didn't come out as clear in the photo as it had on screen. I'm praying too, baby!

Worst moment of the week: my cerclage was this week, and it really wasn't bad, but of course I could have done without the terror of the whole thing. I had the procedure done on the labor and delivery floor, exactly where I had delivered my Bremy girl. It was surreal being back there, but I had so much adrenaline pumping prior to the procedure that being emotional was the furthest thing from my mind. I didn't see any of my nurses, which was good. The procedure went very well, and I got great care from the staff there. I'll write a separate post about the cerclage itself.