Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Project Nursery

This evening we met with the contractor to go over my ideas with the nursery. We used this contractor last summer as we needed over 700sqft of hardwood replaced (even though the floor was only 2 years old) as we had pretty extensive damage to our floor from a Holiday gathering. Apparently someone had a nail sticking out of their heel, and that left hundreds of puncture marks all over my floor. All of the cabinets and appliances had to be ripped out, which made me so nervous, but in the end you couldn't even tell that my kitchen and breakfast nook was ripped apart for two weeks. As a bonus we even had them put on fancy base and shoe moldings around the cabinets and center island.

I went over my ideas about the crown, chair, and picture frame molding. He said that with how the windows and doors are spaced, that picture frame molding would be difficult. He also pointed out that my furniture would cover up much of the picture frame molding. They could do it, but he said that I wouldn't like it. My other idea was to do wainscoting with a chair rail. He really liked that idea. He does not use that ghetto paneling crap, but actually constructs it piece by piece. Here are some examples taken from the model home in the community that I live in:

(I took these pictures when we first starting working with our former contractor to build our house. I always loved this look and actually contemplated putting it in our master suite.)

The contractor decided that it was probably best for me to meet with his interior designer as he said that I need to determine the height of the wainscoting, pick out the crown that I want and I also need to pick out what hardwood floor I want installed.

I do know that we are going to paint above the wainscoting either a pink or a blue, obviously depending on gender. Here is what I picked out:
(Caribbean Coast)
(Pink Ribbon)

I have to say that these samples look much richer than the actual color. The blue is much softer, and actually, so is the pink. These colors are from the 2012 Pottery Barn Kids Collection by Benjamin Moore. 

I had a difficult time deciding what furniture to go with (since I had years to change my mind) but I think I finally made my decision. The crib and the changing table system are from Pottery Barn Kids as well. 
(Madison 3-in-1 Crib)
(Madison Changing Table System)

I absolutely love these pieces as they coordinate well with the rest of my house. My husband was unsure about the changing table system, but we used room designing software and it will actually fit nicely against the largest wall. The crib bedding is something that I have been struggling with. I knew that I wanted to do a nautical theme for a boy all along as my family owns a Marina and I pretty much grew up on a boat. Bedding for a girl has been much harder for me. I wanted to go traditional, but I don't want everything to be pink. The bedding that I have finally decided on has a few different colors in it including chocolate brown which ties into the decor throughout the rest of the house. Here is what we picked out for a boy:

And here is what we chose if we have a girl:

The boat bedding is the Row Your Boat collection and the girl bedding is the Penelope collection, both from Pottery Barn Kids. God I love that store!!

We will be meeting with the interior designer sometime next week so we should have our plans solidified within the next few weeks. We are planning on starting the nursery after my husbands shoulder surgery but before his heart surgery. It will probably be sometime around Week 20. My MFM told me to have everything done, as much as I can, by 28 weeks because the risk of me going on strict bedrest is there. I would rather be safe than sorry. 

So there you have it. Once construction starts the nursery will be a secured room as we are not revealing the gender until the shower. I am starting to get excited, but for some reason when I make a big move like this, I start to panic. I immediately become fearful that something horrible is going to happen. I guess it is time to put on my big girl panties and accept that I am going to have a baby. I will get there, somehow, someway...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

14 Weeks (and Other Fun Stuff!)

It is so funny. Every week I can't wait to hit the following week, and when I do, I immediately start praying for next week to hurry up and get here. I can't believe that we are 14 weeks today! Only (I say only) ten more weeks until we hit viability. I am completely obsessed with hitting 24 weeks. I am not sure why, but I have decided that is my first goal. When I hit it, I will probably become obsessed with 30 weeks or 32 weeks. Who knows!!

I thought that I would make this post a little lighthearted and share some of the ideas I have had for the nursery. I am finally allowing myself to plan things which is making my husband happy. Tomorrow evening, a contractor who does new home construction and remodels in our area, will be coming over to help us design the nursery.
 (This is a view from the doorway facing the front of the house).
(This is facing towards the hallway. The door is to the right of the closet. And yes, that is my keyboard).

The bedroom is a bit on the smaller side (11x13) but it is what we have to work with. The other spare room I considered using as the nursery, which is our guest room, is at the back of the house and doesn't get the beautiful morning sun like this one does. Plus it only has one large window (72x60) as opposed to the three windows this room has. What I would like to do in this room is to add in crown molding, chair rail, and then picture frame molding. 
Here is an example (this is our dining room) where we added the chair rail with picture frame molding. I know that I want to paint above the chair rail a very light pink or blue (yup, I am going all traditional) but I am not sure if I want to paint inside each picture frame a darker pink or blue or keep it all white so the room stays looking larger. We are also undecided if we are keeping the carpet or putting down hardwood. Our house is only three years old so the carpet is new and has never really been used, but I am a severe asthmatic and have bad allergies so I am just afraid that my baby will have a hard time like I did as a child with a carpeted bedroom. I almost think that it is better to do it now, but I need to see how expensive that will be. 

Well, this is phase one of Project Nursery. Within the next day or two I will share what furniture and bedding that I picked out (one for each gender). Since we are not sharing the gender of our baby, once construction is underway, things will be top secret. Wow, I can't believe how real things are becoming!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Quick Update

My husband had his appointment with the orthopedic surgeon today and he does in fact have a torn rotator cuff, actually, multiple tears. The surgeon said that he could hold off for a while and do physical therapy if the timing was inconvenient for surgery, but he said that surgery is inevitable. He decided to go ahead and book the surgery which is now scheduled for March 21st. This was actually good as I will be able to get in my 16 week appointment and the follow-up with my Immunologist before then. The orthopedic surgeon said that it was safe to schedule his cardiac surgery for anytime the last week of April or beyond. He called the cardiac surgeon today to let him know, hoping that we can get everything scheduled now so we can make arrangements for help if need be.

I am glad that this is all getting done, I just wish there wasn't so much involved with the health of this pregnancy to add to the mix.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What A Weekend!

Sorry it has taken me so long to follow up and thank you to everyone who sent me private messages just to make sure that I was okay. Love you guys!!

Friday during my lunch I went for my first appointment with my new Immunologist. Unbeknownst to me,  he is the head of Immunology at the medical center. The first thing he did when he walked into the room was give me a hug and tell me how sorry he was for everything that I have been through. He told me that he and Dr. K, my MFM, had a long discussion about me and are going to work together to make sure I give birth to a healthy baby. He went over my long history to make sure he had a good grasp on everything. It was decided that not only is he going to handle my immunological issues, he is also going to take over the care for my asthma. Since my asthma is not well controlled and seems to be getting worse as this pregnancy progresses, he switched around my medication regimen. He told me that I am using my Ventolin way too much (3-4 times a day) so obviously what I was doing was controlling things well enough. He discontinued my Serevent and Pulmicort and started me on Symbicort. He also told me that I need to start using my nebulizer when I am home and need Ventolin. My inhaler should only be used when I am out and about. He is also concerned with the state of my immune system. He has decided that if my blood work comes back similar to what it was last time, that I will start on monthly IvIg transfusions until birth and he will immediately pull me out of work. Apparently Dr. K is in full agreement with this. If things have improved, we will take things in two week intervals and go from there. I asked him if I should notify my job about this and he told me to hold off as anything can happen. Just in case this does happen, I am going to work my butt off over the next three weeks so that everything is kosher and my company doesn't have to stress about my accounts. I work for a very understanding company, and I do quite well, so I don't thing they will give me any problems. I have every intention to return to work after my maternity leave.

My husband also had his surgical consult on Friday and luckily I was able to manipulate my schedule to be in the area of his doctor at that time as his appointment was the last of the day. What has been decided is that we are going to proceed with the surgery (both cardiac procedures at once) but if he does end up needing rotator cuff surgery, he will have to do that first. After the cardiac surgery he will be on high dose blood thinners for six months so obviously no other surgeries could be performed during that time. Since his cardiac surgeon knows that we are pregnant, he recommended having the shoulder surgery first, as that is about a six week recovery, and then scheduling the heart surgery for a few weeks after. On Friday, the orthopedic surgeon called and requested that my husband come in on Monday as they want to discuss the results of the MRI. Since they made it a point to call, I am assuming (I hope that I am wrong) that he does require surgery. We will know tomorrow for sure.

On Saturday I gave in and decided that it was time to tell family about this pregnancy. My husband has been so excited so I decided that I wasn't being fair to him by not wanting to tell anyone. We went out to dinner with his parents and his sister and her family and my husband announced it then. After dinner, we went to my parents house and told them. Overall, things went well given my anxiety about this. This afternoon, we made it Facebook official. I made a very tasteful announcement which seemed to go over quite well. After all of this was done, the panic started to set in. I immediately started worrying that something might happen as a result of all of this...a ridiculous superstition, I know. Again, thank God for my doppler! As soon as the probe touched my belly I heart the sweet sound of my babies heart pounding away. Overall it was a pretty decent weekend, I am just happy that it is over!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Follow Up with the MFM

Today I went in to see a different MFM to have her evaluate the state of my cervix. To my dismay, she said the same exact thing the Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine told me. She said that my cervix is flush with my vagina, therefore, there is nothing to stitch. She reiterated that what I do have of a cervix (the part above the vagina that is connected to the uterus) is actually quite long, and is still hard and closed. I am going to be starting Progesterone-17 injections in two weeks and these will help to keep the cervix long and also prevent preterm labor. The pessary is still on option but they only want to do it if absolutely necessary as it is associated with infections that can actually cause preterm labor. Speaking of infections...they found that I have bacterial vaginosis. I just casually mentioned the abundance of discharge that I am having so they decided to take a look. I am now on Flagyl (yuck!) for the next seven days with two doses of Diflucan as apparently the Flagyl will cause a yeast infection. I have also been restricted from all air travel which means that I will not be attending a meeting that I had in April in Naples Florida. I was actually looking very forward to this meeting, but right now my focus needs to be this baby. Tomorrow at lunchtime I have my first appointment with the Immunologist that my MFM wanted me to see. He will determine if I will need to restart the monthly IvIg transfusions. At the end of the day is my husband's appointment with the surgeon to get clearance to schedule his heart surgery. I will feel better once I know the full details as I am not the type of person who can deal with "unknowns".

On a different note, it looks like we may finally be announcing our pregnancy this weekend...if I don't chicken out at the last minute. We are going out to dinner with my husband's family on Saturday so the plan is to tell them there. We will then go over to my parent's house to tell them. I am very uneasy about telling people but I am now at the point where this pregnancy is getting hard to hide. I am showing early as I have a posterior placenta, plus I had stomach surgery when I was 16 that destroyed my abdominal wall (I have a beautiful 12 inch scar that runs from my sternum to my belly button) so I don't have the ability to physically hold in my stomach. So yeah, I am getting big fast. 

I will post another update tomorrow evening after my Immunology appointment and my husbands surgical consult.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

13 Weeks

Today I am officially 13 weeks pregnant! When I got home from work, I was very anxious as I wanted to be sure that the baby was okay so I whipped out the doppler and took a listen. The heart rate was 168 and sounded nice and strong. I am so happy that the baby seems to be thriving.

I have been waiting to hear from my MFM office regarding the status of the referral for the second opinion on my cervix. I spoke with one of the nurses last Wednesday and then again on Friday who said that it would be done yesterday. Since I didn't hear anything I called today to find out what was going on. Apparently there was a communication issue as the original nurse had told the MFM that I wanted a second opinion on my care, not just for my cervix. Obviously the MFM said that they don't do referrals for "care" in general so it was never done. When I spoke to the other nurse this morning I completely explained my situation and she apologized up and down. She said that she felt bad that she wasn't told the actual reason for referral. So frustrating! (The part that I am having a hard time swallowing is that it was never noted, in the two years that I was doing fertility treatment (which included 3 hysteroscopies, a lap, and an HSG) that the cervix in my vagina was cut off. I just don't understand how this was not picked up on, and now I am being told that there is no cervix. I just don't understand). So finally this afternoon, the nurse called back and the Chief of MFM did the referral and actually didn't mind doing it. I will be calling the other MFM group tomorrow to schedule that appointment. I also have an appointment with my group this Thursday with a MFM that I haven't met yet, to get the specifics on plan for my cervix and to have her take a look at it to see if she thinks a stitch can be placed. I can't wait until 16 weeks to find out because if I am being taken out of work, I need to know in advance, not the day before. 

I am also getting anxious about Friday. I am going to see the Immunologist at the medical center to see if I need to restart the IvIg transfusions. It is just that they take a full day, as the infusion takes 6 hours and then about 90 minutes of prep and cleanup. I am hoping that I don't need it again, but I will do whatever I have to do. Later in the day my husband has an appointment with the cardiac surgeon to go over the full details of the surgery and also to get it booked. I am starting to get anxious about it. It just seems like a lot to handle on top of everything that I am dealing with. I am seriously looking forward to the weekend when this week is far behind me!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Good News, Bad News

I will start with the good news. It is actually really good news. Around 11am I received a call from our genetic counselor. If you remember, she was going to let us know the preliminary results from the blood work that accompanied the NT scan. If our risk of Down's Syndrome, Trisomy 13, and Trisomy 18 were less than 1:300 the results would just say "pending" until the second blood draw at 15 weeks. If the ratio was greater than that we would know the actual number than be advised to proceed with a CVS. I am so happy to report that our results were "pending", so this means that we have less than a third of a percent of having a baby with one of these disorders. I am so relieved. I can't believe that it looks like we finally have a healthy baby on board. Now, if they can just figure out what to do with my cervix! Apparently my MFM office still hasn't done the referral for the second opinion as the nurse forgot about it yesterday and by the time she remembered today, the MFM had already left. She told me that it will be done on Monday. In a half joking way, I said that I hope the doctors don't get mad when a patient requests a second opinion. The nurse said "well I don't know, maybe they do". What? I am trying to ignore that comment as this is not the time to worry about what others think. She then said "well, you are only asking for a second opinion. Its not like you are transferring care". Um, no kidding! Again, I am getting a second opinion as I need to either hear the same thing my MFM told me, or learn about other options. Now matter what, I would stay with my current group. I just want another set of eyes to look at my situation. I am absolutely positive that if the other MFM figured out a way to get a stitch in my cervix, that my MFM would be all for it.

Ok, now for the not so great news. At the end of the day I had my appointment with my Endocrinologist as he is keeping a close eye on my blood sugars and my thyroid. As I was driving to my appointment I started feeling a bit tired, almost so much that I felt confused. I suddenly found myself sweating so I thought that maybe a "morning sickness" episode was coming on so once I pulled into the parking lot, I sat in my car for a few minutes to make sure I was okay. I still didn't feel right so I went in for my appointment. My office just recently switched over to electronic medical records so they had to update my information. The secretary was asking me a series of questions when I had this sudden urge to just sit down. I was trying hard to hide the fact that something was obviously wrong. She then asked me for my insurance card so I took my wallet out of my purse and started digging for it. I suddenly realized that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and all of a sudden I had this loud hum in my ears and I couldn't hear anything. My doctor was standing behind her and I was just starring at him. He yelled my name, I started crying, and that is the last thing that I remember. Down I went! Apparently they dragged me from the waiting room onto the floor of one of the exam rooms. My blood pressure was a bit low but what had happened is that my blood sugar bottomed out. When they took it, it was 54. They had me chew up four glucose tablets which took about 20 minutes to take effect. After I was coherent enough to proceed with my appointment, they got me off of the floor, moved me to another room, and my doctor came in and we started going over things. This is only the second hypoglycemic episode that I have had this month so I am not sure what happened. I ate a balanced carb/protein meal so I am not sure why my blood sugar bottomed out. I did tell him that I have been craving carbs like crazy with this pregnancy, but he told me that I need to avoid them, unless of course they are low on the glycemic index and eaten with a protein. He also said that my blood sugars after meals are borderline for gestational diabetes and that if I can't get them under control in the next four weeks, insulin will be in my future. I don't want to take insulin, I would much rather stay on the Glucophage for the remainder of my pregnancy. I did ask for permission for one last splurge as my husband and I have tickets to a Mac & Cheese tasting tomorrow. I can go, but that is it for me. I was so embarrassed about my little episode but so glad that the office was so nice about it. Apparently I scared the crap out of the secretary as she came up to me after and gave me a big hug and told me to never do that again. I felt so bad! Oh well, it could always be worse, right?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Being My Own Advocate

Since receiving the dismal news regarding my cervix yesterday, I have been trying to make sense of everything and something just isn't sitting right with me. It isn't that I don't believe my MFM, I just need to be educated on things so I understand. I am the only advocate for my baby and it is entirely my responsibility to make sure everything is being done to protect my pregnancy. I don't want to have something happen and they hate myself for the rest of my life because I didn't push for answers.

I know that a large portion of my cervix has been cut off, but I was confused how it is possible for my cervix to still be 3.1cm. I was also confused about the bend in it and why there is no option for cerclage. Based on a recommendation, I contacted Dr. Arthur Haney at the University of Chicago as he is the "incompetent cervix" guru, apparently one of the best in the country. He explained everything to me and now I understand things a bit better. According to Dr. Haney, I am not a candidate for a cerclage, neither a vaginal or a transabdominal. He said that because of the amount of cervix that was cut off, there is nothing to sew as the portion of the cervix that protrudes into the vagina is where the stitch would have to be placed, and too much was cut off of mine. The 3.1cm is what is above my vagina and is where a transabdominal would be places. He also said that I am not a candidate for the transabdominal as he doesn't recommend doing it after 10 weeks and I am well beyond that. His recommendation is to start 17-P injections within the next two weeks. He said that they normally don't start them until after 16 weeks, but in my case, they should be started sooner. He said that these injections will help as they have the effect of making the cervical mucus thicker and harder for vaginal bacteria to penetrate. I also took the liberty to email Dr. Braverman to get his opinion as well. He said that I should get a second opinion AND have another MFM within my practice evaluate things so I am fully informed of the situation and no stone has been left unturned. Since a second opinion and another appointment can't hurt, I contacted my MFM office this morning and explained my feelings. They were so nice about it. They asked me to come in to see a different MFM and they are also referring me to the other MFM group in the area for a second opinion. I am going for the appointment at my current practice a week from today and it is with the only MFM that I have yet to meet. I also called the other MFM group and told them my situation. The nurse I spoke with was very reassuring and told me that as soon as they get the referral, she will get me in within a few days. I am so happy that I did this and I actually feel better about things. I need to make sure that we are looking at this from all angles. As it stands, even if my cervix becomes incompetent, which they tell me I am at high risk for, a cerclage cannot be placed. So I need to know what the plan it. When will I start on 17-P shots)? When will the pessary be placed and what are the statistics on it? What is the criteria for bedrest? These are all things that I need answered and I feel better knowing that they will be.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

12 Weeks

Wow, where to start?!?! All I can say is thank God that I had the very first appointment of the day as I was at my doctor's office for almost six hours!! Our morning started out with a meeting with the genetic counselor that took just over an hour. She went over the previous karyotyping that my husband and I had done and how it was perfect. She then went over Down's Syndrome, Trisomy 13 and 18, and other risk factors once she took a detailed history of our families. Based on my family's history, it was decided that one extra screening would be done and that was to look for a gene for a muscular atrophy disorder. Other than that, we either didn't need or already had most of the testing. Based on my age at delivery, my risk for Down's was 1:769 and my risk for other chromosomal disorders was 1:323. She then went over our options for screening and we ruled out invasive testing right away, unless of course it was warranted by our initial results. We opted for a screening that has over 90% accuracy and this combines the NT measurement, blood work from today, and then blood work done between 15 and 17 weeks. The only results that we will get before the end of the three parts is if the initial results come back higher than 1:300. Therefore, if our risk is less than that, we will not get an actual number until after the second set of blood work which is scheduled to be drawn when I am 15+3.

The next part of our appointment was the actual scan. We had to wait again in the waiting room so I had enough time to make myself sick with worry over this. I actually completely lost it last night as I just can't imagine, after all that I have been through, a positive outcome. The tech finally called our name and we were brought back. As soon as the tech put the probe on my belly I could see how active the baby was. Every time the tech tried getting a still image so she could take a measurement, the baby would either turn upside down and stand on its head or it would do a complete somersault. Finally another tech came into help as we really weren't getting anywhere. We eventually got the CRL and the baby was measuring exactly 12 weeks so we are no longer measuring behind!! Then they got a rate on the heart (after like 100 tries as the baby hates that ) and it was 170. Then the tech started focusing in on the neck. I could feel my entire body tense up as I just wanted this part to be over. After three measurements she looked at me and said "wow, that is really good, your NT measurement is only 1.4cm". I was ecstatic! She also confirmed the presence of a nasal bone. At this point the MFM, Dr. S, came in and switched over to a vaginal ultrasound as she needed to get a good look at my cervix. The average reading that they were getting was 3.1cm which isn't spectacular, but it was acceptable. We also noted that. my cervix is completely deformed as it is bent into two different sections. She also said that there was still a tiny bit of my uterine septum left but the baby IS NOT attached to it in any way. She also looked in detail at the baby and was able to tell me that the arms and legs all appear to be normal in length and size and she also took some detailed images of the brain and was able to confirm that our baby does not have anencephaly.What a relief that was! One less thing that I need to worry about.

After this we went back and I had my blood work drawn and then was brought into the consultation room for my appointment with the Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine. Dr. K came in shortly after we sat down and I could immediately tell that he meant business. We went over each diagnosis and medication in full detail that I had listed on my intake sheet. This is what I learned:
  1. My asthma (which is considered severe) is getting worse with pregnancy. He said that my lack of stomach muscles could actually work in my favor once we hit the 3rd trimester as it is likely that everything will be pushed outward instead of up and into my lungs. He said that I am at slightly higher risk for Pre-E (based on my asthma) and that I need to be closely monitored as breathing is rather important (duh!). He is having me followed by a pulmonologist at the medical center.
  2. I am at very high risk for Pre-E based on my current blood pressures. Naturally in early pregnancy, your blood pressure elevates and then returns to normal by 12 weeks. Apparently 5-10% of all women do not return to their pre-pregnancy blood pressure and I am one of them. My BP has been running 130-135/80-85 and he said that this is concerning given that I am so early in the pregnancy. He is going to check me next time and if it is still high, he will start me on a blood pressure medication but he warned me that it could make my asthma worse. For now I have to monitor it at home and call if it is >140/90.
  3. I also have a history of Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia where my resting heart rate ranges between 90-110 and with activity it shoots up into the 180's. I told him that this is a benign condition and that I have my annual cardiology appointment at the end of March but he was still concerned. Since my heart rate elevates with activity and pregnancy naturally elevates it as well, he said that any strenuous activities are out of the question.
  4. He is also concerned about my diagnosis of Common Variable Immunodeficiency and the frequency and severity of the infections that I get. Given that I work in healthcare, he said that we need to be extra vigilant and I need to limit my exposure to illness. He said that he isn't thrilled that we discontinued my IvIg transfusions and thinks that maybe it is a good idea that we restart them. I am seeing an Immunologist that specializes in this a week from Friday as Dr. K feels that an expert would be better equipped to deal with this.
  5. And now for the bad news. Apparently I was somewhat confused regarding the treatment I received for my cervical cancer as I always thought that I had both a LEEP and a cervical conization. He in formed me that there was no way that I had both and it is likely that I only had a LEEP as a conization is actually the cutting away of the cervix. In fact, he said a LEEP procedure would not pose enough of a risk to risk doing a cerclage so that actually made me a bit happy. Since we were both unsure of which procedure I actually had, he decided to do an exam as he wanted to see so we knew what our options were for incompetent cervix and cerclage placement. He was absolutely stunned when he discovered that a very large portion of my cervix was cut away due to the cancer. He told me it was so severe that I am not even a candidate for a vaginal cerclage as I don't have enough of a cervix. I immediately started crying my eyes out. He said my only option is an abdominal cerclage and he is not a fan of doing them while pregnant as it is major surgery and it would put the entire pregnancy at risk. He said that this is something that should have been done prior to pregnancy. He said that our only option at this point is a pessary which would help my cervix support the weight of the baby as it grows. One positive thing is that he said that my deformed cervix (the bend in it) is actually going to work to my benefit as the pressure of the baby will not be directly on the opening as most of the weight will be on the side of the cervix given how it is positioned. My cervix was also nice and hard and completely closed so that was good. He said that the 16 week mark is where we start getting into the danger zone with my cervix so he is going to monitor me very closely. At this point my cervix is good as the length is acceptable despite the thickness being sub par, but we need to stay on top of it. He is bringing me back in 3 weeks (15+3) for a cervical check and a recheck with him. 
I have been officially released from OB and will be followed by MFM from hear on out. Dr. K said that I need to mentally prepare myself for coming out of work early. I always figured that it could possibly happen around 24-28 weeks but he said that it could be as early as 16 weeks if things look at risk with my cervix at my next visit. I was absolutely floored. I am praying that doesn't happen but at this point, after all that I have been through, I will do whatever I have to. I have a great job with a great company so I am sure that everything will turn out okay.

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    11 Weeks 5 Days

    I haven't posted much in the past few days as I have just been too tired. Yesterday I woke up around 9am and needed a nap by 1pm. I napped for four hours! Despite my glorious nap, I was still in bed by 10pm. Today I met a friend for lunch at noon, ran to the store, and was back in bed by 5pm where I mapped for three hours. I am really hoping that this passes soon! It is getting harder and harder to explain to those who do not know about this pregnancy why all of a sudden I am always unable to do things...or always tired. Hopefully the farther we get into the second trimester, the better this will get.

    I am absolutely terrified about my NT scan coming up on Tuesday. I can't stop thinking obsessing about the various outcomes. My husband is convinced that everything will be fine and I really hope that he is right. We won't have the full results for an entire week so if things on the scan are "borderline" I will be living in hell until we get the results. The two things that I am concerned with is the actual NT measurement and the presence of a nasal bone. I have read so many things about the NT measurement and I really am hoping that ours is under 2.0cm so that I don't have to worry. Technically, if it is under 2.5 I really shouldn't worry, but I am not the kind of person who does well with "borderline high" results. Just give me normal!!!

    My husband and I are also debating when to tell everyone. He is still planning on announcing the week after next once we get the results from the combined screening, but I am totally against it. I now want to wait until 18 weeks before we tell. I don't know why 18 weeks, but that is the number that I have in my head. I honestly believe that I am just too scared to tell anyone. I am sure that if we wait until 18 weeks, that I will push it to 24 weeks and then 28 weeks and so on. I wonder if I will ever be ready to share our news. I told Dr. Braverman how I was feeling (being nervous) as he emailed me yesterday to check to see how I was doing. He said that given everything that I have been through, I will be nervous until I am holding my baby in my arms. He is absolutely right...

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    11 Weeks

    I am officially 11 weeks today!! I didn't check the heartbeat today but yesterday evening it was 176 so we are still going strong. I am trying to only use my doppler every couple of days now as it seems that the baby isn't a fan of it. I could be totally off on this but it seems that as soon as I find the heartbeat and get a nice strong reading, it disappears. I shift the probe a little and I find it again only for it to disappear again. It seems as though the baby is running from it which I think is pretty funny. My doctor said it is safe to use frequently if I just check for the heartbeat so I am not too concerned.

    TMI Warning...

    I actually ended up back at the doctor today but it was for a very quick appointment. After my Pap smear on Friday I noticed that my discharge had turned more of a yellow color than the typical white or clear. I called late Monday afternoon and left a message with triage as Dr. L told me to call with anything and everything. He said that if I have a question about whether something is normal or not, that I should err on the side of caution and give a call. A nurse called me back at lunchtime today to talk to me about what was going on. I told her I wasn't overly concerned because if I wasn't pregnant I wouldn't even care, but I am being extra cautious with this pregnancy because of my past. She said that she completely understood and was glad that I called. She asked if I could come in this afternoon to see the nurse practitioner for a culture. She had to call me back as the regular OB side really isn't supposed to be seeing me anymore as I have been discharged to the MFM group (within their office) but since I have not had my first appointment with them yet, they said it was okay that they saw me. The NP was absolutely awesome and was so nice and reassuring. They did a dip stick on my urine and also looked at a sample from a vaginal scraping under the microscope and she said that everything looked fine. I apologized for wasting their time and she was so nice and told me that I did what I was supposed to do by calling.

    With all of this going on we are in the process of scheduling my husband's cardiac surgery. They called today and left a message that the surgeon wants to see him again prior to scheduling the surgery. This is actually a good thing as I have a few questions about how it is going to go post-surgery. We also found out on Monday that it looks like my husband will need rotator cuff surgery as well. We thought he had a simple calcium deposit but the orthopedic surgeon said there was nothing there and suspected a rotator cuff injury. He is being scheduled for an MRI to confirm. The one thing that the surgeon did say is that it is advisable for my husband to have the surgery prior to the baby's arrival. Apparently he won't be able to use his shoulder for about six weeks after the surgery and this would not be a good thing with a newborn at home. So now we are trying to figure out a way to fit in both surgeries between now and poor husband. I just hope that everything goes smoothly with me so it doesn't complicate things more. It never ends!!!

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    10 Things That I Cannot Live Without While Pregnant

    Back in July I wrote a post about the 10 things I couldn't live without while TTC, so now I figured that I would do a pregnancy edition.

    1. Chanel Makeup

    Yup, this is the same as last time. I have transitioned from acne caused by injectable hormones to acne caused by actual hormones. Not only do I have acne, but it is popping up in the strangest places. My upper lip seems to be suffering the brunt of it but my checks, near my nose, are also getting hit hard as well. In addition to acne I am also dealing with alligator skin. Not just dry skin, but the kind of skin that make you look like your entire face is peeling off which leads me to #2.

    2. Clairisonic Mia

    This thing is amazing!! I got this shortly after becoming pregnant and it is a complete lifesaver. I use it every night. Without it I would be too embarrassed to leave the house as my skin is just that bad. It exfoliates about 95% of the dry skin off and I am able to apply my makeup smoothly the next morning. I recently travelled for a meeting and didn't bring my Mia with me, and holy crap, my face a complete mess. In between meetings I was in the bathroom pulling off flakes of skin from my face. Love, love, love this thing!

    3. Doppler

    Without this thing I would be a complete basket-case. I know that there are a lot of women who don't like using these as they have difficulty finding the heartbeat, but this little electronic device has kept me from completely freaking out every time I convince myself that something could be wrong. Not only that but it also make me feel close to my baby right now. It just reiterates that there really is a little human growing inside of me.

    4. Meatballs

    This has been such a craving of mine. Meatballs with sauce, meatball sandwich, meatballs in soup. I love meatballs!!

    5. Pillow Pet

    Yes, I'll admit it. I sleep with the Pig Pillow Pet. Again, I got this after finding out I was pregnant and I use it to help keep me on my side while I am sleeping. I get these horrific round ligament pains at night when I try to roll, and using this to help prop me up so I don't have to use as many muscles, really helps. I know that I need to get a pregnancy pillow but I can't find one that I like. I bought the Boppy one and I hate it. I don't want anything to go under my head as I love my pillow. I just want something that encases me so I can roll from side to side with having to adjust the pillow every time.

    6. My Husband

    (Please pardon how awful I look in this picture. It was the middle of summer and my hair DOES NOT like humidity!)
    My husband has been amazing through this pregnancy so far. He has gone to every single appointment since my embryo transfer and plans on continuing this trend. He is also concerned with my comfort and willing to do anything for me...and the baby. He has starting calling me Mama and kisses the baby every single day. What more could I ask for!

    7. Pantyliners

    This is a repeat from the original list as well. At that time I was using them to catch the leftover goop from the Crinone (gross I know) but now I am using them for the wonderful symptom of pregnancy called leukorrhea. I have to be honest though, I would much rather deal with this than the discharge from the Crinone. Crinone is God awful. Even if you only use one suppository a day, you still go through a half dozen or so pantyliners a day. Not only is Crinone nasty, it also irritates that shit out of your vaginal wall. I still remember that I had a piece of Crinone adhered to the base of my cervix and my doctor had to go in and remove it with large tweezers and it hurt like a MoFo. You couldn't pay me enough money to use that crap again. Ugh!!!

    8. Monthly Pregnancy Forum

    I belong to a monthly pregnancy forum and it is pure entertainment. The hormones are raging and all these women do is fight and argue. I will actually get a snack and login for some good entertainment.

    9. Dyson Digital Slim

    I know this seems like an odd one but I am a hoarder of Dyson vacuums. Since my activity is a bit limited now until we know about the cerclage, I haven't been able to clean as much as I like to. Thank God we have a housekeeper as my fatigue has really prevented me from doing much, but this little guy satisfies me enough to quiet my OCD tendencies. It is very lightweight and sucks (no pun intended) like you wouldn't believe. I use it every other day to vacuum my hardwoods, my tile floors, and all my little throw/area carpets.

    10. My Little Peanut

    If it wasn't for this little booger I wouldn't be pregnant...obviously. No matter how crappy I feel or how scared I get, I just keep looking at all the pictures that I have of my little miracle and I am reminded of how much it is worth it. I am very grateful for this little being that is inside of me and I cannot wait for the day that my family of two becomes a family of three.

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    OB Appointment (10 weeks 3 days)

    First thing this morning I had my intake with the OB. I was so nervous about the whole thing as I wasn't sure what to expect. I was fearful that my history was going to get overlooked and that I would spend more time worrying about what "could" be wrong and what they missed. Dr. L. came in the room and I could tell that he was going to be taking his time. He was a very soft spoken doctor and moved as if he had all the time in world. I brought with me a two page synopsis of everything that has happened in the past including my entire surgical history and all of my medications. He went over every single detail with me asking me many questions. After we worked through my history I had a Pap smear and an internal exam. He said that he was a bit concerned with how my cervix felt but wanted to continue with the exam before we discussed anything. He then proceeded to find the heartbeat with the doppler but was unable to do so. He was moving the probe rather quickly so I knew he wasn't going to get it as I have to precisely hit the spot when I use my doppler at home and if I move or even breathe, I lose it. After a few minutes he asked if I would like an ultrasound and of course I was agreeable. A few minutes later he came in the room with the ultrasound machine. Immediately we saw the baby's facial profile and two little legs kicking around. He pressed a little harder and the baby turned its head right towards the ultrasound and starting flailing its arms and legs. He commented how active the baby was and was quite pleased with all of the movement. If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the baby staring straight at you with its two little tiny eyes (the head is to the left and the two block spots are the eyes). I measured in at 10w1d which is two days behind...still. The doctor said this is great as I am growing perfectly between appointments as I have consistently measured a couple days behind since my first ultrasound at 5 weeks.

    After I got cleaned up from the ultrasound goop, the doctor came back in and talked to me about how he would like to proceed. He said that he pulled my ultrasound from last Thursday and my cervix was measuring 3.0cm at that time. He said that this is the minimum that they like it at. Given this and my extensive history he said that I will now be followed by Maternal Fetal Medicine here on out as I have been officially deemed high risk...but I knew that was coming. He said that he wants me to see MFM within the next two weeks as cerclage placement needs to be determined and scheduled. He said that they tend to do them a bit later than most practices as they schedule them for around 14 weeks, not 13 weeks. I asked about how the cerclage and my diagnosis of a borderline cervical length would be handled with activity but he said that would ultimately be determined by the MFM. He said he doubts that I will be allowed to travel long distances but we won't know the exact details until I see the MFM. My NT scan was scheduled for the 16th but now that has all changed. They are bringing me in on the 14th for my NT scan, genetic counseling, and my first appointment with the MFM. I am actually being sent directly to the Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine so I am happy as I will be in the best hands possible. Looks like things are progressing nicely!