Saturday, December 31, 2005

16 weeks, 5 days

I had a quick visit with the OB today. My blood pressure was great and things are looking good. I am scheduled to see the perinatalogist in two weeks and will be getting an ultrasound at the visit. I had the lab work for the AFP-4 screening today. We’re not all that concerned with the AFP results and if something could be wrong. I had the test when pregnant with Ariana and it showed a false positive. I’ve since learned that there is a correlation between a false positive AFP and preeclampsia. That is why I want to have the test with this baby. If it’s negative, I feel like I could perhaps relax a bit more. If it’s positive, I know not to go insane with worry, but to keep on the lookout for placenta issues. Since the MTHFR blood disorder I have impacts how I metabolize folic acid, it is a slight concern for us.

17 week Baby Factoids --
At 4 to 5 inches long and about 7 ounces, your baby is roughly the size of a large pear. And she's ripening--the brain, muscles, nervous and circulatory systems, and urinary tract are all functioning. Amniotic fluid is pumping through her lungs. Her skeleton, composed of rubbery cartilage, will harden later.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

12 weeks

My blood pressure is low today, 100/65. I am showing protein in my urine, but we believe it to be due to dehydration. We were able to hear the heartbeat today, 168bpm. I got my flu shot. I asked when I should be concerned about the bleeding and he stated to worry if I’m having clots. We briefly went over the plan of care again. I scheduled for 4 weeks at the end of December. I’ll be 16 weeks along.

Friday, November 25, 2005

11 weeks

Last evening I had some minor cramping and spotting, and this morning the spotting became heavier. The cramping had become more pronounced as well. I called to speak with the OB on call, which happened to be the new OB. He had me come in to take a quick look via ultrasound. Jason was in the woods hunting, so I had to make arrangements for someone to watch Ariana while I went to the hospital. I called Jason to inform him what was happening and he informed me he had just shot two deer. Yikes! I told him to finish what he needed to and I’d be okay. I’d let him know what was happening when I knew something. My mother-in-law came over to watch Ariana for me, and I left for the hospital. I was trying to stay calm, but since the bleeding and the cramping were a bit worse than ever before I was quaking inside. Jason did meet me at the ER and came dressed in full hunting gear.

The OB came in and spoke with us. He did an ultrasound where we could see baby doing just fine! Jason thought “Spud” looked like a little turtle. “Spud” was moving both arms and legs. Doc also took a quick peek inside to see where the bleeding was coming from and apparently my cervix is super irritable. The bleeding is coming from the cervix itself, and not through the cervix from the uterus. He said I could possibly have the bleeding continue off and on for another 4-6 weeks.

My new OB was fantastic with his care and concern. Awesome bedside manner and he takes the time to listen to his patients. He did discuss what his plan of care would be for me, which he did not have to do. I have an appointment with him the next Wednesday, but he was more than happy to spend time with us. He thinks my chances for recurrence of HELLP is around 15%. He seemed impressed with my knowledge of what had happened to me. Since the hospital is adding a level III NICU this year, a perinatalogist will be seeing patients as well. A peri is a high risk OB who handles only high-risk pregnancies. The OB will have me see the peri in addition to him. My ultrasound for 18/20 weeks will be a level II ultrasound automatically. At 28 or so weeks, I will have baseline labs run to watch my labs for HELLP indicators. I will also have scans every 4 weeks at that time too, to keep an eye on my placenta. The minute I get a blip in this pregnancy, my OB wants to administer steroids for the baby’s lungs in case we do have to deliver early. I will also be seen for an OB check every two weeks, and if I want to come in for a urine/bp check anytime I can. That kind of care offers relief, and knowledge that I will be closely monitored.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

10 weeks

Here we are at 10 1/2 weeks! I'm feeling okay. Much better now that I'm off that yucky medicine. I still have morning sickness and the scale number is moving down, but it's livable. I'm very tired which people tell me is normal. At this point, I feel almost the same as I did with Ariana. My OB's office has a new OB start this month, and I made my next appt with him. I'm still coming to terms with being pregnant and not having Robin there. I think some of the grieving process recycled again as after I found out I was pg, I became sad then angry with him for not being here. When you have such implicit trust in someone and that person saves your life and is now gone, it's a difficult thing to handle. Many people do not understand that, and have shared so with me. But most of them do not have that close of a relationship with their physicians. We owe Robin so much and his loss is felt by so many. He was such a special person. I'm at the point where I am freaking out about being pregnant and what are we going to do with two kiddos. At times, I still can't believe I'm pregnant. I know everything will work out, but I still worry.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


October 2005
The progesterone stinks!! It’s messy, and starting to cause me problems. I have to wear a pad because of leakage issues, and since I don’t wear them normally, I’m not really happy to wear them now. I’m pregnant and I’m not supposed to worry about pads & tampons. The progesterone is making me incredibly nauseous. I feel like puking all day long, but holy cow is it awful in the evenings! Yuck! I keep telling Jason that this is our last baby, for sure! I cannot do this yuckiness again. He keeps telling me to suck it up, I’m growing a baby.

On Oct 25, I had a nurse appointment. She ordered basic labs and did a urine test. I am 7 weeks pregnant. My first appointment with the OB should be next week, she said, and that I’d probably have an early ultrasound to help date the pregnancy. She was telling me about the new OB that was starting in a few weeks.

Eventually I start having bleeding issues this month. Apparently the progesterone can irritate the cervix and cause bleeding. Joy. How nice is that? The medicine I need to maintain this pregnancy is causing me to bleed and freak out that I’m miscarrying. I bled a bit with Ariana, so I knew that things could be okay. However, Thursday Oct 27th, I had heavier bleeding that did worry me. I woke up and had quite a bit of blood. I hadn’t felt ill the night before and that morning, so I believed I was losing this pregnancy. Jason was trying to remain positive, but I felt in my heart that things were ending. I called the office and Tara got me in for an ultrasound that day. Thankfully, the tech was able to find a heartbeat. Everything I was holding inside rushed through me. Jason and I were both in tears at the sight of our little one.

Thursday, October 6, 2005


My labs come back, and my HCG is tripled. However my progesterone is a tad low, so the OB would like me to be on progesterone supplements. They order the prescription and the only place in town that stocks it is WalMart. I am so not thrilled about having to take these suppositories twice a day. When I go to pick up the prescription that evening, the pharmacist informs me that I can use these vaginally and anally. How exciting! I tell you, you’ve never seen a person so happy to be able to use the suppository vaginally rather than in the butt. Thus begins my fun time with progesterone…

Friday, September 30, 2005


I am one day away from getting my period, I think. All week I’ve been feeling cruddy in the evenings and Thursday Jason suggest, jokingly, that maybe I’m pregnant. I can’t say that the thought hadn’t crossed my mind, but I’ve been through this before. Because of this conversation, I decide to take a home pregnancy test Friday morning. And oh my! I’M PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!! The line is so faint, but it’s there. I am standing in the bathroom in absolute disbelief and shock. Am I seeing things? Tears are streaming down my face. I just couldn’t believe it. I had Ariana take the test into the bedroom to her daddy. She climbed up on the bed and gave it to him. Jason is just waking up and he kind of looks at the test with this “what’s this” expression. Then he looks at me. I said we’ll have to turn on the light for you to see. As I’m turning on the light, Jason gets out of bed to have a good look at the test. “Can you see it?” I ask. “Yes,” was his reply. I started crying again and we hugged. I told Jason that I know in my heart that this baby is a gift from grandpa. I believe he had a hand in creating this miracle for us. I was in a daze all day and thankfully it was a busy day at work. After looking at the calendar I realized that three years ago on Sept 29, 2002I discovered I was pregnant with Ariana. How cool is that?!

I was going out of town to MN with my mom over the weekend. I am so proud that I was able to keep our secret. We even visited baby stores, but I refrained from buying anything. It was a long weekend, but a fun one.

I called the OB office Monday morning to schedule a blood test. Courtney called me back and was ecstatic to hear our news. She had me come in for a quant that afternoon. As soon as she got the results, she called to let me know. My HCG is at 65, which is normal. She wants me to come back in for another quant in a couple days, and to run a progesterone level. Sometimes progesterone levels can be low in females who have fertility issues. My next lab is for Thursday.

I’ve been feeling full and crampy in my uterine area, so that is making me a bit nervous. No bleeding yet, so that is a good thing. I’m not sure on a due date since my last cycle was a tad long, but it looks like mid June 2006. I’m hoping we can make it that far with this pregnancy.

I have mixed emotions about being pregnant. Happiness, elation, relief, fear, sadness are some. Happiness and elation because we are pregnant. Relief from infertility. Fear of miscarrying, something being wrong with the baby, and that HELLP will strike again. And sadness that my old OB is not here to help me on this journey.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Well, I’m still not pregnant.

I had the HSG on Aug 10. I was pretty nervous, as I wasn’t sure how much cramping I would have, plus, what if they found something? I didn’t think the procedure was all that bad really. I was able to watch the entire procedure on the monitor. They found a mild plugging on the right tube and the radiologist was able tot flush it with the contrast fluid.

We’re hoping things will happen soon. My fertile time for September is looking to be the same as when I got pregnant with Ariana. The due dates would be days apart. Plus, we’ll be in a hotel in MN during ovulation just like we were with Ariana. How could September not be our month? I wasn’t really expecting to become pregnant in August, but this morning when I took a home pregnancy test it was negative. I really feel shitty. Why can’t we get pregnant? What is wrong with us? I still don’t have my period and it doesn’t come for many days. My cycles are so out of whack. They are not regular like they used to be. This month gave us a 35-day cycle. And that puts off my ovulation dates for September. Argh!

My grandfather’s birthday is September 1, and I went to the cemetery to visit him that day. I asked him to please bless us with another baby. I just let it all out and had a good cry. I miss him terribly, and know he’d love my husband and my kids.

Monday, August 1, 2005


July 2004-August 2005
Our journey begins late summer 2004. We’ve made the decision to bring another baby into our family. Ariana was almost 1 ½ years old and we wanted to give her a little brother or sister. We had gotten pregnant with Ariana our first month of trying, so we thought we’d get pregnant quickly with our second. Little did we know that month after month we’d be riding a roller coaster of emotions.

The first month came and went….no baby. Surely month two or three would bear the fruit of our love. The holidays came and went and still no baby. I had an appointment for a repap in January 05. It was abnormal again, so we scheduled a colposcopy and he took a biopsy, which came back okay. A week later, I was heartbroken to receive news that my OB was dead. There are so many unanswered questions. How could this happen? I had counted on him to get me safely through another pregnancy. We considered him a true hero and meant so much more to us than just being our OB. A truly gifted man and amazing physician. He is missed by so many.

In December, I had some testing for autoimmune disorders and the like, which can be indicators of risk for preeclampsia. The OB didn’t expect to find anything, but there were a few things that appeared not normal. I was referred over to a hematologist, which is weird because they are also oncologists. That can freak a person out when the cancer center calls about your appointment, especially since I was having the abnormal paps. It turns out I have a blood clotting disorder called MTHFR (methylene tetra hydro folate reductase), which increases the risk of blood clots in the arteries, blood clots in the veins, and may possibly increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. I have the good kind of MTHFR, which does lower my risks. There is not a great deal of studies done on these disorders and preeclampsia, but what has been done shows an increased risk for preeclampsia.

So, we are reaching our fifth and sixth month of TTC and we are facing a higher risk pregnancy with a different doctor. I admit there were times where I thought it just wasn’t meant to be for us. We should stop trying, I sometimes thought. Jason was always there to lift my spirits and for a shoulder to cry on when aunt flo made her appearance month after month.

Spring comes and goes, and our lives are changing. I graduated from college and my search for a job begins. This time is bittersweet as we were hoping to be getting ready to deliver a baby by now. But we’re not even pregnant yet. Each month becomes more and more disappointing. Why can’t we have a baby? What is wrong with us? We have friends and family members who are happily announcing their joyous news at this time. I am truly happy for each and every one of them, but I’m intensely sad at the same time wondering when it will be our turn.

We have friends who have had fertility issues, so infertility issues are not a foreign concept for us. I always felt that I was empathetic to those couples, but after going through it ourselves...I have learned that one cannot truly understand the pain and heartache unless one has traversed that road themselves. The cycle of hope and disappointment is tiring and the thought of taking a break crosses my mind constantly. I’m told that this is normal, but who knows. Taking a break is scary as what if that would have been “the month” and we missed it?

People around us either don’t say anything or try to offer some comfort. Some have told us, “Just relax,” or “You’re trying too hard.” It’s incredibly frustrating to hear those words. I know many do not understand, but it still hurts when it’s said. I’ve tried to stop talking about our struggle unless someone asks or it’s a person that can really understand.

July was our month, or so I thought. I felt like this was it! I even had a dream that I took a pregnancy test and it was positive! I was crushed when I started spotting on cycle day 28. Why? Why can’t we catch a break here? I feel so guilty for thinking this way as I wonder if it sounds as if we are not thankful for what we have. I am so thankful for my little girl. Sometimes I think my reasons for wanting to be pregnant again is to have that chance at a “normal” pregnancy. What is it like to have those anxious days of waiting for my water to break? What about that crazy drive to the hospital while breathing through contractions? What is it like to have visitors come and see you and your baby in the same room?

I worry that another pregnancy will be complicated by preeclampsia again. I know there isn’t a whole lot to do to prevent it, but having the knowledge of preeclampsia now is so empowering for me. We can handle whatever comes our way. Or so I like to think.

August 2005 kicks of with the start of my period. Yay, not. I scheduled an appointment with the OB and he starts a fertility workup. I had to have some blood tests run, and will be having a hysterosalpingogram done to check my tubes and ovaries. Jason will have to do a semen analysis. We don’t know what could potentially could be wrong at this point, but it’s still overwhelming to think that something could be wrong with my body. Jason expresses the same. The what-if’s at this point are so many, that we decide we just can’t worry at this point. We’ll deal with what comes.