Monday, August 31, 2015

17.5...Baby, Maybe?!!!

So other than a little bit of normal aches and pains, Pico and I are just hanging out. I check for fetal heart tones randomly, if I have time at work, and he or she is staying strong in the 140 zone.  I LOVE that sound.  Truly music to my ears.

I have had a better week and half compared to the last.  Sciatica stuff is better, still there, but not a problem when I'm moving. I am very blessed to have this easy of a pregnancy considering how hard and long it took to get here.

As far as the bump watch, literally 3 nights ago, I was super achy in my lower abdomen and couldn't get comfortable on my side at all. I rolled over to my back, and there it was...a little bump.  It's like my normally soft belly hardened all of the sudden.  I love the idea of it being a baby, but I'm not so keen on the idea of just looking pudgier than normal.

My mom fussed at me because I don't like it when people tell pregnant women they "look pregnant." I just hear an insult.  Like the other day, everyone was commenting on my co-worker who is about 12 weeks ahead of me looking "really pregnant", "puffy", "swollen"....So tell me how that's a compliment?  I feel like you might as well say, "you look big and miserable..." I know I'm pregnant, cognitively, I'm not sure I've totally accepted it, but I don't need to hear that I "look pregnant" because I don't want to be told I'm puffy, swollen, bloated or fat...just sayin'... My mother says I'm being too hard on people.

It's a love/hate thing with the showing.  I can hide behind a computer and tell people I'm pregnant, but I feel like telling people I'm pregnant in person is damning the pregnancy.  Like the odds of something bad happening increase with everyone that knows.  It's just infertility patient ridiculousness, but it seems real to me.  I'm still very anxious, worried, scared, and concerned that each day is the day the shoe drops, and I lose Pico.

So anyway at 17.5 I am...

up 3 lbs for a net gain of maybe it's not a baby bump...*sigh*
craving...nothing I don't have access, too.  So it's not much fun...I still haven't had to make a food run for something I just HAD to have...but I'm enjoying raw cucumber, when it's available...
averse to sleeping on my side apparently... I end up either flat on my back or face-down with one knee hitched up by my side so I'm not totally compressing my belly, but even with a body pillow, I'm struggling with the side sleeping.
in love with the idea that this could be really happening!!!

Peace, Love, and Bumps,

Mary Katherine

Thursday, August 20, 2015


I am 16 weeks pregnant...I don't believe it. I seriously feel like I'm faking my own pregnancy with no belly, feeling movement, or symptoms. But then I hear that sweet, sweet heartbeat, and I'm satisfied that everything is going okay.  And then hours later, I have no clue.

I had a 16 week appointment, another ultrasound, and a quad screen drawn. We entered the age of my egg donor and alerted the lab this was a baby conceived from egg donation.  I really had almost talked myself out of even having it done, but things change.  My confidence has been rocked in the last couple of weeks. Not because of anything happening to me, so much, but I have a sister in infertility who showed up for her anatomy scan expecting to see her beautiful baby boy and to finally see her baby's face only to hear the words "multiple anomalies" thrown at her.  I just can't...I can't even imagine the horror she is being put through.  It's a horrible, awful experience to go through infertility and miscarriage, but to have to deal with possible serious birth defects after finally getting your just seems all too cruel.  She, however, is a pillar of strength, and I hope she knows how much I admire her.  So if you have a spare moment of prayer, I'm sure she, her husband and her beautiful baby would appreciate it.

If you'd like to follow her story, her blog can be found here.

So pretty much, you go along feeling like everything is wonderful, but there is always that negative whisper saying "the shoe is about to drop at any time..."  So it's one thing to talk about genetic screening and a whole other thing to actually hold your arm out, feeling in even less control because this really isn't your genetics. I've pretty much felt sick all day. I should get my results next week, but I'm not sure I even want to know.

On the other side, my appointment went great.  Pico had an "excellent" heart rate. I'm pretty confident it was in the 140s, but they don't tell me these things, anymore.  I'm having to learn to be a "patient"...not an antepartum nurse, or a psycho infertility patient....*SIGH*

Dr. Bullen's medical assistant asked me when I was going to show, and I'm like 'you tell me!'  Dr. Bullen offers a gender scan to you at 16 weeks and then has the sonographer do some measurements on the baby's heart as well.  So we elected to skip the gender reveal.  We've had so little "good" surprises along this journey that BJ and I agree that this is something we can enjoy finding out the old school way when our doctor hands us our miracle.  So we saw a little more of Pico's face and he/she waved several times.  There were still only 5 fingers on that hand Pico showed us several times.  Pico cooperated a little bit better, but our sonographer was only able to check 3 out of 4 (I believe) views/checks of his/her heart.  All 3 were normal.  Pico got a little crazy at the end with the squirms.  Our sonographer reassured us she would check them again at our anatomy scan.  Which, by the way is not for 5 weeks.  I said f-i-v-e weeks...I'm seriously counting down the hours...I'm pretty sure I'm not going to make it that long without having a mental breakdown.  I mean, let's be completely honest, I am, at the bottom of it all, a super-intense, 5-year infertility veteran, miscarriage survivor who is finally pregnant...first you take away my drugs, then my weekly appointments,...we don't do "5 weeks".  So anyway...I go back in 5 weeks...

I can't say the last week and half or so has been fun and giggles.  I've had a couple of infections including a GI bug that wiped me out over the weekend, and when I finally started feeling better, I sat down to email my mother and couldn't stand back up because of hip pain.  I am guessing it's sciatica, only because my foot goes numb when I drive.  But it feels like I've pulled the majority of the muscles that surround my hip.  I've had sciatic nerve stuff off and on since my last few years doing gymnastics, so I have no clue if it's even pregnancy-related, but it's never been this all-consuming.  I can't stretch it out, work it out, ice or heat it away, so it's almost more frustrating than it is painful. However, I'll take this any day, all day so long as my "normal-hearted" Pico stays healthy.

So at 16.1 weeks I am...

feeling hip pain, cramping more frequently and increased anxiety.
down -15 lbs on my scale still -13 on my doctor's scale, but considering I couldn't eat for over 48 hours a few days ago, I'm doing ok.
craving...nothing in particular, I'm happy with just eating, thanks!
averse to GI bugs...very, very averse...
in love with sleep...Sleep is being mean to me again...3:30-4:00 seems to be my witching hour and I'm up and at 'em and exhausted by 11:00 am. Such is life, and I have so very much to be thankful for!

Peace, Love, and Normal-hearted,

Mary Katherine

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Graduated...Like it's normal or something...

As someone who works in women's health, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility patients don't have the best reputation when it comes to mental stability.  While this is earnestly earned because you're an outlier in the population if you need help becoming pregnant. People assume you are crazy until you are proven right, and then you're just allowed to be crazy because you are right.  As both an insider and patient, I feel I can support this theory as I am crazy.

So last Thursday, I had my blood drawn by Dr. Donesky and was given a sweet statuette.  He told me again to stop by when I had a "good belly".  I said I would see him next  My bloodwork came back where it was supposed to be, so I've not been invited back :( .  I've managed to stay away so far, but I knew I had an appointment where I would at least get to officially hear the heartbeat in less than a week. Next week may prove more difficult...

I had my 2nd prenatal appointment with Dr. Bullen today.  I had no clue what to expect, except maybe they would use the doppler to hear the heartbeat.  So when the ultrasound tech came out and said, "Mary" I looked to see who also had my first name...Nobody did!  It was like my name got called on the Price is Right!!!  I got another ultrasound!!!!

So as I got ready, I realized I was husbandless and pretty confident Pico was dead.  Tears started forming in my eyes.  Refer back to first paragraph.  Am I cramping? No... Am I bleeding? No...On the other hand, am I showing? No,..Do I have any clearly, baby must be dead because zero symptoms means missed miscarriage...because I read that somewhere, on something that I'm sure is the scientific equivalent of my baby's size being compared to a peach, lemon, fist, or nectarine this week.  So with my eyes squinted  and breath held I waited for something to show up on the screen. Lo and behold, squirmy little Pico was doing his or her squirm thing.  The heart rate was 142, and Pico measured at 14.1 weeks.  I thought I was getting pretty good at interpreting ultrasound photos, but Pico has once again earned the nick name.  I saw an arm the opposite hand, a torso, and the back of his head...

Basically this, but from the from
But I was too captivated by the little heartbeat to really pay much attention to the 3D happenings.  I was completely focused on that little flicker.  I mean, it's been a solid 11 days since I've seen it.  I am thrilled.

I met with Dr. Bullen which he looked over the ultrasound and said everything looked great. He then asked me if I had any questions, and I couldn't think of anything except 'when can I come back?' because I was all like "my baby is alive!" I did ask if he would order a progesterone level. He asked me if I really needed it, and I told him he could say no, 'but yes I need it.' He said, "No. [Stands up and walks away from computer.] We don't even know what it's supposed to be at this point, anyway." I'm sure I looked like I'd been hit by a brick, but he shook my hand and escorted me to the lab.  BJ really likes Dr. Bullen.  I do, too, in that he won't put up with my crazy. So that was that, and a few milliliters of blood later l was out the door. I'll find out if my vaccines have managed to work and my HIV status for like the 3rd time in a year (they're routine labs for us "crazy" REI patients, too).   Oh, I passed my drug test...I've become so jaded, apparently I find my own results thrilling.  NEGATIVE, YEAH!!!

Anyway, at 14.1 weeks, I am

Down another 2 lbs for a net gain of -13...Any other time of my life, and I would have gained 35 lbs by yesterday, lol
Feeling perfectly normal.  I mean I have migraines from all these weather fronts coming in, and I have an abscessed tooth for me...normal...only I'm pregnant, so I can't do anything but takeTylenol and antibiotics, which are little to no use for a migraine.
Craving...NOTHING...I'm going to start making stuff up for BJ to get...
Averse to...I'm not sure I'll ever eat Progresso soup again n my life.
In Love With...paddleboarding with the pup-pup.  She's been my partner in crime the last couple of weeks, and I can't stand leaving her for work.  Perhaps she can be the floor's part-time therapy dog...Emma Grace, I lub-a-dub you!!!

Peace, Love, and Just Say 'No' to Crazy...apparently,
Mary Katherine