Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Disclaimer: this was written last week but I'm finally posting it now. Sorry for the lag! I'll update you with current events soon.

I spent the weekend in San Francisco and early Monday morning I went to have my CVS performed. There were some complications because my cervix was an odd position so the doctor decided not to perform the test. He said to come back in 10 days and by then everything would be fine. But I did get to see lots of images of the wiggly niblet, who measured 3 day ahead of where I had it (previously it had measured two days behind). The tech took a whole lot of measurements, and the doctor said everything looked good including the nuchal measurement. Though it wasn't an official measurement -- apparently they have to do it three times and a lot of paperwork has to be filled out prior to that for state regulations.

Considering I was all the way in San Francisco, and missed half a day of work, and would have to come back in 10 days and miss a full day of work, I decided that maybe I'll just have the screening tests and not go forward with the diagnostic. Nothing so far has concerned the doctors with the baby's measurements or anatomy. It's growing well, it's heart rate is normal, everything seems to be progressing nicely. For the first time ever!

Best thing about yesterday was that I got to see a bunch of photos of the baby. Here's one:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

10w4d genetics counseling

Yesterday I had my genetics counseling appointment, which was preceded by another ultrasound, this time with measurements and a photo!  The photo turned out a little odd, it was difficult to see my baby on the abdominal ultrasound, as my uterus is not only retroverted (tilted back toward my spine), but also retroflexed (bent back toward my tailbone).  So it's wayyyy behind all my intestines and all the stopped up stuff within them.  Yuck.  She actually had to tilt the table so my head was down and my feet were up before we could see anything, and I told her to go ahead and press as hard as she needed to.  So she did her best to move things around and finally there was a small gap in all the gunk that was in the way.  So there again was the lil' niblet, wiggling and bopping around, being cute as ever.  She/he even brought a hand up to her/his head at one point, like it was scratching an itch on the cheek.  It was heart-melting.  

The tech, who also assists in CVS procedures, knew quite a bit and shared a lot of info.  She took one measurement -- the baby measured 10w1d which again is fine by my ovulation date -- and then measured the heartbeat (for my first time).  It was a whopping 174 bpm!  Perfectly healthy and normal for that age.  More and more relief.  As I write this I think it's just so crazy that that little heart is inside me right now, surrounded by that little wiggle-wormy kid.  Sometimes it seems like the only time I'm pregnant is when I can see that screen, but of course, that baby's in there and doing all those things 24-7!  I am really looking forward to being able to feel the baby.  I know I should be careful what I wish for though, getting kicked in the ribs probably doesn't feel too good....

The tech explained how the CVS works, that because of my uterus position, they would not be doing a trans-abdominal CVS (which I didn't even know was an option).  So it will be going in the way I thought they would, through the cervix.  She said the catheter can make 2 turns, and my placenta is posterior, so depending on the position of my cervix, it may or may not be possible.  We couldn't ever clearly see the cervix thanks to my intestinal gunk.

She sent me off with a goofy photo of the baby, and I moved on to my genetics counselor. The photo is goofy because you can only see part of it thanks to the gunk, and I think the baby was moving at the time, and we caught an odd angle of it. I think we're looking over its left shoulder.  It kind of looks like the Joker from Batman.  You can see its upper and lower jaws.  Later in the day when I showed the photo to my husband he said it looked like the baby was smiling, but I explained that we were seeing the jaws, not the lips.  The good news is that we can see the nasal bone.  Seeing the nasal bone is a really good sign, the counselor said, because it diminishes the chances of Down Syndrome -- DS babies don't develop nasal bones fully or sometimes at all.  So though it's kind of a creepy photo, it's gives some good information.  I wish I had thought to videotape the baby wiggling around. It's much cuter than that photo!

Really all you can see is the head of the baby facing 10 o'clock.  You can see what looks like a smile, but are actually the upper and lower jaws, and the sharp nose. 

I then spoke with my genetics counselor, who explained what happens in a CVS and the things that can go wrong with results.  There's less than a 1/300 chance of miscarriage from this, and it completely depends on the skill of the doctor.  My doctor is supposedly very good, and before coming to Kaiser he taught other doctors how to do CVS at UCSF, so that's encouraging.  I think the risk is more like 1/600 that it could end up badly because of the test.  Assuming that won't be a problem, I then have a 98% chance that everything will go as planned in the test -- there are issues that can happen where they get my tissue instead of the placenta's, for example.  Just a 2% chance of a bad reading.  They will give me an image of the baby's chromosomes afterwards if I want, which sounds good to me!  Again, I'm staying positive, and assuming all will be fine.  

So I will head to San Francisico for a fun weekend before I go to the appointment on Monday morning.  I'm looking forward to seeing some friends and getting out of town for a bit, even though it's just an hour and a half away.  I again am having to figure out how to handle hanging out with friends with me not drinking -- how to not get found out?  We always have wine when we're together....  Also, my stomach is on the verge of showing.  I think it's more poop than uterus, but you never know.  And none of the laxative-like remedies are working for me, so it will most likely remain a bit bulgey.  Here's my tummy:

My friends will tell you that bump is nothing new.  I've always had some flab there.

That is all for now!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

9w5d ultrasound! no ultrasound! well maybe....

Today I'm actually at 10 weeks exactly, but I started writing this on Thursday and I haven't had time to finish it until now.  If anybody is actually following my posts, then I apologize for the lag!  Here's the latest from 9w5d:

Today I went in for my next appointment in the series.  This time with a nurse-midwife who was excellent, and my husband along for the ride so he could finally see the baby.  As is his fashion he got there stylishly late and when he arrived I was peeing into a cup in the bathroom, but they let him in my exam room for me.  Then the nurse's aid came in and mentioned that it would only be a breast exam and some talking, so I only needed to take my top off and put on the robe.  I said, "But I was told that it would be another ultrasound!  That's why my husband is here!"  She said, "Then it's strange they gave you this midwife, she's not trained in ultrasounds."  She said she'd mention that I was expecting a U/S to the midwife, and she left.   I then fretted out loud while my husband tried to calm me down by reading every boring post he came across on facebook.

Soon the nurse midwife joined us.  She was a lovely woman, a little older than me, with a sweet, calm energy about her.  She explained that she's not well versed in the ultrasound machine, but she had brought in a doppler and we could listen for the heartbeat.  I explained that I had never made it this far in a pregnancy before and that I was just really looking forward to knowing if everything was OK or not.  Then I started to cry, which surprised me a little, but my hormones are crazy now.  Also, I thought for sure there was an ultrasound at this appointment and after three babies that stopped growing before 8 weeks, I was really counting on some proof that everything was advancing.  I managed to gather myself together and she examined my breasts (OW!) and then lubed up the doppler and applied it to my belly.  It didn't go so well.  It took a long time to find anything. At one point she said, "I hear it!" but she couldn't hold it there and we never heard it.  I told her I wouldn't be devastated if she couldn't find it, I figure there are lots of reasons it's hard to find.  She tried and tried again, pressing on my bladder which I thought was empty but apparently had filled right back up again.  She finally gave up and said she'd go get the ultrasound machine.  Yay!  

While we waited I suggested to my husband that he quickly google some images of a 9w5d ultrasound so that he can have an idea if what we see is on track, since we were set up to not have the best guide.

The aid helped set up the machine, then split.  The nurse midwife started the ultrasound and announced that I have a VERY tilted uterus, and this is why we couldn't hear the heartbeat on the doppler.  Apparently the baby is back by my spine somewhere, buried under lots of intestines and whatnot.  Tilted uteruses (uteri?) will un-tilt during pregnancy, so that's good to know.  Otherwise I'd have my pregnancy bump on my back, which would be most horrid.

Despite the midwife's lack of experience and my uber-tilted uterus, she managed to hone right in on the cutest lil' niblet you ever did see.  A sweet little side profile of a huge head on top of an equal-sized body, with little legs and arms, waving and waving at us!  She lined up the sensor over the beating heart, and we saw and heard it beating away, at what seemed to be a nice, fast pace.  Since this wasn't her regular thing, she didn't measure the baby, nor record the heartrate, but I figured I'd rather have that done by a pro anyway so we didn't have misinformation, and I do have yet another ultrasound in 5 days as preparation for the CVS.

Long story short, it was a great appointment even though it started off rocky, and I am feeling reassured for now.  I'm still going to wait until after the CVS results to tell family and friends though.  So from today (the real today, 10 weeks) I have about 2 weeks until I can let anyone know what's been going on.  

In the meantime, I'm glad I have this blog!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

8w5d glucose and hush-hush

I'm still here and still pregnant as far as I can tell!  The boobs just keep getting heavier and hurtier, I'm getting more and more tired, and I have another week to wait until I can get some reassurance that all is as well as I think it is.

Time seems to be dragging less, which I think is why I haven't written as often.  But I never did finish the initial appointment post, which really just covers making my next appointments.  I have 3 appointments coming up, one each week starting next week.  Oh -- but I did have something appointment-like this week, because my one hour glucose test came back really high.  It was 243, when the high end of normal is 140.  So the doctor ordered me to do a fasting, 3-hour glucose test, after eating nothing for 10 hours.  It consisted of 4 blood draws, one before drinking the nasty syrupy drink, and one each hour after for 3 hours.  I couldn't leave the lobby of the phlebotomist's office, so I sat and read magazines and books and tried not to think of how hungry I was.  One out of the 4 draws was virtually painless -- some phlebotomists are so good at what they do.

Rather than dragging it out, I'll just let you know that my numbers came back mostly normal, but the average is a little on the high side of normal.  HOWEVER, it was just Easter and there are a lot of jelly beans and chocolate eggs and other tempting yummies lying around the house right now (which may have escaped from my stepson's basket).  I usually don't eat a lot of sugary things, just one or two items a day.  So I am guessing I don't have gestational diabetes, just a surge of Easter candy in my system.  I hope.

Next week I have another ultrasound (at 9w5d), this time with a nurse-midwife who is a woman.  The week after that I'll meet with the genetics counselor.  They'll give me another ultrasound that day as well.  The following week (11 weeks) I go to San Francisco for the CVS which is a sampling of the placenta that they'll take as a diagnostic of the baby's genes.  So we should know a lot after that, i.e. if the baby is healthy and it's gender.  I'm trying not to think too hard about that.

One thing I haven't talked about here is the fact that I haven't told any family about this yet.  I've only told my husband and one old friend (as in we've known each other over 20 years, not that she's old), who is not nearby but I g-chat with her almost every day. (Also, last weekend a different friend who I rarely see whisked me away to Tahoe for a girl's weekend and I felt I had to tell her because why else wasn't I drinking the amazing wine she brought?  It's so unlike me!) 

After having 3 miscarriages, I just don’t feel like going through all the ups and downs and questions and getting other people’s hopes up, only to possibly have to tell them it didn’t work out yet again.  Also, this time I am feeling more sensitive about my age.  43 is on the high end of the age spectrum for having a kid.  I want to escape the possible judgment of those who may think I’m pushing my luck, or that I’m going to be so worn out by a baby, or whatever unsupportive things people may think.  Once I know that everything is OK, then I will tell people, and I’ll deal with all of that then.  But I really don’t want to go through it until I know everything is OK.

So for now I blog.  It would be nice if some of you would comment, so I felt like I had a community of sorts….  :)