Friday, June 22, 2012

1st trip to labor and delivery

I haven't been feeling great since Wednesday. I have had diarrhea a few times a day since then. Also, almost immediately after reporting that the little one has been so active, I stopped being able to feel her move much at all. In fact yesterday...nothing. I even laid on my office floor and drank cold OJ to try to elicit a response...but nada.... and overnight, when usually I feel her a lot...also nothing. I knew she was alive because of the blessed doppler...but why the sudden lack of movement?

Add to that the fact that we leave for vacation on a jet plane tomorrow...and I was starting to get very worried. 

My dear husband Will convinced me to call my doctor early this morning. The on-call OB called back and told me to come in to L&D and get checked out.

Which I sheepishly did.

Despite my embarrassment, it was interesting to see where I will hopefully not be back to for a veeeerrrrry long time. They put me in triage, checked baby's heart, took a thorough history (through which they kept so sorry about all the losses), and did an ultrasound to check her fluid. All was ok. And during this, Magpie eventually woke up and started getting really active. You could see her kicking from the outside! Why wouldn't she do that before to reassure me?!

The triage nurse was super validating, telling me not to be embarrassed. That I did the right thing. That if anything comes up again, she hopes I come back. Even if it means coming in over and over. Such a nice woman. The resident was also very nice and reassuring.

So all is good. It's been recommended I take Immodium to deal with the diarrhea on the plane if I need it. Also recommended that I work extra, extra hard to stay hydrated. Especially because it is so hot here in NYC the past couple of days.

So phew! False alarm! Hoping for smooth sailing once we actually get on this vacation!


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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quickening and 21 week appointment

I am feeling the little one quite a bit these days. It's been a few weeks now that I have felt her, but she is definitely getting stronger this past week. Yesterday evening she was very active, so I had Will put his hand on my abdomen and she gave two intense kicks in a row. His eyes opened wide, and he said, "Wow!!!" Yup, no joke now. There is definitely a baby in there. Mostly she feels like she's rolling and twisting around, but there is also some intense elbow and foot action going on from time to time.

I saw my OB this morning (21 weeks, four days) and all is still looking good. She checked the cervix - said it is still long and closed, checked for bacterial vaginosis - negative, blood pressure is good and low 115/65, and she said I should be checked again for the previa issue around 28 weeks (at which point she also wants me to do a growth scan) but don't need to check it before that. While we are on vacation next week, she advised me to call any time I am worried about anything. Said that I should call after 5pm to get a prompt return call from whichever physician is on call. She did an ultrasound, but I didn't even need it. I knew the little miss was alive because I could feel her squirming around.

I asked her too at what point they would try to resuscitate my little girl if she came too early. She said I have to get to 24 weeks. I'm certainly not planning on having Magpie join us any time soon, but it helped (and scared me a little) to know how far I have to go before they would try to save her. So at this point, I need to get two and a half weeks further along (gulp) for her to have any chance at all. I think I will be holding my breath just a little bit until then...exhaling a bit more at 28 weeks...then some more at 33...and maybe not fully until she's here in my arms.


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Friday, June 15, 2012

Magpie's 20w6d anatomy scan

We had a second anatomy scan this morning, just shy of the 21 week mark. First off, baby is still alive! Phew.

This time, we saw the corpus callosum, good amniotic fluid level, well functioning four-chambered heart, femurs, arm bones, hand bones, feet, vertebrae, cute nose and lips, intact palate, properly positioned cord insertion, and a three vessel cord.

They also checked down below and Magpie is definitely still Ms. Magpie, not a mister.

Cervix remains long and closed, measuring over 4mm (phew!)

The only potential issue they saw is that the placenta is somewhat close to my cervix. (1.9 cm and they said it should be over 2.0 for safety). So they want me back again in a month to check on this. I am not super worried about it at this time. It is close to 2.0cm, and the fallout if I have marginal placental previa is that I will have a cesarean. I would strongly prefer a vaginal birth, but mostly what I want is a healthy, live baby. However we get her here is secondary.

So I have to go back in four weeks to check the placenta again.

It was a long, long appointment, because the little miss wouldn't get in the right position to finish checking the heart and pulmonary artery. She finally did (after me drinking juice, coughing, doing jumping jacks, rolling around on the table, and lots of poking... but it took her over an hour!). Apparently, this is one stubborn little girl.

The coolest part is that my mom is here this week visiting from across the country. She hasn't seen me pregnant until now, so this in itself is super wonderful, and she came with Will and me to the anatomy scan and saw the baby up close and personal, which was very special. I took her out to Sarabeth's for breakfast afterward. All in all a great start to a Friday.

Here she day shy of 21 weeks...I still can't believe it.


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Thursday, June 14, 2012


There is much loss in the blogosphere this week. Too much to even fathom. It is devastating and terrifying.

Please go send support to Leigh, who found out yesterday she lost her baby unexpectedly at 16 weeks gestation.

And to Leslie, who lost her baby boy at 18 weeks gestation yesterday. Both of these brave women are undergoing inductions today.

Also, last Saturday, M. gave birth  - and had to say goodbye - to her triplets one day shy of 23 weeks.

Please take a moment to offer all of these women your strength and support as they go through unthinkable losses.


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

20 week belly pic

Here I am again...headless Mo. Still pregnant. Ever bigger. Oh my.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

The 20 week milestone

Reaching 20 weeks is a big pregnancy milestone. I am thrilled we are here. That the little one is still alive.

I had been doing ok with my fear levels until about a week or so ago...and then as we approached the 20 week mark, all hell broke loose internally. I became terrified that the baby would die before we reached 20 weeks. In my nerve-wracked mind (and in medical terminology), her death before 20 weeks would be miscarriage #7. Should she make it past 20 weeks, and then die, she would be stillborn. She would be counted differently, as my child, as having been here. Of course this is all semantics. Nothing magical happened between last Friday and Saturday. Same little one. Same emotional impact of her death, if that had occurred. But I felt so afraid that she might just get lumped in with all the other losses, and be, well, "lost" amidst my history of recurrent miscarriage.

Perhaps needless to say, but while I was in this terrified state of mind, imagining this little one making it full-term, and being born alive, and joining our family...well that was a tall, somewhat impossible, order.

In this strange, dark way, 20 weeks became this critical milestone to get to.

I saw the OB last week and immediately she could tell I was much more anxious than I have been. She wanted to know why, and I tried to explain. I ended up crying on the exam table about wanting this baby's life "to count." I could tell that I shocked her. I haven't been so emotional this whole pregnancy. I haven't let myself get emotionally invested.

But as usual, she was great. Reassuring, normalizing. Saying I've been holding myself back this whole time, and now it's hitting me. I am pregnant. There is a real baby inside of me. A baby I could lose, just like all the others, and have my heart shattered. She listened, she reassured me. She checked everything checkable. Cervix is long and closed. Blood pressure good. Urine fine. Weight gain fine. She had me list my fears again and we went over them one by one:

preterm labor
cervical incompetence

She said preterm labor doesn't happen this early unless I'm dilating. And I'm not. I look fine so far for preeclampsia. PPROM also almost impossible unless I start dilating. And cervical incompetence (which could lead to many of my other fears) we are checking for weekly and see no evidence of.

I have another anatomy scan this Friday. We will check on everything checkable. Again. I will get a cervical measurement done. My mom will be here visiting and will come with Will and me. I think it will thrill her beyond imagining to see the scan. This is her first time to see me this pregnancy. Her first time to see me visably pregnant ever. Another milestone.

I've been checking on little Magpie almost daily with the doppler. She's in there cooking. She's the size of a cantaloupe. She's doing fine as far as we know.

Her mama is a bundle of nerves but is hanging in there too. I just need Ms. Magpie to stay in there for another 8 weeks minimum.

Stay in there. Stay alive. Stay in there. Stay alive.

I repeat this to her in an urgent whisper several times a day.

So far, she seems to be listening.


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Monday, June 4, 2012

Belly pic: 19 weeks

Here by popular demand... a belly shot from this past Friday. Can you see why I am getting offered a seat on the subway now? Um, yeah. Weird. Hard to believe this is me.


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Saturday, June 2, 2012

FAQs: (In)Frequently Answered Questions

Herewith, the latest installment of (In)Frequently Answered Questions, a compilation of questions asked...with answers...
  1. How you are feeling pregnant? [asked from when I was around 14 weeks] Aside from the doppler, how would you know you are pregnant?  At 14 weeks, I had some heartburn/indigestion, occasional uterine fullness/pinching feeling (about 2x/week), ginormous breasts, food aversions (less powerful than previously but powerful enough), leg cramps, and bloating. Now that I am 19 weeks, there really is no question. I look pregnant. I can feel my uterus at times in my abdomen and it comes up almost to my belly button. I think I might be feeling the little one move occasionally. And I think I might be having the beginning of Braxton Hicks...sometimes I feel my whole uterus tighten up...doesn't hurt...just strange. I also have almost daily leg cramps, which are making it difficult to sleep, and even more ginormous breasts than I had in the first trimester (yowza).
  2. I've been wondering about the other meds you've been on (prednisone/claritin/pepcid). What doses? When did you start them? How long did you stay on them for? I took Claritin (10 mg 1x/day) and Pepcid (20 mg 2x/day) starting a week before transfer, and took them throughout the first trimester, stopping at 12 weeks. I also took prednisone 5mg 2x/day throughout the first trimester, also beginning about a week before the transfer. All of these were supposed to help with recurrent pregnancy loss and were recommended by the Denver clinic.
  3. May I ask, if you remember off the top of your head, how much was your Natural Killer Cell %? No chance I would ever remember this off the top of my head, but I looked it up for NK Assay panel had two abnormalities: CD56 (which was 2 points above normal at 14.1%) and CD19 and CD5 cells, which were 10 points above normal at 20.8%. I think if I'd only had NK issues, I could have used intralipids, but I also had TH1:TH2 abnormalities, antiovarian antibodies, a DQ alpha partial match, and leukocyte antibodies. Based on this, my RI recommended IVIG.
  4. What do you and Will call Lucky #7/Lance/Yumster? We call her mostly "The Baby." I know, not very original, but it gets the point across. Sometimes, lately, we call her "Magpie." I am not sure why we do this, but it seems to have stuck a bit.
  5. Have you kept up with the anti-inflammatory diet? If so - have you gotten used to it? I was religiously keeping up with this throughout the first trimester. I have to admit, I have slipped, and have allowed gluten back into my diet. The funny thing is that Will went on this diet with me because that's the awesome kind of husband that he is, and he has discovered that he now has major GI issues whenever he consumes even small amounts of gluten. He got the blood sensitivity test, and tested negative, but reliably, even when he is unaware of having consumed it, has major GI repercussions the day after any gluten. Me, the one with the supposed blood-tested sensitivity? Nothing. I feel great when I have a bowl of cereal or a piece of bread. So...well...yeah...I haven't been as good about it as I probably should be.
  6. Are you taking belly pics? If yes, can we see them? We have been very hesitant to take belly pics (it feels dangerous in some way, as though it is assuming we are having a baby, which might somehow doom the pregnancy). At the same time, I am sad we haven't been taking them. We took the first one a few days ago (after much urging from all of you!). I will post it later this week.


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