Wednesday, May 28, 2008

13 Weeks!

We're almost out of the first trimester! Yay!

Here's what's happening with Baby J this week:

Baby J is about 3 inches long and the size of a medium shrimp. He weighs nearly one ounce now!

(Note to those who choose the images to compare the baby to: Please note that pregnant women have really sensitive gag reflexes, as well as food and smell aversions. Images of veiny, cooked shrimp are not what we want to be thinking about when we think of our babies.)

Back to development...Fingerprints have formed on Baby J's tiny fingertips, his veins and organs are clearly visible through his still-thin skin, and his body is starting to catch up with his head — which makes up just a third of Baby J's body size now. If we're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. The kidney and urinary tract are completely functional which allows the amniotic fluid Baby J has been swallowing to be excreted. Covering the baby’s skin is a fine, soft hair called lanugo.

Source: BabyCenter

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Screen Negative!

The genetic counselor phoned with the first trimester screening results today. Everything came back as a "screen negative"!

Our odds for Down's Syndrome went from 1 in 470 (based on my age) to 1 in 2700! Our odds for Trisomy 18 went from 1 in 1600 to 1 in 10,000.

So with a screen negative I can breathe a sigh of relief that the odds are very good we'll have a healthy little baby come December!

Friday, May 23, 2008

12 weeks!!

So I'm a few days late on this one but here's what's happening with Baby J this week....

Baby J is just over 2 inches long. He was actually measuring 5.15cm at the NT Scan at 11 weeks, 6 days. He's about the size of a lime and weighs about half an ounce.



Reflexes are the most dramatic development this week. Baby J's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. If I prod my abdomen, Baby J will squirm in response, although I can't feel it just yet. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder.

Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in Baby J's brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be.

I also took a couple of belly pics this week. Technically, I was a day shy of 12 weeks but you get the idea!



11 weeks, 6 days

11 weeks, 6 days

Heartbeats, Ultrasounds, and Dr. appointments...Oh My!

So it's been a while since I've updated. This week has been crazily busy. Monday we had to drive from one end of town to the other to take the IL's from the airport to their home after they were delayed on their return trip from NC. Tuesday was our first trimester screening that included the NT Scan. Wednesday was resting up from Monday and Tuesday, especially since I woke to bleeding that morning. Thursday was an unexpected trip to my OB due to said bleeding on Wednesday. While it had stopped for the day, it started up again over night and kept going until Thursday mid-morning. Currently, the bleeding is unexplained and the baby is perfectly fine. I'll continue to be on pelvic rest, rest in general, and no lifting. Of course all of this is going on while I need to complete a project for work. Go ahead...ask how that project's going. I may or may not answer you truthfully but I'm sure you can take a guess!

The first trimester screening went very well. The purpose of the scan was to measure the nuchal thickness, which is the fluid present behind the neck/spinal cord area. A few other measurements were taken all to check for Down's Syndrome and Trisomy 18. Our measurement for the fluid was 1.1. They consider anything less than 3 normal but we have to wait for official word when the blood work is processed. It looks like we're out of the woods for Down's or Trisomy 18, though.

The baby was being stubborn, not wanting to move around. The tech had to press on my belly several times with the transducer to get the baby moving. It took a while but the baby started moving all around. It was kicking its legs, stretching, jumping, and waving its arms. Prior to moving, the baby was just chilling out with its left hand raised by its head. It was very cute and you can see the raised hand in the ultrasound pictures.



In addition to the ultrasound, we've rented a fetal doppler from BabyBeats. With all the bleeding issues we knew it would be comforting to hear the heartbeat ourselves so we can keep an eye on things here at home. Thursday night we were able to get a good read on the heartbeat and have recorded it for friends and family to hear.

video
Some of the initial sounds were from the doppler wand but the wind-like sounds are from the placenta. The fast thumping/beating sound is the heartbeat and the bubble sounds...well, I have no idea. Either Baby J is moving around or lying in there blowing bubbles.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Frustration

I began to feel better, nausea-wise, on Friday. Y and I were able to enjoy a meal together while running a few errands Friday evening. The spotting was beginning to clear up so I felt a bit of time on my feet would be okay. While out, I stopped for a potty break (hey, what pregnant woman doesn't have to pee every time you turn around???). The short time on my feet started some spotting. Instead of continuing our errands we decided to head home.

Saturday, the nausea had returned but wasn't too bad. I only needed one pill to make it through the day. Y and I were back to scrounging for meals and not eating together. I spent most of the day with my feet up which seemed to be working as I didn't have much spotting on Saturday.

One of the few aspects of pregnancy that isn't discussed often is constipation. Yes, I'm going there. Just being pregnant slows down your digestion, add to that anti-nausea pills that can also affect bowel movements and you have one uncomfortable pregnant woman. After some precautionary measures to move things along, so to speak, I was feeling slightly better.

I was still feeling okay until about 1am Sunday morning. Y had woken and was sick. I went to check on him meanwhile my stomach was revolting. I thought I'd take some Maalox to see if that would help, but no such luck. For the first time this pregnancy, I was throwing up.

When I woke this morning I was bleeding again. Dark red and fairly heavy. I'm so frustrated. I did absolutely nothing on Saturday (aside from the wee hour incident). We tried for so long and went through so much to become pregnant and it seems I just can't catch a break during this pregnancy. I know I should be thankful, and heaven knows I am, it's just the frustration is mounting. Aside from Friday, I haven't had a nice meal together with my husband, I haven't been able to be worry-free for months, I can't lead a normal life running errands or doing housework, and it's all getting to me. I just need a break....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

11 Weeks!

Here's what's happening with Baby J this week:

Baby J is between 1 1/2 -2 1/2 inches long and about the size of a fig.

Is it just me or does the fig look smaller than last week's kumquat??

Anyway, back to development.. Baby J is now almost fully formed. His hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under his gums, and some of his bones are beginning to harden.

Baby J is already busy kicking and stretching, and his tiny movements are so effortless they look like water ballet. These movements will become more frequent as his body grows and becomes more developed and functional. I won't feel the baby's acrobatics for another month or two — nor will I notice the hiccupping that may be happening now that his diaphragm is forming.

I had an OB appointment on Tuesday. Everything was completely normal. All lab work came back as normal, my HCG level was sky high and my uterus is "getting nice and big". We also got to hear the heartbeat. Dr. S found it very quickly and it was around 170 bpm.

I'm on pelvic rest until I hit 14 weeks. I'm still spotting but she wasn't worried. Next Tuesday we have the first trimester screening that includes the NT Scan. I'm really looking forward to seeing the baby but most importantly, I'll be thrilled to learn it's healthy!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the Moms and Moms-to-be, I wish you a relaxed and festive Mother's Day. I hope the special ones in your life celebrated your life as a Mom and all the ways you keep your family running.

The latest update from the Infertile Myrtle...

First, I've taken a few belly pictures. I took one the week I got my positive pregnancy test, again at 8 weeks, and this past Friday at 10 weeks, 2 days. I was shocked to see I have a small bump! I really didn't think I had one until I compared my 4 week picture with 10 weeks. See for yourself:

4 weeks, 2 days(top) versus 10 weeks, 2 days (bottom)

In celebration of hitting the 10 week mark, my body decided to revolt. Thursday morning I woke to heavy bleeding... again. I called my OB's office where they wanted to see me immediately. I canceled my previous morning plans and headed to the OB's office. I saw the Nurse Practitioner again. She asked what had happened and told us she wanted to check on the baby. She said she was going to check for the heartbeat via the Doppler machine. We were at the first possible day to be able to hear the heartbeat externally so we were warned we may not hear anything. If that was the case, they would do an ultrasound to check on the baby. As scared as I would have been, I kind of wanted to see the baby so I was slightly hoping we wouldn't hear anything with the Doppler. I know, I'm a greedy Mom already! Anyway, it took a few minutes but we finally landed on the baby's heartbeat. That heartbeat was the best sound EVER.

So, the baby's okay but I'm back to doing nothing. I'm on pelvic and a modified bed rest for the next three weeks. I don't have to stay in bed but I do have to stay off my feet and have very minimal activity. To say I'm going stir crazy is an understatement!

In honor of Mother's Day I received 18 beautiful, red roses. My baby's gifted if it can order flowers so early! Ha!

I have my first appointment with my OB this Tuesday. I'm not sure what will be taking place at this appointment since I will also be following up from Thursday's appointment with the bleeding. I'd love to have another ultrasound but I suppose I can be patient until the 20th when we have our NT scan.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

10 Weeks!

Did you know Baby J is the size of a kumquat?? Why a kumquat was chosen as a comparison, I'll never know!

I've finally made it to 10 weeks! I feel like I've hit a milestone! I'm finally into double-digit weeks but still in the scary and tenuous first trimester. I awoke to some spotting this morning. I'm so frustrated. Just when I feel like I can return to "normal" activity the spotting starts up again and I'm back on edge.

Here's what's happening this week:
Baby J has now completed the most critical portion of his development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.

He's swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy.

Baby J is forming fingernails and toenails. Fine, peach-fuzz hair is forming on his skin. His limbs can bend now. His hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his heart, and his feet may be long enough to meet in front of his body. The outline of his spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his spinal cord. Baby J's forehead temporarily bulges with his developing brain and sits very high on his head, which measures half the length of his body. From crown to rump, he's about 1 1/4 - 2 inches long.

source: babycenter.com

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Update!

Today was my "establish your pregnancy" appointment. The staff for the NP were a tad confused as to what I had or hadn't had performed so far. It sure made me miss the competence and knowledgeable staff at Dr. H's office. Once the confusion was cleared up we were on our way.

I had a pelvic exam, discussed my history, and calculated my expected due date (EDD). Their office wanted to measure from my last period instead of insemination. My EDD changed from 12/5/08 to 12/3/08. I'm now at 9w1d from my LMP. I also had the requisite urine sample and blood draw, as well.

For the next three Tuesdays, I have appointments. May 6th will be an OB orientation class. Is it bad I'm hoping to get a bunch of goodies as a result?? May 13th will be my first full exam with my OB. I should get an ultrasound and likely hear the heartbeat. May 20th will be the first trimester screening with NT (Nuchal Translucency) Scan. The NT Scan is basically a detailed, non-invasive ultrasound to determine the baby's risk for Downs Syndrome/Trisomy 18 and can also detect congenital heart problems. A series of calculations, including a blood test to check the HCG levels and PAPP-A (Pregnancy Associated Plasma Protein - A), my age, and the scan results will determine our odds of the abnormalities detected by the scan.

It's going to be a busy few weeks! I'm looking forward to moving on with the next steps in the pregnancy and getting a chance to see our baby!