Week 11

March 22, 2010

Before I get started, I think it’s apparent that this blog has entered “Baby Talk” and “Wedding Chat” and probably won’t cease on these topics until the calendar has made that a possibility.  So, if you’re sick to death of pregnancy blogs (I don’t blame you), you may want to check back in later.  Otherwise, please continue!

On the whole “To LEEP, or Not To LEEP” debate, I’ve made my final decision … no LEEP procedures while there is a bun in the oven.  The risks outweigh the urgency to act if you ask me, and since it’s my body I’m sticking with this decision.  However, just to appease those involved (hi Mom and City Boy!) I’ve got two follow-up appointments this week.  One tomorrow with a new Gyn. Oncologist and one on Thursday with my usual Oncologist. 

Which just brings up another point.  If my past year has taught me anything that is worth passing on, it is this:

1.)     When the doctor tells you that you have abnormal, pre-cancerous cells … don’t just sit around and watch what they do.  Be proactive and get them removed, because if you wait you could end up pregnant and then you’d be in my hot mess.

2.)     Planning a wedding, having a baby, dealing with concepts such as “cancer”, and switching careers (possibly) within a 6 month time frame is over whelming.  Don’t let the colorful, glossy brochures fool you.  There is nothing romantic about puking while brushing your teeth, or purchasing maternity pants and wedding bands on the same day.

3.)     But despite my overall jovialness as of late, I know how lucky I am.  My baby appears to be happy (yay!  11th week started today!), my man is ecstatic about what we’ve done and what we’re doing, and my family and friends are supportive.  I guess I’d feel a little more panicked if the City Boy and I hadn’t already been engaged and planning a wedding when our little surprise came to us … and you know that whole shameful and taboo topic of getting pregnant before you’re married?  I don’t have time for that Jazz.

It seems my only complaint about the timing of it is just that … the timing.  My face has morphed into its “pregnancy look”.  Blemish-ridden skin, my eyes seem to look more “buggy”, I’m carrying more fluid in my cheeks and neck.  My hair has lost its “OOMPH!”  It just sort of hangs there, and won’t hold its usually natural curl for shit.  It’s topics such as this that sort of take the fun out of wedding planning for me, and I’m just ready to get it over with.

Luckily, my dress fits and looks great!  It’s still being worked on (needs about a foot taken off the length) but I have my final fitting in 2 weeks and I can’t wait!!

Also?  I’ve got another ultrasound coming up on April 6th.  It’s a screening for Down Syndrome.  However, if I were to be honest I would tell you that the only reason I’m doing it is for the chance to see that adorable kid again!  In this screening, they’re going to take a little bit of my blood and analyze it.  Then, they’re going to measure the amount of fluid behind the baby’s neck.  Apparently, Downs babies have more fluid present than “normal babies”.  It’s completely non-invasive though.  It’s just a visual measurement, so the accuracy is probably not very reliable.  Like I said, I just want to see the kid.  We really don’t have any of the risk factors for Down Syndrome, and even if our child did have chromosomal abnormalities, it wouldn’t change anything for us.

In the meantime, it’s more crackers and moaning & groaning for me.  I am hopeful that the nausea and overall crappiness will ease up this week.  I have not been a very fun person to live with lately.  And honestly … I’m pretty sick of the couch!  I am ready for some energy and feeling of well being.  This loafing around like a lazy ass is getting quite old.

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First Ultrasound

March 16, 2010

It seems there’s always bad news to accompany the good nowadays, am I right?  And since I am bursting at the seams to share this beautiful and sad news, here is goes.

This morning was my first scheduled ultrasound.  We just closed on Week 9 and are beginning Week 10 in pregnancy one, and I’ve been sick as a dog.  Well, sick as a dog that isn’t exactly throwing up but is instead manifesting her sickness through a combination of food aversion, anxiety attack, depression, and all around lazy bitchiness.  I’m hot – then I’m cold.  I’m sorry – then I’m mean.  I’m happy – then I’m sad.  Poor City Boy … I don’t even like putting up with myself for crying out loud!  I honestly don’t know how he can stand it!!

Knowing the big ultrasound was scheduled for today, I naturally began having bad dreams about a week ago that the baby has died.  I imagined laying on the exam table and the tech not being able to find the baby.  No heart beat.  At the time it seemed like an omen.  So, I started sinking into a funk, telling myself that I am silly to think I could have a baby.  “Not ME!  Why am I getting my hopes up?  Don’t I know that babies are for OTHER people?!?”  And so it went until I had driven myself into such despair that I remained in my pajamas, on the couch from Saturday night until Monday late afternoon.  Wallowing in self pity and impending doom.

This morning, I tried to keep calm.  The City Boy was unable to get the morning off, so my grandparents attended the inaugural ultrasound with me.  My heart was in my throat as the tech squirted the hot goop onto my belly and started twirling the wand around.  “Remain calm”, I thought to myself.  “Don’t get excited.”  Suddenly, I saw a little blob on the screen.  “Could it be? … Could it be?  YESS!!  It is!!  A little person!!”  I watched as the tech tried to get several measurements and each time the estimated gestational age reading at the bottom of the monitor stated 8 weeks and some odd days.  At first I thought nothing of it, but then I started thinking … maybe the baby is dead, and it hasn’t grown since I was 8 weeks along.  Maybe I’m looking at the corpse of my little baby and my body hasn’t started the whole elimination sequence yet.  This morbid line of thinking continued for several more minutes, as I just watched the different views of the little body.

Suddenly, my brain returned to normal and I remembered to ask about the heartbeat.  Suddenly, the tech hit some MAGICAL button which released this BOOMING heart beat into the room.  And then, on the bottom of the monitor I could see the heart beat being charted across the screen.  180 beats per minute!  That’s my kid alright!  Stellar cardiovascular health, of course!

So, that was the fun part of the appointment.  Baby is alive, baby is thriving, baby is the cutest thing ever!   See how photogenic?!? 

Then, it was into the examination room to meet with the doctor about a little thing called high grade cervical dysplasia.  As I have discussed here, I was diagnosed with this vile condition on Christmas of 2008, and have since then been seeing a gynecological oncologist.  Her mentality regarding my state is to continue monitoring the dysplasia via regular pap smears, colposcopies and biopsies (when necessary) to make sure the cells are not spreading or morphing into invasive cancer cells.  According to her (and she has many years of research to back this up) many women’s bodies, if allowed the time to do so, will fight the damaged cells and sometimes reverse completely without the need for invasive procedures.  Therefore, she has taken the “let’s keep an eye on it” mode of operation.

Well, my ob/gyn has a difference approach.  He wants to perform a LEEP procedure like, YESTERDAY!  He immediately began telling me that his job is to treat ME, and the pregnancy SECOND.  “What good is having a baby if you die of cancer and can’t take care of it? Blah Blah Blah.”  I asked why we couldn’t just wait until AFTER the baby is born to go through with a LEEP and he gave me a bunch of crap about the cells progressing into cancer by then.  Ah, the beauty of having SEVERE dysplasia versus just “run of the mill” dysplasia.  So, if we perform the LEEP now, we run the risk of miscarriage.  If we perform the LEEP at 20 or so weeks, we run the risk of pre-term labor, and in either case we have the probability of incompetent cervix.

We debated for a few minutes on the topic.  I understand his point of view … it’s better to have a miscarriage now than to lose the ability to EVER have children, and perhaps risk my life (even though that seems highly doubtful to me) but we’re not talking about a POTENTIAL baby.  We’re talking about one that already has a heartbeat of 180 bpm.  So, I told him I’d like another opinion.  With that, he called another oncologist and forwarded my records to him to have a look-see.

So, on Friday of this week I have a follow-up with my previous gynecological oncologist for a colposcopy and biopsy.  Even though I think she has a tendency to be too laxed on the issue, I trust her most at this point because she knows my case history, and can probably gauge my cell progression with most accuracy.

In the meantime, I will relish on the fact that I have a healthy baby that seems to be doing just fine where he/she is.  And until I receive adequate enough reason, that is where she will stay, with no threat of messing with her cozy little environment.  HOWEVER, if you know of anyone who HAS gotten a LEEP procedure during pregnancy, please let me know how it turned out.  Miscarriage?  Pre-term delivery?  Healthy baby?


What do you feed a ravenous bear in your kitchen? Whatever it wants!

March 2, 2010

FREAK OUT MODE!  Are you aware that we are now down to 39 days before we’re going to get married?!?  Thirty-nine days to go … that’s IT!  Hallelujah!  It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a little applied pressure.  Since February 12th (merely 18 days ago) I have survived the following:

  • Settled on a location for the reception
  • Changed mind twice, but finally decided on a location for the ceremony
  • Finalized the guest lists
  • Made (as in DIY, Baby) invitations and mailed them out
  • Arranged for a block of hotel rooms to be reserved for traveling family & friends
  • Decided upon a reverend
  • Booked the photographer (as in: harassed my very patient photographer into changing not only our wedding date – twice, but the time and place, and arranged for a smaller package)
  • OK’ed the purchase of my sister’s bridesmaid dress – she got it for a STEAL at a bridal boutique clearance sale ($20, OMG!)
  • Decided upon a menu
  • Registered at Target (it’s easiest for everyone)
  • Started playing around with a center piece idea that is still in the first stages of planning
  • Began working on a playlist that is sure to be enjoyable by BOTH sides of the families (working with generational as well as genre and racial differences.  A lesser woman may crumble under this pressure, but not I because?  Because?  Well, mainly because I like all kinds of music, as does most of my family, so we’re good to go and it really isn’t as big a challenge as I originally anticipated.)
  • Took my dress in to be altered because my retarded self gained 10 pounds PRIOR to becoming pregnant.  Tsk, Tsk.  A second fitting is scheduled for 2 weeks from now … hopefully we’ll be all set then.

Just now, as I wrote out my list of accomplishments, I began feeling pretty good about myself.  Very proud, actually.  I mean, not only did I get more accomplished in 18 days than in the past 12 MONTHS of wedding planning, but I did it while suffering from pretty intense hormone-induced craziness and nausea.  But, just as I began the internal celebrating, I remembered all that I still have to accomplish:

  • Buy ties for the boys’ suits
  • Finalize vows (we’re going to write our own)
  • Rent tablecloths for the tables
  • Determine layout of reception/ceremony
  • Confirm photographer will shoot us at Krohn’s Conservatory prior to the wedding
  • Finalize centerpieces and decorations
  • Decide on flowers
  • Purchase wedding bands
  • Arrange travel to and from Cincinnati for the nuptials (I would rather drive so we can bring our gifts home with us)
  • Call the usual dog sitter to keep our baby Pieter while we’re away
  • Call the Kenton County Clerk of Court to determine the marriage license process.  I believe there’s a 3-day waiting period, but need to find out for sure
  • Buy shoes
  • Finalize play list
  • Decide what to do with my mop.  (NOTE: While prenatal vitamins do make your hair grow faster and shinier, the pregnancy hormones have STRIPPED my hair of its usual life and fullness.  It just hangs there looking gross)
  • Decide on make-up.  This would normally not even cross my mind until the morning of the wedding, but again – hormones – have left my face looking like a teenager’s … dark purple under-the-skin blemishes.  Blecht.

I’m sure there’s more, but I’m beginning to get sick thinking about all that has to be accomplished in 39 days. 

***

In a pregnancy related note … I started Week 7 yesterday.  This past week has been so nauseating, and not only does my body not tolerate the hormones as well as I had hoped, neither does my usually easy-going personality.  I’m afraid I’ve turned into somewhat of a bitch where the City Boy is concerned.  For some reason, it’s like everything he does makes me feel sick.  When he talks, when he eats, when he moves.  Don’t get me wrong, I WANT him around.  I miss him when he’s at work, or the gym, or in the bathroom … but you wouldn’t know it to see me when he IS around.  I feel so guilty about it. 

Last night I had a dream that he left me … 3 days before the wedding … at our rehearsal dinner.  He took off with a blonde chick, and he apparently felt no remorse for abandoning me and the baby.  He was tired of my antics and didn’t care who knew it.  Sigh. 

I justify my poor behavior because I do at least ACKNOWLEDGE that I’m not being very nice.  I apologize to him almost daily, and he has been GREAT at being patient and understanding.   I bought him a pregnancy book for Fathers-To-Be, and he’s been so cute about reading it and telling me all the little facts he is learning (for example, did you know that the cervix dilates to 10 centimeters during labor?  I know!  What a shocker!!)

What is really stupid about my behavior is that when there is no one physically around to complain to, I usually resort to whining on Facebook, and the women who have already gone through this are incredibly supportive.  Everyone tells me what worked for them to alleviate the nausea … lemonade, Sour Patch Kids candy, peppermint, apples, hot baths, etc.  I’ve tried some of them, but they don’t do anything, and some even make it worse (see: lemonade & Sour Patch Kids).  What I’ve found works the best is Campbell’s Select Harvest soup.  Any flavor.  One bowl of soup and I’m comfortable for about an hour, which is awesome!

Today, I’m experiencing something strange and worrisome though … no nausea and no cramping.  The boob pain is still kicking strong, but I’m all quiet on the abdominal front.  I mean … here it is after 1 in the afternoon, and I’ve been feeling fine all day … that just can’t be right, can it?

I’ve texted with my best friend who works in Labor & Delivery and she says as long as there is no spotting, no bleeding & my boobs still hurt that I’m probably fine.  Just to keep an eye on it for the next day or so.  So, that’s what I’m doing.  I can’t believe I’ve got an entire month to go before I am technically in the clear from miscarriage worries.

The thought of losing this baby now seems so unfair.  A miscarriage in the first two to three weeks?  Sure, that seems more plausible.  But now?  When she’s got her little arm buds and heart chambers forming?  Just when she’s doing so well, and about to form little eyeball sockets?  No fair!  So, we’ll just keep thinking positive thoughts and visualizing our healthy little baby coming to join us in just over 7 months.  I guess that’s all we can do anyway, right?

I’m sorry, but no matter how much I talk about it I just can’t really wrap my brain around the fact that we’ve only got 7 more months of being two people who can do whatever we want.  I can day dream about what I think our life will be like this time next year, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to guess what reality we’ll be faced with.  Plus, living nearly 1,000 miles away from family makes the imagining just THAT much harder.  What will our daily life look like? Drawing a blank here … I can’t even speculate.

Does anyone else have that problem?  It seems that BEFORE I got pregnant, we used to talk all the time about what we think our children will look like.  What their personality will be.  What our life will be like.  But, now that this life is technically already HERE, we just can’t see it yet, I think it’s a bit WRONG to put our expectations on it.  I mean, what if we spend the entire pregnancy picturing our child to look like THIS, and then when it’s not what we expect will we be disappointed?  I don’t know … I just think it’s disrespectful at this point to put our expectations out into the world about a person who already exists.  I just want the baby to be HIMSELF or HERSELF … whatever that may be.  I don’t want to start my parental life by already not accepting my child.

Jeez, could I sound ANY MORE HIPPI-ISH?  Hormones.  Blame it all on the hormones.