Friday, May 17, 2013

19 Weeks: Anatomy Scan and Baby Kicks

Since I've decided to wake up for no reason at 4:45 in the morning today, I figured I'd write my blog post for this week.

On Monday, we had our genetic counseling and anatomy scan. I was super excited to get to see the baby again, since every time I can see him, I feel like it is becoming realer and realer.

First, we had genetic counseling, due to the anti-depressant medication that I am on. The counselor assured me that at my hospital, they have yet to have a baby born with complications due to a mother taking this medicine, and that in general, scientific studies don't show any complications either. It was very reassuring to hear this, especially since OBs are quick to jump down one's throat about continuing anti-depressants through pregnancy, mostly because they don't really know the background of the medication, just the class of the medication. While I have been assured by my psychiatrist and my RE that it wouldn't be a problem, it was nice to hear it from another medical professional.

Next, we had the actual scan. This is the scan where they look at all of the baby's major parts and organs to assure they are growing correctly. It is also usually when gender is revealed. For the most part, the baby was cooperative, except for the fact that he was VERY wiggly and was moving around everywhere, so the sonographer had to chase him down with the doppler to keep up with him. Everything looked okay, and he is still very much a boy. They couldn't get a good look at his heart because he wouldn't stay still long enough, so we have to go back again in three weeks to get another scan done to check on his heart.

Here's a picture of the boy sticking his tongue out because he's already a brat. <3

Speaking of moving around a lot, I've been trying to get my husband to feel the baby moving, since I started to feel him from the outside a week or so ago. This is not as easy as it sounds. First off, the baby is still small (he's 8 ounces according to the last scan!), so you sort of have to press down on my abdomen to be able to feel him from the outside. Pressing on my stomach freaks my husband out, so the first few times I tried to get him to feel, he'd freak out after about thirty seconds and give up. And anyone who has ever been pregnant or around a pregnant woman at this stage knows that that the baby doesn't move around all the time, so you have to keep your hand there for a little bit and wait.

I explained this to the husband and told him to be more patient, but my husband is not a patient man. I so desperately wanted him to feel the baby and be a part of this. I feel so selfish being the only one who can experience the baby rolling about and kicking me. So, I tried again last night while we were watching TV, but, as soon as I sat next to him to get him to feel, the baby stopped moving again. That, or  he moves up too far in my uterus so I can't feel him as much since I'm a fluffy girl. :P For the most part, he stays down low in my pelvis, which is when I can feel him from the outside. Sometimes, I can even feel where his little body is from the outside, and last night, I put B's hand on the left side of my pelvis, where baby usually hangs out and had him press down because you can feel the hard little bump of a baby. That freaked him out. Of course, he says something ridiculous like, "I can't tell if that's the baby or your guts."

As we were going to bed last night, I started to feel the baby getting ready to roll over. The rolling sensation is the strangest sensation of them all. So, I grabbed B's hand and pressed it down on my pelvis and told him to wait. We waited for about a minute before the baby firmly gave a kick or two, and I know that my husband felt it that time because I could feel it with my hand being on his, and because of the shocked, lingering silence to follow.

I laughed and asked him if it is not the coolest thing ever. And the first thing he says from this shocked silence? "Well, that could have been gas or something."


I assured him that it wasn't gas. I think, though, that the half a second of a moment was just so surreal that my emotionless husband didn't know how to process the emotion. I am glad that the baby cooperated with me, for once, and was able to let his daddy feel him for the first time. This experience just keeps getting better and better. :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Achieving Mother's Day: Words of Encouragement

Today is my first Mother's Day, and God knows how hard I've worked to get here. But I also know that I went through two other Mother's Days when I thought that being a mother would never, ever happen.

The first Mother's Day that passed by, I wasn't too upset.  At that time, I had only been trying for about a half a year, just at the point when I realized that I needed some extra assistance. Six months is average. Six months to a year, but I could already tell that my body wasn't going to do it on its own, and so could my OB at the time. So, I told myself that next Mother's Day, it'd all be worth it.

Except, that a year later, when next Mother's Day came, I was prepping for my first IVF treatment. I had just started the IVF cycle, and I was still learning how to do the daily injections. Three of them, every day, in my stomach. I recall asking myself over and over again how I ended up there. I remember crying night after night wondering how a 27 year old gets to the point when she needs this much extra help getting pregnant. I mean, hell. Women my age were easily achieving pregnancy all the time, why couldn't I?

That was a rough Mother's Day.

While I am overjoyed to be able to celebrate Mother's Day today, I know there are lots of women who read this blog and are still on their infertility journey to motherhood. I know that they are taking their shots, going to their multiple appointments a week, waking up from their egg retrievals and wondering when will it be their turn. When, God, will it be their turn?

This week was the second anniversary of my friend's husband's passing away. He died serving our country, and not a day has gone by that I don't think about the sort of pain and grief that she must go through. But, on his Angel Day, she posted this, and I thought was more than appropriate for my mommies-to-be out there to keep in mind as they too go through a sort of grieving:

God won't protect you from what he can perfect you through.

Remember this. Remember that right now, you are being perfected. Right now, your journey is serving a purpose. It is shaping you to be a better mother, whether it is for the very first time, or whether you've been a mother before. With each struggle we endure, we are further being prepared for a role we so desperately want to fill, one that we'd never take advantage of. With each struggle, we become closer to bringing a much wanted life into this world, one that we won't ever stop loving. One that has chosen us, from all the other mothers he or she could of chosen, because we wanted him or her so much.

Our pain has a purpose. You are NOT suffering needlessly. One day, you are going to be a mother. 

A work friend of mine, who has also struggled through infertility, and who has decided after multiple IVF rounds that she wasn't going to go that route anymore, is now holding her new, one month old adopted, newborn son. Her drive to become a mother didn't end, she just changed the means to get there. Family doesn't always happen the way we thought it was going to happen, and there are plenty of people who luckily will never have to know what it feels like to accept that you had to take a different path. But your path is going to lead you there. I promise you it will. 

So, happy Mother's Day to you, ladies, even if you do not think of yourself as mothers yet. You were mothers the day you decided that you'd do whatever it takes for your child -- a child you may not yet have, but you will have one day soon. You sacrificed your pre-motherhood lives the moment you decided that your child was more important and worth the pain you'd go through to get him or her. So, do not be too sad today. You will get there. You are going to get there. 

Stay strong.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Baby Kicks!

On Sunday night, for the first time, I was able to feel the baby move from the OUTSIDE. He was wiggling around in his normal spot, so I pushed down slightly with my hand and kept it there. And then? KICK! A kick! 

I totally flipped out and was so exciting, but the baby stopped before the husband could try to feel it. That's okay, because I know it's early, and he probably wouldn't even be comfortable with pushing on my tummy to feel it. 

But still. Another milestone! :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

18 Week Appointment

Usually, my appointments are on Tuesdays, so, when I called the office this morning to verify the time tomorrow, they informed me that my appointment was actually...well, fifteen minutes ago from when I called. Oops. I usually put these things in my phone, but I was so annoyed when I left last time, I forgot.

They were nice enough (even if Ms. Thang on the phone still gave me attitude) to schedule me at 11 a.m. since there were no more appointments that week.

The nurse weighed me (I gained a whole pound, everyone!) and then looked for my baby's heartbeat with the doppler. I had orange juice before I went there, so my boy was bouncing all over the place. I told her where he has been kicking, and it took her a little bit to get a reading on the doppler, not because we couldn't find the heartbeat, but because he wouldn't stay in one place long enough for the heart rate to register. He kept kicking and blowing the speaker out, then swimming away. Punk boy.

This time around, I saw one of the OBs and not the midwife. I am glad. From the moment she walked in, her whole attitude was different. I felt much more comfortable with her, and she was appreciative of what it took for me to get there, since her sister and sister-in-law both went through IVF to get their babies.

Anyway, my uterus is measuring just fine, and she said my weight gain (of a whole pound!) was okay because my baby only weighs about a pound. She's happy to hear my son is very active too. She gave me the paperwork to schedule my anatomy scan in a couple of weeks, and I'm also going to see a genetic counselor about taking antidepressants during my pregnancy. I asked the OB if extra scans will be done to make sure his weight is appropriate, since the drug I am on can cause low birth weight for babies and she said that they will be able to tell me more at my anatomy scan and the counselor will let me know if I will be having more scans between now and a couple of months from now to keep an eye on baby's weight. The OB mentioned that when patients are on Zoloft (which I am not) that they usually do more fetal echocardiographs to keep an eye on the heart, so that might also be what they might do for me.

I opted to get the quad screen done, which checks for genetic abnormalities (I'm too lazy to list them out). I was going to pass on it, since my NT scan came back okay, but the doctor told me that it checks on some other genetic disorders that the NT scan doesn't. So, why not?

She also told me that I should wait until the third trimester to get my pertussis vaccination so it will pass to the baby, who will get another one when he's born. So, B and I will be doing that in a couple of months as well.

All-in-all, everything is looking really well! Another appointment down. :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

17 Week Update!

It's been a little while since I've written a proper update, so here goes!

My son (and it is so strange saying that) moves around ALL the time. His favorite times to move around are in the afternoon while I am teaching, and in the evening, when I am watching TV or playing xbox. I have been blessed enough to have started to feel his movements very early, around 13 weeks for sure, but now it's much more present and intense, and they instantly remind me of why I went through all I did to get here.

In my excitement after finding out the sex of our baby, I went home and bought his "take home" outfit for when we are released from the hospital. Of course, I chose a Ravens outfit, since B insisted he wear a jersey coming home. Unfortunately, they don't make newborn sized jerseys, so this will have to do:

We are still working on finding a name for our baby boy. I only had a girl name picked out, and we were never set on a boy name. We found a name over the weekend that means "fighter" and we both really like it, so it's at the top of our list right now. We are not sharing names with our family or friends because our family is very, very vocal, and we don't want to hear everyone's opinions on the name we chose. They will find out the baby's name when he is born. :) So, please don't ask us about names, because we aren't going to give them up!

I am officially showing to the point where there is no more covering it up. At all. Sometimes, I struggle with this and reminding myself that I am not "fat" but "round and pregnant." Might sound strange to some people, but when a person already struggles with their body image, it's difficult to see your body change so much. I've taken to embracing my bump, though, and though sometimes I might change into twenty different outfits before I leave the house, I at least leave the house happy.

Here I am at 17 weeks:

We have chosen a doula, and she's coming over on Mother's Day (which I didn't realize it was!) to discuss our upcoming journey together. She used to be a labor and delivery nurse for many years, and wanted to become a doula because she wanted to work closer to mothers during their special time, and couldn't in her nurse position. She has also struggled with infertility, so she knows how important all of my choices are to me. She is technically a doula-in-training and offers a much cheaper fee than a certified doula, which is a happy middle ground for my husband and I. Doulas-in-training need to attend a certain amount of birthings before they can become certified, so I am happy to contribute to that!

I think that's all, really! I'm sure I have more to write, but I didn't eat breakfast yet, and I am starving. And since I'm not usually hungry at all, I seize the moments when I am and run with them. :)