Rainbows

When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope. -Unknown

It was September 24th, and I’d just woken up from a wonderful dream. All I remember was seeing Roo, and she was happy, and I felt such peace. It was like she was giving me her blessing. Not long after waking up, I was able to write this note to Match:

That positive is the darkest I’ve ever gotten, and guys, I’ve been pregnant 3 times in NINE months, so I know these things. This wasn’t the faint barely line of my chemical pregnancy. It wasn’t the thin but distinctive line from Roo. This was positive before the control line, as if to say, yes, this baby is STICKING.

When I woke up Match with the post it note, after his eyes adjusted, and I verified what he was reading with the test, he held me and said, “This is going to be different. I can feel it.”

We experienced two blissful weeks where I was able to continue working out, and I showed no signs of discomfort or issues, except for the typical first trimester sleepies.

Then, one day while doing yardwork, at about 6 weeks 5 days, I went potty and gasped. There was blood everywhere. We rushed to the ER, where we ended up in the exact same room I was in when I first went to the ER with Roo.
When we got the ultrasound, the tech wasn’t allowed to tell me anything good or bad. I pleaded with him, “we haven’t had a chance to get the ultrasound, can you just tell me if there’s a heartbeat?”

He just turned the monitor to me, and turned on the doppler. We saw the flicker, and that wonderful thump thump thump.

Then we had to wait another 20 minutes to hear from the doctor. He checked my cervix and it’s closed, good news. But the bad news is I have what’s called a subchorionic hemorrhage. It’s basically the gathering of blood between the membranes of the placenta and the uterus. There’s no known case, and there is no treatment. The blood clot can bleed out, or it can irritate the cervix and cause a placental tear. The good news is the hemorrhage is very small. So I was sent home, with instructions for pelvic rest and to avoid any strenuous activities.

Once I got home, I passed a huge, quarter sized clot, which scared me to death. But after reading about SCH, I found that it’s really common to pass clots. It is just the hemorrhage working its way out of my body.

Monday the 15th we went to the doctor, where she did another ultrasound, and we saw that the baby was growing right along schedule. She prescribed progesterone and said to continue to take it easy until further notice. The bleeding has all but stopped, and she reassured us that it was a very small SCH and will mostly resolve on its own.

The other crazy thing was that yolk sac in this really bad ultrasound picture makes it look like there are two babies. But the doc assured me that there is only one.

As of today, I’m 7 weeks, 3 days with our little Piglet. Happily growing in my belly.

Doctor Visit and Hope

I love my wife more than anything in this world. And I… it kills me that I can’t give her a baby… I really want a kid. And when that day finally comes, I’ll learn how to be a good dad. But my wife… she’s already there. She’s a mother… without a baby. -Chandler, Friends

I think this will be my last sad post, at least for awhile. I’m ready to move forward and feel better. I know I will have my relapses, like when I go on facebook and Neighbor Girl and my cousin’s girlfriend have adorable pictures up of their belly bumps, and mine should be up there right along side theirs. But overall I just want to be happy. The doctor’s visit on Monday was really hard, but it also helped us both in moving forward.

I was nervous about the visit because it was of course a huge reminder of loss. The last time I was there had been so happy. When I checked in with reception she asked me how many weeks I was. I choked back tears as I told her we’d lost the baby. She felt so bad, and it turns out some jackwagon had booked my appointment as a prenatal. Seriously?

Then when I saw the nurse she asked me for my 2nd trimester paperwork. I wanted to scream, do I look 20 weeks pregnant to you?! But instead I whispered that I didn’t think I needed it, since I’d already delivered. That’s when she looked up and really saw me, instead of just another patient. She handed me tissue and squeezed my hand. After she left the exam room to get Match I just broke down sobbing. He came in and held me. I just couldn’t believe it was still so tough, and that my emotions were so raw. I eventually shook it off and the doctor came in.

She was wonderful, and so compassionate. She went over their findings, and unfortunately didn’t have any answers as to why this happened. She did pull some strings and got us in to see the high risk doctor that same day. He reassured me about my fears for my next pregnancy, starting with him not believing that my cervix was the root cause. I was so worried about a future pregnancy being stitched up and on full bedrest for most of the 9 months. He said he thought it was likely that the placenta had a tear or never properly attached fully, and it just was too small to be detected on the ultrasounds.

He said next time he would be following me closely, doing ultrasounds every two weeks, plus progesterone shots and probably not bedrest. He thought blood thinners might also help with placental attachment. I felt reassured, and I felt heard. It was a really good feeling. He recommended a few follow up tests which I will be getting, including a hysteroscopy. They’ll be looking at my uterus in detail to see if they can find anything that might have caused problems. I’m just glad they’re doing everything in their power to prevent this from happening again. I don’t think I have the strength to go through that twice.

We left the office feeling better about the future. We both know that next time is going to be full of worry and anxiety, but there will also be hope. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that we were meant to raise a child, hopefully more than one, whether it’s a baby we make, or one that we adopt and make our own. We are both filled with so much love and can’t wait to share that with a little person someday.

The One Where DG Goes to the ER

Duncan: Is the baby OK?
Anne: Yeah, the baby’s… learning to tap-dance I think. –Highlander

Friday evening I was feeling fine except for some slight stomach cramping. I had been a good little patient, resting all day with my feet up. I went upstairs to get ready for bed, went to the bathroom, and just about fainted. My panty liner was soaked with bright red blood and there was blood all in the toilet bowl. I immediately dialed the Kaiser advise nurse with shaking fingers. After describing my symptoms she insisted I go to the emergency room, and said I couldn’t go alone.

I called Match bawling. I have never felt so scared and alone in my life. He said he would try to get off work and come to the ER, but even if he could leave right away, he was still a 40 min car ride. I called Neighbor Girl, and thank god she answered right away. I barely had to get the words out when she said she was on her way. That 10 minutes waiting for her felt like an hour. She’s the friend who is pregnant too, just a week behind me so I knew she knew what kind of terror I was going through.

When we got to the hospital, amazingly there was no one else in the waiting room. They got me checked in right away, and Neighbor did a great job distracting me. We talked about anything besides what could be going on, which really helped calm me down.

Right as the ER doctor came in to do the pelvic exam, Match walked in the room. I was so relieved he was there! I kept apologizing over and over, and he just kept saying it wasn’t my fault. The doctor did the pelvic exam and said my cervix was closed up tight. WHEW.

Then he hooked up the ultrasound, and we saw our Roo, happily swimming around. My eyes immediately teared up and Match squeezed my hand. Baby Roo is ok, heartbeat is strong, the worst hasn’t happened. Then the nurse hooked me up to an iv, gave me fluids and they set off to run some tests.

smiling because we just saw Roo moving around. So relieved!

We ended up staying in the ER for 8 hours. They did a more detailed ultrasound to try to pinpoint why I keep bleeding. They ran all sorts of tests to make sure I didn’t have an infection, and to see that my blood counts were good. Everything came back normal. So the doctor was stumped. He sent me home with the same instructions I’ve had for the past week. Modified rest: try to limit my activity as much as I can, and try to relax. The placenta is in the right spot, my cervix isn’t too short or weak, and Roo is healthy, happy and protected. They even gave us a few keepsake photos of Roo. These are the most detailed ones to date! They may have also mentioned what they thought the gender is…but I won’t get excited yet, until we confirm it at our next visit. 🙂

The day felt like it lasted a year. I was awake for over 24 hours and completely emotionally and physically drained. Match took me home and took care of me, curling up on the couch with his hand on my belly. We both talked about how scared we’d been. I’m so grateful. I can’t say that enough. I’m just so very grateful. I don’t care if I have to rest for the next 4 months. I don’t care if I gain a 100 pounds (ok maybe I care a little). I just care that my baby is safe. We’re healthy, and we’re going to be ok.

4 Months

Sam: And now, since I drank five sodas before we started tonight, I must go pee.
Carly: Sam!
Sam: You want my bladder to explode live on the internet?
Carly: Ew, no. –iCarly

How Far Along: 4 months  (16 weeks)

Size of Baby: avocado

Weight Gain: I’ve gained a total of 4 pounds since the beginning. I know that number will skyrocket eventually. I sure feel heavier! The bump is growing every day and I’m starting to feel more pregnant.

Movement: I’ve been feeling these little flutters since around week 11. My tech said I would feel them early because of the tilt of my uterus. Whenever I feel them I stop what I’m doing and try to concentrate, but they usually disappear. I can’t wait until they are full on kicks that Match and I will both be able to feel.

Cravings: fruit! I blame it on the warm weather. All I want is refreshing fruit, the sweeter the better.

Food Aversions:
Nothing really. I have a healthy appetite! One problem is I can’t seem to make up my mind. Everything sounds good.

Symptoms:

Last week I had the round ligament pain which was sort of a pulling, achy feeling really low in my stomach. It felt like I had done a bunch of crunches. It was uncomfortable, but not too bad. It was nothing compared to what happened when I thought I might have to go to the ER last week. I can attribute it to my tilted uterus.

Apparently us tilted ladies have to be careful about letting our bladders get too full. I did this on the trip up to Ashland. By the time we got to the hotel I thought my bladder would burst. But I sat down and…nothing. It was the most excruciating pain I’ve ever felt (til labor I’m sure!). I had to walk around, jump up and down, at one point I got down on all fours and just rocked, hoping to move the baby off my bladder. If you’ve ever had the urge to pee but couldn’t, I feel for you. That shit HURTS. Match was beside himself with worry. He said, “I know labor is supposed to hurt, but going pee shouldn’t!” I did a lot of googling, and it turns out this happens to a lot of women, because the way the uterus and baby are positioned by the bladder, and the tilted uterus just gets in the way of everything. The more full my bladder gets, the harder it is to empty it. Crazy huh? So now I go whenever I have to go. Which means I’m in that bathroom constantly. But hey, it’s exercise right?

TTUT: Puppy Tummy Cuddles

Todd Zarnecki: Who is it?
Sheldon: Your doom!
Raj: Don’t say “Your doom”. Who opens the door for their doom?
Sheldon: Good point. [to the door] Basket of puppies.

The Big Bang Theory

Today I’m checking in with two fellow dog lovers: Impulsive Addict and Seriously Shawn

I had a less than exciting weekend. Having to take it easy  per doctor’s orders meant a huge butt print in my couch and way too much computer/tv time. So this Tuesday I wanted to talk about my first baby, my fur baby Monkey.

You can’t say dogs aren’t intuitive. I think he knows about Roo.

Look at Monkey snuggling up to my belly.

I can’t wait to see how he’ll react when I start showing. He’s going to be such a good big brother.