Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | April 5, 2012

rear facing

I have a question for those of you with toddlers. At what point did you/will you turn your convertible car seat around? I swore I would keep Birdie rear facing as long as possible, but I think we might be nearing the end of that possible range. She is ridiculously tall (over 97th percentile) and is about 35 pounds. Her growth has to slow down at some point, doesn’t it? She is nearly off the charts!

Our Britax Boulevard car seat can be rear facing up to 40 pounds, so we have a few more pounds to go before the limit, but not a lot longer. I have started to think that we might switch her around when we install the baby seat base before the baby comes, and move her behind the driver’s seat so the infant seat can be behind the passenger seat. We have a Prius and I don’t think we could install a seat in the middle and the side, although if we could it would be nice to be able to fit another adult in the back seat if someone was visiting.

I know that they say that it doesn’t matter how long the kid’s legs are, they can fold them up and be comfortable far longer than we would think, but boy, her legs are long! She’s only 2 years and 4 months, but she is so much bigger than the average child her age. It is getting so difficult to get her buckled into the seat, especially being pregnant and large and less able to pick her up. Every time either she or I bonk our heads, getting her butt in the seat and her legs adjusted and the buckles buckled is like a complex puzzle. But at the same time, I feel so guilty about turning her around before we completely HAVE to by the weight limit. I was really against turning her seat around in the middle of icy winter, when it seems like accidents are more likely, because of slick weather conditions. Now that the weather is nicer, she’s getting closer to the upper weight limit, and we have the new baby coming, I am leaning towards turning her around in a month or two. Gosh, it’s sounding more and more like I am looking for permission and validation. I want her to be safe. I know rear facing is like 5 times safer in an accident. What are your opinions?

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Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | March 11, 2012

coming out to the neighborhood

So, as I might have mentioned on the this blog, we haven’t been terribly open with our infertility journey. Many family members know a little bit, and many friends do too, but it has been kind of a slow process of sharing that information.We have only shared all the details with a few close people.

We moved into a new neighborhood a year ago. It is full of young families and lots of kids. Usually once every month or two, there is a “ladies night out” where all the women are invited to get together at a restaurant. Usually only 8 to 12 of us show up, but there are enough core people who attend that I have gotten to know a few of them. Since most of us have kids (there are probably 3 couples out of about 50 who are young, newly married and don’t have kids – yet), we tend to talk a lot about babies, pregnancy, sleep, kids, etc. Your basic infertile nightmare.

The first one I went to, I was newly pregnant with this baby. Like 5 weeks or so, and clearly told NO ONE. For the one in January, I was about 16 weeks, and I did tell a few people at our end of the table. At this last one, I was very clearly showing, and it was a smallish group, and it came up. One of the girls said “Oh, I thought you guys weren’t having any more kids!” I have no idea where she might have come up with this. I have never said that to anyone! I have only met her a few times, and I like her, but we have never had personal conversations about family size! Perhaps MIL got to talking to her when she took Birdie out for a walk last fall, and somehow that was the impression she got?

Anyhow, here I was, kind of on the spot, and I said, with everyone quiet and paying attention, “Oh, well, we weren’t sure if we could have more children. We had to do fertility treatments to get Birdie. But this one was a surprise. A happy surprise, of course.”

So there. It was out, to a group of pretty new acquaintances that I have to live near for a potentially long time! And you know what, I felt a little raw and naked at first, but it was okay. And if anyone there has or is struggling with primary or secondary infertility, maybe they felt a little less alone and could talk with me about it. And it’s not some shameful secret – it is our reality, and part of our story.

I think I have felt scared of being out with our infertility story stems from fear of being pitied or talked about. How much would it suck to live in a fertile neighborhood with catty women whispering behind your back things like “oh how sad, they can’t have more kids”. To be fair, most of the women seem very nice, and shit like that probably doesn’t ever happen.

When going through treatments before Birdie, I really did not want to tell people (beyond our immediate family and very close friends) while we were going through it. Answering questions about “are you pregnant yet? how’s that going anyway” would be exhausting and painful while dealing with disappointment month after month. If things continue to go well with this pregnancy, this will be our last kid, so theoretically, we won’t have to deal with that stress again. But I worry. What happens if we lose this baby? What happens if god forbid something happens to one of our kids in childhood? What if some miracle happens and S wants to try for a 3rd?

The immediate reaction around the table was supportive. I saw a few head nods (but was too befuddled to pay close attention to possible knowing looks), but then the conversation turned to how everyone seemed to know someone who “just relaxed” and got pregnant easier the second time. UGH! I know I am one of those lucky urban legends, and I know it happens to SOME women, but there are so many more who continue to struggle with secondary infertility, and it is so frustrating to combat that idea! I didn’t have the energy to go there though, so I just kind of sank back into my chair, sipped my ice water and nodded.

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | March 7, 2012

level 2 ultrasound

We had the big ultrasound last week, at nearly 22 weeks. First of all, and most importantly, the baby looks healthy. And it’s a boy! I am happy and relieved that everything looks okay. The ultrasound tech was great. She showed us all kinds of thing and explained a lot. I thanked her at the end for that, and she said she technically is not supposed to say anything, but that is very hard. She is an instructor at the local university and says that she has to tell her students not to say anything during ultrasounds. I would have been a wreck if she had not shown us things and talked as she went along.

I still am not feeling a whole lot of movement. I did feel a lot the day of the ultrasound, probably because we pissed the baby off with all the poking and proding. The placenta is along the left side of my uterus, kind of going around to the front, which may explain that.

I am 23 weeks now. We need to start getting the guest room cleared out, and start thinking of names. I am a little bummed that we won’t be able to reuse some of the adorable girl things from Birdie. I really should go through them and give them away, but I can’t bear to do it. Most of the baby gear we have is neutral, but very little of the clothes are. I suppose that means I can look forward to shopping for cute baby boy things. There will be no more babies after this, which makes me sad, but it also makes me really appreciative that we are even in this incredible place.

I still cannot believe I am pregnant. I feel like I am huge for 23 weeks, compared to how I was with Birdie. I have gained 13 pounds, most of which is rather recent, and he is measuring a little ahead but not gigantic. I have been craving salads again, but the one I loved the most during my pregnancy with Birdie has been taken off the menu at our old favorite restaurant, and my second favorite restaurant salad is way across town now that we have moved, and nobody else seems to really like the food there except me, so that is going to be a rare treat. I have discovered a great (and cheap) salad bar at the fancy grocery store near our new house, so that is good.

I am tired. Birdie has been waking up with nightmares a lot lately, so between that and having to pee several times a night, I have not been sleeping well.

I have been slacking on keeping the house picked up and organized, and I feel bad about that. How do you all go about doing housework? Do you have a schedule, like sweep and mop on Tuesdays, clean the bathroom on Wednesdays or something like that? I am not the most organized person in the world, and I can’t ever seem to get ahead. My first priority is always Birdie, and I try to do fun and interesting activities with her, but it is exhausting. I try to clean up the house as we go, but if I get a little behind at all it is misery trying to get back on top of the clutter and general cleaning. We have been sick so many times this winter, and the house gets trashed, and it is a monumental effort to get back to a reasonable state. I am so exhausted by the time she goes to sleep that I don’t have the energy to clean then. I have been resting when she naps too, which is the only thing keeping me going.

I need to figure out a system before the new baby comes, because I can only imagine how much more difficult it will be with two. Please give me some ideas!

 

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | February 23, 2012

a month of chaos

I am sorry it has been so long since I posted. We had weeks and weeks of illness in our house. Birdie was sick with a cold then got an ear and sinus infection, so that was about two weeks of hell. Then I caught her cold and got my own sinus infection, along with a weird rash. I ended up seeing my OB for the rash and sinus infection and she had me tested for parvo and coxsackie virus. The parvo test was negative, but the lab screwed up the coxsackie test. Weeks later I got a call saying that I need to get blood drawn again for the test. Of course I had just taken the 3 hour glucose tolerance test (more on that later) a few days before and was not happy about the idea of having more pokes into my bruised veins that were just starting to heal. I ended up talking to my doctor and she said I didn’t have to redo it, that she just tested for it as a precaution, so I haven’t retested for it. My sinus infection is finally gone and the rash is gone too.

I failed the one hour glucose test, just barely, at 140. I had an appointment with my OB a few days later, and I discussed metformin with her. I had dropped off some printouts of studies about metformin and pcos and pregnancy, and she did take a lot of time and discussed things with me, so I will give her that. Her concern is coming from the standpoint of how to manage the pregnancy. She feels that if I stay on metformin, she wants to treat me like I have gestational diabetes, and have me test my blood sugar 5 times a day and have extra NSTs and ultrasounds. But, not being diagnosed officially means that my insurance probably won’t cover the glucose monitor and testing supplies or the nutritionist visit. She wanted me to take the 3 hour test early, at 20 weeks to see if I have it now and then we can decide what to do about metformin then. She also wants me to do the 3 hour test again at 28 weeks, because I could develop it at any point, or that my metformin dose might need to be adjusted if it can’t control the blood sugar levels.

I did the 3 hour test a week or so ago and I passed. I still want to stay on metformin though, and I will be discussing it with her at my appointment next week. With my pregnancy with Birdie, she kind of took a middle ground approach. She tested my blood sugar at each office appointment starting around 32 weeks and then I had weekly NSTs starting at 36 weeks. I would be fine with that. I would even be fine with testing my blood sugar at home, at my own cost, but 5 times a day starting now when I clearly am fine seems like a ridiculous waste of money. As of now, I am still taking metformin. I have gained about 8 pounds and I have been feeling pretty good, although Birdie wears me out!

The good news of the past few weeks is that I got the second part of the sequential screening done, and the risk of Down syndrome went down to 1/1200. After the first part of the test, it was at 1/215, so that is a nice drop, but of course it is no guarantee. We have the big ultrasound next Tuesday. Please please let this baby be healthy.

I haven’t felt a lot more movement yet. I do feel a kick here and there, but it is pretty random. I will feel a lot better once I feel regular movement. I am 21 weeks now. I cannot believe it. It still doesn’t feel real! Does anyone have any recommendations on books we can read with Birdie about a new baby? The ones I found at the library all seemed pretty stupid.

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | January 23, 2012

avoidance, nt results

I finally did the one hour glucose tolerance test on Friday morning. I haven’t done anything in regards to communicating with my OB about metformin. I did print out a bunch of journal articles, but I haven’t called the office or anything. Things have been busy. Birdie was sick for a good solid week. Somehow I managed to get off with only a slightly runny nose. S was gone for a work trip. Snow and cold have finally hit here. We started a Music Together class and are going to Gymboree so that gets us out of the house at least two days a week. Birdie has a little neighbor friend who she adores and loves having play dates with.

I have my next OB appointment on Friday, and I will just have to put on my assertive pants and talk to her then about the metformin. I think I am going to have to bring Birdie with me, which isn’t good, because I will already be flustered trying to keep her under control. I did stop taking metformin for a couple of days before the blood test last week, but I went right back on it after the test. I am somewhat curious about what my body does without metformin, and perhaps if I fail the one hour (like I did with Birdie’s pregnancy), it will be more ammunition for me to want to stay on it.

One thing that has caused slight worry is that I got a letter with the combined results for the NT test, with both the measurement and blood test. It came back as a 1/215 risk for Down syndrome. That’s slightly higher than the background risk for my age (1/230). When we had the NT scan done with Birdie, the risk went down from 1/300 something to 1/5000. It must be the blood portion of the test, because the measurement looked fine according to what I could find online. I spent a few days worrying about it, and have been doing my best to just put it out of my head. 1/215 is still not terrible odds, and I still need to do the second part of the screening, another blood test in the next few weeks. There is nothing that I can do about it.

It kind of bothers me that all I got was a form letter in the mail from the MFM group that did the ultrasound, and I haven’t heard anything from my OB’s office about it. I am not going to have an amniocentesis. I will not take that risk of losing this pregnancy. I have heard of a new test that is noninvasive and is able to detect Trisomy 21 by a simple blood test. It is very new, but supposedly is available nationwide since January 1st. I will be asking about that test.

I think I am starting to feel the baby move. Little flutters here and there, mostly at night when I am lying down and still. I am nearly 17 weeks now. I can’t believe how quickly this is going by. I am tired a lot of the time, but generally feeling pretty good. I have been having a little bit of sacroiliac pain like I did last time. With Birdie’s pregnancy it started around 16 weeks too. I have been doing the stretches and exercises that my physical therapist recommended last time, but if it gets much worse I might request a referral back to her. Finding someone to watch Birdie will be challenging though.

Birdie is hilarious. She is starting to talk more and more in simple sentences. In Target today, she was saying “Daddy, where are you? Oh, THERE he is!” She loves to play with her baby doll and wrap her up in blankets. She loves loves loves books. We got a Brio train set recently and she loves to play with her choo choos. She loves to give hugs, and just in the last couple of days she will repeat “love you” if prompted. She is definitely in the tantrumy stage though. For as wonderful as she is, she can be challenging. Everything is so intense with her, intense joy to intense anger over being denied anything.

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | January 2, 2012

ugh, not again

I am so pissed. I had my first “official” OB appointment on Friday and things were going great (heard the heartbeat on the doppler) until my doctor said she wants me off metformin. It totally took me by surprise because I discussed this in depth with her when I was pregnant with Birdie, that I felt strongly about wanting to stay on it, and at that time she was fine with it. She wants me to go off it and do a one hour glucose tolerance test this coming week and see what’s going on without the metformin. I was so surprised that I just nodded and tried to process what she was saying. She said that if I do get gestational diabetes, there are better medications for me to be on (mentioning glyburide).

I was totally unprepared to have to fight about this, so I just didn’t say anything. And then I came home and became more and more angry. What the fuck? I do not want to go off metformin. I truly believe that it is what kept me from getting gestational diabetes and kept Birdie to a reasonable 8lbs 3 oz.

The way she tried to sell it was by saying that there are now better medicines. Well there isn’t! There is nothing new. Glyburide is an oral medication much like metformin except that it functions totally differently. Metformin is an insulin sensitizer. It decreases the amount of glucose your liver puts out and at the same time it makes it easier for your muscle cells to use insulin and glucose more efficiently. Glyburide causes your body to pump out MORE insulin. I have insulin resistance, so my body already has too much insulin – I don’t need more! They have the same effect – to lower the blood sugar, but they work totally differently and glyburide causes more side effects, like hypoglycemia and increased weight gain (because of the higher insulin). Who knows if my pancreas could handle having to pump out more insulin. I think it would make me more likely to develop diabetes!

The studies I have read have both had the same concerns about metformin and glyburide, that they cross the placenta, and while both seem to not cause any problems for the fetus, long term studies have not been done, so they are not recommended for everyone at this point. There are a number of studies that have been done regarding with with PCOS staying on metformin during pregnancy, finding that metformin can prevent gestational diabetes, does not cause preeclampsia, and that the babies do not get too large due to high blood sugar.

When we got referred to the maternal fetal medicine specialist for an unrelated matter, he was a total asshole and said he wanted me off metformin. I ended up talking with another doctor in the practice who was more open minded and said that I could stay on it if I wanted. I was fine, Birdie was fine, and Birdie appears to be perfectly healthy. At her 2 year appointment, she was 95th percentile for height and 75th for weight. I told her last time that I was aware that more studies are needed to confirm that it is perfectly safe during pregnancy, but that I was willing to take that calculated risk. It is known that babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are at a much higher risk to develop diabetes themselves later in life, so perhaps if I can keep from getting GD, it will help Birdie.

I get my metformin prescription from my primary care doctor, so it is theoretically possible for me to continue taking it against my ob’s wishes. Or I could go in talk with her and fight for it. I am considering putting together a printout of studies about metformin and writing up a note about my reasons for wanting to stay on it and dropping it off at her office. I figure it would give her a chance to read the studies and have a chance to think about my reasons rather than just trying to argue it out in a phone call or at my next appointment (4 weeks away).  I hate conflict, and I really don’t want to fight about this. I really don’t want to find another doctor. In general I like her. I have been so pissed about this all weekend though, and it makes me mad that I have to even go through this argument again.

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | December 24, 2011

NT scan and Birdie’s birthday (warning: ultrasound pictures included)

So the scan was this morning, and it went really well. The ultrasound tech was awesome. She had taken the time to read my chart and knew our history, which was nice. She asked me about the different due dates, especially the July 9th one and I explained that my OB changed the due date based on the ultrasound where the baby was measuring small, but that based on my LMP (which are in line with the dates S was in town for potential ovulation) it should be July 3rd. She spent a nice long time looking around and taking measurements, and the baby is measuring big again, with the due date looking like between June 29th and July 2nd. I don’t know that it really matters, but if it comes down to a scheduled c section, I’d like to know the most accurate due date possible.

The nuchal fold measurement was between 1.2 and 1.4, which she said was good. We won’t get the blood test part of the results for another week or two. The baby looks good though. It was great to get to see it again, and to see it move. Part of me still cannot believe that this is happening. She switched to 3d, and at first we couldn’t see much of anything, but then we could see the arms and legs.

S and I went out to lunch afterwards and then rushed home to clean the house and get ready for Birdie’s party. It went really well, better than expected. Everyone had a good time, Birdie was a total ham and cracked people up, and everyone left by 7pm. We had a slideshow going on the tv of pictures of Birdie, and at the end, I included two ultrasound pictures, with a little note saying due in July. The slideshow was going on in the background and cycled through 200 pictures, and no one seemed to notice when it went through the first time, so while we were having cupcakes, I froze it on the ultrasound. One of S’s aunts finally caught it and said something and everyone was surprised and happy. I felt like an odd fertile imposter who was getting away with some big scam. I had to keep reminding myself to relax and just go with it. We ended up telling my family over Skype. They were all gathered at my uncle’s house for a party and it seemed like as good a time as any.

So, it is out. And it is scary, but okay. Birdie’s birthday went well. We had a good day overall. I am exhausted and can’t wait to fall into bed, but first, here are a couple of ultrasound pictures.

 

 

 

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | December 21, 2011

NT scan, 12 weeks, and thoughts

We have the NT scan scheduled for Friday morning. It also happens to be Birdie’s birthday, so we are having a small party that evening with a few friends and family. We want to start celebrating her half birthday in June, because I do not want her birthday being forgotten every year, but I don’t want to just ignore her 2nd birthday.

I hope hope hope that things look good at the ultrasound that morning, because it will really suck to have to put on a happy face for the party if there is cause for concern. On the other hand, if things look very good, perhaps we will share the news with the very small group of family and friends that night. I am 12 weeks tomorrow. I would feel better about waiting for the combined results of the blood test, but that would be another week or two, and we probably won’t be seeing some of these people for a while.  At the same time, I am nervous about telling anyone. It will probably feel scary whenever we do decide to share the news, so maybe I just need to get over it. If something happened at this point, I don’t think we could just pretend it never happened.

I am starting to feel less nausea, which is nice, because wow, it sucked for a while. I have lost a couple of pounds and am now about 5 pounds less than when I got pregnant with Birdie. I find it difficult to believe, because I am eating A LOT. Hunger wakes me up around 2 or 3 and I get up to eat some yogurt or cheese and crackers or cereal.

I really want to rent a doppler this time. I wanted to last time as well but never did because I didn’t think my first OB would approve it. Have any of you rented one? Which company did you go with? Did you actually need a prescription for it? How early could you hear the heartbeat on your own?

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | December 9, 2011

ultrasound #3

Wow. It’s still alive! And big! S went with me, which was good, because I was still a nervous wreck. We saw the heartbeat, and arms and legs and it was moving. So amazing. And, surprise surprise, it was measuring more like my original dates. By the revised EDD based on the previous ultrasound measurement, I should have been 9w3d, but the baby was measuring 10w1d by one measurement and 10w2d by another. So, I guess it must have been a positional thing why the baby was measuring small. All that worrying for nothing. We saw the spine and the umbilical cord. The two pictures she printed out for us are terrible and not even worth posting.

She changed the EDD again to July 5th. Because of the revised again dates, I had to really push them to move the NT scan up, because waiting until Dec 28th would have put me out of the window. So now I get to go on Birdie’s birthday, December 23rd. I hope we get good reassuring measurements and results. I am feeling like this is too good to be true, and with my age, it is something I think about a lot. Please let this baby be healthy.

I am feeling very nauseous but am so thankful for whatever reassurance I can get. It has been a rough two weeks. The week of Thanksgiving I got hit with a very bad cold on top of all of the morning sickness. It was brutal, and I couldn’t take anything. Birdie was her normal active self and I barely got through it by letting her watch way too much tv, eat crap food, and tried my best to keep it together. It didn’t help that S was gone for two nights, and my in laws don’t help at all when anyone is sick because they don’t want to catch anything. I get it, and I don’t want to get them sick either, but I was borderline not able to function. In my family, when someone is sick, you help them out. I guess in his family it’s every man for themselves. It’s like when you need help the most, they disappear. Can you tell that I feel kind of bitter about being far away from my family at times like this?

Then once I was finally better, Birdie got it, and then S. Our house has been a snotty mess and is just now finally getting somewhat back to normal. I can’t complain though. Somehow this miracle baby is hanging around and growing. I couldn’t be happier!

 

Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | November 22, 2011

amazing

I tried to post this last night but I kept losing my internet connection and after like ten times I gave up and went to bed.

 

I am so relieved and happy to have seen a heartbeat today! All week I kept going back and forth between feeling hopeful and feeling completely doomed. I went to the appointment by myself because S did not get back from his work trip until late tonight. We could see the heartbeat immediately. It was beautiful. Unfortunately the speakers were not working so I did not get to hear it, but I got a picture of it. 162 beats per minute.

The embryo is still measuring a week behind but had grown appropriately and measured 6w 6d. I discussed the dates with her and we can’t quite figure it out, unless I ovulated several days after S and I last had sex and somehow one of his slow sperm fertilized it. Based on the measurement of the embryo today, she thinks we conceived on the 15th or 16th, but the last possible date we could have sex was the 12th. Whatever. As long as it is healthy and growing and things look good, I will just have to let it go.

This is a terrible picture, and is completely off center (again perhaps indicating my ob’s lack of ultrasound expertise?). The baby is on the far far left. You can see the yolk sac a bit above the embryo.

She is changing the due date to be July 10, 2012. I will go back for another ultrasound in 3 weeks. I pressed to get a nuchal translucency scan (she said not many of her patients ask for it), and will get that done with the maternal fetal medicine group at the hospital sometime the week after Christmas (if things continue to go well).

Oh my god you guys, it’s alive! Thank you so much for all of the positive thoughts and kind comments!

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