Archive | Pregnancy

Second Trimester Recap

It’s that time! Today marks the beginning of the third trimester which means I’m now in the single digits (weeks-wise) until we meet him/her. And I’m about to start freaking out now that I typed that.

My lord, I am growing! Eek. What’s even crazier is that I only have ONE MORE of these pictures (I’m taking them every nine weeks) before the baby is here!

How I’m Feeling: I can’t really breathe. It’s the dadgum muscle repair acting like a corset making the baby go all up in my lungs. Ever since about 16 weeks I’ve felt like I’m 34-ish weeks pregnant–you know that point in pregnancy where you get majorly winded just from walking up the stairs? Yep, been that way for three months now and that’s real fun.

Also, because of my blood pressure I’m on BP meds and they have me feeling all sorts of out of it. I’ll talk about that more below.

20 weeks pregnancy comparison

20 week comparison with my three bio babies. 

What I’m Craving: Right around 16 weeks all my weird pregnancy cravings went POOF! thankfully. I don’t have any cravings anymore, but I do get ravenous sometimes. Before this pregnancy I would do intermittent fasting and would go 16-20 hours at a time not eating. Now I want something to eat as soon as I wake up–my stomach is literally growling the moment I open my eyes.

22 weeks

22 weeks and waving at the camera.

Any Movement: YES!! I finally felt it at 22 weeks–I was starting to think it would never ever happen. My muscle repair + scar tissue + anterior placenta meant it was really hard to feel the baby. But right about the time we went to the beach I started feeling it (never any “flutters” but more kicks) and now I feel it all the time (the most between 9-11am and 9-11pm)–and I gotta say, this baby is an acrobat. It can go from head down to transverse to breach within a couple of minutes. C. has felt it flip several times now (if I sleep on my left side, but flip on my back in the mornings it’ll spend five minutes or so flipping around and getting comfortable). It’s crazy.

22.5 weeks along.

Weight Gain: I haven’t looked, but I know since my gestational diabetes diagnosis (see below for more info on that) a little less than three weeks ago I’ve lost weight in my arms and thighs thanks to a low carb lifestyle. I’m STILL buttoning my pre-pregnancy pants, some easily…and some not so easily, haha. Not sure how long I’ll continue to be able to do that, but it’s nice while I can, not going to lie!

24 weeks comparison

24 week comparison carrying my bio babies.

Complications: At 21 weeks, 3 days blood pressure was 130/100 at my OB appointment. I had been expecting it (with MM it suddenly spiked at 20.5 weeks and with Lawson it spiked at 19.6 weeks), but it was still disheartening to see it happen yet again. I have a new OB this pregnancy and he put me on Aldomet (Methyldopa) 500mg (twice/day) and I started getting horrible side effects after a week or so. Basically I felt like I had full-blown mono 24/7. I was exhausted like I had ran a marathon, sore like I’d been lifting weights, and just kinda depressed all the time. But it kept my blood pressure controlled so under the persistence of my OB I stayed on it for 7 weeks. Last week I got my high risk OB to prescribe Labetalol (200mg twice/day) which is what I’ve been on the last two pregnancies. The problem with it is it leaves me feeling a tad “out of it” or “fuzzy” and my heart rate is low (it’s a beta blocker so it’s to be expected). For instance, during a normal Zumba workout my heart rate will be in the upper 140s – 160s, but on Labetalol it never gets out of the 130s. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it makes me feel very strange and I sweat very easily. I have to make sure my heart rate stays in the 50s at least while resting (I have a low heart rate normally because I’m so active) so I now have to take my blood pressure multiple times a day to make sure my BP and heart rate stay in a safe range.

And so far (knock on wood!) I’m not spilling any protein so I’ve held off a PreE diagnosis! SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

At 15 (16?) weeks I took my first gestational diabetes test and my blood glucose level was 85 at the one-hour mark. My OB remarked that it was as perfect as it could get. I just smiled because I knew what was coming (he also said that about my blood pressure at all my appointments the first 20 weeks–I swear he thought I was making up these complications, ha!). At 24 weeks we repeated the test and my blood glucose level was 174 at the one-hour mark. Yep, it doubled. I declined the three-hour and began tracking my blood sugar. And because I’m a crazy lady I created a spreadsheet (I’ll share it with y’all soon) that not only records my blood sugar, but also every bite I eat, every glass of water I drink, all my activity, and the grams of protein/carbs/dietary fiber/fat I eat in a day. So far I’m not on insulin, but my fasting is too high for my liking and if I had to bet I would say I’ll be on insulin within the week. Not a biggie–this ain’t my first rodeo. 😉

27 weeks, 4 days

27.5 weeks along.

About the Baby: Basically, he/she is big. Since 11 weeks it’s been measuring 95th percentile length-wise. Last Monday it weighed 2 pounds, 4 ounces and was 15″ long. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s big like MM (21″, 8.0lbs) or small/medium like Lala (19″, 6lbs7ozs) when it’s born. It will also be interesting to see if they deliver it at the same time–both my other babies came at 37 weeks, 5 days.

27 weeks pregnant

27 weeks and already has cheeks for days!

So that’s what’s going on with me! Wednesday I’ll talk about my second trimester fitness and Friday I’ll talk about my (way too many) second trimester purchases (there’s been nursery shopping, eek!).

0


Pregnant Woman Stuff: Real Talk About Preeclampsia & Gestational Diabetes

I was going to save all this for my second trimester recap post sometime next week (I’m 26 weeks today, eek!), but since my latest complications have consumed my life I thought I would share them with you.

{For a short recap: with MM I was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension at 20.4 weeks, preeclampsia at 26.6 weeks, and gestational diabetes at 28 weeks. I couldn’t control my gestational diabetes (I’ll refer to it as GD–bad acronym, I know) even though I never cheated on the diet (seriously never) given to me by the diabetic nutritionist at the hospital and ended up on four insulin shots a day. My blood pressure (BP) wasn’t well-controlled either and by the time I delivered at 37.5 weeks I had been in the hospital five times, had been on bedrest for three months, and my BP during delivery got up to 240/170.  With Lawson I was diagnosed with GD at 18 weeks (it was controlled by diet (yay for Keto!) and exercise except for my fasting number and I was on one insulin shot/day), pregnancy-induced hypertension at 19.6 weeks, and preeclampsia at 28 weeks. I was never on bedrest (my BP was well controlled with medicine), but delivered again at 37.5 weeks when my placenta started detaching (common PreE thing). Wait, sorry, this was supposed to be a short recap.}

24 weeks comparison

24 week comparison with my bio babies.

Fast forward to this pregnancy. I’m 95 pounds lighter (than with MM and 55 pounds lighter than with Lawson) and started this pregnancy at an “average” weight/healthy BMI and a VERY active lifestyle (working out six days/week hardcore). Every person that I mentioned my concerns over my old complications flippantly said something along the lines of, ‘Well, you’re so much healthier now so I’m SURE you’ll have a normal pregnancy this time!’

And while part of me hoped they were right, part of me always got my feelings hurt–because those people were implying that my weight gave me the complications of my last two pregnancies. That I caused and deserved them.

And I, too, bought into it. I fat shamed me. I always felt guilty for what my body did (or didn’t) do, all because of my weight.

But here’s the kicker: I STILL have pregnancy-induced hypertension (21.3 weeks when I was diagnosed this round) and I still have gestational diabetes (25.1 weeks when I was diagnosed this round; at 15.3 weeks my blood sugar was perfect (85) on the one hour test–2.5 months later my blood sugar more than doubled on the same test). Now it’s just a waiting game to see when I start spilling more protein in my urine so I can get my PreE diagnosis (I’m guessing in the next three weeks). I’ve only missed one workout my entire pregnancy so far (the BP meds make me feel like I have mono 24/7 (totally not kidding) and I skipped one of my yoga classes because of it and then felt crazy guilty afterwards), I eat low carb, and I’m crazy active and I STILL got the same complications.

While I feel vindicated (yay! my weight didn’t cause the problems!) the complications still suck big time (wait, my body stinks at pregnancy!).

So that’s where I am now. Smug and depressed, ha!

2


Pregnancy Reveal Photos & First Trimester Purchases

I’m going to be honest here: my favorite thing about pregnancy (other than the kicks–I LOOOOOOOVE the kicks) is buying stuff.

I know you’re sitting there shocked right now.

Yeah right…

So I thought I’d share with you purchases I’ve made during each trimester–for me and the baby. But I didn’t buy too much this first trimester…mainly because I didn’t even figure out I was pregnant until 8.5/9 weeks and then I sat there in utter disbelief for two weeks!

For Me:

Due to my abdominalplasty and muscle repair last June I have a very tight stomach–there is no loose skin which is a beautiful thing unless you’re pregnant. I’m not worried about stretch marks (been there, done that thanks to MM & my genetics), but I do want my skin to be as moisturized as possible for the stretching it has to do as the baby grows. I bought l’occitane almond supple skin oil at ten weeks along and religiously apply it twice a day all over my tummy and on my belly button and tummy tuck scars.  My skin definitely doesn’t feel dry and the smell (almond) is nice too.

For Baby:

When I found out I was pregnant I was shocked. And not a good kind of shocked. More like the I’m-the-smallest-and-fittest-I’ve-ever-been-and-I-have-a-flat-tummy-and-now-I’m-pregnant shock. I found myself scared (the preeclampsia and my muscle repair holding during this pregnancy are my two biggest worries) and pretty bummed about it all. But I realized the more time I spent on Etsy looking at baby items, the more okay (dare say excited) with this pregnancy I became. (It’s amazing how many new items there are on the market, like those precious blankets for monthly photos or baby turbins or the dock-a-tots, etc.) So once we decided on names at ten weeks and I realized that both started with a ‘B’ and that got me to thinking about doing a gender neutral bee nursery since I love bees. I started looking on Etsy and found SofiaBedding who would make custom crib bedding for me (I ordered all the fabrics and had them sent to her directly).

And I love it. Stay tuned for sneak peeks in the upcoming weeks (it’s currently sitting in the upstairs hallway waiting for the boys to switch rooms).

For Someone Else:

First, let me tell you how we told our kids.

april 29. kid baby reveal_0002_edited-1

When I was almost 12 weeks or so we decided it was time to tell the family (we really were that in shock those first few weeks!) so I planned a special dinner for the kids. We went with a yellow and black bee theme for Baby B. Thankfully my “good china” is yellow and black so I didn’t have to buy anything special. 😉

april 29. kid baby reveal_0001_edited-1

It’s hard to read but the menu says:

Appetizer: Baby carrots with ranch dressing

Entree: Baby back ribs, new potatoes with baby spinach, and warm buns in the oven

Dessert: Baby Ruth candy bars (and these bee cookies pictured above)

april 29. kid baby reveal_0005_edited-1

And, y’all, my super smart, inquisitive eight year old had NO idea the entire meal. So after dessert we told them to lift up their placemats where we had put an ultrasound photo. Their faces were priceless.

april 29. kid baby reveal_0007_edited-1

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Moseby kept saying, ‘O.G.M.! O.G.M.!’ (instead of O.M.G., ha!!)

april 29. kid baby reveal_0015_edited-1

The next day we met my parents & grandmother and C.’s parents at P.F. Chang’s for lunch before MM’s art show (coincidentally this is where we announced we were due with Lawson on her sixth birthday–she always picks P.F. Chang’s for her special occasion meals, haha).

I had brought grandparent gifts to announce the pregnancy–these puzzles–but they had to put them together first.

april 29. kid baby reveal_0023_edited-1

My mom actually put the word ‘Baby’ together first and then ‘2017’ and figured it out. We gave each set of grandparents this gift (ornaments found here).

april 29. kid baby reveal_0021_edited-1

And what’s a celebration without cookie cake?! 😉

To announce to the world (at 21-ish weeks) on July 4th that we were having a fourth we did a whole ‘Happy 4th’ theme–the kids shirts were done by my friend Tracey, C.’s shirt came from here, and my shirt came from here. I bought a “Cooper, Party of Six” sign too.

june 9. 23. granola bars. baby reveal_0007_edited-1

cover final

june 9. 23. granola bars. baby reveal_0021_edited-1

june 9. 23. granola bars. baby reveal_0011_edited-1

For Baby AND Me:

I was in Sams one afternoon and saw these comfy-looking fabric-covered loungers for the pool. I swear the baby spoke up and said, ‘Get us one of those NOW!’ So I did. We are having a great time floating around my parents’ pool in it, let me tell you. The baby has good taste in pool floats.

And a random purchase I wasn’t planning on yet: I always debate on whether or not to even get a diaper bag (I always end up ditching them after a few months), but decided to get Frye Melissa Shoulder bag (in Cognac) like my cross body (that’s now on sale!) since it was on sale for $199 (almost 1/2 off and Frye never goes on sale!). It can be a diaper bag, sure, but it can also be just a bigger purse down the road.


2


First Trimester Recap

Written on Tuesday, May 23rd at 14 weeks, 1 day. 

Pregnancy

I took these when I was 8.5 weeks pregnant (yep, I had no idea before then!)…think I was just a wee bit pregnant?!

So by the time you’re reading this I’ll probably be mid-second trimester, but I thought I better write it while it’s fresh on my mind.

Pregnancy

A little over 9 weeks. 

How I’m Feeling: Other than the past Sunday (our last day in the northeast) when I puked, I can’t even tell I’m pregnant. Well, other than lusting/needing/craving a mid-day nap (that of course I never get) something fierce. I’m also almost always cold (I’m not anemic and my thyroid is good for all y’all armchair doctors, haha). And I have had a constant runny nose for the last month, ugh. Oh, and my hair is dull and my nails are thin. So maybe I CAN tell I’m pregnant. I haven’t missed my normal gym routine {other than going out of town}–still doing five days of cardio machines, plus three Zumba classes, and one yoga class a week currently (I’m at the gym every day but Sunday). I even added RPM (spin) back to the my weekly rotation at the end of my first trimester so I’m working out even more than before. Take that, first trimester exhaustion!

A little over 12 weeks. 

What I’m Craving: A wide-range of things! Some days it’s quiche or chicken pot pie or chicken salad. It’s random and has no rhyme or reason. Though the craving for a McDonald’s cheeseburger or a chocolate chip bagel with strawberry cream cheese nags at me 24/7, not going to lie. Oh, and peanut butter. Always peanut butter.

(With MM I craved watermelon, sweet tea, and chocolate-covered potato chips. With Lala I craved avocados, steak, and frozen peach margaritas. So this baby is trying to keep its gender a mystery with its cravings.)

Pregnancy

14 weeks (measuring 15 weeks, 1 day)

Any Movement: Nah. And I found out today at my appointment with the specialist that my placenta is anterior (in the front) again which means my placenta will act like a buffer for baby kicks. Which stinks because that’s my favorite part of pregnancy! Plus the muscle repair has left me COMPLETELY numb down the center. It’ll be a while before I feel this kiddo.

Pregnancy

Pre-pregnancy

Weight Gain: I’ve decided not to weigh–or well, look at my weight–during this pregnancy. I’m crazy active and I eat fine and I’m not going to worry about the weight. To be honest, my body changing and getting rounder again is hard on me emotionally. I can’t add the worry about a number on the scale to that. As of now I’m still in all my pre-pregnancy clothes, but the waist is getting tighter (but they’re still buttoning, woohoo)!

Pregnancy

Nine weeks pregnant. 

Complications: None yet. It’s just a waiting game because we know they will come. I’m taking my first 24-hour urine collection right at 14 weeks (to get a baseline for protein spillage–I’ll do these urine collections often during pregnancy to look for protein spillage which indicates preeclampsia–if you see me carting around an orange jug you’ll know it’s just me and my pee, HA!).

Pregnancy

12 weeks pregnant. 

I’m taking my first one-hour glucose tolerance test next Tuesday (so I’ll be 15/16 weeks-ish) because we want to catch my gestational diabetes as soon as I start having blood sugar issues. There’s a chance I might not get gestational diabetes again (I do weigh 95 pounds less than I did with MM and 55 pounds less than I did with Lawson), but given my history with PCOS (and the insulin resistance it causes), I’m not holding my breath. In fact, I’m starting Keto (or at least low carb) again in the next couple of weeks so adios carbs.

13.5 weeks pregnant (on a jetty in Plymouth).

Oh, and I’m now 36 so there’s a good chance I’m getting an amnio since I’m old (AND adopted (lack of genetic history)). Fun times.

Oh, and I just had an extensive muscle repair less than a year ago and I’m going to need another csection. The amount of worry/stress/craziness I have over this is ridiculous. I’m sure I’ll talk more about in the future.

Oh, wait, I forgot (that’s how used to pregnancy complications I am!), I have two large cysts on my 1/2 ovary. With my other two pregnancies I had one large cyst (the corpus lutuem) but it went away once the placenta took over (10-ish weeks). Nope, this round they keep growing! One is 3.5cm and one is 4cm which is pretty uncomfortable. There’s talk of surgically removing during pregnancy if they continue to grow.

Oh, and I found out I am a CF carrier. Now we’re waiting to get C. tested and if he’s also a carrier then we’ll have to have an amnio for that.

About the Baby: It is measuring 95th percentile and 8 days ahead. They promised me it wasn’t gestational diabetes making it big (way too soon–and this is 95th percentile in LENGTH, not weight) that it looks like this will just be a big baby. Oh, goody! ::insert eyeball roll here:: #gimmemeatinybabyplease

Oh, and because of my pregnancy we had to change our Costa Rica trip that was planned in mid-May (which was to make up for our ten year anniversary/babymoon trip to Italy in 2015 that we couldn’t go on due to C.’s dirt bike accident, ahem!) to a northeastern trip because of the possible Zika risk in Costa Rica. When I mentioned to my OB friend that we had a trip planned there (a level 2 risk country by the CDC) she literally laughed in my face and was like, ‘Uhmmmm, NO!’…so off to the northeast we went because there is certainly no Zika in Maine. HA! (This baby better be appreciating all my sacrifices!)

 

3


Is #4 a He or a She?!

I know it’s the question on everyone’s mind (and it’s always on my mind).  So drumroll please…

Baby is totally smirking at us and all like, ‘I know what I am, but you don’t! HAHAHA!’ It’s a sarcastic baby, I can already tell. At least I know it’ll fit in where with out brood!

We know (and have since 14-ish weeks) the gender.

But we don’t know.

That’s not confusing or anything, huh?

At our 14 week ultrasound I told the sonographer we weren’t going to find out, but that I wanted her to find out if she could and print off 5 copies of the gender shot (I had brought 5 envelopes with me) so I could give it to my embroidery ladies and Etsy shops.

Pregnancy

Because y’all know me too well…I’m going to slap that baby’s monogram right on it as soon as it pops out.

And she easily found out what we’re having (which would lead me to think it was a boy, but who knows).

It’s been confirmed with another ultrasound and genetic testing…but we don’t know.

C. wavers back and forth between boy and girl. My dad, mom, mother-in-law and myself say boy. The kiddos and my birth mom say girl. C. had his tarot cards read in Salem (random!) and the man predicted a boy without even knowing I was pregnant.  Even those prediction charts don’t know!

baby prediction

{I found this little poster here, by the way.}

{I have been buying a few girl things though *just in case* (I have plenty of boy stuff, but sold or gave away all of MM’s things last year so I have absolutely nothing). Oh, how I’m trying to rein in the urge to buy every Well Dressed Wolf, Matilda Jane, Sweet Honey, Persnickety, Blue Dove piece I see…oh, the list of little girl brands I love goes on and on. Must.stop.shopping. (’cause this baby may very well have a penis and won’t be able to wear a dress! HA!)}

As for names we’ve chosen Bonnie Grace or Benji Harris. ‘Bonnie’ means both baby and beautiful–our beautiful baby. ‘Grace’ is after my grandmother, Mama Grace. We chose ‘Benji’ because it sounded like the perfect name for a big, cuddly bear of a guy. ‘Benjamin’ does mean son of my right hand and many Jewish families name their last son Benjamin and this IS our last baby…. ‘Harris’ is after my grandfather, Papa Cleve (his and Mama Grace’s last name was Harris). We’re calling the baby “Baby B” until it arrives since both names start with the letter B.

And going with the whole Baby B thing we’re doing a bee-themed nursery since I love bees. Lots of tan/natural with black accents. I’m actually really excited about decorating the nursery (Moseby’s old room once he and Lawson move in together in the next month or so) and you’ll probably get tired of me talking about it!

 

10


The Whole Story of Baby #4

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I was right at 20 weeks in this picture. I’m now 21 weeks, 3 days.

 

‘Cause I just can’t leave you hanging like that!

We’ve gotten tons of questions (…and OMGs…and ‘Y’all are crazy’…and ‘Oh, hell no!’) from people we know so I thought I would just answer them all in one place.

  • Were you planning this?

Uhm, NO. No no no no. We’re not even really sure of my due date–we have no idea when this baby was conceived! (We think it’s November 13-21st. But because of my hereditary preeclampsia my other two bio babies were born at 37 weeks, 5 days so we’re thinking right after Halloween for this one.)

  • Did you want another baby?

C. was finished with kids. I was open to adopting again when Lawson was 3 or so, but we were mostly likely (definitely?) finished with kids. For sure we were done with having kids from my body though. 100% finished with that. (And let me assure you: C. has now taken medical steps, ahem, so that he will no longer be fathering any babies with Ms. Fertile Myrtle over here. And I’ll leave it at that.)

  • Didn’t you just have a tummy tuck last June? What’s going to happen with THAT?!

Yes, yes, I did (again, totally not planning on having another baby). I’m not so much worried about extra skin–I’m a 36 year old woman–who DOESN’T have at least a little extra skin at this age?! (I feel the same way with stretch marks–who cares!)–but I am *super* worried with how my muscle repair will hold up (not only with pregnancy but with a repeat c-section as well). I had a 5″-ab separation (y’all, that’s over the width of my hand!) that was sewn back together last June–there’s a strong chance that all the dissolvable stitches the doctor used are still there. I had to interview 19 OB-GYNs (my friend who delivered MM and Lawson has retired from delivering) to find just one that had done a c-section on a woman who had a muscle repair in the past. Thankfully this doctor has done three (and he’s been in practice over 30 years–that’s how rare this is). My plastic surgeon says my muscle repair is the strongest part of my body right now since it’s held together with stitches so something else will have to give/stretch/tear. Due to a kidney surgery I had twenty years ago I have a shredded left oblique muscle (the muscles that run along each side of your abdomen) and whenever I would eat before I got pregnant my stomach (my literal stomach) would poke out about the size of a baseball through the shredded muscle until my food digested. It was freaky and honestly kept me from eating large meals because it was uncomfortable (and gross looking now that the rest of my stomach was flat). Well, I’m 21 weeks now and it pokes out like I’ve eaten an all you can eat buffet 24/7 (like, that corner of my upper stomach is larger than my baby bump most days). I assume I will have to have a muscle repair (it can’t be stitched together because it’s shredded so I’m thinking some sort of mesh?!) on that section and I don’t even want to think about–the ab muscle repair was the worst pain of my life (hands down, no joke) and you use your obliques for everything. Yep, not even going there.

  • How far along did you find out since you weren’t planning this one?

Gosh, I guess like almost 9 weeks?! It was crazy! I’ve mentioned before that I have PCOS and two of the side effects of that is crazy periods and cysts. And the older I get the more my cycles get off (#closertomenopause) so it didn’t really concern me that I hadn’t had a period in six weeks…or eight weeks. The only reason I even tested was because I could tell I had a rather large cyst and I knew I needed to call my doctor and get a prescription for Provera which would force my body to have a period and “fix”/restart my hormones/cycle and would get rid of the cyst. But before my doctor will ever call in a prescription she makes me take a pregnancy test (which was always salt in a wound when we were trying so hard for baby #2 for FORTY-NINE cycles, ahem) so on a random Tuesday afternoon I grabbed a $3 test at Target so I could test real quick and get a prescription called in.

Imagine my utter shock/disbelief/amazement when the thing turned positive before I even put the cap back on (we’re talking less than 5 seconds!). For years I have stared at pregnancy tests wondering “Is that a line?” because I would test before my period was due. Well, y’all, when your period is five weeks late that second line appears REAL QUICK.

  • Why are you fertile now and weren’t for almost ten years?

Weight loss and low carb. There is NO question in my mind that Keto (low carb) and the subsequent weight loss gave me my fertility back. I’m having two babies in two years without trying at all (at all!) because I found a way of eating that works for this body that has PCOS with insulin resistance. If you have PCOS and are trying for a baby I can’t tell you enough how much I recommend Keto. It’s worked for me…twice.

  • Do you know the gender? What’s the name? Are you doing a nursery theme?

Well, for that you’ll have to wait until Friday. 😉

3


I’m Still “Infertile Myrtle”, Baby or Not

I have realized lately that you can give an infertile woman a baby but she will still feel barren. I’ve had my period twice since I had Mary Margaret 14 weeks ago and each time I realize that it’s “that time” my heart sinks and I get really sad.

Why??

We’re not ready for another child (or the possibility another awful pregnancy) and we’re even using birth control.  But that old heartbreaking feeling returns each month because it’s what I associate with my period.  Period = no baby = crying Natalie over no baby.

Since I was 15 I was anxious about my fertility.  As soon as I lost that one ovary 50% of my eggs were gone.  And then at 24 when I had another large cyst and almost lost my last remaining ovary, I almost became panicked.  C. & I weren’t ready for kids at that point since we’d just been married four months, but I remember getting anxious every month after that just the same.  And then when we did start trying and nothing happened…and nothing happened…and nothing happened, well, it became devastating.

And then miracles of miracles, I became pregnant.  And my HcG numbers doubled like they were supposed to.  And we saw a heartbeat at 6 weeks and heard it at 9.  I felt her kick at 23 weeks.  And because of my complications I got to see her twice a week on an ultrasound.  But until they laid her in my arms I thought it was too good to be true.  Like it was some big joke being played on me–how could I, the infertile, barren woman that I was, carry a child?

And now as the weeks tick by since I’ve been pregnant–it feels almost like the pregnancy was a dream itself–the old panicky feelings have returned.  It’s really amazing how your mind can play tricks on you like that.

That infertility thing is one tough cookie.

4


I Need to Write this Down so I’ll Remember It

The one thing I needed someone to tell me during pregnancy that no one did was this:

 You will get your body back after pregnancy…but even better: YOU *WILL* FEEL LIKE YOURSELF AGAIN!

 Towards the end of my pregnancy–okay, okay, the last eleven weeks or so–I thought I would never, ever, EVER feel “normal” again.  I thought for the rest of my life I would be excessively swollen, extremely tired, clammy, sweaty, and have a racing heart.

I knew I felt that way because of the Preeclampsia and the Gestational Diabetes, but I honestly didn’t think I would ever get better.  I thought for the rest of my life I would feel trapped within my own body.

But here I am five and half weeks postpartum and I am back to my normal self.  Not only have I lost the weight and then some, but the swelling and headaches are gone and so are all the symptoms of my diabetes–the cold sweats, the anxious feeling 24/7, and the constant dizziness.  I now have the energy to take a walk or do laundry and not feel like I’m going to pass out or have a heart attack. 

I need to write this down so if I do ever decide to get pregnant again and God forbid get those two complications, I’ll at least know I’ll come out feeling okay.  And that’s pretty nice to know!

…now, if only those stretch marks on my stomach would go away! 

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Trying to Find the Words

I sit here in my hospital bed on this rainy Saturday evening with the computer on my lap.  To my left is my daughter laying in her bassinet, just 53 hours old, to my right is my husband, the most wonderful man on earth, laying on the couch watching both of us.The love I feel for both of them overwhelms me.  Just trying to write this makes me cry thinking about how much they mean to me and the new feelings that have awoken inside of me that I never knew existed until I saw her–covered in gook and crying being lifted above the screen by unknown hands.

Thursday had such a surreal feel to it.  From the moment I woke up I was consumed with the thought that I was going to become a mom that day.  We arrived at the hospital around 11am and were fairly quickly shown to a labor and delivery operation room suite and hooked up to the monitors.  An IV was started and I began my antibiotics.  On the wall across from the bed was a clock and for an hour and a half we stared at it as various nurses and doctors came in to talk with us and check my vitals.

At exactly 12:30 the nurse came in and told me it was time.  She helped me off the bed and we walked down the hall to the operating room.  They told C. to sit in a chair outside the door while they got me set up.I was sat on a metal table and my back was prepped for the epidural.  

The anesthesiologist arrived and about five minutes later I was numb from mid-chest down.  They made me lay down and me doctor arrived.  After hooking me up to monitors I was strapped to the table and they put in the catheter.  An oxygen mask was put on my face, a drape was raised, and they brought C. in.  During all this it felt so surreal.  I’ve had many surgeries in my life and have never been awake during the pre-op preparations.

The doctor told me I would feel pressure and tugging.  The first thing I noticed a clicking notice as they opened my abdomen.  The surgery itself was for lack of a better word–gory–I bleed excessively to the point where a nurse slipped and fell in my blood and my blood pressure reached 240/170.  Thankfully I was closely monitored and they had been ready for me and had extra nurses and the right medicines on hand for my complications.  

After twelve minutes the doctor told C. to look over the curtain and he watched as MM came out.  He snapped a picture and sat back down beside my head and started crying.  He told me she was beautiful and a moment later we heard a high pitch cry.  A nurse took MM to a corner of the operating room to assess her.  After a few minutes I told C. to go look at her and make sure she was okay.  He came back in a few minutes with tears streaming down his face and showed me the pictures he had taken.  It was obvious that our beautiful baby was a carbon copy of my C.  It took about forty-five minutes to sew me up and we received good news that MM scored an 8/9 on her APGAR and her blood sugar looked good at 68.  They said I would get to see her in the recovery room and she would need no NICU time.  

After the surgery they monitored my blood pressure for about fifteen minutes until it went down to 110/60 and they brought MM in and a nurse placed her in my arms.  It was the strangest experience holding her–I couldn’t believe this little baby had been living inside me for the past nine months.  I read before delivery that many mothers don’t bond with their babies instantly–that sometimes it’s hours or even days before they feel a connection.  With MM though I instantly felt such a strong, uncontrollable connection to her I barely could breath.  I cried the happiest tears of my life.

And that is Mary Margaret’s birth story.  I can’t believe it’s already been a week.  Time has flown already and my angel baby continues to grow and change everyday.  I love her with all that I have and I can’t even imagine my life without her.

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A Picture Post (M.M.’s First 72 Hours)

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, right?   

A picture my doctor took of C. before the surgery in his scrubs and “doctor pose”.

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 In the operating room

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 She’s here!  12:54pm.

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 All cleaned up and ready to meet Mom and Dad.

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 Holding her Daddy’s finger for the first time.

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 Daddy bringing her to meet her mama for the first time.

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 The first time I got to hold her–in the recovery room.

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 Getting settled in to our room (Thursday – Saturday).

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 Getting ready to go home on Sunday morning.

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 We’re Home!

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 And that’s where we are right now.  I’m sitting here on the couch, M.M. is in bouncy seat sleeping away on the ottoman (with Coco keeping a watchful look from her basket), and C. sitting in his chair asking us every few minutes, ‘Are you okay?  Is she okay?’.  Life is amazingly good right now.

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