Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Livin' on a Prayer

Every time I think about having finally hit the 20 week mark, I think "Wow! We're half-way there!" And then inevitably, Bon Jovi pops into my head :)

But seriously, I feel like this is my theme song right now. My life, and the life of this precious unborn baby, is being sustained only by God's mighty hand, and allot of prayer from family & friends - and even total strangers! We are literally living day to day, praying.

And today's 20w doctor's appointment proved to just reinforce the need for more prayer.

I have really been looking forward to this appointment - for so many reasons - but mostly because I knew that I would finally get to see my IP's again :) I haven't seen daddy since our 9w u/s, and its been about 6 weeks since I've seen mommy. So on top of the fact that today would be our 20w u/s, I knew I was going to get to visit and laugh and hang-out with the baby's parents for a bit.

Our u/s went well - baby girl B didn't disappoint - she moved and wriggled and looked as tho she was sucking her thumb. She gave us a good shot of her little girl parts confirming what we already thought we knew, and then played hide & seek with the u/s technician for a bit, covering her face every time we tried to get a good picture of her. Heart rate was 133, and her measurements were right on target for her age. She is healthy :)

But after spending allot of time oohing and aahing, we got down to business and headed south to see where the placenta was. And guess what we found? Its pretty much where we left it the last time! It may have moved up slightly, but there is still a web of blood vessels covering my cervix, which means we are still dealing with placenta previa. And at 20w are now staring down the barrel of "high risk" and probably a c-section.

Because M&A were there with me, we all had the chance to chat with Dr. R about the situation and were given the good, the bad & the very very ugly odds. While its still possible that the placenta will move, its likely it won't. This means that if I manage to miss-out on any bleeding & spotting episodes along the way (and so far, so good!), around 28w we will begin steroid shots to help Baby B mature a bit faster. Around 30w (I believe) we'll begin weekly progesterone shots (different than what I've already used for the IVF process), and if we can keep her baking until somewhere between 31 & 35 weeks, Baby girl B will make an appearance via c-section sooner than we had anticipated. Dr. R said we can't really pinpoint exactly when he'd deliver her since he really bases his decision on what the u/s shows maturity-wise, but we are all crossing our fingers that we can get to, at least, December before we see her sweet little face.

Prayers would be much appreciated as I am now facing several new bits of news that none of us had anticipated at the beginning of this journey. Of course, I will do whatever it takes to keep her baking for as long as we can, but it is painfully obvious that I have absolutely NO CONTROL over this situation. I am completely as His mercy and am being forced to trust that He will work everything out for the benefit of my family, and M&A's family. This precious baby girl that I carry is a true miracle baby, and a blessing & a gift. Let's just hope we don't have to unwrap her until Christmas - or afterward :)
*I took a pic of the u/s photo with my iPhone, thus the lousy quality.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Unexpected OB appointment

Beginning on Sunday afternoon, I started not feeling well, and was having some weird pains in my stomach. Not like contractions or cramps, but little pinches here & there. Totally weird. I decided to just take it easy on Sunday to see if they would subside - they did for a bit but really just came & went all evening. Monday was more of the same - coming & going every now & then. Honestly I was a little perturbed, not by the pains so much as the fact that I wasn't feeling any movement. Movement is my way of knowing that most-likely everything is ok. So anyway, by 4:30 Michael had talked me into calling the OB. His words were "at least you'll have some peace of mind if they want you to go in". So I relented and called, just knowing they would say "head to bed". Thankfully that wasn't the case. They asked me to go in for a quick check, but since I hadn't showered, or even changed out of my pajamas all day, I asked if I could wait until today. The nurse laughed at me, but said yes, with the caveat that if the pains got worse, or I started to spot/bleed, I'd head straight to the ER. I agreed, and the appointment for today was set.

When I arrived, Angie (the u/s tech) took me back and got the party started. Baby looked perfect :) The heart rate was 140 and the measurements showed the baby to be 18w1d. We got some awesome pictures and had fun enjoying the view. Angie also did a check and measurements of my placenta & cervix. While the previa is still there, she said the placenta is only overlapping the cervix by an inch. So that gave me some hope - its off-center so there is a good chance that it will move up as my uterus grows. WE WANT IT TO MOVE!!! Altho there is still a slight chance it'll stay put, exactly where it is, or only move slightly. BUT WE WANT IT TO MOVE - ALLOT!!!

Anyway, all-in-all, it was a great appointment that showed nothing out of the ordinary. All is well on the baby/surro front, and we are still set for our big 20w appointment on the 30th :)

Meanwhile, enjoy some pictures of sweet baby B!

Where's the baby??

There SHE is!!!

Sweet baby toes :)

Precious baby fingers :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

17w2d update

Well, I can't say that I'm necessarily surprised that my doctor's appointment wasn't what I expected. Because honestly, it seems that is the common theme for this journey - expect the unexpected OR don't expect anything at all. In either case, it just didn't leave me feeling all tingly and happy :(

For starters, the nurse that I had was either new, or just dumb. In either case, she was weird. I didn't like her. But I digress....when she took me back to the room, she asked the typical questions and then did my blood pressure. All was fine. She laid me back and did my "fundal" measurement - 34cm. Um, I don't think that was even close to correct...but I didn't say anything figuring that another nurse or the doctor would correct it later. (for those that don't know, 34cm would be 34w preggo - I am not that large!) Then she starts the search for the heartbeat. FIVE MINUTES LATER she finally found it, listened for a split second, and then said "Ok, we're done!". I was like "um, any chance you'd fill me in on the heart rate?" It was 114. I wasn't happy with 114, that seemed low, so I asked her to note that I wanted to discuss that with the doctor. And while she assured me that anything over 110 was perfectly normal, I didn't buy it.

When the doctor came in about 20 minutes later, he squinched up his nose, looked at me, and said "I'm not happy with that heart rate, so I'm sending you over for a quick scan. I want to see the baby and be sure all is OK, which it probably is, but I want to be sure." I was good with that, so off I trotted to the u/s room. The tech took a quick look and announced "heart rate is 146, not 114, and baby looks great!" *relief* But then she kept looking, and eventually took another measurement. I told her "you aren't allowed to look so serious and take measurements and be so quiet...what's up?". She told me that my placenta was laying directly across my cervix and that I had placenta previa. She said she was going to get the doctor so that he could chat with me further.


So the short version of our conversation is that right now, my cervix is covered by the placenta. Not good. I have not been mandated to bed rest (yet) but have been told "no exercise, nothing strenuous, no heavy lifting, etc. etc. etc." Basically, I'm not allowed to do much of anything. And honestly, I'm OK with following his orders in order to keep this baby safe and healthy. But "not doing much of anything" throws a major wrench in my duties of being mommy & wife. Its a tad inconvenient if truth be told. But the biggest bummer with all of this is that I can't travel for a while. Why is this a bummer? Because the kids & I were supposed to fly out to South Padre Island for 5 wonderful, beach-filled, fun days with my dad & his wife. The kids have been counting sleeps for weeks in anticipation. They harassed me all day about packing. But I finally had to break the news....we're having to cancel our trip because mommy's belly isn't doing what its supposed to do and I have to take extra special care of Baby B to be sure he/she stays healthy. And while they understand the "why we can't go" reason, none of them are happy. They are downright sad and keep trying to come up with ways to make the trip happen. Its sad that they are so disappointed. But it is what it is. And we will all cope and make due and do whatever we have to for the time being.

SO, I need prayers from all of you: prayers that this placenta isn't solidly attached right on top of the cervix. If its off centered somewhat, as the uterus grows, the placenta will move up. We want it to move!!! I do not want this to end up with me hospitalized for days/weeks on end trying to keep this baby baking for as long as possible, potentially ending up in a premie birth by c-section. We want a normal, healthy 39+ week baby, delivered the "regular" way! So again, I would appreciate your prayers.

Our next scheduled appointment is in 3 weeks - it will be our 20 week u/s where we will confirm the gender of Baby B, and check the status of my dang placenta and its where-a-bouts. And while the u/s tech told me what she believes the baby to be, I'm not sharing the news right now. Its a secret :)

Meanwhile, I'm off to sit....