"...Have faith in your dreams and someday,

your rainbow will come smiling through.

No matter how your heart is grieving,

if you keep on believing,

the dream that you wish will come true..."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

12 weeks: An amazing ultrasound..then a scare the next day!

On Monday September 27th we had an ultrasound appointment with Dr. Butt in Fredericton.  It was a VERY positive day!  As the nurse touched the ultrasound to my stomach, and the first pictures started to appear, my DH (dear husband) said "Oh my!  It is fully formed?!?".  Our little one was in there, and using my uterus as a human trampoline.  We watched as he/she JUMPED from one end of my uterus to the other.  The baby was sitting breech, with its bum and feet nestled in my pelvis.  The little one was also not cooperating when it came time to have measurements taken.  The way he/she was positioned it was difficult to get a crown to rump length, and therefore predict gestational age!  They took MANY pictures of this measurement and I think the final verdict was approximately the same as my predictions according to my dates.  The little one actually seemed to look at us at one point, and the hand started waving! 

The specialist then got down to business and checked the development, and so far, so good.  Baby's heart was beating between 149 at one measurement, then 158 the next (they were poking my tummy and asking me to cough to try and get the baby to move around and change positions, so that irritated the baby).  Dr. Butt measured the nucheal fold so that they can combine the measurement with my Maternal serum screening results and give a prediction for Downs syndrome.  She took a look (and pictures) of the brain, heart, bladder and stomach.  She then went to where the bowels would be and highlighted the hip bones.  She then pointed to where the bowel would be and said "I don't see any brightness yet".  Now this does not mean that the bowels won't become bright...it just means they are not bright right now. 

At the end of the appointment we talked about an early induction and she said that would depend on a lot of factors when the time comes.  We would have to consider the baby's size, lung development, and other issues (like positioning).  So we'll wait and see for that.  She said that at 36 weeks they could do an amnio and test to see if the lungs are developed.  An Amnio at that stage wouldn't hurt anything at all, and at worst could induce labour or break my water.  She also asked about genetic testing for CF, and we refused at this point.  We know our odds, we knew them when we conceived, an amnio now wouldn't change anything and is too risky.

So we came home...pictures in tow!  The doctor couldn't tell if it was a boy or a girl, since they both look very similar at this stage.  She said "for a boy, it points up..and a girl it points down..and I can't really tell with all that umbilical cord there!"  The only bad news from the appointment was that the placenta is located on the front wall (anterior) of the uterus.  This means that I may not feel movement as early, or as often since it is like a giant sponge between the baby and my tummy.  At least I know that, and it will hopefully provide some reassurance when I do start to feel the movement!

So Yesterday (Tuesday Sept 28th) I woke up and went to the washroom.  I wiped and there was blood on the toilet paper.  I immediately brushed my teeth and woke up my DH and we headed to the hospital...absolutely terrified.  Thankfully, one of the nurses who taught my prenatal class was on in labour & delivery, and she took us right into a delivery room and called the doctor.  The doctor came in and tried to settle us down and talked about the circumstances surrounding the blood.  Then she checked the baby's heartbeat.  There were a few tense seconds, and then....there it was.  At 12 weeks we could hear the heartbeat with a doppler... a strong 141 bpm!    They then examined me and discovered that the blood was not coming from the uterus, but rather the outside of the cervix.  She said my cervix was "fiable"...or irritated.  They then talked about my urine dips which showed blood in my urine and they were going to send my urine for a urine culture to determine where the blood was from.

The doctor then told me that I should go home and rest, and gave me a note for bed rest until Monday Oct 4th, when I have another doctor's appointment.  They will re-evaluate then.  After I got home, I started thinking, and called the hospital again around 1pm and asked about a Rhogam shot.  My husband is A+ blood type, and I am A-.  This is called Rh incompatibility, and if the baby has positive blood, I can develop antibodies and reject future babies.  So they gave me a Rhogam shot in the hip to prevent this from happening (I had these shots with Kheri).  I'll have to have another shot at 28 weeks...and then after the birth.   While I was up there they told me that my urine cultures showed I have a bladder infection..or a UTI (urinary tract infection).  They are quite common in pregnancy, and I may not have noticed the symptoms because..well.. you pee a lot when you're pregnant!  So I am on antibiotics to treat that now. They said that the UTI can cause the bleeding because it effects the pelvic organs and can cause inflammation.  If allowed to progress long enough it can cause a kidney infection which is very serious. 

So here I am... at home until next monday on bed rest, and hopefully the cervix will heal.  Today I had a few traces of blood this morning, but it seems to be stopping.  I don't want to say it has stopped, for fear of jinxing it!  I'm drinking LOTS of water, since I've read that extra fluids can help flush out the infection.  I won't be able to go to the CIBC run for the cure this Sunday.  But I am still going to go and sit in the chair and donate my hair for locks of love on Friday! So I sit here...journal...and research hair styles!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Prenatal Appointment #2 at 9 weeks + 5 days gestation- September 9, 2010

So, on Sept 9th I had my second prenatal appointment at the local (small but new) hospital.  It appears, that thanks to about 3 weeks worth of nausea I didn't gain any weight!  You could have fooled me! My clothes are already tight at that point.  The nausea was not making me throw up....yet, but it sure made food taste like shit!

At this appointment I decided to ask for accommodation at work.  Accommodation means that "due to medical reasons associated with the pregnancy I am requesting a modification of my job duties".  Essentially, this means I come out of uniform and into civies.  I get to work days (no more shift work!), and I am on "light" duties for the remainder of my contract.  My contract is up December 1st, and just like last year I am planning on going onto "sick" leave prior to that, and then spending the remainder of my pregnancy at home.  The doctor running the clinic that day happened to be my family doctor, and she had no problems signing the necessary paperwork.
We talked about a few other things, including a raging case of athletes foot, flu shots, Rogham (hubby is A + and I am A- so I get to have the shot in the hip at 28 weeks) and the fact that I feel nauseated when exercising.  She prescribed a cream for my foot, and told me to stop exercising until I'm able to eat enough and put on some weight. 

Next came the best part!  She brought out the ultrasound and said "We likely won't be able to hear a heartbeat with the Doppler at this point, would we like to try an ultrasound?"  Of course I said yes, I intentionally didn't give a urine sample at the beginning of the appointment, just so that my bladder would be full and they would (hopefully) be able to see something.  My hubby looked at me and said "remember...no expectations right? It is still early, don't get upset if they don't see anything".  But the minute she put that ultrasound on my tummy, there was a little amniotic sac and a little "critter" in there!  We watched him/her bounce around a little bit, and we could see a heart fluttering away.  That was exciting, and gave some relief to know that, at that moment, there was SOMETHING in there.  The doctor was not able to give me a printed picture because the machine was broken  :( , but the next appointment is September 27th in Fredericton with the specialist (who has an AMAZING ultrasound), so hopefully we will be able to get a picture at that appointment.

As I left the appointment, on the typical post-good-news high, I remembered having that same feeling with Kheri.  How it took a day or two to come down from that "high", and then how, as the pregnancy progressed, there were low appointments or diagnosis's that mirrored and sometimes overshadowed those highs.  I just keep hoping the highs keep coming, and the lows stay away, and at the end of the pregnancy, we have a living take home baby. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Catching up...

Well, I finally did it!  I started another blog for our rainbow. I wavered for a while trying to decide if I wanted to start another blog, but it feels right to have this separate space.  My first task is to get caught up with posting and progress of the pregnancy, so please bear with me!  This first post is one from This 'aint no dress rehearsal, originally posted on August 16, 2010...

Could this really be our rainbow?

"...'Rainbow Baby' is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. 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 colour, energy and hope..."

Well, it has happened. On July 31st I got a BFP (big fat positive..pregnancy test)...well, more like a faint one, but it was there just the same. Then I proceeded to test two more times over the next two days, just in case I didn't believe the first one.

I had my first appointment on August 12th. During the appointment the doctor decided to pull out the ultrasound. He had a student and wanted to show her what she should be looking for. Well of course they didn't find anything. I was only 5 weeks + 5 days along. But it made me wish they had never tried at all. They patted my arm and told me not to worry. That their equipment sucked and that it was far too early. If they really wanted to see anything they would have to do a trans-vaginal ultrasound and they didn't want to do that. So I am trying to not think about it too much, but it is hard. Some of the memories of February 3rd were right there under the surface. Shit, I was even in the same exam room that I was in when we found out Kheri was gone.

So now, here we go again. Appointments every two weeks starting September 9th(between regular checkups and ultrasounds in Fredericton). I hate the fact that I am saying "if" before everything. "If" we actually bring home a baby. "If" this turns into a bona-fide child in late March/early April of 2011. "If" we make it through the next 6 weeks, never mind the entire pregnancy. "If"..."If"..."If". I am a little bitter that I don't get to have that unfettered joy that pregnant women have. Instead, right now, I run to the bathroom at every trickle or cramp, looking for blood. And "if" this child starts moving between 16 and 20 weeks, I will be constantly counting and charting.

It has taken about 2 weeks for the "pregnant" brain to settle in. For us to start talking in terms of this child. I know that this is difficult for many of you TTC ladies to read. I pray that your TTC battles end soon, and you can join me on this rainbow journey. I need some company, just so that I know that I'm not going crazy!

I am thinking that I may start another blog for this rainbow baby. Check my profile in the coming weeks for another blog, should I start one. I want Kheri to have her own space here, and I still need a place to go to in terms of baby loss. Also, I want baby G 2.0 to have his/her own identity, separate from his/her big sister's.

For those of you who may be a Facebook friend, PLEASE, no public wall posts yet. No comments on statuses, or pictures, or anything. We still have some family who are not aware, and we will tell them and "go public" when we are ready. Isn't it funny, how virtual strangers can seem more understanding than those who are supposed to love us unconditionally? Also, if at all possible, for those of you who read this and are part of my "real" life, please minimize the public gossip. As I said, there are family and co-workers who do not know. When we are ready, we will tell them, I do not want them hearing about it through Tim Horton's/Murray's/Fusion/Pub gossip at the next table. We would still like the "mute" button on for the next little while. Please understand that I am posting it here on the unspoken understanding that most of you live in a virtual world that can lend me some support. And as for the rest of you, I can only hope that you are able to use your discretion, and common sense.