As you may have gathered from the end of my last post, I’m pregnant! It was quite the shock to us, but we are very excited and can’t wait to welcome our 2nd daughter into our family in February. Since I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been keeping notes on the blog, but haven’t posted them. Here is what I have written so far and should fill everyone in on everything about this baby!
Tuesday, May 30, 2012
This isn’t a post I will publish, at least not until we are ready to announce our news. But on Friday, May 25, I discovered that I am pregnant. Nathan and I were both very surprised to learn of this, as it is not something we had planned. Yet here I am, and here this baby is, nestled in my uterus.
Based on my LMP date, I would be due February 2, 2013, making me about 4 weeks and 3 days pregnant today. However, I think I ovulated later than usual this month, and based on that date, I would be due February 7 instead. I am well aware that due dates are nothing but approximations of when a baby might appear, but using the correct due date does give the most accurate insight into a baby’s development. So, I don’t want to think I am 4 weeks 3 days along, show up for an ultrasound in a few weeks, and then panic when it shows me further behind. So, for now I prefer to use the later date as my estimation, although the OB will use my LMP date.
Of course, since this baby is a surprise, that means that the baby shares our genes, and will have a 25% chance of being affected with SLOS. Oddly enough, neither Nathan nor I are worried about that at this point. I think he is still in shock at the news of having another baby and having to adjust his mindset, and hasn’t had a chance to think about what it could really mean. I, on the other hand, simply have a good feeling about it all. I am not sure how much stock to place in what I feel, but I do believe there is something to be said for intuition. And I’d much rather feel like everything was going to be ok than to spend my days miserable, beliving the worst will happen. I know very well that the worst can and DOES happen. All too often. But why should I wallow in it? I can’t do anything about it – whatever genes have been passed down are already there. All I can do at this point is wait until I can do some testing. My hope is that by the time I am 15/16 weeks along, I’ll have a good indication of this baby’s health.
I’m already having a few symptoms, but nothing consistent yet. I’ve been tired, a little queasy, my nose is stuffy, and I’ve had some very vivid dreams. I’ve also had a lot of the dull cramping/aching that is common in early pregnancy. If I remember correctly, I had that with Liam until I was 7 or 8 weeks along.
I called my OB this morning, and he ordered some lab work. I’m (im)patiently waiting for the results. I don’t know what all he tested, but I do know he was checking to make sure my thyroid is working properly, and he checked my HCG and progesterone count. The nurse thought we might have results as early as this afternoon, but it is 3:42 p.m. and I haven’t heard anything yet. Hopefully I will hear something by the end of the day tomorrow. I’m not very good at waiting.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Today I found out my HCG count from my OB’s office, but none of my other results are in yet. My HCG was at 269, which is right in the middle of the normal range for 4 weeks pregnant. I was informed that they need the HCG count to be well over 1,000 before they can do a first appointment or schedule an ultrasound (they wouldn’t see anything this early), so I’m going in on Monday to have my HCG tested again. HCG should double every 48-72 hours, and so even if I only double at the 72 hour mark, the number should be over 1,000 by Monday. They’ll have the results by Tuesday morning and, by that point, I”ll be able to schedule my appointments. I am glad it sounds like they’ll be doing an early ultrasound. This all still feels surreal, but I think seeing the baby and a beating heart will start to change that. I am already feeling protective of this baby. It’s crazy how that happens.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Today I had my 2nd blood screening done, and my HCG came back at 4,829, which is great! That gives me a doubling rate of approximately every 40 hours, which is perfect! They look for numbers to double every 48-72 hours. Also, my OB said that my progesterone was fine for where I was in the pregnancy last week, so he isn’t going to put me on supplements at this time. He wanted to do an ultrasound this week, but since Nathan is leaving town, I’m going to do it on Monday, June 11. We’ll be more likely to see the heartbeat at that point anyway. I’ll be somewhere between 5 weeks 5 days and 6 weeks 2 days, so it’s still iffy as to whether we will indeed see a heartbeat. However, they’ll at least be able to measure the gestational sac and date the pregnancy, so then I won’t have to keep guessing as to what my due date is. I’ll have my first official OB appointment on Wednesday, June 13. I’ll definitely be 6 weeks along by then.
I’m not feeling a ton of symptoms. Im’ having my moments of queasiness and dizziness, and I’m very tired. However, the tiredness could be due to Liam’s poor sleeping habits lately. The poor guy is teething fiercely. I’ll be glad when he catches a break!
Thursday, June 7, 2012
The past few days I’ve been feeling more queasy. I don’t remember ever being queasy this early in my other pregnancies. In addition, I don’t remember being so consistently queasy! With Liam, I barely had any symptoms at all. I had a little more morning sickness with Madelyn, but I still think it is worse this time around! Of course, it may feel worse only because it is the situation I’m currently in. But I definitely wasn’t sick until after 6 weeks with Madelyn or Liam.
I’m also starving all the time it seems. I’m starving, but food makes me feel queasy. I’ve mostly been eating a lot of bland foods. Thankfully it’s not constant, but it is off and on all day long. I think the evenings are the worst for me, w hich is unfortunate since that is the time I have to spend with Liam! But, it is only temporary.
I’m tired, but I can’t blame that on the pregnancy. Liam is still sleeping poorly, so I know that is contributing. And he lost his voice, too. It’s not easy being in the first trimester and having to take care of a baby who doesn’t feel well! But I mostly don’t like seeing him suffer!
I am noticing my sense of smell getting stronger, but thankfully smells aren’t bothering me yet. I also still have some dull early pregnancy cramps off and on, but they are subsiding.
A few days ago, the reality of this situation hit me, and I started to panic. Not only must we worry about genetics, but I kept thinking about how I don’t know if I’m ready to take attention away from Liam! He is still a baby himself. I think my feelings were brought on by his frequent night wakings these days. I don’t know how I would handle both him and a newborn waking up all night long. I hope by the time this new baby gets here, he will have all of his teeth!
I took my first picture, and there isn’t much to see at this point. It is more of a starting point than anything else. I do have some bloating, but no one would ever look at me and think “pregnant”. Which is good! If I were showing this early, that would be very scary for later on!
Monday, June 11, 2012
I had my ultrasound today, and all looked as it should! Based on my LMP, my due date would be February 2, 2013. But as I’ve already mentioned, I know for a fact I ovulated late. I was expecting to measure 3-4 days behind on the ultrasound. Well, I only measured 1 day behind, putting me at 6 weeks and 2 days, so they will not change my due date from the LMP date. So it’s official: I’m due February 2, 2013.
We got to see the hearbeat – at this point it was a tiny white flicker on the screen, and only measuring around 100 bpm (which is perfectly normal this early). The ultrasound tech told us it would jump to the 120-180 range in the next week or so.
There isn’t much else that can be reported at this stage. I suppose this is one more hurdle passed. My OB appointment is Wednesday.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I had my first OB checkup today! It was non-eventful. I had a pap, and we talked about the genetic risks and he referred me back to the genetic counselor who worked with us when I was pregnant with dd, Madelyn. He was very encouraging though – he said he was very happy for us and that the odds were in our favor (75%), and he was going to think positive for us! He also said we were a wonderful couple, and he really enjoys having us as patients, which was nice to hear!
I called our genetic counselor, and thankfully she was there and answered the phone! We talked about various screening options. Basically, there is a series of noninvasive tests we can do starting with the nuchal at 12 weeks. I’ll have blood work and an ultrasound done, as is standard for the nuchal screening. And then at 15 weeks I’ll have a urine test done that tests for estriol and some steroid levels, and also some more blood work that will be combined with everything from the 12 week labs to give us our risk factor. None of these tests are diagnostic in an of themselves, but combined should give us a good idea if everything is ok. The only way to know for sure (well 99.9% for sure) is to do a CVS or amniocentesis, but I’d rather do the noninvasive testing first, and then we can discuss the amnio if necessary (it would be too late for the CVS by then).
My next OB checkup is July 11, and then I’ll be going in for my nuchal screening on July 16.
July 16, 2012
I had my nuchal screening this morning. A lot of babies who have SLOS have larger neck measurements, and I have confirmed from several families I know who have SLOS babies that this has been the case for them. They prefer the neck measurement to be under 2, but anything under 2.5 is considered ok – anything above that raises a red flag. They took several measurements, and the biggest one we got was 1.2!!!
Our baby was also measuring 3 days ahead (measuring 11 weeks 5 days), so that is another great sign! Though Madelyn didn’t develop IUGR until later, she always measured behind in her ultrasounds. The baby was dancing all around, and the heart rate was 172.
Our ultrasound tech is predicting we are having a girl based on the nub theory. I will be thrilled either way, but I have been feeling girl this whole time. Obviously, accuracy is limited at this stage, but it is still fun to make a guess, and they got the gender right with Liam just about 1 week later.
I go to a Quest lab in exactly 4 weeks for a urinanalysis, and that is the test that will be most crucial in our case. It will take 6 days for the results to come in. That same week I’ll go in for my OB checkup, and then to the lab to have some bloodwork drawn. The blood sample is the typical 2nd trimester screening, but with SLOS they will be looking for abnormalities in estriol levels, which they hopefully won’t find! I go back for an ultrasound/MFM appointment in 6 weeks, as they want to make sure the blood and urine test results are back before I meet with the specialist again. I’ll be 17 weeks at my next ultrasound, so should definitely get to find out gender while I’m there. And then I’ll go back a few weeks after that for my anatomy scan, and then they’ll keep an eye on things for a bit just to make sure.
Obviously today wasn’t conclusive, but I’m so relieved that everything looked good! It’s a great starting point! I had a blood test today as well, and so in a few days I’ll get my combined results for Down’s and the Trisomy abnormalities they check. The blood results won’t give any further insight into SLOS, but since we were already doing the neck measurement, they went ahead and checked for those other things too.
Here is a picture of our little one!
July 19, 2012
We got the rest of our screening results back and my risk for downs is 1:5,000 and risk for Trisomy 13 or 18 is less than 1:10,000. These are all significantly lower than average for age 30. We weren’t worried about those particularly but it is still nice to know!!
August 13, 2012
We did an elective ultrasound today to take our mind off all of the testing we have coming up. We found out for sure we are having a girl! Those 3 lines were VERY clear. And she is measuring RIGHT on schedule, which is such a good sign for us! I gave my urine sample today, which is step 1 of our genetic screening. It has to ship from MO to CA, and then it takes 2-6 days for processing. I’m hoping for 2, but planning on 6.
And here is some pictures of our sweet GIRL from today:
August 20, 2012
We hear from our geneticst today, the best words we could possibly hear! She said our results are “NOT CONSISTENT WITH SLOS”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m so happy. I am afraid to be 100% relieved until I’ve had my ultrasound on Monday and can get a good look at the organs. At just past 17 weeks, they might not be able to see everything, but at least we’ll get a good start at that.
I feel like I can finally buy something for this baby!!!!
August 27, 2012
Today I had my first anatomy scan, and everything is looking perfect. Baby has plenty of fluid, and we were able to get a good look at most of the organs and they are all looking great. She (definitely a girl) is growing 2 days ahead of schedule, and was moving around! I told the ultrasound tech where I’d been feeling most of the movement, and turns out that is where her feet are, so what I’m feeling is definitely kicks. Quick side note – I’ve been feeling her at least once, but usually 2-3 times a day, and Nathan was even able to feel her moving last night!
Once the ultrasound tech was finished, the MFM specialist even came in and did his own quick scan, and confirmed that everything is looking great! He said there is no reason to believe that this baby has SLOS, and so we should just try to relax and enjoy our pregnancy. Of course, just like any pregnancy, there are other things that can go wrong, but he said the chances of any of that is really small (no greater for us than anyone else). He really was driving home the point of “don’t worry” – I guess these high risk doctors are very accustomed to worriers. He is having me come back 4 weeks from now, mostly just to make sure she’s still growing on schedule, has plenty of fluid, and to get another look at the organs when they’re a little bigger.
She is laying from left to right (meaning her head is on my left side), but I’m not too worried about that – I know there is plenty of time for her to flip around. Even if she was head down today, she’d probably change positions several times between now and the 3rd trimester.
Here is a profile pic!
September 5, 2012
I just want to add a few things. My next OB checkup is September 12, and my next ultrasound at the perinatal center is September 24. I’m starting to feel baby girl move more and more, though still not non-stop. On quiet days, I still feel her 2-3 times (and usually several kicks during those 2-3 times). On a good day, I feel her every few hours. I can’t wait until it is all day long!
Here is a picture of me at 18 weeks 3 days, taken yesterday:
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