Monday, March 24, 2014

Weeks 10 & 11

Please excuse the lack of updates the last couple weeks. Honestly, I have not been feeling very good for a couple of reasons, which I'll get to in a minute, and blogging has not been high on my list of priorities.  Baby S is still growing and developing and things continue to look good.  We had our final appointment with our infertility specialist on Wednesday this past week and had an ultrasound.  Baby has grown so much and actually looks like a little human at this point instead of just a blob. It was very active during the ultrasound, moving and squirming all around.  It is fully developed with arms, legs, fingers, and toes. It was truly an amazing and beautiful site to see.

So as I mentioned, the last couple weeks have been kinda tough.  Growing a human is no joke I tell ya.  It definitely takes a major toll on your body.  The first 6 weeks or so after I found out I was in fact pregnant, I did not really have much morning sickness.  There were definitely certain foods and smells that made me think "yuck, I do not want that..." But I really only had some minor nausea a couple times and didn't ever actually get sick.  I thought I was going to be one of the fortunate women who wasn't going to suffer from morning sickness.  Well, in week nine I started getting more nauseated more often and then in week 10, I started throwing up.  People keep telling me that is gonna get better soon since I am almost to my second trimester but I'm not completely convinced.  I think there's a little more going on than just hormones causing me to be sick.  A few days after I had my gallbladder removed in December of 2012, I had to be readmitted to the hospital because my digestive system had stopped moving and digesting food properly.  After several days in the hospital and a lot of testing, and a specialized test in January, I was diagnosed with something called gastroparesis as well as reflux. Gastroparesis is a condition where your stomach is basically really slow in digesting food and moving it on to your intestines.  This causes nausea, vomiting, and a feeling of fullness almost all the time.  My gastroparesis was luckily not severe and while I did take
some medication for a few months, I was able to come off the medication and manage mine fairly well with diet changes.   Your body changes so much in pregnancy, even in early pregnancy.  Hormones slow digestion and the growing of the uterus and the baby pushes up on the stomach.
I think this explains why the past couple weeks my morning sickness has gotten worse.  I have my first appointment on Wednesday with the high-risk OB so I plan on talking to him about it and seeing if I should go back to my gastroenterologist or back on medication. Fortunately, the medication for gastroparesis is safe for me to take in pregnancy.

The other issue I've been dealing with the last few weeks is pain. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was going to switch my pain medication from a category C to a category B. I saw my pain doctor and she was okay with the idea of switching. I thought I could start the new medication on the equivalent dose of what I was previously on, but the clinic doesn't often prescribe the medication and when they do, they have a limit on the amounts and dosage they will give. So while the dose that I was given was the most she could prescribe for this medication, it is about 1/3 the dosage of what I am used to on my other medication.  When I have done weans before, we usually only cut my dose by about 25% each time so this was definitely the biggest wean I have ever attempted.  Well, unfortunately my body has not been responding very well and I have been having a lot of pain and I have had to take my other medication many times because the new one just didn't touch my pain.  This has been really discouraging mentally and physically.  Plus, being in a lot of pain only makes my nausea worse and getting sick makes my neck pain worse so it's kinda been a viscous cycle.  I am hoping and praying that over time my body can adjust to the new medication but I also have to be good to myself and my body and maintain my quality of life.  The good news is that really with the doses of either medication and the amount I take on average, my pain doctor feels really good about the baby having a positive outcome and the possibility that the baby could come out healthy and not need to spend much, if any, time in the NICU.

One more bit of good more progesterone shots! I am so, so, SO glad to be done with these. Of course, I would go through it all over again for our little peanut but man, was my butt sore!  I got to wean off slowly last week and had my level checked when we went in on Wednesday and my level was still nice and high so that's great news. It means that the placenta has take over and is producing enough hormones to keep this pregnancy going for another 6-7 months! Again, we have our first OB appointment on Wednesday this week so we will get another beautiful picture of baby Slatery and probably do a lot of blood work and other tests so please be praying that everything goes well.  I'll try to get back in the habit of posting at least once a week.  Thanks for reading! Hope everyone has a great week!

Till next time..

Saturday, March 15, 2014

9 weeks and My 30th Birthday

(So I have no idea what happened to my original 9 week post.  I wrote a really long post but apparently when it published, it reverted back to my draft which only had one paragraph! I will try and summarize what I had written originally.)

We are now 9 weeks along.  The weeks seem to be going by very quickly so far.  This week was fairly uneventful.  I did have a couple bouts of pretty severe nausea where I thought I was going to get sick but was able to ward it off with ginger ale and crackers.  I feel like the fatigue has lessened slightly, except for yesterday.  This week has been really busy for me and by yesterday afternoon, I was so exhausted I literally didn't know if I could stay awake to drive home. I got home around 5, ate dinner, took a shower, and was in bed by 8 and asleep by 8:30.  That is very rare for me.  Usually, and especially since being pregnant, it has been taking a couple hours for me to fall asleep, no matter how tired I am.  I get in bed and my mind just keeps reeling thinking about all the things I need to do to get ready for a baby....crazy right?  I still have 7 more months! But in my head, I am already making to do lists It's not getting the nursery ready that I am stressing is all the stuff leading up to that...clean out the garage to make more storage room, clean out the closets, organize everything, donate to Goodwill, paint both bedrooms, etc, etc, etc.  I try to tell myself it is nuts to already be stressing about this kind of stuff.  I know its going to get done and it is just going to take time.  I wish I could snap my fingers and these things would be done.

Wednesday was kinda a big 30th birthday!  I am married to an amazing, sweet man who put a lot of thought into my day and planned a few surprises for me.  I woke up to a note and some beautiful flowers telling me that I needed to be ready to be picked up for lunch at noon.  He said he had a few special things planned for the afternoon and then we had dinner plans as well.  I was picked up at noon by one of my dearest, best, and oldest friends Kim who had taken the day off work to spend with me. Kim and her husband Mike are some of our closest friends who we see often, but its been ages since Kim and I have gotten to spend time just the two of us so this was really special to me.  We went to lunch at Cheesecake Factory where I probably gained 5 lbs and took home a piece of Godiva Chocolate cheesecake that took me 4 days to eat.  Then, we went to a local spa where Harrison had made appointments for both of us for a massage.  I happened to mention that I was pregnant when we got there and were signing in and apparently, this was a problem. Spas can not legally do a massage in the first trimester, which I had no idea.  They offered to let us reschedule for when I was in my second trimester (beginning of April) and gave us complimentary mini facials for the inconvenience which was nice of them.  Since we ended up having some free time that afternoon, Kim and I got to do some shopping instead and talked a lot about baby products.  Kim is already a mommy to a 2 year old, who is very special to me, so she gave me a lot of tips about baby gear and what I need (or don't need).

For dinner we went to a really nice Italian restaurant called Naples and when we walked in, I saw about 10 of our closest friends waiting for me.  It meant so much to me that all of these people took time out of their week to come celebrate with me.  I am so very blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful friends.  My 30th really was one of the best birthdays I've ever had. I am so excited about what God has in store for us this year.  I know my 30s are going to be a wonderful new chapter in my life!

This week in development of little baby Slatery, baby is about an inch long, about the size of a grape. Baby is looking more and more like a human every day.  Essential body parts are accounted for, and the "tail" is gone.  The heart is dividing into four chambers and valves are starting to form.  Eyes are fully formed, it has tiny earlobes, and mouth and nose are more distinct.  The placenta is developed enough now that it is starting to take over the job of producing hormones...great news for me because this means I can start weaning on the Progesterone shots!  I definitely will not be sad to see these go!

Till next week...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

8 weeks

Thursday we entered into our 8th week of pregnancy.  I continue to feel mostly alright, except for exhaustion. I have had a few more bouts of random nausea, but haven't actually gotten sick yet.  Not sure if that counts as morning sickness, although my sister says it does!  I have been craving a lot of carbs, like pasta, which isn't typical for me.  I'm guessing my body is just using a lot of energy for our growing little peanut so my body is craving something it can easily convert to energy. And even though I'm always really tired, I have been having a really hard time falling asleep the past week or so.  I get in bed around 9 because I am just so tired but then I don't fall asleep till midnight.  Its rather frustrating.  My sister gave me her big pregnancy body pillow so I'm hoping that will help me be more comfortable and get some more decent rest.

I am still getting blood work done twice a week to check my progesterone levels.  I am so ready to be done with the progesterone injections.  My backside is so sore and bruised.  I mean SO SORE.  It is hard to sit because the back of chairs hit the areas where I have to do the shots.  I am having to get creative in where I am doing the shots because the areas on both sides where they are supposed to be given are black and blue and I have knots in my muscles from the injections.  So while one area heals and recovers, I have to use another area for a few nights in a row.  The first couple weeks the shots didn't hurt or bother me but now they are hurting more and more and I dread the injection every night.  I am sleeping on a heating pad under my butt most nights because even laying down flat hurts. Luckily I only have 2 or 3 more weeks of these but right now that seems like such a long time.

I was having pretty regular cramping there for awhile but for a week or 2, I was hardly having any.  Then on Thursday night, I had pretty intense cramping for about 30 minutes.  I got up a few times to make sure I didn't have any spotting, which I didn't but it still worried me of course.  I had my scheduled blood work on Friday morning and when I told the nurse, she said it would probably be a good idea to do a quick ultrasound just to check on things.  I was hoping that would be the case when I told them, so I was relieved to get one done.   Everything checked out fine, and the baby looked good.  The heart beat was strong and measured 150 beats per minute, perfectly average.

This week in development the baby is about the size of a kidney bean.  Little webbed fingers and toes extend from hands and feet, eyelids are practically covering its eyes, breathing tubes extend from the throat to the branches of the developing lungs, and its tail is just about gone.  It's simply amazing to think of all this going on inside me.  Truly miraculous.  

I will have a final ultrasound in my 11th week with my current doctor and I have my first appointment with the high risk OB scheduled for March 26.  Once we are at 12 weeks (March 27), we will be in the so called "safe zone" and will move into our second trimester once we hit 13 weeks.   This is typically when people announce a pregnancy, but obviously ours is already public knowledge. However it will be nice to be out of the early phases where the risk of miscarriage is higher.  Plus, my birthday is this Wednesday so March is a big month for us!  Its hard to believe I will be turning the big 3-0.  While this is a big milestone, I am obviously thrilled about how our lives will change this year and excited for what my 30s will hold.

One thing I have yet to talk about and many of you may be curious about is my pain issues.  The past couple weeks I have not been feeling all that well.  I know my body is going through a lot of changes and I have high levels of hormones surging through my body (hormones can have a significant effect on pain and inflammation...sometimes good, sometimes bad).  I have also had a lot of bad muscle spasms in my back. Again, I know my body is going through a lot right now so I'm hoping that some of this will diminish in the coming weeks.  Whenever I have pain, I try to take tylenol first to see if that will help enough to prevent me from having to take my stronger medication.  If it doesn't help or if my pain is already to a level where I know that other things like heat, ice, my TENS unit, etc., won't work, then I do take my stronger medication.  The medication I am on now and have been on for a long time is a pregnancy category C.  I have done a lot of research and have found another medication that is a category B.  Most of the prescription pain medications for moderate to severe pain are actually fairly safe in pregnancy and have not shown an increase in causing major or minor birth defects.  The risk of course is late in pregnancy leading up to delivery.  I have mentioned before that while I try to take the bare minimum in order for me to be able to function on a daily basis, it will  be most important in  my third trimester to wean down to as low of a dose or take as little as possible in order to minimize the risk to the baby.  This is something I am working very closely with my pain doctor on and will be monitored closely by the high risk OB.  I'm sure many people have opinions and beliefs about the fact that I am on medication but I do not take the issue lightly and I use many other alternative therapies to help with my pain to try minimize the amount of medication I have to take.   I will do whatever I can and whatever my doctors recommend to minimize the risks to our child while trying to take care of myself and manage my pain.  Please be praying for this issue specifically during the next few weeks and months.