Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Perfect Little Uterus

July 28, 2009
I had yet another ultrasound today. I believe this has been my third ultrasound so far, and maybe my fifth or sixth appointment? I've lost track. Normal people would have had one at this point in time. Normal people would probably also have an easier pregnancy than mine. But I digress.

I had been given a little cup to pee in at my last visit so I could collect my morning urine. Apparently that is the most pure. Since I get up to use the restroom a bazillion times during the night/early morning, I decided to collect my 6am sample. Then I put it into a ziploc baggie and two Safeway bags. Eight hours later I was on my way to my appointment.

I registered on the third floor, since that was where I had to go last time. The clerk sent me down to the second and told me it changes all the time depending on the doctor one has the privilege of seeing. I was meeting someone new today.

I sat in the waiting room and people watched. Across from me was a young Hispanic girl with her boyfriend, they looked about 16, maybe. An African American woman came in and complained to the clerk about how tight Medical is getting and how they want to verify everyone's information. I'm thinking, "Good, they better! My tax dollars are paying for you, lady." The Hispanic girl was called in, then it was my turn.

The nurse had me step on the scale (I have gained back one pound from what I've lost.) and took my blood pressure (normal). She dumped out practically all my well preserved urine and put a stick thingie in just a tiny bit. The stick thingie turned multiple colors and she showed me how it compared to the norm. Everything matched except the pink one. She told me I needed to drink more water. Then she led me to the doctor's office or checkup room or whatever those things are called and gave me a gown to change in to.

This was the first time I had been asked to change into a gown. Previously I had only to strip from the waist down. Today I was totally out there. I sat on the little bed for about twenty minutes fiddling with the back of the gown to try and cover myself before the doctor finally came in. I stared at all the posters and information on birth control (there are like ten different manufacturers out there!). I also saw some diagrams of a dilated cervix, starting at one cm and going to ten. It's huge! They expect me to stretch that far?! Oh boy.

The doctor came in and introduced herself and went over the paperwork I filled out last time about family medical history. She asked if I was getting headaches (yes) and said she recommended quiet bedrest (hehehe, wait til I tell my husband!) and that it is ok to take a couple of regular Tylenol. Honestly, I'm trying to avoid drugs at all cost, even if they are safe. Maybe I'm just punishing myself, but I feel better about myself that way. She also talked about my rare blood type, of which I am totally aware, and said she would give me more information on that.

Then the doctor told me that today she was going to check my thyroids, my breasts, my uterus, and I forget what else. So she did. I had to lift my arms above my head while she felt around, which was really awkward. And I had forgotten to shave under my arms today, too! Note: when pregnant, hair and nails grow really fast. Shaving becomes an everyday thing for those of us who could get away with it every few days. I just happened to be lazy today of all days.

She used some painful device to get samples to check for chlamydia and gonorrhea, although I thought they already checked for that. Then she felt around on top of my stomach with one hand, while the other was inside to feel my uterus. She told me that I had the "perfect little uterus" and that the medical students should come see it. Fortunately, they were not there today. Otherwise, would I have said, "OK, sure, I'm fine with a bunch of people touching me in my most intimate areas."? Hmmm, I probably would have said yes. It's medical teaching, and I am ok with that. On a scientific note, I also want to donate all my organs and the baby's cord blood for science and healing. But this is for another blog. Note: Husband was not there today or he may have freaked out at that point.

Next, the doctor called in the nurse to help with the ultrasound machine. I've done this multiple times, but this time was painful! I think it was because my bladder was really full. I thought I might be forced to pee again, and I wanted to be ready. But it really did hurt! It was easy to spot the baby right away. It took up practically the whole screen, and actually looked like a baby. She moved the wand around and we saw the baby's heart beating, its little hands and feet moving around, and even the top part of its head where the brain was divided into two sections. The baby rolled around a couple of times and the doctor took pictures when she thought she had a good one. It was really cool! I was very glad when it was over, though. Next time I am not going in with a full bladder unless I absolutely have to.

After all that, I got dressed while the doctor went and got me this months pamphlet all about the baby and what I should and should not be doing, and a CD about childcare, and a brochure on being AB-. She also talked about prenatal screening for birth defects and and the different methods they have. If I decided to go with the newest, most accurate one, I could do it today. I decided a while ago that I am not going to do any screenings, so I turned her down. We are having a baby, and we are going to love it no matter what.

Then I was sent to the lab to give another urine test to make sure my bladder infection has really disappeared. I hope so, although I'm not so sure. I know I'm not drinking enough water. It seems to gross me out lately. I like it really cold with ice, but our water has little white floaty things in it that make me gag. Yuck. Plus, I'm not sure how much of the antibiotics I actually kept in my system. Remember morning sickness? I tried to keep them down... Well, the doctor told me she would call if there was anything there.

My next appointment is supposed to be at a new facility, closer to my new job. I have to call and make an appointment for an ultrasound six weeks from now. At that point they will do a closer inspection of the major organs. The doctor was sad to hear that I probably wouldn't be seeing her again. She said all the good ones leave, and she gets stuck with people who come in slippers and pajamas. I wonder if they shave.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Words Cannot Describe

July 25, 2009
I had to adjust to a regular schedule this past week. I had to go in to a work training Monday through Thursday from 8-4. I was dreading it, because of the nausea and bathroom breaks, but I think it worked out ok. Every morning I would wake up, eat breakfast, get ready, and drive to the training. There was a ton of food, so I was able to munch on donuts and fruit in the morning, eat whatever was provided for lunch, and then indulge in carbs such as chips or cookies, or more fruits or vegetables in afternoons. I read that having a full stomach helps with nausea. I'm really not sure if it helped or not. I do know I wasn't hungry this past week!

I had to use the restroom pretty much every hour or so, but it wasn't a major issue. I am concerned with bathroom breaks once school starts up again. It's not really possible to leave the children every hour, so I will have to figure out a way to fix the situation. I also felt pretty well most days, in regards to nausea. It seems to have gotten better, and now doesn't hit me until the afternoon/evening time. A couple times during the day I would feel a wave of it wash over me, but I would sit there and ride it out. I only had to throw up before leaving one afternoon. That was after attempting to munch on a carrot.

Monday night was the worst. I came home and crawled into bed, the nausea was so intense. It felt like I had started experiencing morning sickness all over again for the first time, like it had been the first week. It was awful. The rest of the week wasn't as intense, although I did have to pull over to the side of the road on the way home either Tuesday or Wednesday. I don't remember exactly which day. Pretty much every day I would head home, maybe stop and do an errand or visit family (My brother washed my car for me one of the days- he's so sweet!) then attempt to eat something and take a nap when I got home. I would lay in bed for a while, then maybe eat some more, and go to bed for the night. For information on how the nights are, please read my last blog.

I feel bad that husband only gets to see me when I am nauseated, and I can't really do anything. He would love to be able to go out to dinner, or just go out when he gets home from work, but I really don't feel up for it because I am focusing too much on keeping everything in my stomach. I feel that if I go anywhere, I will throw up in the car, or be so distracted by not feeling well, it's not even worth it.

I've been asked what it feels like, so I was trying to come up with analogies to compare to how I feel. Hopefully this will get the picture across:

I feel like I was on the Tea Cup Ride at Disneyland for hours and hours and hours...

You know when you sit in the backseat of a car for a long journey through treacherous, windy roads for hours on end with a scary driver and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach....

Having a stomach flu, for weeks on end, with no possibility of relief through medication.

Wanting to feel normal again, but knowing that no matter what you do, you're stomach is still going to revolt.

Fear of going into restaurants or places that have strong smells, because you might throw up and everyone would stare at you and get grossed out.

Grossing yourself out and remembering the images every time you throw up. I have a mental library of what different foods look like in reverse. Ew.

For some, the sight of blood, or seeing someone else throw up, or watching a major surgery and not being able to turn away.

I think those are some pretty good analogies. Maybe now you'll get a better picture of how I am feeling.

I have another doctor's appointment on Tuesday. Hopefully all will be well.

Disney Precious Moments Minnie You Are My Cup of Tea Figurine

Monday, July 20, 2009

Night Time

July 20, 2009
I've written a lot about my days, but I've failed to mention the night experience while being pregnant. Let me enlighten you. I make sure I have water, Saltines, and peppermints on my nightstand within easy reach before I settle into bed. I usually try to go to bed around ten or so. After much tossing and turning and readjusting pillows because it's really hard to get comfortable, I fall into a deep sleep. I am awakened suddenly around 2 am with the room spinning and an uncontrollable urge to pee.

On top of that, my throat and mouth are parched and insanely dry. I use the restroom, try to control my nausea, drink some water, try a piece of a Saltine, and suck on a peppermint to attempt to put myself back to sleep. Meanwhile, my brain mulls over anything and everything, and I try not to move so I don't make myself sick. I might drift off about an hour later.

Around 4 am, the same scenario ensues. Pee, nausea, settle back in and lie awake for at least an hour, usually more. 6 am the cycle repeats. Husband starts to wake up around this time and I listen to his getting-ready-for-work sounds while I try to find solace in sleep. After he leaves around 8, I use the restroom, drink a little more, and am finally able to fall into a deep sleep again. I'll wake up for the day anywhere between nine and eleven, where I run through the cycle again and stagger out into the kitchen to have breakfast. This is pretty much how all of my nights have been for the past few weeks. On the plus side, I have been able to watch many sunrises through our east facing bedroom window.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Locked Out

July 16, 2009
Today started out pretty well, actually. I felt really good after waking up so I decided to go for a walk. Husband has been taking my car to work, so he took my keys and left me his. I grabbed his keys and my cell phone and took off. We have a really nice path behind our house that loops around the neighborhoods and a few parks. It's peaceful and well-shaded, something important in the summer heat. I passed a neighbor when I went outside, and he mentioned that he has seen me walking out here a lot. I wasn't sure how to reply to that, so I told him yes, I have been walking lately. Then I was on my merry way.

I came home and went to let myself into the house when I realized I was missing the front door key. What to do? I called my brother-in-law and left him a message that went something like, "Help, I've locked myself out. Come rescue me!" He lives in town and has a spare key, but he didn't answer or call me back right away. I looked at the keys I did have and figured one of them must be for the back door. I went around the back and opened the door, letting myself in. I called the brother in law who had gotten my damsel in distress message and was about to come over. I told him thanks, but I was good to go. He decided he would go back to sleeping in.

A friend of mine came over and we went through some of my work items. She will be teaching the grade I taught last year, so I gave her everything grade specific that I had. I was thankful to pass it on, since it means less boxes I need to move tomorrow.

I was still feeling really good, so I actually started to plan for this upcoming school year. Around three, my feel-good-wave died and nausea started to take over. However, I had already agreed to dinner plans, so I figured I could take a nap and hopefully feel better. Husband came home and felt bad about the key situation. We went to Target where I bought one of those BellaBands for when my pants don't fit anymore. Plus, we checked out all the overpriced baby stuff and wondered how in the world people are supposed to afford everything.

After Target we went to dinner with friends. I wasn't feeling the greatest, but food made me feel a little better. Something about having a solid substance in my stomach, I guess. However, right at the end of the meal I told Husband we needed to leave. I had that feeling and didn't want to make a scene in the restaurant. He started to drive home, and sure enough, all of my dessert (yes, I had dessert!) and dinner came up. Thankfully I am prepared and haven't yet made a mess of the car. Poor Husband drove home and I ran in to the bathroom to finish.

I had really hoped to make it through, especially since I woke up feeling so well and was able to accomplish some work during the day. The difference, though, is that in the past after I throw up, I don't feel better. I still feel sick. Today, I threw up and I actually did feel better! That's how I thought morning sickness would be this whole time. You know, feel sick, throw up, feel better. Not the feel sick, throw up, still feel sick cycle that I have had for the past month. Maybe I'm getting better? I think it also helps that I am no longer on antibiotics, a side effect of which was nausea. Hopefully I will be able to feel well tomorrow when I move my stuff into my classroom and start to set up walls. I am very thankful for friends and family who give me support, whether morally or physically!

The other night I went to dinner with a group of girlfriends (we attempt monthly dinners or so to catch up), and I was so surprised when they brought me some gifts for the baby and me! It was such a sweet gesture and I definitely felt the love : ) I now own some actual baby items! Now, when I am feeling sick, I go and take a peek at the baby clothes and items in the closet and know that this is going to be worth it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nine Weeks

July 14, 2009
I figured I should post something since I haven't written lately. Pretty much everything has remained the same. I keep trying to sleep in as late as I possibly can to sleep off the nausea, if that's even possible. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to help. I still feel sick all day long. Plus, I've confined myself to the bedroom lately since the smells of the kitchen and living room make me sick. Any time I have to go to the kitchen, I hold my breath or breathe through my mouth so I don't smell anything.

I had a time period of about two days where I didn't throw up at all. I still felt sick, but nothing came up. I thought that was an improvement. That ended this morning with a vengeance. Breakfast went down the toilet.

One of my good friends came by to visit me with her son this morning. She picked me up and we sat and chatted at Starbucks for a while. It was nice to get out. Then she had to leave, and I thought I would attempt some errands that my husband had asked me to do (get gas, go to the post office, the bank). I got gas and cleaned out my car. I had a McDonald's bag in there and debated throwing it away for fear I might need it as a barf bag. Oh well, I should be fine. I tossed it.

I went to the post office and mailed a package. Next stop, the bank. On the way there I started to get that feeling. I popped a peppermint, since those usually help. Then what should I do? I pulled out a handily stashed plastic bag from my purse just in case. I also figured I could pull over to the side of the road if need be. Well, need be. I got sick while driving and had to pull over to finish throwing up anything that was left in my stomach. Thankfully I contained it all in the plastic bag. Very gross, I know. I hightailed it home as fast as I could, and here I am now.

I really did think I was starting to get better, but apparently baby has other plans. I'm supposed to go out to dinner tonight...not sure how that will pan out. I am also scheduled to fix up my classroom on Friday. Thankfully I have good friends and family who will be helping me. I really don't think I could start it alone, given the way I feel.

I'm a little over nine weeks right now, so less than three to go! Bring on the indigestion and heartburn (that is supposed to start up right about then when the morning sickness goes away). I'm a little frustrated, and I know husband is starting to get frustrated with me too (even though he would never admit it) because this is just debilitating. At least I'm not as bad as some people who have to be hospitalized because they throw up ten times a day. Something to be thankful for.

Friday, July 10, 2009

AB-

July 10, 2009
The walk the other day was a great idea (Thanks, Mom for dragging me outside!). I was actually able to do some laundry and chores that day. Husband was quite pleased. I need to be walked every day now. Anyone?

My sister also stopped by to visit me. Somebody told me she felt sorry for me because my blog is so depressing. I didn't think it was that bad. It's my current reality. If it causes you to think twice about getting pregnant, then I have done my job. This is really not fun and I don't think I want to do it again. We can adopt if we want more.

(Warning- Graphic paragraph to follow)

I think my morning sickness is getting worse. I've tried eating every hour or two to keep my stomach full, but I think it just gives me more to throw up at night. Last night was pretty rough, I started dry heaving because I ran out of stuff to throw up. Lovely, I know. Tonight, Husband and I actually went out to a nice dinner with friends. I made it through the meal and started to feel sick toward the end. I rushed Husband out of there and ended up throwing up in the car on the ride home. Good thing I had my handy dandy barf bag stashed in my purse, or it would have been a major disaster. I do have leather seats, though. Once home, I continued to review my dinner in the toilet. Three weeks or less and this part is supposed to end, right? That will put me into the next trimester when the happy times are rumored to begin. I want the happy times.

(OK, graphic part is over.)

I also discovered through my various lab tests that I am part of 4% of Caucasian women. I have rare blood, AB-. Remember how they used to do blood tests before you got married? It was to make sure you and future husband were compatible to have children. I think they stopped because now they have drugs to make you compatible.

Back to me being rare. A person can be either positive or negative blood type. This is called your Rh factor. If my husband has the same negative Rh factor, then our baby also will, and everything will be fine. The chances of this are super slim. If he is positive, baby will most likely also be positive. This is fine, unless something happens and my blood and the baby's blood mixes (usually this doesn't happen until labor and delivery). If our blood mixes, my body will think the baby is an intruder and build up antibodies to get rid of it. Not a good situation. So doctors got together and developed a drug or something called Rhogam, which tells my body not to build these antibodies. I get a shot of this between 20 and 28 weeks, I believe. So first baby should be fine. However, should we choose to have another, my body might build antibodies right away, or already have them since first baby was delivered. Thus, the second pregnancy will be considered high risk and I'll be closely watched. I asked the doctor if my husband should get his blood tested to find out his Rh factor, and she said I would be getting the shot regardless as a precaution, so he didn't have to get tested. They will check me later on to see if I have built up antibodies, and we will go from there.

Am I just a wimp, or is pregnancy really this complicated?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Morning Phone Call

July 8,2009
After throwing up all my dinner, half my lunch, and my prenatal pill, I retired to bed last night. Not a fun night. Plus, I was worrying about my self-diagnosed infection. Husband says I'm a hypochondriac. I told him that wasn't nice. However, he still brought me ice water like I asked him too and rushed to my side when I was throwing up (even though I told him he didn't have to, he said he just wants to make sure I'm all right). I married a wonderful man. : )

This morning I was woken up by a phone call from... a nurse! She was going over my lab results and (surprise!) I have an infection. I need to go pick up some prescription drugs (which are safe for the baby), and take a few pills a day for a week. The infection should clear up in a few days.

Yay! Maybe I'll actually start to feel better, and pregnancy really isn't this bad? Perhaps my infection was just making me feel worse, and when it clears up I'll start to feel at least a little more normal. One can hope.

Feeling a little more optimistic and motivated, I am going to take a walk now.

I am OnLine

July 7, 2009
I signed up to my hospital's online capabilities. It lets me check my labs, email my doctor, and make appointments. Pretty neat, actually. Well, not so much for me. Remember my million vials of blood and the urine test? The lab results were posted, so with my nonexistent expertise I analyzed them to determine what each item meant. I was normal in everything except for an abundance of white blood cells in my blood (White blood cells indicate an infection. You are supposed to have some, but much more red than white.), and some other medical term wrong with my urine. According to the website, this means that I have a urinary tract infection. Feel free to google it. I guess pregnant women are sometimes more prone because the uterus is expanding and impacting the urinary tract, slowing everything down, and thus bacteria can grow. Hmm, that would explain a few things. I thought that this was just how I was supposed to feel during pregnancy. I mean, I've never done this before! (Keep in mind that I came to this conclusion all on my own, with no medical expertise.)

OK, so now what do I do? The websites say I am supposed to be treated. This is a serious thing. I have e. coli growing in me! Do I call the doctor? Do I wait for the doctor to call me? Maybe I did jump to conclusions. I'll wait til tomorrow, and if nobody calls, then I'll call in.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Migraines and McDonald's

July 6, 2010
I was able to hold myself together through the Fourth of July festivities pretty well, but woke up with a migraine the next morning because I probably pushed myself too much. I can't wait until the the first trimester is over.

Today was yet another doctor's appointment. Technically, this was my first scheduled appointment, but I ended up going in earlier for various reasons. Read the other blogs for more info.

Husband, of course, took the day off to go with me. I had been wanting a sausage mcmuffin with egg, so we went through the drive though and ate on the way to the hospital. (Side note: I had really planned to eat healthy throughout my pregnancy so I wouldn't gain too much weight and the baby would be healthy, but that kinda went out the window when morning sickness kicked in. Right now I tend to eat whatever doesn't make me throw up. Although, what is good for lunch can make me throw up at dinner, so I kind of just play it by ear even though it frustrates my husband. I mean, I was fine with it earlier, so why can't he reheat leftovers? Apparently we already have a picky baby.)

We checked in and they handed us a huge packet of paperwork to fill out. This was all the important family information that could possibly affect our baby. It contained questions such as: do you smoke, do you drink, have you done drugs, is there a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. I filled those out and then met with the nurse/midwife lady who went over the do's and don'ts. This was actually the first helpful appointment. She gave me five bazillion packets all about pregnancy, and briefly went over each one. No more albacore tuna and alfalfa sprouts for me. She also said I could take a children's multivitamin with iron instead of the prenatal ones I have to help with the morning sickness. Then she scheduled me for my next appointment at the end of the month and gave me a little cup to pee in and bring to the next appointment. Next, she sent me down to the lab to get my blood drawn.

The lab was really crowded today. This was the fourth time I've been there, so I figure I have some expertise in the area. I checked in and was given another urine cup and was told to give a sample. The nurse also complimented my shirt, which made me smile. My number was called to have my blood drawn. Take note, this was the fourth time I have had to have my blood drawn. The first three were to check my HCG levels. This time was to check for genetic stuff or something, I'm really not sure. But don't you think they could have combined it with another of my blood draws?

Anyway, previously they had poked me and filled a little vial and I was done. Today, he filled three little vials and one big one! My arm is still sore. I asked him what each vial was for, and he said, "For your pregnancy." No, really? I was curious as to the specifics, like this one is going to be checked for cystic fibrosis, and this one is going to bank A, etc. I told husband this and he suggested that maybe the nurse really had no idea. He was just there to draw the blood and send it off. Maybe.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ultrasound Day!

July 2, 2010
It's ultrasound day! Of course, the appointment isn't until 3:15 in the afternoon, so I get all day to stress about it. Wonderful husband took the afternoon off to meet me there, and in we went. I checked in and pondered whether or not I would have to pee into a cup. Seriously.

When you walk into the waiting area it says :Expectant mothers please have a urine sample ready before you register. Does that apply to me? Technically, yes. But no one told me to go pee in the little cup. Well, technically the sign did. But what if I do it and then they don't need it? Should I ask the lady at the window? She'll probably give me one of those are-you-stupid-stares. She wasn't very nice when I first checked in. So I won't do it and then I will say I didn't realize I needed to even though the big sign was staring me right in the face.

My name gets called and the nurse leads us to the scale where I get my weight and blood pressure measured. Big surprise, I've lost a few pounds! (That was sarcasm.) Not being able to keep food down and feeling so nauseated that I can't eat anything kinda does that to a person. Well, my belly has grown a little bit, so something must be going right.

We are told to wait in the little room for the doctor and we debate over whether or not it's the same room as before. Eventually the doctor comes in bringing her machine. She introduces herself then thinks about it and realizes we've met and talked multiple times before. She pulls up my records and comments that she should have reviewed these before she came in. Then we get down to business with the ultrasound. She asks if I am still having pain from my cyst, and since I'm not I'm hoping it has disappeared. She finds it with the ultrasound machine and it's actually grown a little bit. I guess that would help explain the swollen belly. Then she finds the baby! It's this little white blob surrounded by a big dark mass, kind of hiding in the right corner of the darkness. She focuses on it and points out the heartbeat. I'm like, what? Then I see it! It's this quickly pulsating white dot in the middle of the little white blob. Husband sees it too and we smile at each other. The doctor spends some time trying to get a clearer shot of the baby so she can measure. This actually took a while and she kept having to rotate the machine piece to find it. She says everything looks perfectly normal and gives me a due date of February 17. Husband and I head out excited. We figured after we made sure it was alive we would let the world know.

We walk back to our separate cars to drive home. Before I leave the parking lot though, I have to make some phone calls. My mother really wanted to know how it went and had asked me to call her right after the appointment. I gave her a quick call to let her know everything was ok. Same thing with one of my best girlfriends. At the same time I get a text from another friend asking how I was feeling. Everyone knew I had been sick, but weren't quite clear on the reason. Anyway, she figured it out and was sworn to secrecy until we figure out how to tell that circle of friends.

And home I went, to go lay on the couch and feel sick again.

Sanity

June 31-July 1, 2009
No changes, although I have been experimenting with my prenatal pills to see if they have any effect on the sickness. Instead of taking one daily, I'm aiming for every other day. Some of you reading this may be horrified that I would dare to skip a day, but this is my sanity we are talking about, and I think that is very important to the health of the baby.