Friday, March 20, 2009

So... challenges with my pregnancy.

For those following this you know that Kelley and I have wanted to get pregnant for a very long time. We also knew that getting pregnant would have it's own sets of challenges and trials.

My first appointment with an obstetrician was pretty quick, and she knew enough to know that I needed to see a peri-natal specialist. What is a peri-natal specialist? Someone who specializes in high risk pregnancies, which, I am.

There are quite few issues and things that we covered, and I would say that Dr. Dickson definitely made me feel better about a lot of my worries.

One of my worries was my pain medication for my back. I've been taking pain medication for a long time for my back problems, and would be willing to stop taking it all if it meant the safety or health of the baby, Dr. Dickson however feels that my coming off of the medication would be more dangerous for the baby than my staying on it.

Basically the biggest worry we have due to the pain medication is the baby being born dependent on the medication. I was worried that the pain medication would cause birth defects, or other such problems, but there are no studies showing such things. Also, my coming off of the pain medication, and my pain going up the way it does when I can't get a break from it, is more dangerous for the baby than anything else. Pain, from what I was told, can cause miscarriages, pre-term birth, AND birth defects. My blood pressure goes up with pain, which also causes it's own defects, and can cause heart problems, and stuff like that. So, the pain medication is not going anywhere.

We were also concerned about my nerve pain medication, also used to help insomnia and as an anti-depressant. I was told to get off of this medication ASAP - I was told that, again, there is nothing showing that the amitriptylene causes any problems. It's classified as a class D medication because a medication similiar to it caused a problem. So, again, a huge relief.

Next, my gastric bypass surgery. There are issues that come with it, one is the malabsorbtion issues with food and medications - I was told that seeing as how I can eat a good amount, and my weight is steady I should be okay. I need to make sure I'm getting in my protein and water, but as long as I do that it's good. I was put on a chewable prenatal vitamin just in case my pouch couldn't absorb the whole huge prenatal pill. I will say the chewable is NASTY, disgusting, gross, ucky, EWWW, and I find myself trying to find anything strong to wash it down with to get rid of the flavor.

The biggest problem is that people who have had gastric bypass surgery is there is evidence of an increased risk of late term miscarriages. Meaning that at 7 months people have lost their babies out of the blue. I am very glad that Dr. Dickson knew this, as I had never heard it before, and no one I had talked to had either. Dr. Dickson's solution is that starting at 30 weeks they will start monitoring the fluid levels in the womb - whatever the water pouch is called - and they will start doing weekly, or if needed, bi-weekly stress tests on the baby. Basically making sure the baby is reacting the way they want him/her to be. He said that the moment he thinks something isn't looking right, he'll pull the baby. It sucks to think of all this, but at the same time, this doctor is on the ball, he knows what he's doing and I'm glad he does.

Now - a huge concern is my back, and how it's going to play in all this, and how the baby is going to play in the part of my back. My back shouldn't pose any problems to the baby - the baby very well could to my back. At the same time, with my spine being as unstable as it is, reaching up to grab a plate from the cubbard could cause a problem to my back.

Yes, there is talk of a wheelchair later on during the pregnancy, there is talk about being put on bedrest for extended periods of time, but at the same time, my back could handle the pregnancy great and I could be fine. There is discussion and concern over regular vaginal delivery versus a c-section. The concern is that regular delivery could very easily be the straw that broke the camels back, BUT it could be fine. It's just like every day life for me, anything could set my back off, or it could be fine. So, what all my current doctors are telling me is that it's going to come down to how my back handles being pregnant. The choice is there for what I want, and we'll see when we get there. I've had other doctors talk about not even considering a regular delivery, so hearing the doctors now telling me it's up in the air, feels good.

Dr. Dickson has asked, and expressed, that he would like our baby delivered in Tucson, where his main office is located. He feels that Tucson Medical Center will be better equipped for any complication that may arise than Casa Grande Regional Medical Center is. Mainly - the baby being born dependent on my pain mediation and going through the withdrawal symptoms and such.

Right now - that's really it. I'm not freaking out worried about anything, anymore. The things that I was super freaked about, I now feel better about.

First ultrasound!

Okay, first appointment with my peri-natal specialist, BUT I got my first ultrasound then.

To be honest, I was upset, and cheered. I knew Kelley would have wanted to be there if we'd known that they would be doing the first ultrasound, which was a bummer, at the same time, this would promise that there was indeed a baby in there.


There *IS* a baby in there! My understanding, from what the ultrasound tech told me, is that the baby is inside the grey-white blob, that is inside the black blob. From what I remember looking at, and being told, the very bright white dot, inside the grey blob is the heart - or at least that was what was beating when the tech said "that's the heartbeat".


I have to say that having it confirmed that there was indeed a baby in there, was great. Up until this point I kept waiting for the big bomb that I really wasn't pregnant. I really wasn't pregnant, or they'd get in there and there would be something wrong, something like that. Seeing the baby, THERE, with a beating heart beat, THERE, was awesome. I had tears in my eyes, and couldn't take my eyes off of the screen. The only thing that would have been better would have been having Kelley there for it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

We're Pregnant!

First, this post is a little belated. (It's actually April 27th - but I'm starting this as if I started it the day we found out.)

Kelley and I are pregnant!

So, I was late, no big deal. I've been late before. I've been REALLY late before. I've been late before with all the symptoms of being pregnant. I didn't feel pregnant, and to be honest, with all the times my hopes have been gotten up, and come crashing down, I didn't think I was pregnant. I do however have a very over active imagination, and of course, one day late and I start hoping. It's hard not to get your hopes up when you want something so bad.

Every day for me was a battle of will power. I knew that my time of the month was coming, she was just taking her damn sweet time doing it. Last time I took a pregnancy test I peed on the damn stick, and started my period at the same time. To me it was wasted money.

After rolling it over in my head a few times, and deciding I really should test just to shut my over-active imagination up, I bought a pack of tests. No - no - not just a test, a three pack. I've been here before. You buy a test, you need to buy another test next time you get your hopes up that you're pregnant, so since it's cheaper to buy in bulk, I bought a three pack.

I finally convinced myself to take the test - I knew how to do it - I've done a million of them. So I take the test, wait the allotted time and check - nothing. I don't mean a negative, I mean nothing. The way most tests work is you get a control line showing the test worked, and then the other line or plus sign saying you are pregnant or nothing if you aren't. I got nothing. No control line at all. DAMNIT. Now I have to wait longer to get my sobbing over with.

Later on that night, I figured what the hell, I'm about to take a shower, I can test, get my negative, get my crying done in the shower, and no one will be the wiser that I broke down again because I want to be pregnant so bad.

I take the test, get my stuff together, start the water, am about to jump in, and remember the test. I look at the test - and to be honest felt like I was looking at an alien life form. I've done a bazillion pregnancy tests and NEVER have I gotten a second line. So picture me, butt naked, holding a stick I've peed on in my hand, shaking like a scrawny tree in a hurricane. Finally, I decide I'm an idiot this must be one of the tests where you aren't looking for two lines, you are after a plus symbol or something. Wait, not it's not, I READ the directions. SO - smart me decides to look at the directions.

Smart me suddenly can't read. I'm still naked, still holding the peed stick, and staring back and forth at this piece of paper that says two lines means pregnant and I have two lines. Yeah, normally 1 + 1 = 2. Not today. I can't say how long I stood their like and idiot trying to figure out what was going on.

The next thing I remember I yell for Kelley, it meant to sound like "hey I need you for a second", and instead it came out like "I'm dying in here" and all I did was yell Kelley's name. Kelley came back pretty quickly, and all I can do is shove the test at him. Can't talk, because I'm still waiting for the "you called me back here for a negative pregnancy test" comment to come out of his mouth. I hand him the directions, and he stares at the directions and the test, sort of doing what I was doing just looking much cuter and less naked (naked would have been better I think).

Kelley looks at me with his eyes all big, tears starting to form, and he starts to giggle. If you've ever heard Kelley giggle, it's about the cutest - greatest sound you can hear. It's not the sound you expect this big, buff, broad shouldered guy to make, but it's great. Then he's half crying half giggling, and it occurs to me "he see's a positive test too".

My mom was visiting us at the time, and she heard me yell for Kelley. So I know that she thinks something is going wrong with me. Kelley being the sensible guy that he is figures we should go tell her. I walk out to the dining room, hand her the test and the directions (maybe she'll straighten us out and both Kelley and I are idiots). Not sure what she said, other than congratulations.

I decided I should probably go take my shower. Now, for those that know me, you know I have (as mentioned) an over-active imagination. I'm sitting in the shower, quite dumbfounded, and a thought occurs to me. A very worrying thought. The first test showed no lines at all. Maybe the second test is showing two lines because it's broken too. I start crying because I'm worried I got Kelley all excited and happy, and I just bought a bunch of broken tests. So after my shower, I tell him what I suspect. You can see him running it through in his head too. It's a good thing that I bought a three pack. My bright idea is to test again and since the other two cancel each other out, then this should be a "working" test.

Hoping I can pee again, I trudge into the bathroom. After a little bit I manage to pee - and before the control line even finishes showing up I'm seeing a positive test line. It hits me - "there's a really good possibility that I'm pregnant."

Of course Kelley was eccstatic. Me, I was scared out of my mind. I made up my mind to call in to make an appointment to get tested first thing in the morning. The doctors would have working pregnancy tests. They were doctors after all.

I call in the morning and was told just to walk in whenever. So I did.

Talk about being scared. I'd told my husband I'm pregnant. I've told Kelley the one thing we've both been praying to hear for eight years and I just couldn't believe it was true. I had told Kelley we were pregnant and now the doctor was about to tell me that the tests were wrong and I'm not. How I would react to that I had no idea.

I get called back to pee in their cup, and do the deed. I let the nurse know the sample is ready, and she tells me it'll be 10-15 minutes and she'll call me back for their nurse to let me know. I'm thinking "15 minutes, your tests have to be better than the home tests and that takes 3". I'm sitting in the lobby, wondering why it's taking so long. The chick knew that we'd been wanting a baby for a long time, maybe it's bad news and she's getting someone to break it to me easy - she's getting the "bad news" lady.

I get called back and she gives me a really weak smile. She takes me to the room and tells me that "Vinnie" will be back in a few minutes to give me the results. She asks the first date of my last period - and I tell her. In my head I'm thinking "she's figuring out how late I am to decide if they need to make an appointment to figure out why my periods are messed up". I'm sitting in the room and have firmly decided I'm not pregnant. I tell myself "she wouldn't have smiled at all if it was bad news, she wouldn't have".

Vinnie comes in, and asks how I'm doing. I told her it depended on what the piece of paper in her hand said. She asked me "do you want a baby?" I told her the truth, "we've been wanting a baby for eight years and this was the closest we've come". So, Vinnie looks at me and smiles and tells me the test was positive. I can't tell you how incredible that was to hear, words don't exist to describe it.

So, we're pregnant. After eight years, countless prayers, gaining hope and having it taken away time and time again, Kelley and I are pregnant, for real.

My due date is November 7th, 2009. I'm 5 weeks pregnant.