Monday, September 27, 2010

Can you hear my heart beating?

We had a doctor's appointment this morning and I'm thrilled to report that we heard the baby's heartbeat!  It only took a few seconds for the doctor to find it on the doppler.  YAY!  And more good news, I only gained ONE pound since my last appointment (just over 2 weeks).  I'm so happy and have finally recovered from the exhaustion of this weekend. 

Now to get through our 15 week ultrasound in 2 weeks without incident!

Friday, September 24, 2010

13 weeks - hooray for second trimester!

I'm officially through my first trimester and slowly feeling less lethargic - thank goodness!  Working through an eternal fog has been difficult, and pretty frustrating too!  I can't even get through an evening TV show with B without dozing off.  He's been fantastic though, despite my eternal sleepiness and mood swings and is getting more excited as my belly grows.

So here's week 13 at a glance (according to The Bump):

Baby's now the size of a peach! Your fetus is forming teeth and vocal cords...savor this, their nonfunctional phase. Baby is approaching normal proportions, with his head now only one third the size of his body. And intestines are in the process of moving from the umbilical cord to baby's tummy -- much more convenient.

Welcome to the blissful second trimester, widely recognized as pregnancy's most comfortable and enjoyable. (Yes, it's a relative distinction.) Don't panic if you start noticing some lovely vaginal discharge. It's called leucorrhea and is totally normal. Though it might mess up your panties, it's essential in protecting your birth canal from infection.

I'm totally convinced that the movement I'm feeling is the baby. I CAN'T WAIT until I can share the experience with B! Until then, it's just the bump and me :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Could it be?

Over the last week I've started to feel occasional flutters in my belly.  I'm only 13 weeks pregnant, but I'm pretty sure it's the baby!  Last time I was around 16 weeks before I felt anything, but maybe I'm more sensitive to it now because I know what it feels like.

SO cool (and comforting)!!!  Suddenly this pregnancy is becoming much more real!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Awkward goodbye

I'm listening to my ipod and the song, Awkward Goodbye, by Athlete. It's the song that was playing in the car when we left the hospital after Olivia was born.

The song is about losing someone you love, and the chorus really resonated with me at the time:

No one knows how I love you
No one comes even close
Sunlight runs through my veins for you
Oh ohh

I remember the flood of emotions that hit me in that moment, and the reality that she was really gone hitting me like a brick wall. It still chokes me up, remembering the everything we went through and how unfair it was. My heart still aches when I think of her...

Friday, September 17, 2010

12 weeks pregnant

Today I'm officially 12 weeks pregnant and nearly done my first trimester.  I'm relieved to hit this milestone without any major incidents, and am really hoping I'll breeze through the 20 week ultrasound mark.

I've been feeling good, VERY tired this week.  Some days I can feel my eyes drooping as I stare at my computer monitor!  But it's better than barfing so I'll put up with it!  I'm still going to the gym but my belly is starting to get in the way.  The good news is, the dizzy spells and soaring body temperatures during class seem to be tapering off.  So I'm much more motivated to work out and stay in shape.

Speaking of sleep, I bought a Snoogle on Wednesday (it was on sale at BabiesRUs).  It came highly recommended from friends who have babies.  I have to say, it's huge!

I tried it out on Thursday night in the first position pictured above.  It felt fantastic but I couldn't find a way to use it with my pillow, without reversing the curled up part and putting it between my legs.  I fell asleep fast but woke up in the middle of the night unable to move.  The Snoogle was caught in the sheets and I could roll, and could barely shift my body.  I felt like a sausage trapped in a bun!  After wrestling with it, I tossed it on the floor and went back to my small pillow.  I think it's a great product, I just need to be a bit bigger to actually benefit from it.

Speaking of size, here's where baby is at this week:

As you move into the second trimester, baby shifts into the growth and maturation stage. After weeks in the critical development stage, almost all of her systems are fully formed.

First trimester: Check! The nausea, fatigue, mood swings, and bathroom dashes should soon fade, but (sorry!) headaches and dizziness will probably get more intense. The good news: You're about to embark on the second trimester, when mood and energy levels generally peak.

I'd say these symptoms are pretty accurate (although hubby doesn't believe my mood swings are pregnancy related - smart ass!), although I'm really not looking forward to more headaches.  I suffered a lot last time, and thankfully the pharmacist said I was safe to take Tylenol - so I have a large bottle of extra strength rapid release caplets for my desperate moments.

This afternoon I'm heading to a Johnson & Johnson warehouse sale with the hope of finding some good deals on baby products (and maybe some for myself too!).  Fingers crossed for some good finds!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moments I will never forget

- the positive pregnancy test and telling B

- our families' joyful reaction to the news

- hearing the baby's heartbeat for the first time and sending the recording to B when he was in Vegas

- feeling the first flutter while watching the Hope for Haiti concert

- our babymoon in Los Cabos

- feeling the baby kick and watching my belly move

- when the ultrasound technician turned off the machine and said "you need to go see your doctor"

- our doctor's face when he walked in the room

- feeling like my world was collapsing when he told us the baby had cranial and facial anomalies

- waiting for the call from mt sinai for the follow-up appointment date

- waiting two long weeks for the appointment

- sitting in the waiting room, looking at all the pregnant women and knowing we were all there because something was wrong

- the silence of the ultrasound technician as she examined the baby

- the box of kleenex the doctor brought in when they delivered the news

- find out she was a girl (which confirmed what we already suspected)

- agreeing to be induced and waiting for what felt like an eternity to fill out the paperwork before we could leave

- calling my sister and hearing her sob when I told her what was happening

- going to chicago with B because I couldn't stand to stay at home and wait

- shopping in chicago and knowing I couldn't buy maternity clothes, or regular clothes because they wouldn't fit

- buying a blanket to wrap our baby in after she was born

- barely sleeping the night before we went to the hospital

- waiting for the contractions to start for 36 hours

- unbearable pain from the oxytocin-induced contractions

- getting an epidural during a contraction

- my water breaking and pushing

- delivering Olivia in the dark and in total silence

- holding her stillborn body and stroking her skin

- the look on B's face that told me his heart was breaking

- holding Olivia during the blessing ceremony and watching the nurses take her away

- putting on my maternity jeans to leave and noticing my absent belly

- leaving the hospital empty handed

- packing up everything we bought for the nursery

- my milk coming in four days after she was born

- looking through the memory package from the hospital, and seeing the pictures of her tiny lifeless body and purple skin (from never taking a breath)

Rest in peace little angel. I will never forget you.

Remembering Olivia

I'm not sure why, but I've been thinking about Olivia a lot this week. I think the doctor's visits and upcoming 15 week ultrasound are reminding my of what we went through. It's also because on Friday the doctor revised my due date to March 29th, almost exactly one year from the day Olivia was born (March 19).

I'm SO anxious about the ultrasound in three weeks, and desperately hoping everything will come out "normal".

I was searching Google blogs for amniotic band syndrome and found a number of postings from people who went through similar experiences. The one that touched me the most was "Life After Haleigh", as we went through a very similar situation. As I read it, tears poured down my face and memories of Olivia and holding her tiny body came flooding back.

I'm so thankful that I'm pregnant again, and thankful for all of the people I've gotten support from this year. Someone once told me "you make plans, and god laughs" and that's certainly true in our case. I never imagined how this year would turn many ups and downs. We started the year pregnant, then lost the baby, then sold our house and moved, and now we're pregnant again!

Throughout all of this, my wonderful husband has stood by me. He's been my rock, and my best friend. I am most thankful for having him in my life!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A successful shopping trip

We went to our first doctor's appointment yesterday at the Milton Centre for Women's Health.  It's a fantastic clinic, mostly because four of the five doctors that deliver in Milton are based at this clinic.  You rotate amongst the doctors so by the end you've met everyone, so no strangers in the delivery room!  Everything went smoothly, and I've only gained 3 pounds (since my post Olivia weight).  She wasn't able to hear the heartbeat on the doppler, so I'm going back in 2 weeks for another check.  I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed, although I knew the chances were slim.

After the appointment, we headed off to Buffalo for the day.  Destination Maternity was a great success!  I LOVE the Pea in a Pod line!  It's a bit pricey, but the styles are nice and the quality is much better than Motherhood.  I bought a dress, a sweater, a long sleeved top and three short sleeved tops.  Here's the dress I bought, isn't it super cute?

I also bought a new pair of flats at Ecco (the styles are quite different in the US).  Last time I was pregnant, I LIVED in flats, my poor feet and legs just couldn't handle heels!  Here's what I got:

I never made it to the Target Baby Sale, by that point it was 9pm and we'd been shopping for what felt like eternity!  We barely made it across the border with our purchases: B was reluctant to declare so we claimed we hadn't bought anything, only to subsequently get pulled over and searched.  Thankfully we had discarded all tags, bags and receipts and packed our goods in our overnight backs.  I feel like such a smuggler!.

After a not so restful night (kept waking up, and then woke up STARVING) and a tasty breakfast at iHop, we're about to head out to the Niagara outlets before touring some wineries with friends in Niagara On The Lake for the day (torture, I know!).  I've been nominated to be the official "smeller"....we'll see how that goes!  I may have to give in and have a taste at my favourite winery....Vineland Estates!

Friday, September 10, 2010

11 weeks pregnant

Today marks the 11th week of my pregnancy.  So far everything is going very smoothly.  The only symptoms I've been feeling are extreme tiredness, the odd bout of dizzyness, soaring body temperatures at the gym, and restless nights.  But no spotting and sore breasts (unlike last time), and no nausea/vomiting.

I have my first ob appointment today and I'm very hopeful they'll be able to hear the baby's heartbeat on the doppler.  But last time they couldn't hear it this early, so I will try not to be too disappointed if they can't find it.

We're heading to Buffalo today to shop.  I'm in desperate need of maternity clothes and plan to check out Destination Maternity, the Walden Galleria and TargetTarget has a big baby sale on this week so maybe I'll even pick up a few things for the bump!

11 weeks feels like we just found out I was pregnant.  Time really does fly when you're expecting!  According to The Bump, here's what baby looks like this week, and here's what I can expect:
Your fetus currently enjoys a 1:1 ratio between body and head, and has skin so transparent that blood vessels show right through. But, fingers and toes are no longer webbed, and hair follicles, tooth buds and nail beds are forming -- setting up a significantly more attractive future.

By now, you're surely familiar with the prenatal symphony of burps, flatulence, and rumbling tummy. Small, frequent meals should help with the discomfort. And make sure to eat and drink slowly to prevent swallowing extra air. You'll later use this technique when feeding baby! Prenatal yoga can also help settle down your belly and -- side benefit -- soothe those mood swings.

The above description is pretty accurate.  The non-sexy parts of pregnancy have certainly set in!  I tried to keep carbonated drinks to a minimum because they do a number on my tummy.  And I have to be careful when I eat....I go from starving to overstuffed very quickly, so I try to eat a little, then wait before going back for more.  I love going to the gym, and will continue to while I can, because it stretches me out and relaxes me.  Only problem is that my belly is starting to get in the way!

My appointment is in just over an hour, better go shower and get ready!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sharing the good news

As my belly is expanding quickly (evidently my body has remembered how to be pregnant!), we decided to tell our families at nine weeks (as I couldn't hide my pregnancy from my employer much longer).  Now came the difficult task - figuring out how to tell them!

With Olivia, we wrapped up ultrasound pictures for my parents/sister and inlaws/sister in law and gave them as Christmas presents.  Everyone was shocked and delighted by the present.

This time around, we wanted to do something different, since we'd already "done" the ultrasound picture route.  We were struggling for ideas and one day at Hallmark I found the perfect solution:

I found this perpetual calendar on a shelf filled with Grandma gifts.  It was PERFECT!  So we set the countdown to 31 and wrapped them up. 

We gave one to my mother in law, disguised as a birthday gift for my 6 year old nephew at his birthday party.  When he pulled out the gift, we suggested that he get Nona's help.  The boys pulled out th calendar - and the blocks - and started playing with it before she could see what it said.  Needless to say, we sorted it out, and she was very happy.  We gave the second to my mom the next day as a belated birthday present.  She was shocked to pull it out, and now proudly displays it on a table in her living room.

I look forward to filling their ultrasound frames with a picture after my 15 week ultrasound in a few weeks!

How did you tell your family you were expecting?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

7 week ultrasound

On Tuesday, August 12 I had my "dating ultrasound" at the Milton District Hospital.  The appointment was at 2pm so I started drinking the obligatory 2 bottles of water a few hours before, to ensure my bladder was adequately full.

I arrived at the hospital bursting with anxiety and a full bladder.  I only had to wait a short time to get in.  Unlike the dating ultrasound I had with Olivia (when I got in a fight with the ultrasound tech because she refused to let B in the room), this time I went on my own and B stayed in the waiting room.

The tech was very nice (unlike the last time) and was very sympathetic when I explained that this was my second attempt at having a baby.  She immediately put me at ease and began the procedure.

As with the last time, the baby was very small so the external ultrasound couldn't get a good reading.  She decided to do the transvag procedure instead.  Let's just say it's a giant wand that resembles a phallic device, but it's much less uncomfortable than a pap smear.

The nurse didn't say much during the procedure (which I learned the first time, was very normal - in fact, the previous technician warned me that if she wasn't talking, it was because she was focusing on the exam), but remained friendly and upbeat.  A few minutes in, I couldn't take it any longer and asked "how many are in there?" and she confidently said "I can see one".  What a relief!  My mom's family has a LOT of twins, and I had a weird feeling there was more than one baby in there, so this was very comforting!

After about 20 minutes, she turned the screen towards me and showed me our baby.  It resembled a jellybean, with a tiny beating heart.  I was so relived to see that there was, in fact, a living thing inside me.  She confirmed everything looked good, and based on the ultrasound, I was 6 weeks and 6 days along.  She also confirmed my due date was April 1, 2011.

Before she turned off the machine, I asked her if she could print a picture so I could prove to B I was, in fact, pregnant.  She happily printed two photos (one a blurry blob, and one that looked like a tiny alien) and left so I could change.  I sat there for a few minutes looking at the pictures, almost in disbelief, before throwing on my clothes and rushing out to show B.

He was very excited to see the pictures, and I'm pretty sure it became "real" to him that day.  We were still hesitant to get TOO excited, but we allowed ourselves to be openly happy and excited about the 33 weeks ahead!

At the same time, we were both thinking "i hope this works out this time...".

Monday, September 6, 2010

Second time's a charm

On Thursday, July 15th, a First Response digital test (highly recommend if you want a very clear answer) confirmed our efforts were fruitful - I was pregnant!

I actually knew the previous Saturday, but B wouldn't believe it (and I was too scared to believe it).  I went to the gym and during class my body temperature soared almost immediately (the same thing happened the last time I was pregnant).  I came home and told hubby my suspicions, but we decided to hold off on getting too excited, and wait for the test later that week (my period was due on Tuesday).

On Tuesday and Wednesday I used the eBay strip pregnancy tests, and both came back negative.  Sometimes it takes a while for the hormone to show up.  On Wednesday night my period still hadn't arrived so I went and bought a digital test to get a firm answer.

I barely slept Wednesday night, anxious about what Thursday morning could hold - my period or a positive result.  I've never been more happy to pee in a cup!

I woke up and mad my deposit, and eagerly waited for the result to show up.  I paced around the bathroom, trying to distract myself for the two minutes I had to wait.  It felt like ETERNITY!  As soon as the time was up, I grabbed the test and it proudly flashed "YES".  I ran out of the bathroom to wake up B and show him the result. He was thrilled!

I called the doctor that morning and booked an appointment to do the blood work to make it all official.  My appointment was the following Tuesday and the results came back on Friday, officially confirming my pregnancy.

We were both excited, but had mixed emotions over this bittersweet moment, desperately hoping that things would work out this time.  We were scared to get our hopes up in case something happened again.  We tried to contain our enthusiasm until we could go for our 7 week "dating ultrasound" to confirm everything was fine.

And so begins the next chapter of our journey...

Trying again: tools of the trade

When we first started trying to get pregnant, we had no idea how difficult would be.  We tried at random for a month with no success.  The second month, I bought What To Expect Before You're Expecting and which was a big eye opener, and very useful (highly recommend to anyone that's trying to conceive.  The book explained the ovulation process and how to best diagnose my ovulation days through cervical mucous, temperature, etc.  At that point I remember thinking "this is not going to be easy".

By the third month, we were into our "groove" and were successful (I still say lucky).  I will chalk up that success to pure determination - we did it every day for two weeks straight around my ovulation days.  When I thought I was pregnant, I went to the drug store and bought two regular home pregnancy tests.  The first one had the control line and a very faint line (which I learned later meant I was pregnant - the faint line WILL NOT show up if you aren't pregnant).  So four days, four regular tests, 1 digital test and almost $150 later, I finally confirmed I was pregnant.

After we lost Olivia, the doctors suggested I wait a few months until my cycles were regular again.  The first month I was 28 days (as I was pre-pregnancy) and the second month I was 32 days.  I was worried that this variability in my cycles would make it even more difficult to conceive this time around.

So instead of the previous method (doing it like rabbits), I decided to take the scientific route.  A work colleague suggested I go onto eBay and search for "ovulation tests".  I was able to order 40 ovulation tests and 20 pregnancy tests for only $20!  If you've ever been down this path, you know how much these cost at the pharmacy (13 ovulation tests are about $50, and 2 regular pregnancy tests are $15 / $20 for 1 digital test).  I ordered the tests and two weeks later, they arrived in my mailbox in a discreet brown envelope.

These tests were pretty basic - a litmus-like strip that you dip in a cup full of urine each evening.  You start testing on about day 8 and keep testing until you ovulate (which should be somewhere between days 10 and 20, but it really depends on the person, you could easily fall outside that range).  You know you're about to ovulate or ovulating when you have two dark pink lines on the strip. 

I started testing on day 8, and it only took a few days to master the skill of peeing in a small cup.  On days 12 and 13, the two lines appeared, and we focused our "efforts" in that 48 hour period (with one extra attempt the day after for good luck).

And then we left it in the hands of god to decide if our efforts would be successful.....

Who knew I would spend half my life trying NOT to get pregnant, only to spend a year trying to defeat the odds TO get pregnant??