Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Let's Do This

It seems like I cannot keep this blog thing going consistently but my true desire is to share various journeys we are on or have been on in hopes of helping others. It was a huge outlet for me years ago while facing pregnancy losses and even the joys and fears I faced during the subsequent viable pregnancy.  I know how important support is when you struggle with something. No one wants to feel alone and yet many do because they feel as though they cannot speak up about what is bothering them. We are all supposed to be strong and just handle life because after all, everyone struggles. True, but there is nothing wrong with venting or feeling as though you cannot go on without help. No one may have the answers right when you need them and you may feel as though you cannot help someone else while you are in the storm yourself, but sometimes just knowing that you are not the only one facing something helps tremendously. The blogs I follow seem to reach me in good time. God knows how to speak to us when and where we aren't expecting. So I am thankful for those who share their stories, their daily lives, and how life really is. That is my be real, raw, and reachable. Stay tuned for where this will lead....we can all help each other in some way. You just have to be willing to open up and reach out.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wow! It's been almost THREE YEARS since my last post!

I cannot believe that I have let my blog go. I know how much it helped me during our pregnancy troubles fours years ago. I shouldn't have given up this outlet to write. I guess I have a lot of catching up to do since I was only 16 weeks pregnant with Brenna the last time I wrote.

Brenna Kate was born on March 1, 2011. She is now a very happy and healthy 2 1/2 year old girl who constantly makes us laugh and appreciate life. Our family is complete and we are beyond blessed with what God has given us. Not without struggles, but we try to count those as blessings as well. I know God will use our struggles to help someone else along the way.

In the meantime, we are staying busy with Brady's football season and finally enjoying some fall weather. We just celebrated his 8th birthday with a very cool Minecraft party, which I will post a blog about next. It was a lot of fun for the kids and I was so happy to see them enjoy the party. I used the heck out of Pinterest for party planning ideas, so I will pay it forward and hopefully help out the next mom who wants to make her kiddo the best Minecraft party she can. So much fun to do!

I will definitely try to keep up with my blogging as it really does help to put my thoughts in writing. Even if no one else reads it, it's good therapy for me. Stay tuned for party pics!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

15 & 16 Weeks

I guess I have some catching up to do. I have been sick with allergies/sinus stuff for the last two weeks so I haven't really felt like blogging. A lot has happened though so I guess I need to fill you in. Kyle and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary on September 9th. What an accomplishment! Since I was sick, we postponed our weekend getaway until this past weekend. He surprised me with a very nice two-night stay at a bed and breakfast on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs. There was even a Sweet Babymoon package attached to the deal. We both got 60 minute massages, I got a 30 minute facial, and he got 30 minutes of reflexology. It was a very relaxing weekend that was much needed for both of us. A special thanks to my mother-in-law for keeping Brady for us. :)

I still haven't felt much definite movement from baby lately. I'm so ready for that daily movement so I know everything is alright in there. My belly is growing though so I know that is a good sign. My next doctor's appointment is Monday. I will be doing the quad test where they test for various birth defects. Since I'll only be 17 weeks 1 day, I'm not sure if she will try an ultrasound in her office or not. I know the measurements won't be done for another month which is where they usually determine gender, but hopefully we can take a peak at baby and see some girl or boy parts. The suspense is just too much!

Another battle that I've been fighting lately is these crazy hormones. I'm up and I'm down, I have energy and then I don''s just a roller coaster. I'm supposed to be happy since I have been blessed with this opportunity to have another child, but all I can do is worry and cry and sleep. Ugh...not fun! I knew there was such a thing as postpartum depression, but is there really such a thing as prepartum depression?? Hopefully  this is not something that is going to stick around long because I want to be able to enjoy being pregnant. I have things I want to do before this baby comes and I need the energy and the desire to do it. So I'm praying extra hard for God to help me through this and send someone my way to be of some support. Even though the hubby tries to understand, he just cannot relate to what I'm going through.

Here is the last two weeks of information from on how baby is growing and developing.


Your pregnancy: 15 weeks

How your baby's growing:

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")

Your pregnancy: 16 weeks

How your baby's growing:

Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.

Monday, September 6, 2010

14 Weeks...

So a week into my second trimester and things are so much better. The nausea is hit or miss which is a great relief. I still feel pretty tired but I can handle that...I just take a nap when I can. My appetite is back which scares me somewhat because I don't wanna gain too much weight. There is barely room in my belly for a baby...don't need any extra pounds crowding things. Oh well...I'm trying to eat as healthy as possible but since I've been so sleepy it keeps me from wanting to cook much. Hoping that will get better before I get too big to stand at the stove. ;)

Not much else going on these days except that we are definitely enjoying some cooler weather. I like to get outside with Kyle and Brady and actually be able to breathe. School is in full swing for me as well. This nutrition class will hopefully keep me aware of what I'm eating and help me make better decisions while I'm pregnant. So far I have enjoyed it very much.

I cannot wait to feel some consistent movement from baby. I laid on my back the other day and purposely tried to feel something...anything...that I didn't think was gas. After pressing on my belly for a while I know I felt a flutter. It was such a nice feeling to know that my tiny little person in there is doing okay. He or she has been doing a lot of growing this past week. It is so unreal all that goes on in there...check out what says baby has been up to. My little counter on the right of the page says baby is 4" long and weighs about 2 1/2 either way there has been some growing going on in there. :)

How your baby's growing:

This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.

In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. His body's growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that's in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.) He's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby's liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it's doing its job right — and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can't feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist's hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.

Monday, August 30, 2010

13 Weeks...

The last couple of weeks have been so much better in the sickness department. I am so glad to be over the majority of that all day nausea. I still have it some during the day but not everyday. The worst time for me is in the evenings. Since I have my appetite back, all I want to do is EAT! So by the end of the day I don't feel too well. I'm still learning what works for me though so I don't overdo it everyday. I am still pretty tired around noon everyday and usually try to take a nap if I can. Just makes for a less cranky momma by the end of the day. :)

Today was my second visit with Dr. Deed and I was glad Kyle got to go with me this time. I was surprised to see that I had only gain 1/2 pound since my appetite has returned. It may all catch up with me next month though. Oh well...I have a good excuse to eat although I have really been trying to make healthy choices as much as possible. Dr. Deed was just as excited as we were to try and hear a heartbeat. However, baby was not cooperative this morning. Mostly all we heard was my heartbeat and just a split second of baby's. Since she couldn't measure the beats per minute with her doppler, she decided we should just take a peak and measure it that way. I told her that was fine with me! I always welcome a peak inside the belly. :) Of course baby was fine and the heartbeat measure 163 bpm. We actually got to see the spine and both arms moving around. Baby even moved its head some for us. I cannot wait to be able to feel all that moving around in there. Baby seems very active too...should be fun!

We still haven't told Brady that he is going to be a big brother soon. He is always talking about his baby sister though like he already knows what's to come. The kid may have some kind of intuition about it...who knows. He is going to be a great big brother though. He has been so helpful in taking care of me while I've been sick. He turned FIVE last week and I think he is at a perfect age to be my big helper when baby arrives.

Like always, I have included some information about baby this week. Lots going on in there and every week I am amazed at how God creates these little lives.

How your baby's growing:

Fingerprints have formed on your baby's tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

12 Weeks...

The first trimester is almost over! Yay! I am feeling so much better for the most part...only small bouts of nausea mostly in the evening. I still feel pretty sleepy during the day but I am not sleeping well at night either. So I am taking advantage of some naps. :) In the last week or two I have noticed my belly growing. This is such a welcome thing because it gives me more peace about the progression of this pregnancy. I have really been fighting doubt and fear that something can still go wrong even though the four ultrasounds I have had prove everything is fine thus far. That is something I am working on though and I feel that it will subside the further along I get. Next week's doctor's visit can't come soon enough! I am ready to hear baby's heartbeat!

We have had a lot of stuff going on around here this past week. Finally got our kitchen floor tiled and Kyle got all the trim put back down yesterday. Now we have to paint/stain it and we are finished with the little kitchen redo for now. One step closer to getting the office cleared out now that the 15 boxes of tile are gone. We still have a lot to do before our big boy's 5th birthday party this weekend. Kyle painted the garage floor and it still needs one coat so he can move everything back in. It really looks good too. I am so glad I have felt better lately so I can help him with these projects and to entertain Brady while he works on them.

I subscribe to What to and it really gives more detailed development of baby so I was amazed to see what all is going on in there. I have pasted to progress below for you to catch up with baby's growth.

Week 13 of Pregnancy: Fetal Growth Rates

Your fetus is now about three inches long, the size of a peach — and half of that length is head. By the time your baby is ready to make his or her entrance into the world, the head will be only one-fourth as large as the body.
Your fetus is about three inches long and the size of a peach at 13 weeks pregnant. But don't compare your fetus with the fetus next door. Starting about now, babies begin growing at different paces, some faster than others, some more slowly, though they all follow the same developmental path. Growing at a universally breakneck speed now is your baby's body as it tries to catch up to the head in terms of size. Though your baby's head is about half the size of its body now, by the time your baby is ready to make his or her entrance into the world, the head will be only one-fourth as large as the body.
Your baby's intestines are also in for some big changes right now. Up till this point, they've been growing in a cavity inside the umbilical cord; but now they're moving to their permanent (and more conveniently located) address, in your baby's abdomen.  And to serve your growing baby's needs, the placenta is also growing.  It weighs about an ounce now and will weigh one to two pounds at birth (something else you'll soon be able to blame your weight gain on!).
Also developing this week: your baby's vocal chords. Because sound can't travel through your uterus (your baby's current habitat), you won't be able to hear any sounds or cries just yet, but oh boy (or girl) — those vocal chords will get a good workout once that baby is born.

Monday, August 16, 2010

11 Weeks...

I am so happy to be almost done with this first trimester. I have started to feel somewhat better during the day. I have my moments where I feel pretty yucky, but for the most part the all day sickness is waning. Yay! I am actually getting my appetite back which has proven to be bad some days because all I wanna do is eat. It doesn't usually end well when the belly gets too full. I'm learning though...and I've also given the hubby permission to stop me from overdoing it. Ha! He's not too thrilled about that job. He's always heard not to get between a pregnant lady and her food. :) God love him for trying though.

We seem to be making some headway on getting our house ready for baby. We've been moving stuff out of the office so it can be transformed into a nursery again. I have big ideas for what all needs to be done if I can just get someone to carry them out for me. I hate not being able to move furniture while I'm here during the day. I could get so much done if I weren't restricted. Ugh! We have plenty of time to get it all together though so I won't stress too much about it yet.

According to, baby has made some big changes recently. It's amazing that baby can be that small and look just like a baby. I mean he/she is only 1 1/2 inches long...that's tiny! So miraculous what God does in there! I am so ready to hear that heartbeat. Just two more weeks until my next OB visit and I cannot wait. 

How your baby's growing:

Your baby, just over 1 1/2 inches long and about the size of a fig, is now almost fully formed. Her hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under her gums, and some of her bones are beginning to harden.

She's already busy kicking and stretching, and her tiny movements are so effortless they look like water ballet. These movements will become more frequent as her body grows and becomes more developed and functional. You won't feel your baby's acrobatics for another month or two — nor will you notice the hiccupping that may be happening now that her diaphragm is forming.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

10 Weeks...

Well I am a few days late with my weekly update, but as of Sunday we made it to the 10 week mark! I cannot believe I have less than two weeks left in my first trimester. I do hope that means there is an end in sight to this nasty sickness. I have tried to adjust different things in order to ease it some, but there just doesn't seem to be much I can do about it. This has definitely been a lesson for me in many ways because I am somewhat of a control freak. I do not like not being in control of my own body but I am trying to just keep on going after 10 weeks of it.

My momma came to visit me yesterday. I so needed that "Momma Time" and it really did make me feel better. Being here everyday by myself has been great in some respects because I can rest as I need to, but it isn't always good for the emotions when you just need to talk. My mom has been great to listen to me whine and cry whenever I need to but yesterday was more about laughing and enjoying each other. I really enjoyed the laughs and the few tears were helpful as well. Moms are great like that. I cannot wait to be that mom someday when my kiddo are grown. They really do become your best friend because they know everything about you and they still love you. She teaches me everyday what being a great mom is all about. I love her so much!!

I was surprised to read the update this week and see how much baby has changed. I cannot wait to hear that heartbeat in a few weeks. What a miracle all this is!

How your baby's growing:

Though he's barely the size of a kumquat — a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, your baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.

He's swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy.

If you could take a peek inside your womb, you'd spot minute details, like tiny nails forming on fingers and toes (no more webbing) and peach-fuzz hair beginning to grow on tender skin.

In other developments: Your baby's limbs can bend now. His hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his heart, and his feet may be long enough to meet in front of his body. The outline of his spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his spinal cord. Your baby's forehead temporarily bulges with his developing brain and sits very high on his head, which measures half the length of his body. From crown to rump, he's about 1 1/4 inches long. In the coming weeks, your baby will again double in size — to nearly 3 inches.

Monday, August 2, 2010

9 Weeks...

Yay! I have made it to the 9 week mark as of yesterday. Everyday is such a blessing with this pregnancy. We celebrated Mom's birthday yesterday with almost everyone in our big ole family. All of her kids and all but one of her grandkids were there as well as her sister and brother-in-law. There were even a few extra kids there so you can imagine with over 20 people it must have been some celebration. I was happy to feel like getting out but wouldn't have let much keep me from being there anyway. There was great food and music and lots of laughter. Family is so very important and we don't spend enough time with those we love. Hard to believe as we all sat around and visited that Mom started all that. She certainly has a lot to be proud of...and her big family isn't done growing yet. :)

I had my first official O/B appointment today and it was almost too hot to go. I mean really...the car said 108 at one point. Just too hot! However, my sweet mother-in-law was happy to take me since the hubby was in meetings this afternoon. It was a short visit, as I guess most of the next few will be. Dr. Deed wanted to take a look at baby herself since the last three ultrasounds have been done upstairs. She was excited to see what was going on in there. You still can't see much from the outside at this point, but you could definitely see that baby bouncing around in there and the heart just a fluttering. Baby's heart rate was 169 this time. All were great signs and made us all very happy. She said next time I come we should be able to hear that little booger.

I am started to have more feel good moments these days and not so much all day sickness. I am learning how and what to eat that works best for me. Eating something small every 2 hours or so has helped tremendously. It's only late in the evening that I feel the most yucky. All that food throughout the day makes me feel bloated. It's all tolerable though since it is indeed for a good reason. :)

I will paste below what says about baby this week. It is always very interesting to see what's going on inside when I can't feel it.

Your pregnancy: 9 weeks

How your baby's growing:

Your new resident is nearly an inch long — about the size of a grape — and weighs just a fraction of an ounce. She's starting to look more and more human. Her essential body parts are accounted for, though they'll go through plenty of fine-tuning in the coming months. Other changes abound: Your baby's heart finishes dividing into four chambers, and the valves start to form — as do her tiny teeth. The embryonic "tail" is completely gone. Your baby's organs, muscles, and nerves are kicking into gear. The external sex organs are there but won't be distinguishable as male or female for another few weeks. Her eyes are fully formed, but her eyelids are fused shut and won't open until 27 weeks. She has tiny earlobes, and her mouth, nose, and nostrils are more distinct. The placenta is developed enough now to take over most of the critical job of producing hormones. Now that your baby's basic physiology is in place, she's poised for rapid weight gain.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Little Scare...

Well last night I started spotting again. It still wasn't bright red but was a little pinker than the week before. I would call it a mauve color. And to top it all off, there was even what appeared to be a small blood clot in it at one point. I was a nervous wreck fretting about what could be going on. Flashes of what we have been through in the past year came back to both me and Kyle as we starred at that toilet paper. Rather than worry myself too much, I just went to bed. Crazy dreams filled the night and I tried to find rest. I dreamed that we had an ultrasound today and the baby was peeking his head up over something and then quickly ducking back down. He was playing peek-a-boo with us. And that even as early as I am, we were still able to tell that it was a boy. All of those thoughts are very weird and kept waking me up...that on top of the constant trips to the bathroom.

Anyway, I took Brady to school and immediately called the nurse this morning. As I explained to her what was going on she suggested I just come on in for an ultrasound. I jumped at the chance for another look inside the belly. Our sweet ultrasound technician, Elizabeth, was nervous that we were back to see her so soon. Her first view of baby showed an obvious heartbeat. What a relief!! And it was beating at 171...way up from the 120 two weeks ago. Then she commented that we had ourselves a little gummy bear in there. The pictures below will show you what she meant. The baby has limb buds right now instead of arms and legs and really does resemble a gummy bear. :) The baby is measuring right on track from two weeks ago.

We got to see Dr. Deed today as well and she explained that the bleeding was probably coming from an area where a blood vessel had ruptured. Which is pretty common when pregnancies implant into the uterus. She showed us the area on the ultrasound. She explained that the blood would eventually evacuate but that I could see spotting for another week or two. Another relief! I can handle the spotting as long as I know what to expect and it doesn't get bright red! So I'm happy that everything still seems to be going right this time. We thank God everyday that we have been given another chance at this. Like my momma says, "Only He is the giver of life."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

8 Weeks!!

So today I am officially 8 weeks! I am excited that I have made it this far without any major complications. However, I have to say that I am really, really sick of being sick. :( I did not experience any of this when I was pregnant with Brady. I had a few days of nausea with him and might have missed a day of work because of that and fatigue...but nothing like what I am experiencing now. Most people tell me that means this baby is going to be a GIRL! That's fine with me but either way I am ready for the illness to go. I have literally been in bed for days now because when I get up and move around too much, I start gagging. Lovely, huh? Lying perfectly still or sleeping has been the only thing that wards off the gagging. BUT even lying around is getting rough. My hubby is being as understanding as he can be and my child is certainly tired of mommy being in bed so much. Do I really have 4 more weeks of this?

I told my mom that I feel like a loser when I complain about how sick I've been for the past month. After all, I am pregnant and that is a good thing. I could be sick for some other reasons that aren't so good. So then the guilt sets in. Ugh...these hormones make me think and feel crazy things. I've had some amazing support though. Friends that have been there before and totally understand what I am going through and my two moms that listen to be whine about it most every day. It will get better soon. It just has to, right?

So my first official OB appointment is next Monday and I am ready to see and hear my baby again. I am contemplating the purchase of a doppler so I can listen to the baby's heartbeat anytime I want. Since I have been experiencing some brown spotting last Thursday, it would really set my mind at ease if I knew everything was still okay in there. I haven't had any cramping and the blood hasn't gotten pink or red, so I am trying not to worry. Things I've read say that as your uterus stretches, it sheds a bit of old blood. So I can accept that for now as long as things don't change.

Here is what says about the baby this week:

Your pregnancy: 8 weeks

How your baby's growing:

New this week: Webbed fingers and toes are poking out from your baby's hands and feet, his eyelids practically cover his eyes, breathing tubes extend from his throat to the branches of his developing lungs, and his "tail" is just about gone. In his brain, nerve cells are branching out to connect with one another, forming primitive neural pathways. You may be daydreaming about your baby as one sex or the other, but the external genitals still haven't developed enough to reveal whether you're having a boy or a girl. Either way, your baby — about the size of a kidney bean — is constantly moving and shifting, though you still can't feel it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What a Relief!

So today was my repeat ultrasound since last week there wasn't much to see. Well there still wasn't very much to see today, but what we did see was GREAT news! We were able to see a heartbeat...more like a flutter instead of a beat, but nonetheless it was beating! The technician measured it to be beating at 120 bpm and the baby itself is about .25 inch long. That puts me at 6 weeks and 4 days with a due date of March 6. I am just so relieved and excited and I cannot wait for my next visit already. Elizabeth, the technician, said she was so glad that I was finally getting some good news. She said she has these patients that go through so much and she is so happy when something goes right and she can share in that joy with them. She said I am one of those patients. I appreciate her for always being as gentle as she could with me through some very painful times. :)

After my ultrasound my mother-in-law and I went down to see my OB and give her the news. I think she and her nurse are just as excited as we are. After all, they have been with me through a lot in the past year. Dr. Deed hugged me and just couldn't quit saying how excited she was. I have her to thank for so much. She saved my life earlier this year and she has always looked out for me and for that I cannot be more grateful. So I will see her again on August 2 for my first official prenatal visit. We will get more pictures of baby then but I was able to get one picture today. You can't really tell much but there is definitely a baby there.

I really hate that Kyle couldn't be with me today so see our baby's heartbeat for the first time. I was able to talk to him a little while ago and he is so very excited and relieved. I'm ready for him to come home now so we can celebrate and enjoy this wonderful news together. Now I need a nap! :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nervous Again!

As I lay on the couch this morning trying to remain perfectly still so I do not lose my breakfast, my OB's office called. Thank goodness it was my favorite nurse this time. Since I wasn't expecting a call from them I was kind of curious as to what she could want. Maybe she knew how incredibly nauseous I have been and wanted to bring me something to fix it? chance.

She informed me that Dr. Deed had reviewed my ultrasound from last Thursday and wanted me to have another one this Thursday to see if there has been any progress. My stomach immediately turned a flip...which was not a good thing...and my nerves kicked into overdrive. I had already prepared myself for the three-week wait until my first official prenatal visit. Now I was faced with more "what ifs" AND to top it all dear husband is thousands of miles away in San Diego this week.

Hopefully I will be able to get a video of this ultrasound since we should see a heartbeat this time. I certainly hate it that he may miss seeing that for the first time. :( My sweet mother-in-law is going to take me to my appointment and I am already looking forward to lunch beforehand. I haven't been getting out of the house much lately because this nausea is really getting the best of me. I really hope this doesn't last much longer. I absolutely hate being nauseated! But I know, I is for a good reason, but still. YUCK!

Sunday I had to lay perfectly still for quite a while on the couch and Brady kept begging me to get up. I told him that Momma was sick and if I moved too much I might throw up. He accepted that for a while and went on about his business. A little later a friend of his came over and wanted him to go over to his house and play. He came through the door asking Brady where his Momma was. Brady said, "She is on the couch cause her belly hurts. Don't bother her though cause if she moves too much she will throw up. Do you want my Momma to throw up??" Of course the little boy said NO! Kids are so funny!

Now I am headed to take a nap since I can't seem to keep my eyes open or make my tummy stop hurting. I promised Brady I would take him to Larry's tonight. I must feel better before then so I can enjoy me some pizza!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Step In The Right Direction

So our 6-week ultrasound was yesterday and it went well. The technician that performed it, Elizabeth, has done many of my tests in the past year. She said she wondered what happened to me after the last ectopic she found. She started out with an abdominal scan to measure my ovaries, then she proceeded on with the transvaginal ultrasound. She was asking questions about whether I had been experiencing any pain or bleeding with this pregnancy. Those questions made me very nervous. Just show me the baby already!

After scanning around for a couple of minutes looking at stuff that I didn't recognize, she finally got to the uterus. She pointed out a gestational sac that contained a yolk sac INSIDE MY UTERUS! So my worst fears of having another ectopic pregnancy were finally gone. Thank you Lord! Then there was the question of how far along I really am. According to my LMP, I should be 6 weeks yesterday. However, at 6 weeks you should be able to see a fetal heartbeat. So Elizabeth determined that I must be only 5 weeks, which is fine with me so long as everything looks the way it should.

We left there with some pretty good assurance that we have a normal pregnancy this time. Third time's a charm! I am still so cautious though because I want to see a baby or a heartbeat before I am convinced that everything is okay. I don't want to get my hopes up again only for my hopes to be shattered with loss. I am trying to have faith though that whatever the outcome of this is God's will. That is so hard for me to do sometimes since I am human and all.

I have an appointment with my OB scheduled for August 2nd. She will do her normal first prenatal exam which will include an ultrasound. We should be able to see and hear a heartbeat at this visit. So for the next 3 weeks and 3 days I have to stay positive and have peace about what is to come. I'm praying for no complications from here on out. My mom reminded me this morning, "God is the giver of life." Those are words I need to tell myself daily. :)

I pasted some information below about where I am at this stage of my pregnancy. I told my mom that we have access to too much information sometimes where pregnancy is concerned. When she was having babies, they didn't have ultrasounds to check this or that or even determine the sex of the babies. A woman knew she was pregnant when she missed her period. She knew there was really a baby in there when she felt the baby move. I am thankful for the technology we have these days, but maybe it just gives us too much to worry about.          

Gestational Sac
The gestational sac is the earliest sonographic finding in pregnancy. The gestational sac appears as an echogenic (bright echoes) ring surrounding a sonolucent (clear) center. The gestational sac does not correspond to specific anatomic structures, but is an ultrasonic finding characteristic of early pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies can also have a gestational sac identified with ultrasound, even though the pregnancy is not within the endometrial cavity. 
The gestational sac first appears at about 4 weeks gestational age, and grows at a rate of about 1 mm a day through the 9th week of pregnancy. 
Your ability to identify an early gestational sac will depend on many factors, including the capabilities of the ultrasound equipment, your approach (vaginal or abdominal), your experience, the orientation of the uterus (generally it is easier to see if the uterus is anteflexed or retroflexed), and the presence of such complicating factors as fibroid tumors of the uterus. While a gestational sac is sometimes seen as early as during the 4th week of gestation, it may not be seen until the end of the 5th week, when the serum HCG levels have risen to 1000-1500 mIU.
Gestational sac size may be determined by measuring the largest diameter, or the mean of three diameters. These differences rarely effect gestational age dating by more than a day or two.

1st Trimester Ultrasound Scan
Yolk Sac
As the pregnancy advances, the next structure to become visible to ultrasound is the yolk sac. This is a round, sonolucent structure with a bright rim. 
The yolk sac first appears during the fifth week of pregnancy and grows to be no larger than 6 mm. Yolk sacs larger than 6 mm are usually indicative of an abnormal pregnancy. Failure to identify (with transvaginal ultrasound) a yolk sac when the gestational sac has grown to 12 mm is also usually indicative of a failed pregnancy.
Yolk sacs that are moving within the gestational sac ("floating"), contain echogenic material (rather than sonolucent), or are gross misshapen are ominous findings for the pregnancy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Catch Up

Well since my last blog a lot has transpired. Let me catch you up to where we are. On May 4 I underwent surgery to repair my remaining tube. The doctor was able to remove all the adhesions that were causing my tube to become twisted and closed. He even stitched back the opening of the tube so that it was no longer just a pin hole opening. He gave us relatively good hope that we would be able to get pregnant on our own with a lesser risk of another ectopic pregnancy. We were told to wait a couple of weeks before we started trying to get pregnant. This put us into June before the timing was right again.

On Sunday, June 21, I had a positive pregnancy test!! I wanted to get excited immediately, but all the fear of what might happen now quickly set in. I called my OB first thing that Monday morning to set up my 6-week ultrasound. After a bit of run-around, the nurse told me I would need to come in that morning for some blood work to see where my hCG levels were. This way they could more accurately schedule the ultrasound to ensure we could actually see the pregnancy. We would repeat the test on Wednesday to see if the hormone level doubled. This is usually a good indication of a normal pregnancy. In my past two pregnancies that turned out to be ectopics, my hormone levels never doubled. I was scared to death at what these tests would tell me this time. I didn't know how I could stand another failed pregnancy and the possibility of losing my only remaining tube.

After waiting the three days to get the results of the blood work, the nurse called early Thursday morning with the good news that my levels had more than doubled. Monday's level was 85 and Wednesday's level was 188. That was definitely a good sign, but I was still cautious with my excitement about this pregnancy. She went ahead and scheduled my ultrasound for Thursday, July 8. That's tomorrow! And not only will we find out if indeed we have a baby this time, but it is my husband's birthday. I do hope that I can give him the best birthday present ever...a baby!

I have been a nervous wreck the past 10 days. I have been so aware of every little twinge, every little pain, every little thought that something might be wrong. I have been so exhausted anyway that I have tried to sleep as much as I can to make the week go by faster. I know that God is in control of it all and that whatever is going on inside my body is His will. I just want it all to be okay this time. No more disappointment, no more pain, no more failures. I want a happy ending and a healthy addition to our little family. So hopefully soon after 9:00 a.m. in the morning we will know where all these paths we have been on in the last year will lead us. Say a prayer if you don't mind. Not for what I want, but for the peace and strength to deal with whatever happens.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where we're headed...

After losing my left tube and having already had an ectopic in my right tube, my doctor ordered a dye test to determine if there was any flow problems before we tried to get pregnant once again. This test showed that I do indeed have some kind of blockage in my remaining tube that could possibly cause me to have another ectopic pregnancy in the future. I certainly don't want to have to deal with that a third time! So she referred me to Arkansas Fertility & Gynecology Associates for an evaluation and to determine what my options were if we decided to have another baby.

Kyle was out of town on business the week I scheduled my appointment, but my mother-in-law was happy to go with me. Dr. Miller was great to explain everything to us about the risks of another ectopic if we decided to have the laparoscopy to repair my tube. He recommended that we bypass all those risks and go straight for in vitro fertilization. There was so much to think about before deciding to do this procedure. He went through the quick run down of how it worked. I remember bits and "possibility of twins or even TRIPLETS!" I think Kyle would have run out of the room had he been there to hear that. Carol's eyes got really big listening to him talk about multiples. She said that she and my mom would definitely have to move in with us if we had more than one. :-)

The major issue with doing IVF was the fact that our insurance does not pay for any fertility treatments and this is definitely not an inexpensive process. Then there is the issue of what happens to the embryos you do not use (if there are any). I certainly wouldn't want them destroyed or even donated. But the only other option is to use them. Hmmm would that even be something we wanted to do when the time came? So many questions and the clock is ticking! I'm about to turn 34 next week and I know my chances of having a healthy pregnancy and/or a healthy baby are diminishing quickly.

What is in God's plan? It is so hard to know what the right thing is to do.This is such a lonely place to be too. No one I know has really gone through the exact thing I'm going through. No one can tell us what to do. I'm always afraid of messing up and this is definitely not something you want to mess up on. Kyle and I have spent the last week talking about our options and trying to come to some kind of peace about what to do. Meanwhile, I read on AFG's website about a procedure where they use a catheter to guide wires into your fallopian tube to clean out any adhesions that could be causing problems. After Dr. Miller reviewed my test films, I got the news today that I am not a candidate for the catheterization procedure after all. My blockage is not in the place for it to be an effective treatment, but he feels that surgery might be a viable option based on the test results. I will see Dr. Miller on March 26th to discuss having the laparoscopy to repair my tube and remove any adhesions so that we can hopefully get pregnant on our own. If he finds the damage to be too bad, he may have to remove the tube anyway...which would take us back to doing IVF.

How ever it ends up we will deal with is all in God's hands. I just pray for peace to know what to do and the strength to do what needs to be done. I appreciate all the prayers and words of encouragement from all my friends and family. Please know that I couldn't have made it this far without each of you. I hope that this blog will be an outlet for me to express my feelings when I am feeling alone in all of this. And maybe in the process I can help someone who is going through something similar so that they will see that they aren't alone either. Talking about it doesn't mean you are trying to get attention (which is why I have been reluctant to talk openly thus far), it means you are accepting it and seeking help in dealing with it.

Where we've been...

So in July of 2009 we decided we would start trying to have another baby. Brady is always asking me, "When is God gonna give me a baby sister?" How do you answer that?? I would always tell him that God would give us a baby whenever he thought it was time. That only led to more and more questions from his curious little mind, but somehow I managed to convince him that it wouldn't be too long (hopefully).

We got pregnant the first month, which was a total shock! After a week or so we told everyone. Then in my 5th week I started having cramping and spotting. After blood work for a few days it was decided that I was not having a normal pregnancy. The doctor prepared me for what she thought was going to be a miscarriage. It just so happened to be the weekend of Brady's 4th birthday party too. Doctor's orders were to stay in bed...but I just couldn't. Needless to say the pain got worse over the next few days and after more blood work and a couple of ultrasounds, they determined I had an ectopic pregnancy in my right tube.

The pregnancy was still very small and my doctor felt she could spare me surgery (and losing my tube) by giving me a methotrexate shot. This cancer drug would stop the cell growth and cause my body to absorb the mass. During all this my hormone levels were being closely monitored and it was also found that my liver functions were elevated. This ordeal took an agonizing month to remedy itself and finally my levels were all back to normal. We were told we could start trying again in a couple of months.

We were also very fortunate the next time to get pregnant the first month. I was very guarded with my feelings about this pregnancy, but I so badly wanted to be excited. I was scheduled for a 6-week ultrasound to make sure the baby was in the right place this time. I had absolutely NO cramping or bleeding up until the ultrasound. So I was very hopeful that this pregnancy was going to work. Kyle and I went in for the U/S and watched as the technician rooted around taking pictures. I had no clue what we were looking at but I didn't expect to see much this early anyway. She asked a lot of questions which kind of made me nervous, but I was trying to push those feelings down. She left the room to consult with her doctor and came back with the news that she didn't see a pregnancy at all...intrauterine or otherwise. We were devastated!

We immediately went downstairs to my OB's office for blood work to see where my hCG levels were. Of course the day of waiting for the results was agonizing. I got the results the next morning and by that time I had already started cramping and bleeding. I knew it was not going to work this time either. The doctor wanted to repeat the hCG test the next day. Two days after finding out there was no pregnancy I was awake all night with severe left-sided pain. Nothing I did alleviated it and I could not get comfortable for anything! I spoke to my doctor at 6:30am the next morning and she scheduled me for another ultrasound first thing that morning.

We had just had one of the coldest nights of the season and Kyle was off that day. He had spent an hour pouring water all over the back patio the night before so Brady could do some "ice skating" when he woke up. So my wonderful mother-in-law offered to take me to my appointment so the boys could have their fun. That was the most painful vaginal ultrasound I had had to date. The technician took pictures for almost an hour and I cried the entire time. Even after all that time she could not come to a conclusion on her own. She called in the radiologist to watch the ultrasound as they tried to determine where all that pain was coming from. His findings were still a bit inconclusive but he thought he could see a mass of some kind on my left side. He sent me back down to my OB's office for her to decide what to do. Being the great doctor that she is, she decided not to mess around with it this time since I was in so much pain. She scheduled me for surgery that very day. She was able to remove the pregnancy but I also lost my left tube in the process.  She told my family after the surgery that if we would have waited just one more day, the pregnancy would have cause my tube to rupture...which could have led to severe blood loss and possibly death.

How it all started...

I'll start with a little history about me and my little family. Kyle and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary on September 9 of this year. We are the proud parents of Brady Logan, who is a VERY active 4 1/2 year old. I am set to graduate in May with my accounting degree. It has been a long road to get here. I started college right out of high school but had to quit after my first semester. God sent me an awesome boss years later who encouraged me to go back to school. So in January of 2002 I enrolled at UALR part time while I worked at Union Bank. I was laid off from the bank in March of was actually my birthday...and I was three months pregnant. Go figure! It was a rough time for me to say the least. However, it was the best thing that could have happened to us. This allowed me to be home while I was pregnant and helped us realize that we could make it on one salary. So in August of 2005 I became a stay-at-home-mom!! Wow what a hard job that has been!