Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's a Baby!

I was getting ready to go to the ultrasound yesterday, and Mr. X asked if I wanted him to put the cookies in the oven while I was gone. I said "I thought you were coming with me!" He was surprised, but happy to come. (We had both gotten very little sleep that night due to my nasty cold--more about that another day--so neither of us was at the top of our game. And clearly I'm still not, since I had to edit this post twice before the first sentence made any sense.) It was really funny--I think he didn't realize how much the baby looks like a baby now, and he had to be at work when I came in for the first ultrasound. He was so excited once we saw the baby on the monitor!

So, here are a few of the pictures! When we started, we could see the baby in profile (head to the right, looking up):

And then the baby turned and we got a front view--again, head to the right, and you can see the little hands, belly, and feet pretty well in this one:

I think we have a little ham on our hands, already looking into the camera and waving! You can see how much the left hand was moving in this one:

I think I need to come up with a nickname. Saying "the baby" all the time gets a bit awkward. I'm starting to wrap my head around the idea that this is really happening!

Monday, December 29, 2008

All Is Well

I promise to post more later (probably tomorrow, to be realistic), but we did go to the ultrasound and everything is fine! The baby is measuring 12 weeks 1 day, and I'm 12 weeks 2 days today, so that's fine. Just like Beth said, we could see the eyes, nose, mouth, little hands and feet, and everything! The baby moved, too, so we started out with a perfect profile, and then the baby turned so we saw the full face and little hands moving up and down (looked like the baby was waving to us)!

I have to run! Last night, my dear friend who got married last week called to ask if she and her husband can crash at our place tonight on their way to their honeymoon! I'm so excited, but, yikes, the house is a disaster!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pregnancy Update *Updated*

On Saturday, we officially made it to 12 weeks! I'm so grateful! We've started telling people, and we told a lot of friends and family over Christmas. We were on our own for Christmas, so we told a lot of people over the phone. Everyone's been very happy for us, which is really touching. My least favorite reactions have been along the lines of "people always get pregnant as soon as they start the adoption process." I know everyone means well, and so I gently explain that my treatment can take a long time to be effective, that we really want to adopt, not just as a second choice . . . the whole deal.

The progesterone test results have been really good, too! According to the graph on the PPVI site, the average levels of progesterone start at 22.4 in week 4 and rise to 30 in week 10. Mine started at 13.8 in week 4 and went up to 37.2 in week 10! I was so excited! The doctors reduced my dosage from the maximum to the minimum in week 8, when my level was good, and so I was a little worried that it might drop again because of the reduced dosage. But it looks like my body's kicking into gear! Hooray! If the levels stay high, I might be able to stop the progesterone treatment as early as week 16!

Other than that, thank you very much for the fish oil advice! I'm going to try a brand we have at home that is enteric-coated (so the coating isn't supposed to dissolve until it hits your intestines, hence giving no after-taste), and if it doesn't work, I think Nordic Naturals will be my next stop. I'm feeling pretty good, but this cold is throwing me for a loop. I had to sing for 7:30 and 12:30 masses today, so I got up for the 7:30, came home and slept until the 12:30, and then I felt like sleeping again when I got home! I'm fighting it at the moment, though. And I am having the worst time kicking the darn y.e.a.s.t infection that I came down with in October! I've done two 7-day courses of clotrimazole to treat it, and I just started a third, plus probiotics. In between, my doctor prescribed a topical antibiotic in case it was bacterial (don't worry--all medications are approved by the doctor, and nothing more than a category B), but it just seemed to intensify the y.e.a.s.t infection symptoms. Anyone have any good ideas?

We've been trying to get more exercise, too. The doctor who did my ultrasound recommended walking two miles a day, so we finally drove several routes around our neighborhood, since we have no idea how far we normally walk. For the last three days, we've walked 2-2.5 miles every day, and we're trying to get an average time figured out so that we can estimate the distances on the trail that we walk, too. I'm starting to grow out of my clothes, too. I have two decent black skirts, and one of them fit me like a sausage casing the week before Christmas. So, I wore the other black skirt to absolutely everything that required a skirt for the rest of the week. I wore it for Christmas Eve mass, and the waistband just about cut off my circulation when I sang. I've gained about 6 pounds (when I last checked--I really need to buy a scale), which I think is OK. My doctor didn't comment on my weight gain, so I think it must be fine.

The final question of the day is this. I have an ultrasound scheduled for Monday morning. I meant to cancel it, but with all the crazy traveling and Christmas stuff, I completely forgot. Should I go? My doctor said they're really just looking for birth defects at this point, and from what I can read, it seems that the tests are not at all conclusive. My doctor said it's really not needed and that the 20-week ultrasound will be much more informative. He also says the 12-week ultrasound doesn't pose any added risk, but just isn't necessary. I feel bad canceling at the last minute (again), but I really don't want the worry of inconclusive results about birth defects, when I really am not aware of anything we could do at this point to treat them. I'm not crazy about the idea of unnecessary worries about things that I would be powerless to change. What do you think?

Updated to add--that would be a big no on the fish oil. Enteric-coated my foot. Nasty fish taste.

I think we are going to go ahead with the ultrasound after all. I did a little searching on in-utero surgeries (oh my goodness, they can do amazing things!) and we decided we'd like to know if there's a major physical problem that could be fixed before birth. I do totally agree with what Maggie said in the comments, though--I really want to avoid anything that will make me crazy, so I still have some mixed feelings. I'll post tomorrow with the results!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Oh my goodness. Things have been crazy. Once we were home for two days, we flew out again, this time to visit the families. In five days, we visited both sets of parents, drove 300 miles for my grandpa's 90th birthday party, drove another 300 miles for a friend's wedding, and flew back again. All in sub-zero weather. It was really fun, but soooo good to be back home after being on the road for all that time.

I sang for Christmas Eve mass (10pm, not actual midnight--which is actually good, considering the pregnancy tiredness combined with the cold we caught from the plague victim who coughed all over Mr. X on the airplane), which was pretty nice. Unfortunately, we had the runner-up homily to the one we heard last year at my parents' parish. Last year's Christmas homily theme: the wood of the manger foreshadows the wood of the cross; this year's Christmas homily theme: we are waiting for our suffering to end. Seriously, what's the deal with depressing Christmas homilies? Are they for the Christmas and Easter people? Because we're here the whole liturgical year. We get all of the liturgical seasons--and this one happens to be Christmas, not Lent!

Anyway, we bought our first Christmas tree on Christmas Eve this year!! We've never been in our own home for Christmas (actually, in my adult life, I have never woken up in my own home on Christmas morning, and I have never traveled less than 1000 miles to celebrate Christmas), and so we've never even bought a tree. We were a bit scared because the first three places we went to were sold out of real trees! Then I remembered this great nursery near us. They still had tons of beautiful trees, and they were selling them at half price because it was Christmas Eve! We went and bought a little star-and-angels thing for the top, some more ornaments, a tree stand, and all that stuff. Unfortunately, we couldn't find garland. Maybe at the after-Christmas sales. We plan to keep the tree up until epiphany.

Speaking of which, I'm going to go check on the water for the tree and then head to the post office. I hope you all had a great Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So Happy to Be Home

Hooray! We're home again! I'm really glad I had the opportunity to go to H.o.n.g K.o.n.g., but I'm very happy to be home. My travel paranoia really kicked in when there was a big news story right after we arrived about chickens on a local farm dying of bird flu! I calmed down after I read up on it, realized there have only been 20 human cases in H.o.n.g K.o.n.g (and none in the past five years). And the workers on the poultry farm didn't have it, so I figured the chances of me catching it were pretty darn slim. Nonetheless, I did eat more beef for the rest of the trip! :)

I'll talk more about the trip later. I was really proud of myself because I found my way around the city all by myself while Mr. X was working. We saw some really cool and some really surprising things (one of which was that I didn't expect things to be so Christmasy there). And I was a really bad international traveler in terms of my eating. We had exactly one meal of Chinese food! Of course, there are tons of interesting international restaurants there, but I ended up eating lots of pizza, burgers, and American breakfast food (I had oatmeal for dinner one night). Usually, I really want to eat the local food, but this time I was just trying not to end up too nauseated, and familiar was good.

We completely crashed last night--we got home from the airport and I was asleep within 2 hours. I went to bed at 8:30 and woke up at 10:15 this morning! I had a doctor's appointment at 11 (good thing I woke up at 10:15). It took a long time (relatively speaking--I'm sure it was only a few minutes, but it felt like an eternity) for the doctor to find the heartbeat today. After a while, he mentioned that the battery was dying and that he'd go into the other room to replace it, and then try again. Shortly after that, he found it. I was so relieved! I had really started to panic in those few minutes.

So, one quick question: Does anyone take fish oil that doesn't taste like fish oil? I'm taking these capsules (well, I was until a couple of days ago), and I realized one day on the trip that I wouldn't have felt nauseated at all if I hadn't been burping fish oil all day (still makes me shudder to think of it). Anyone know of a good brand?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pharmacies, Paranoia, and Progesterone, Oh My!

So, here I am in H.ong Ko.ng! Kind of wild to be on the other side of the world. So far, it's been really fun. I'll write about our trip itself another time--this is more of a hormone levels/travel paranoia/pharmacy nightmare post.

I tend to be a fairly paranoid traveler (I read all the warnings about infectious diseases before I travel to any other country, I drink bottled water, I won't eat salads, all of that stuff). I got myself fairly worked up about insect repellent, of all things, before we left (there were something like 30 cases of dengue fever here . . . one year . . . out of 7 million residents), and ended up bringing stuff with DEET to spray on my clothes, and stuff with citronella only to put on exposed skin. Even though the stuff I've found hasn't found any negative effects on babies, I still didn't want to put DEET on my skin. So, yeah. It's the driest month of the year hear. I have seen--literally--two insects in the four days we've been here. Two. A bee and a gnat. I used the citronella the first day, but the DEET will probably make it home unopened.

And I ended up cancelling that ultrasound before we left. The doctor said the ultrasound wasn't needed, and I had really good progesterone results from my Tuesday blood draw! My progesterone was up to 27! It started at 13 four weeks before, rose to 18 two weeks later, and then jumped to 27! I was so thrilled! I feel like my body's doing something it's supposed to do. I walked around thanking God with a big goofy smile on my face for the rest of the day. And this also means that I can go down from two enormous progesterone injections twice a week, plus prometrium every night, to one enormous progesterone injection twice a week and no prometrium! Thank goodness! I think I'm actually a bit less nervous this time around. I know that, last time, I did everything in my power, but ultimately, it's all up to God. This time, I'll do everything I can, but it's still up to God. I can ask for ultrasounds every week if I want to, but what difference will that make? We're already doing everything we can. So, I felt good about cancelling the ultrasound. I'm trying to let go a little bit of the illusion of control.

Oh, and speaking of injections, here's the latest in my weird pharmacy experiences! I went in last Friday to get refills before the trip. The pharmacy had ordered in the progesterone, so I knew those would be in. But I also need 18-gauge needles (huge ones that look like roofing nails, for drawing up the oil into the syringe) and 22-gauge needles (less huge ones that look like the roofing nail's little sisters) for actually injecting the stuff into my behind. Last time, they had both, no problem. So, I walked up to the counter, told the woman at the register which prescriptions I needed refilled, and she insisted that the 18-gauge needles weren't in my record. I had walked in the prescription from my doctor--on paper--and they had filled it less than three weeks before. I asked whether they would still have the paper copy and she said "no, we don't have those. They're filed somewhere else." She implied that maybe the pharmacist would have access to more information in my records that would include the big needles.

So I waited, they filled my prescription, and I went up to get it. 22-gauge needles, and the dinky hCG syringes, which I had told her were not the right ones. She brought the pharmacist over, I explained the situation, and she said "Oh, we stopped carrying the 18-gauge needles, so last time, they probably just gave you the ones we had left, but they didn't put them in your record. You'll have to have your doctor write you a script for them." I said "He already did, and I brought it here three weeks ago!" She stepped over to the next bay and came back 20 seconds later with the paper copy of my prescription in her hand! So much for "we don't keep those here"! Then she said I'd have to have another pharmacy call over to transfer the prescription.

By now, the pharmacy was closing in 8 minutes and I was leaving the country the next day. And I was mad! So, I decided I wasn't going to leave until I found a local pharmacy that had them in stock and could call over. I called the local Wal.greens, and they didn't have them and "couldn't" check any other locations. So, I marched back up to the counter and begged the pharmacist to let me take the paper prescription and shop it around to find a pharmacy with the needles in stock. I told her I was leaving the country. She walked back and conferred with the other pharmacists, and I heard someone said "just give them to her." She came back to the counter, carrying a huge box full of 18-gauge needles! They had them the whole time, but they "don't sell them anymore"! She just handed me the box, with a "don't bother me anymore, lady" kind of attitude, and said that these would probably cover at least all of the refills I have on my current prescription.

Ultimately, it was really nice of her to do that, but why make me jump through all the hoops? Seriously! I was proud of myself for sticking it out, but I'm going to have to find a new branch of the pharmacy soon. This one has gone downhill and I've annoyed pretty much every employee at this point (I'm not rude, but I'm persistent, and I let them know if I'm not happy).

Well, we're going to take the ferry today and check out the markets on the other side of the harbor, so I should probably get a move on! I'll post later about our delayed flight (22 hours! And they kept our checked luggage overnight while we were still on the ground! Never flying U.n.i.t.e.d again!), the wild commuter escalator, authentic dim sum, and such!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mystery of the Day

Thanks for asking, Sew Infertile. :) I am still here. Here's the latest from our house!

Baby things seem good. The doctor was able to hear the heartbeat with the doppler earlier this week when I went in for a blood draw--it was only 8 weeks 3 days, so that's pretty much the earliest it's possible with the doppler. I'm having tons of symptoms, for which I'm grateful--I'm going to try to remember to offer up any discomfort for all my friends who are waiting. I'm not throwing up, which is nice, but I get nauseated off and on, mostly around dinner time. I told Mr. X that last night, and he made dinner after he got home from work (not that that is an unheard-of event, but I didn't have to work yesterday, and I feel like I should be on top of dinner if he had to work and I didn't). Oh, and I did make it to adoration yesterday, as Jeremiah 29:11 suggested!

I have another ultrasound tomorrow (which is 8 weeks 6 days). I'm trying not to be overly anxious, but I scheduled the ultrasound tomorrow and another for 12 weeks 2 days. When I had the last ultrasound, the doctor (not my usual doctor, whose office doesn't have an ultrasound) said I "wasn't out of the woods" which I knew, but then said he likes to see a good ultrasound and heartbeat at 8 weeks and 12 weeks. So, I asked, "well . . . then, should I have 8 week and 12 week ultrasounds?" And he said "How nervous are you?" And the thing is, I don't think I'm that nervous. I think having a miscarriage showed me that, no matter whether I do everything right, this is ultimately in God's hands, and I can't control what's going to happen. But, at the same time, I want to know what's happening.

And--here's the other news--we're going on a 10-day trip to H.ong Ko.ng on Saturday. I know! I'm excited but actually quite nervous. The doctors said yes to the trip, provided everything was going well. So, I want that ultrasound tomorrow so that I know everything's OK. If it's not, I won't be getting on that plane. I'm nervous because of the long trip, not knowing how I'll do with food there, all of that stuff. I actually have my second appointment with my regular doctor the day after I return, so he'll be able to check the heartbeat.

So, I'm trying not to be too paranoid about things.

Here's another random thing. Wonderdog is a very good dog (as her name suggests). I've had her for a little over six years, and counting the incident in September, she has peed on things in the house three times (each time it was a bed, but only once did she actually get the mattress). Then, about a month ago, she peed on the futon in the family room (where I had been napping for the previous couple of days). On Sunday night, when I was up late working, I walked across the bedroom before going to sleep and stepped in a puddle. She peed on the bedroom floor, right where she sleeps! I cleaned it up and went to bed. Then, yesterday, I forgot to close the bedroom door when I showered, and when I came back to the bedroom, she had peed on the floor again (a few feet from the last spot). What the heck? Here are the possible explanations we've come up with:

1. Urinary tract infection (I'm going to try to get a sample--doesn't that sound like fun?--and take it to the vet)
2. Reaction to changes (we just had the bathroom next to the bedroom tiled--though, if you've been reading for a while, you know we've been renovating this house FOREVER--and we had company over Thanksgiving)
3. Reaction to pregnancy (the last three incidents were all in places where I'd been sleeping--well, not on the floor, but in the bed--and I know that dogs can smell hormone changes and can behave oddly when their owner is pregnant)

If you have pets, what do you think?

Made by Lena