Tuesday, November 20, 2012

10weeks - General OB visit

Last week, I had my first appointment with the regular ob. Normally, I hate the regular ob. Even before we were trying, before we were even married, I was always, always jealous of the pregnant women I encountered (maybe I subconsciously knew we'd have trouble). This time, it was nice not to feel stabby toward everyone else in the waiting room (well, just a tiny bit stabby as I assumed that they all probably got knocked up in a month or two, but still...progress!).

Going to the regular OB was so different than the RE. Dr. O, while happy for us, was never effusive. She was all business, very low-key, and very scant on details. I am not sure she even uttered the words "pregnancy" while I was there. And I know for a fact we never mentioned due dates.  I always felt like we were all holding our breath, never planning past the next appointment. This appointment was quite different. From the start, the receptionist, the intake nurse, the doctor and the billing clerk all said congratulations. Right away, the nurse talked due date (June 11), took down my "starting weight" (which I balked at since I was already 10 weeks pregnant, but now realize it just means I have more leeway on the weight I can gain), and the doctor discussed long term plans like when I can fly until (32 weeks) and where I will deliver. It was heady stuff to start thinking "long term" about this pregnancy.

Another difference that wasn't so great was that there was no ultrasound.  This really upset me because on the Sunday before my appointment, I had some spotting. Just a little bit, and just when I wiped, but still, enough to scare me. My doctor did an internal exam and could not find the source of the bleeding. However, he took pity on me and said that he would schedule me for an ultrasound the next day, just to be sure.

The next day, I begged D to leave early and meet me at the ultrasound clinic. I had never had an ultrasound alone, and superstitious me* was worried about this change in precedent. Unfortunately, D got stuck in major turnpike traffic, so even though the incredibly nice tech delayed for 20 minutes, we had to go one without him. I explained to the poor tech my worry, and she was so incredibly nice to me.

Immediately after putting the wand in, the tech exclaimed, "there's your little troublemaker!" and turned the screen towards me. It was the most amazing site - it looked like a BABY. I could see the head, the body and even tiny buds of arms.And most importantly, a heartbeat pounding away at a rate of 167 beats per minute. I was awestruck; I could not stop looking at the screen. The tech was amazing, and told me all sorts of details and printed pictures -  one for D and I to each have one.

So that was it. My next appointment is the NT scan at the hospital and then I have a regular appointment at 13 weeks. After the NT scan I apparently don't get another ultrasound 20 weeks (which seems scarily long to me, but I am assuming they will check for the heartbeat in between?).

I also finally figured out how to scan and crop the picture (welcome me to the 21st century), so here is our little bean, hanging out. While I am still scared of getting my heart broken, I have to say...I am in love.

*A look into my crazy mind - My friend D bought me a 3-pack of socks as luck back when we were still doing IUIs. I wound up wearing 2 of the pairs, alternated, to every.single.appointment from retrieval to 8 week scan because I felt they were lucky. I had decided when I graduated the RE that I would no longer wear the socks. Well, after the spotting, that seemed like a really, really bad idea. However, both pair were in the wash. So cue to me, that Tuesday morning, handwashing the socks in the sink and then trying to dry them before leaving to no avail. So yeah, I may be just a tad superstitious.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ultrasound #3

With no power last week, my Tuesday's doctor's appointment was also a no-go. The doctor's office had preemptively called and canceled on Monday, and said I could reschedule on Wednesday. Except, I couldn't. On Wednesday, all I could get was the frustrating "all circuits are busy" recording that accompanied every call I tried to make. On Thursday I finally got through, only to find out that they still had no power. However, the doctor was going to go to the main office, print out a hard copy of the schedule, and I was told they would call on Friday morning to make the rescheduled appointments. Of course, they didn't.

Finally, by 11, I was done with waiting (really, by 9:30. And then I polled my mom and sister who also agreed and told me to call right away. However, I wanted to appear sane, so I figured 11 was reasonably within the "no longer in the morning" part of Friday and thus justified a call). Turns out, they still did not have power. They told me to call back next (now this) week. However, this week I also had scheduled my first regular OB appointment, so I asked the receptionist if I should cancel that, or should I miss my last RE appointment and only go to that. She put me on hold to ask the doctor and came back with the best news possible - Doctor O could see me today (Friday) if I was free!  You better believe I was (the alternative was sitting in my dark house doing puzzles by head flashlights with D*...trust me, I would have gotten a pap smear to get out of the house, let alone for something this good).

D and I rushed over. It was very weird being there. The lights and heat were not working, and Dr. O was in an extremely foul mood. Apparently, the main office still did not have power and, since she was the doctor on call, all calls, not just emergencies, were getting redirected to her cell phone. This caused it to keep dying. Since there was no power, that requires sitting in the car for a recharge. This resulted in lots of yelling. It was interesting because she is normally so cool, calm and unflappable and this was in stark contrast. I suddenly felt very very guilty for being there at all. We were still in the waiting room, and D whispered to me if I wanted to ask her about our frozen eggs (we  had been debating about their status with the extreme lack of power) but I communicated to him with frantic eyes that we were not  going to ask the doctor any questions - we were there to be easy patients.

Soon we were called in. Despite the lack of lights and heat, the generator had the ultrasound machine working. So with my winter coat still on, I climbed on the table and hoped for the best. Immediately, Dr. O exclaimed that it was a big baby, and that she had to zoom out to see it better (which, while relieved still there, made me worry immediately that it was too big. However, Dr. O clarified that the baby is still measuring on track). This week was even better than last. Dr. O was able to point out the head, the feet and "a little flipper". She thought the baby looked like a panther - I don't see it, but D swears he does too. He promises me that he will scan in the picture and outline it so I can see what they are talking about (and maybe then I can figure out how to post it on here too).

The other great news was we got to hear the baby's heartbeat again and this time it was so much clearer. At 8w3d it was up to 177bmp - much faster than last week's 133 bmp. I asked if this was a concern, but the dr. assures us it will go back down (and I suspect it might be in part to my recent addiction to sugary treats...especially skittles and starbursts).

After that, we were done and ready to go on our way.  I did ask her about telling my new Dr. about the T-shaped uterus and she was dismissive, which I thought was odd because when she diagnosed it, she said I would need to tell the general ob when I went because it would look like it implanted weird (not the technical term she used but I actually forget what she said). However, I will still mention it, especially because I know cervical length can be an issue. Honestly, I am not sure Dr. O even remembered what I was talking about since it was a very flustered kind of day.

And that was it. Our last appointment with the RE. It was somewhat anticlimatic since our favorite nurse was not there, and it was done in the dark and very rushed. But I am so grateful they got me in and I am forever thankful that they did what D and I could not do on our own - got me pregnant. Seriously, there are not enough words for how indebted I feel to that clinic. They are wonderful.

Now, we are moving to the regular OB. Of course, I would not be me if I was not still nervous; however, the balance is definitely starting to tip in favor of excitement. Today I am 9 weeks, which is mind-boggling amazing to me, but still very far from the safety zone. I had to cancel this week's appointment due to my school schedule changing so I won't go to the new Dr. (Dr. F) until next Tuesday, 10 weeks. It is going to be a long week to wait. In the meantime, I am going to just try and relax and enjoy it.

* yes, D and I really did do puzzles by headlamp during the power outages. We completed two 750 piece puzzles (one of which was extremely challenging - or at least seemed it in the dark). I am now assured we will be compatible well into our 60s and 70s, doing puzzles and rocking back and forth. Just hopefully in the future, we will do it with heat.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sidelined by Sandy

I originally started a post with this title last Tuesday. In fact, I thought I posted a post with this title last Tuesday. However, as with all things Post-Sandy, it somehow got lost in the shuffle. And honestly, that post does not even begin to scratch the surface.

Personally, D and I were incredibly lucky. We had no damage to our home from the storm. However, even "lucky" came with a cost. We lost power Monday night and we did not get it back until yesterday afternoon, seven days after we originally lost it. It was incredibly frustrating (as I was constantly cold and a sour-going refrigerator can wreck havoc on a pregnant nose), especially because we could not leave because there was no where to take the dog and cat (and every.single.person we know locally also lost power for this long). Equally frustrating was having little idea of what was going on in our state. Our smart phones only worked sporadically, would not accept or make outgoing calls, and kept crashing with internet use. Of course we had nothing practical like a battery powered radio, so we were at a loss until later in the week.

Once we got information, we were horrified. I cannot believe the damage this storm has done to my home state. I have written in the past about my love of the Jersey Shore - and now it no longer is. My aunt had a house on the inlet, and it has been condemned from storm damage. Entire chunks of boardwalk have been washed away. Even far from the shore, I have friends who have trees through their roofs and are still living displaced. My own dad is still without power while he and my step-mom are battling colds. The other day, I counted an 85 car line at the gas station. And oh yeah, a nor'easter is expected to hit. I've never seen my state in such a rough position. 

However, I am also incredibly proud. My facebook page looks like a telethon. Everyone I know is posting about donating, where you can get gas in under an hour, and volunteering to help rebuild. Beyond that, I am so grateful to our country. I know for a fact that our electricity (and heat!!!) came back yesterday thanks to workers for Missouri  - D and I thought they were lost and literally stopped in the middle of the street to ask if they needed directions, but they were just checking the lines. I am so grateful that we have a country that pulls together to help one another.

I wish I could speak about all of this more eloquently. I debated even writing this post because I was not sure how to get out what it is I want to say. But it  did not seem right to ignore it either.

I guess most importantly,  I know as a state we will rebuild and be better and stronger than ever before. My heart hurts for those that are suffering, but I know they will get through this...we are made from tough stock here in NJ. In fact, this image has been making the rounds on the internet, and I think it sums everything up nicely: