Monday, March 30, 2009

Such a Worry Wort

photo by cesar bojorquez
So today, I got up, threw up once in the morning, then went on about my day. I only had one or two waves of nausea all day long. I should be happy, right? Nope. Now I'm scared. I'm afraid that something is wrong with the baby and it made my nausea go away prematurely. Now how's that for ironic? When I'm puking my guts out, I'm praying for it to pass and when I'm feeling better, I'm wishing I felt sick because I'm afraid it's a bad sign. I have issues.
I also had a dream last night that I began to bleed. In my dream, I tried to call my doctor, but the phone wouldn't work. No matter which buttons I pushed, I couldn't get the right number to dial. The dream scared me because I had a dream about bleeding two days before I started spotting with the baby I lost. Now I'm afraid it's a bad sign.
My next ultrasound is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, April 1st at 4 pm. At that point, I will be 10 weeks, 6 days (I'm 10 weeks, 4 days today). I'm nervous that I'm going to get bad news. I have no signs or symptoms of miscarriage, just an ease in the nausea. I wanted to call my doctor today and see if I could come in early, but what should I say. Somehow, "I only puked once today and I had a dream that I was bleeding," doesn't seem like a reason that would carry much weight? Oh the dark and twisty mind I possess. I'm praying I can rest in God's peace until Wednesday, but it is a moment by moment struggle.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Over Halfway Through The Nausea

I've had a rough few days this week. On Wednesday, before work, I did my usual heaving before I took my Zofran and I swear I thought I tore my esophagus. My chest hurt for about 20 minutes after and even swallowing water was painful. So for the last two days, I've been taking the Zofran half an hour before I get up, so as not to throw up at all. It's not easy and once I swallow the water, the nausea starts. I lie there and grit my teeth for half an hour to keep it down, then manage to eat breakfast and start the day. I'm still fairly nauseous all day long, but not throwing up as much. I just keep reminding myself that the nausea in any form will probably only last a little less than 4 more weeks. I'm more than half way through it.

I have managed to rehydrate by eating ice. I've also discovered that chewing sugared bubble gum makes me able to drink water (though terrible for my teeth). I chewed the last piece last night, so I'll be off in search of more sometime today. Oh, the tiny tricks we use to survive a rough time.

On a positive note, my good friend, Judy came over yesterday to help me out. She helped me sort my laundry, put away some clean clothes, and then played with GG for over an hour. It was a huge blessing to me and to GG. They had so much fun together. She is great with kids.

Thank God for putting people in our lives who go out of their way to show kindness. 10 weeks, 1 day and counting!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Solution for Today

I say it's a solution for today because things tend to work for me one minute, and not necessarily the next. Once I calmed down from my anger at the disregard shown to me by the medical assistant, I remembered one thing she suggested-ice chips. So after lunch as I was hanging over my trash can at work (I'm sure the folks there LOVE me right now), I asked one of my friends if she would go get me a cup of ice from the ice machine downstairs. I also got a can of plain Coca-Cola, not to drink completely, but to flavor the ice (plain ice can be hard to stomach for me). So far, so good. It's not enough flavor to start the bad taste syndrome, but enough to make the ice palatable, and hopefully not enough caffeine to do any harm. So far, I'm on my second heaping cup and it's tasting pretty good. So I guess the condescending lady gets a point for one helpful tip. Wow, am I bitter today or what?


I have tried to "push" myself to drink more over the last couple days, but I feel like I just can't catch up. Hubby and I discussed it and I decided to call my doctor's office this morning and ask about the home IV option. If it could make me feel better and give me a head start on re hydrating, I'd be willing to do it.

I called an hour after they opened and spoke with his assistant. She acted like she'd never heard of such a thing and asked me if I'd tried popsicles. I told her I've tried everything and it all leaves a horrible taste in my mouth and makes me want to throw up. I told her the doctor himself is the one who suggested the IV thing, and she said she'd talk to him and call me back.

She called me back no more than 10 minutes later and said that unless I'm dizzy and lightheaded, IVs are not necessary. He just wants me to push myself to drink. She said decreased urine output is a "sign they look for in children who can't communicate other symptoms." She was so condescending, it left me upset. I said I'd do my best and hung up.

I'm feeling fairly stupid right now (and mad). Hubby assures me that we heard the same thing on Saturday and that we don't know what the assistant said to him this morning, or exactly what he said back. All I know is that they made me feel like a moron for even mentioning the possibility of an IV. So I guess I'm off to force feed myself some more water (since there's nothing else available at work to drink) and pray it stays down. Grrrrrr. . .

Saturday, March 21, 2009

All Is Well!

Just returned home from the doctor's office. He was able to see the baby with the transabdominal ultrasound (no more plastic probe, YAY!) Baby's heart rate was 186 bpm, normal for my stage today (9 weeks, 2 days). He didn't measure because the heart looked so good. He said the spotting was likely the result of the internal probe on Wednesday and it just took a couple of days to show up. We are immensely relieved.

I threw up in the car on the way home. Luckily, I brought a trash bag along just in case. I suspect that I am suffering from dehydration. I have several symptoms-very little urine output, very dry skin, dry mouth, chills, etc. My doctor gave us till Monday to rehydrate manually. He recommends sipping Gatorade, Kool-aid, etc. since water makes me nauseous (breathing makes me nauseous, too, but I must continue!) If I'm still dehydrated on Monday, he is going to order a home nurse to come and administer IV fluids. He said he knows it sounds bad, but it would make me feel a lot better very quickly.

So as I sit here typing, I'm sipping my purple Gatorade like a good girl. Hubby is now monitoring my fluids, which is probably good. It will keep me honest! Thanks to all of you who prayed and thought of me over the last 24 hours.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spotting & Scared

Unfortunately, I started spotting this afternoon. There's been no bright red bleeding, just a steady light brown for several hours. I am, of course, quite scared. I called my doctor's office and was told that if it increases, I should go to the ER. If not, he will see me in his office for an ultrasound at 10:15 a.m. to see if the baby's still okay.

The medical assistant told me that the fact that we have a good ultrasound just two days ago, and the fact that it is light spotting are all good signs, but still I fear. I am hoping and praying that all is well, but I'm not sure I will breathe a sigh of relief with this pregnancy until we make it through this first trimester. My nerves are shot.

Thankfully, a good friend is coming to sit with GG so my husband can go with me in the morning. I have horrible flashbacks of the day I got the bad news from an ultrasound the last time and I was alone. I don't want that to happen again. I just keep watching the DVD of the one I had on Wednesday, seeing the little bean move around in there and trying to hold on to hope. I'll update after the appointment tomorrow either way.

Death By Morning Sickness?

Photo by: Katharine Moriarty
Okay, so obviously if I'm writing this post, I'm not dead. I'm just wondering how many consecutive days one can throw up repeatedly and stay alive. Okay, so I'm being dramatic and I know I won't die from it, but I did genuinely wonder this morning if my stomach can physically turn inside out and come up my esophagus? It's bad.

If I look at the big picture, it's too overwhelming. 5 more weeks of this nausea seems like forever, so I'm focusing on getting through today. Also, scientific research says HCG levels (the hormone thought to cause the nausea) peak between 8 and 10 weeks and then start to decline. Hopefully that means these few weeks are the worst of it. I need hope so I'm going to believe that. Don't get me wrong, in the midst of all this, I'm grateful that the sickness means all is well, but it's hard to keep your "chin up" when your head is constantly hanging in the toilet. . .

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ultrasound-8 weeks, 6 days

YAY! Had another ultrasound today, thanks to my super cool doctor. Everything looked great. The baby's CRL (crown-rump-length) measured 9 weeks, 1 day even though I'm actually 8 weeks, 6 days according to cycle dates (all within normal range). I got to hear that little heartbeat again, racing along at 171 bpm. My doctor gave me the choice to come back in one week or two and I'm still debating. I'll decide tomorrow.

When I got home and got to watch today's ultrasound on DVD, I noticed that you can actually see the baby move! That was a site that brought joy to my heart. Its little head kind of nodded once and a little hand flipper moved another time. So far, so good. I'm starting to get excited in spite of my fear (and in spite of my nausea). The ultrasound pic posted above really doesn't do justice to what I saw, but it's the best I can do. The format on the DVD won't let me load the whole video to anything else. Trust me, I've tried!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Same Old. . .

Please let this be the nausea peak. Please, please, please! I have been so sick for the last 4 days I can barely function. I just spontaneously gag/heave out of nowhere. The Zofran only helps for about an hour. Nothing sounds good to eat so I have to force feed myself stuff to keep my strength up, and I look just plain disgusting. I don't even like me right now!

It's all worth it if this little kiddo sticks in there this time, though. I'm still looking forward to week 14 and my first food that tastes good AND stays in. I just ate two over easy eggs with a piece of toast and it's the first thing that's tasted okay all day. Now I just hope it stays in!! 8 weeks, 5 days and counting!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More Fun!

I truly hope the nausea is peaking now. The last two days have been the worst so far. According to the little journal I kept when pregnant with GG, week 9 (which would be this week since you're in week 9 when you're 8 weeks, x days pregnant) was the absolute worst week of nausea I had. After that, it was still there, but manageable until week 14. C'mon week 14!!

My newest pregnancy related ailment? The rhinitis of pregnancy. This one I did suffer with briefly the last time. I couldn't get one of my ears to open and my nose kept bleeding so I saw my ENT doctor and that was his diagnosis. Never had that one with GG, but the body changes as it ages-joy. It is basically like hay fever caused by the engorged blood vessels in the nose and sinuses during pregnancy. I'm sure the awakening of spring is also a contributing factor. So for the last few days, I wake up stuffy every morning and sneeze and drip all day long. I don't have a scratchy throat or any other other cold like symptoms though so that's a blessing. A cough would be VERY bad right now, since even my hairspray occasionally makes me gag.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fear is Ugly

Last night, right before bed, I had a tiny bit of spotting (and I mean TINY) on the toilet paper. I tried not to worry, but worry should be my middle name because I couldn't stop. I had horrible dreams of miscarriage all night long. As soon as my doctor's office opened today, I called and talked to his assistant. She said a little spotting is common after transvaginal ultrasound and as long as it doesn't persist, not to worry. It's gone this morning, and trust me I've checked. About every 30 minutes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ultrasound-7 weeks, 6 days

The day finally came and all is well at this point! I'm immensely relieved, but still apprehensive (I know, I'm a dark and twisty one). My hubby wasn't able to meet me there because our little one is sick and at home today, so my sister came so I wouldn't be alone in case of bad news.

My doctor did the scan with the internal probe. He came in and before he even started said "I'm sure it's going to look just fine." Optimism is good. He talked me through the whole thing because he could tell how worried I was. "I'm just getting my bearings, hold on." He found the baby easily and we saw the heartbeat. Even better, he was able to turn on the speakers and we actually heard the heartbeat. Why is that sound so powerful? Seeing it was great, but I actually got tears in my eyes when I heard it, at a beautiful 156 bpm. The baby is measuring 7 weeks, 5 days today. He said one day different from the calendar calculations is perfectly normal. They don't worry unless it's off by more than a week and a half. He even burned me a DVD of the whole ultrasound to take home. All in all, a wonderful experience.

When he was finished and came back in to talk to me, I told him I was concerned that if he didn't bring me back in for a whole month like last time, I'd sit and worry that something was wrong. Last time, we saw the heartbeat at 8 weeks, the baby died between 9 and 10 weeks, and we didn't know anything was wrong until almost 12 weeks. I don't want to repeat that. My awesome doctor said that just to ease my mind, he will bring me back in once a week until the first trimester is over and check an ultrasound each time. I almost hugged him. I'm so glad that I will only have one week intervals of wondering if all is well.

We cautiously told our immediate family and a few close friends the news today. We asked them all to keep it under the radar for now. Everyone is excited and supportive and I'm relieved to have it out in the open a bit. Covering this awful nausea is a challenge for me and at least now, those I'm closest to can know what's really going on (I think a couple of my friends were worried I was developing a serious health problem). I'm trying very hard to just sit back and enjoy this immense blessing we have right now, and praying that this child continues to grow healthily and flourish in a wonderful way. The fear still rests in the back of my mind, but I know I'm rapidly getting more attached to this beautiful little life that's growing inside of me.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Another Day, Another Adventure?

This morning, at about 4:30 a.m. (don't ask if it was old or new time, I don't know), I awoke with excruciating upper abdominal pain. I could not find a comfortable position. I could not take a deep breath. It seemed to be more in the middle of my upper abdomen and off to the right, all above the navel. I struggled for a few minutes before waking up hubby in a panic. The fact that the pain was so bad and I was struggling to breath properly was scaring me. After some discussion, we decided I should go to the ER for evaluation. We didn't want to wake GG (and I didn't want to call an ambulance) so I drove myself. It hurt so bad all the way there, I had to breath through the pain to stay focused on the road. The pain continued at that level for close to an hour. They got me into a room and took some blood. They offered me pain meds that they said were "safe" during pregnancy, but I was still scared so I declined. The doctor came in and reassured me that he did not think my pain was directly related to the pregnancy and that they would not do any testing or give any medication that would endanger the baby (with the disclaimer "unless it's life or death"). They sent me for an upper abdominal ultrasound.

The results? No one really knows. The ER doctor is convinced that I had biliary colic (gallbladder pain) despite the negative ultrasound. He said you can have pain there without stones or sludge and that pregnancy is a major cause of that pain. The tech tried a transabdominal to check the pregnancy but couldn't see anything from the outside, and wasn't authorized to do an internal probe. She said my uterus is tipped and she couldn't really even see inside, which at 7 weeks is not at all uncommon. Of course, I'm still worried and probably will be until we see if all is well on Wednesday at the doctor's office ultrasound. The ER doctor seemed quite confident in his diagnosis and said aside from pain management, there's not a lot they can do for gallbladder inflammation without stones, especially in first trimester pregnancy. I hope this is a one time thing.

After my ER adventure, I wasn't feeling nauseous this morning so I decided to stop and get something from Sonic for breakfast. I got a bacon, egg and cheese toaster sandwich with tater tots and a cherry limeade. I didn't want the bread or all the tater tots, but the rest of it was delicious. I didn't take my Zofran because I wasn't feeling sick. I laid down to take a nap shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, (or fortunately if nausea is a good sign) I woke up an hour or so later and had to rush to the bathroom. Suffice it to say that I won't be eating bacon for a while. I took my Zofran and went back to bed. I hope tomorrow is a little more boring.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Still Here

7 weeks, 2 days today and of course, still sick. Sleep is my only respite so I try and sleep a lot. This morning, I slept until almost 9 a.m. and got up feeling okay. Thought if I could get my Zofran pill and breakfast in quickly, maybe I wouldn't dry heave. Opened the bread wrapper to put the toast into the toaster and the smell of the bread sent me running to the bathroom. BREAD-not exactly a pungent odor. My hubby was kind enough to make his coffee in the single brew pot this morning. The big pot has "aroma vents." I thanked him profusely.

Stayed home from church band practice last night because I'm an ugly sick person and I can't hide it. We will expand the inner circle of people who know after the ultrasound on Wednesday, but until then, I've been avoiding most of my friends. One of them thinks I'm mad at her. I've assured her I'm not, that I just don't feel well. She'll understand after she knows. She's had 3 miscarriages herself and last time didn't tell anybody she was pregnant until almost 15 weeks.

So I'm hanging in here. 6.5 more weeks of this sounds like a long time, but I pray this baby also hangs in there. I told my hubby last night that if this one doesn't stick, I'm going to seriously consider adoption. I am not good at being sick.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ode to the Porcelain God

I hate morning sickness. It must have been a man that named it morning sickness, perhaps because he only was around in the morning to watch his wife hurling her guts into the porcelain god? Regardless of how it got its name, it is a misnomer on a major scale.

I'm a little afraid to complain. Somehow the childish notion that words have power makes me fear that wishing I wasn't sick will "jinx" the pregnancy. This creates inner turmoil for me. I am very grateful for the pregnancy, but in the first trimester, it feels more like an illness than a joyous condition.

I am 6 weeks, 6 days today and my morning looked something like this:

6:15 a.m.-I awake with gas pains in stomach. Lie in bed hoping they go away and I go back to sleep.
6:30 a.m.-Waves of nausea begin. Fight it off for a few minutes, then get up and hang over the toilet for 5 minutes, puking stomach fluid until I dry heave.
6:45 a.m.-Take medication for nausea, put a piece of bread into the toaster oven and lie down on the sofa to wait for it to be done and meds to work.
7:00 a.m.-Toast is done, still fighting the urge to puke. Gag a couple of times. Force toast down, gagging on every bite.
7:15 a.m.-Feel a tiny bit better, get in shower. Suck on Jolly Ranchers on the way to take GG to sitters.

It would be better if it really was just the morning, but it's not. The smell of burnt popcorn in the elevator at work almost sent me running to the bathroom. My head is hurting from the dry heaves, and I just want to be at home in bed. Since this particular ailment lasted until 14 weeks with my daughter, I'm overwhelmed at how I'm going to survive it. I'm trying to focus on the whole "one day at a time" thing, but it's hard. I'm torn between joy that I'm sick this time (wasn't very sick with the baby I lost, thinking this is a good sign), and depression that I'm going to feel this way for at least 7 more weeks.

Monday, March 2, 2009

And So It Begins

And this is where keeping pregnancy a secret gets tricky for me. Today is 6 weeks, 4 days and I had my first case of the dry heaves this morning. Mild so far but enough to make me get up out of bed. Nothing sounds good for breakfast but I know I have to eat something. I haven't thrown up yet but the morning is young. . .