LDB: Week 16

On Saturday I'll be 16 weeks pregnant. As if time hadn't already started flying fast enough after I graduated from college 9 years ago (really?! 9?!), I guess this whole being a parent thing makes it fly at warp speed?

The past few weeks have been... interesting, to say the least. Last week in particular... but where to start without giving a whole long medical history of myself...

Well, let's start with the Down's screening we did. That went well--our risk of the baby having either Down's Syndrome or Trisomies 13 or 18 is less than 1 in 10,000. That's better than your average 20 year old woman, so that was awesome. But as this pregnancy has gone along, my high risk OB has become more and more concerned with potential problems with all of my health problems. We started out with a midwife as our primary obstetric care provider and the high risk OB on the side for backup, but the HR OB was wondering if perhaps I should switch to a straight up MD, and if maybe I should move my care to MCV rather than St. Francis, since all of my specialists are at MCV and they're basically ready for anything. At St. Francis, they'd have to move me if anything got too crazy.

That probably sounds awful... all my health problems... potential problems... well, the thing is, it's not. I have a couple forms of arthritis and an autoimmune disease called hereditary angioedema and apparently a mild form of something called Klippel Trenaunay Weber Syndrome. None of these poses any real risk to the baby, it's moreso a question of what happens if I end up in a flare of one of the autoimmune things during the pregnancy? Who's gonna handle it? How's it gonna be handled?

Ironically, the night after I had conversation with my HR OB wherein I told him I wasn't worried about this, I have lived with these problems my whole life and I know how to handle it, I had a horrible attack of angioedema. This is a swelling condition... there's a certain enzyme I'm deficient of, and if my levels of that get too low, I have crazy abdominal swelling. The swelling pushes on all your organs and it hurts like a sonofabitch. It makes you nauseated and there's really nothing you can do but take something for the pain and wait it out. Yes, that blows, but I've been there a time or two (or 20) and I know that typically I can sleep through a lot of it, then within about 36 hours I'm getting better.

Well, not this time. I was 48 hours in and my pain was spiking to an 8 or 9 on a 10 point scale, and I was holding steady at a 6 or a 7 when I wasn't having stabbing pains. So I told Bryan it was time to go to the hospital. We came to MCV in the middle of the night on Saturday of last week. I knew I was dehydrated, and I just needed someone to do SOMETHING for the pain and nausea.

Thankfully, the people here took very good care of me, but I didn't get better very quickly. My immunologist came in on Monday and got the process rolling to get in a supply of this wonder drug that IS the enzyme I'm deficient of in a concentrated form. Unfortunately, it's very new to the market and it was going to be 24 hours before I could get it. So I stayed in the hospital, with the lovely doctors managing my pain and nausea and me getting sicker of being in the bed by the minute. Bryan stayed by my side almost the whole time--he was working night shift, so he slept in the chair in my room during the day and went to work at night. I had some visitors to keep me company (thanks Dad, Leslie, Krystyna and Maia!), and finally, on Tuesday, I got the miracle infusion.

It's weird to think that there is a drug that stops a swelling attack within 30 minutes, but there is. An hour after I had that medication in my IV, I knew the swelling had stopped. I still felt like crap, but, I mean, wouldn't you, after being sick for five days and being in the hospital for three of those? Thankfully, my immunologist arranged for the pharmacy at MCV to keep another dose of this medication in case I or another angioedema patient have another attack... next time, I'll be in ASAP rather than suffering for days!

I took Wednesday off of work, too, at my doctor's orders, and Thursday came back for half a day. I think it was weird to everyone that I had been in the hospital yet was already back at work. But once the swelling was gone, I was practically good as new!

Friday I intended to work a full day, but guess what? I got in a car accident on the way to work. As if I needed that on top of the week I had already had! Thankfully it was pretty minor--there was a rear-ending in front of me on the interstate, I had the good sense to be far enough behind the person in front of me that I did NOT rear end her, but the lady behind me was not so sensible, nor was the lady behind her. So... that put another kink in the week. I was a little stiff, and didn't think there had been any damage to Little Dancing Baby, but I went to my midwife that afternoon just to check... LDB's heart was beating just fine, at 152 beats/minute. :)

So, after all of that, I decided my high risk OB is right. I think it's better for me to transfer my care to MCV so that all of the people who know about all of my things are under one roof and can consult with each other (or be available) as needed. So we'll have our first appointment with our new OB on December 1. Good times. :)

In other news, I went last weekend and bought maternity clothes. The bump is growing, for sure. And yesterday, I felt the baby move. I think I've felt it before, but this time, there was no question in my mind whether it was gas or something else... it was our LDB, dancing up a storm in there.

And it was amazing. :) I can't wait until s/he is big enough that his/her Daddy can feel the movement too... I feel like I'm hogging all the fun! :)


LDB: Week 13

So yesterday was LDB's birthday... or whatever you call it before they're born. I have been feeling pretty good... mainly I've been HUNGRY. It's not totally out of control yet, but occasionally I get this intense black hole feeling in my stomach, and it's typically no more than an hour and a half or two hours after the last time I ate. Baby's HONGRAY! :)

We keep trying to remember to take belly pictures on LDB's birthday, but really there hasn't been much of a change until the past week or two. And most people tell me I still don't really look pregnant, but my pants can tell for sure, and you can probably tell from these lovely pictures of my pale white belly.

Week 5:

Week 13:
I cleaned out the closet today of all of the clothes I was meaning to get rid of before I got pregnant (stuff I haven't worn in a couple years), and while I was at it I took out all of the stuff I won't be able to wear this year but I still hope to wear in the future, then also all of the stuff I still like, but am not fooling myself to think I'll ever wear it again after I have this baby. Not that I intend to let myself go totally to pot, it's just that we women have a tendency to hold on to a few things we love that, really, we should have stopped wearing a year or two ago because they don't fit quite the way they're supposed to anymore. :)

Tuesday is the Down's Syndrome testing... we went back and forth about whether or not to do the test at all, but ultimately decided that it would be easier to plan and be prepared for any special needs if there's a way for us to know about them ahead of time. Plus, there's another ultrasound involved, and I'm all about another opportunity to see LDB in there. :)

September: A Retrospective

Now that it's November, I have finally uploaded pictures from our camera from the past two months.

In addition to trying to keep the big secret of me being pregnant in September, Bryan and I kept pretty busy.

Let's see..
  • We spent Labor Day weekend in Pennsylvania with Bryan's family, where I got to hold 6-week old twins. They were born six weeks early, so at the picnic they each only weighed about 6 or 7 lbs. I let Bryan know that our child may NEVER weigh that much in the outside world, since I was the smallest of my mom's three children at 9lbs 9oz, and my Grandma recently informed me that all of HER kids were more than 9 lbs.
  • We spent the following weekend at the Outer Banks, NC with our dear friends Todd and Sarah. I wore the equivalent of a nude colored bathing suit: And Bryan rubbed off his top layer of skin, and subsequently any sunscreen he had applied, playing football on the beach with Todd, resulting in this: Needless to say, we only had one day on the beach. (More photos of our beach trip if you click here.)
  • Bryan turned 33, and we celebrated by using a free night's stay I had at the Crowne Plaza Downtown (where we stayed for our wedding night). I gave Bryan a bocce set for his birthday, so before meeting some friends at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch some football, we went down to Brown's Island and played a few games. Fun times!
  • And on the last day of September, we celebrated our 3rd anniversary with dinner at Bonefish Grill. We also took a weekend trip to Boston to celebrate, but that didn't happen until October, so I'll get to that later. :)