Saturday, October 30, 2010

Twelve Weeks

Fetus at twelve weeks

You can tell from my previous posts that this was a really tough week for me. I have just been so sick - nauseous and constipated. What a combination. Ugh!

I am really hopeful that I will start feeling better very soon. I'm off all hormone supplements now, and everything I've read seems to indicate that it's likely that by week 14 I will no longer be dealing with nausea. Please, Lord! I'm so sick of feeling queasy and insatiably hungry at the same time. It's awful.

I've started messing around with a baby registry, but I've come to realize how hard it is to choose things without knowing the gender. So, I haven't gotten very far. It's not like it needs to be done now, but I've had some time on my hands since I've been without television this week and it was something to occupy me.

Each week when I search for the images I use with these weekly posts, I am simply amazed at how quickly babies in utero develop. It has made me even more strongly convicted about my pro-life position.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. ~ Psalm 139:13-16

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just a Little Whine, Please

I am home, yet again this week, due to one of the nastier side effects of this pregnancy. I'm about to lose my mind! I've called the doctor's office, and I'm waiting on an okay to use Milk of Magnesia. The nurse suggested it, but then she wanted to doctor to approve it before I use it.

I am sick of feeling sick.

I'm using up my sick days too fast.

And I am tired of my house looking like a bomb went off inside of it - there is dog hair all over the hardwood floors, laundry is still undone and unfolded from last weekend, and mail is scattered all over the house. I don't usually live like this, but I don't feel well enough to do much about it.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ultrasound #7

Baby Labrador measuring in at 12 weeks

The baby's head is on the left of the picture. Baby was very active this morning during the ultrasound. At first the physician's assistant said the baby had its legs crossed, and then we could see the baby stretching its legs out. Such a wonder!

I no longer need to take the progesterone or the estrogen. Oh, hallelujah! I am so over those routines. The nurse seemed to think that eliminating those from my system might make me feel better in a few days.

I bought several pairs of maternity pants last Sunday. I was tired of feeling the pressure around my waistline. A few people have commented that I'm showing. Perhaps, but I think it's more likely that I'm just distended from being constipated. I know that's TMI, but I'm just being honest. I have been miserable in the last week or so. Just miserable. I'm eating a high-fiber diet, drinking Metamucil, and I just started taking Colace. It's awful feeling queasy and stopped up!

Next Wednesday will be my last appointment with the RE. It will also be my first appointment with the perinatologist.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Eleven Weeks

Feet at Eleven Weeks

This past week was better than the weeks before, but I still don't feel like I'm completely over the nausea. However, I'm taking less and less of the Zofran and that's a good thing because Zofran has a nasty side effect - constipation. It's always something!

I'm pretty sure this will be my last week of progesterone suppositories and estrogen patches. I'll be all natural in a week.

This week and next will be my last two visits to the RE. After that, I'll be seen by the OB and the perinatologist. I will miss the doctor and the staff at the RE's office, but I won't miss those early morning appointments.

Someone asked how often I'll receive an ultrasound at the OB's. I really don't know. My next appointment with them isn't until the second week of November. I don't know if they will do an ultrasound every time I go in, or not. This is all new to me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Holiday Season

I am really dreading the months of November and December for several reasons:
  • November 11th would have been our third wedding anniversary.
  • December 10th would have been Michael's fifty-fifth birthday.
  • December 22nd is my birthday.
  • And, of course, there's Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's.
That's a lot to get through without Michael, and I'm trying to decide how to handle each of those days. Obviously, our special days cannot ever be the same. I'm trying to figure out how to honor our anniversary and his birthday without his presence.

As for the standard holidays, I do not want them to be the same for me this year as they have been in years past. I need a change. I'm thinking about going down to San Diego to have Thanksgiving with my aunt's family, but what to do about Christmas?

I'm open to suggestions - especially from those who've had to get through that first year after the loss of a spouse or other significant family member.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

First OB Appointment

I had my first appointment with the obstetrician's office today, and although I was originally supposed to see the doctor, I got to see my favorite nurse practitioner instead. She did another ultrasound and I got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. That was very cool! I think I could listen to that sound all day.

I am being referred to a perinatologist. For those that don't know, a perinatologist specializes in high-risk pregnancies. He will perform "sequential screening" which is the least invasive way of testing for abnormalities. I will not be doing any of the other more invasive tests as they carry a risk of miscarriage. As I understand it, sequential screening only involves an ultrasound and a blood test.

As Rajeeni (the NP) said, we're almost out of the woods. Just a couple weeks to go until my second trimester begins.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ultrasound #6

Baby Labrador

The baby experienced a real growth spurt this last week! He or she now measures 42.6 mm, and that puts him or her at 11 weeks, 1 day based on measurement. Looks like Baby Labrador will be tall like Mom and Dad.

Tonight was my last progesterone injection. Hallelujah! I've still got two weeks of progesterone suppositories to go, but that will be a welcome change from the injections.

Today has been another very long day, so that's it for now.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ten Weeks

Fetus at ten weeks

This week has been a mixed bag. When I started taking the Zofran on Wednesday, I immediately felt better. Then on Thursday afternoon and evening, despite taking the Zofran, I was still struggling with queasiness and food aversions. Same thing happened yesterday. It makes dinnertime very difficult.

My mother-in-law has invited me to her Filipino-American Association's Gala this evening, but I'm not sure I'll be able to make it because of how the last two evenings have been. I so want to go. I love Filipino food, and I would enjoy the time with Michael's mom. I'm just going to have to play it by ear and see how this afternoon shapes up. Ever since this morning sickness has set in, I have done very little other than go to work or doctors appointments. I could use the change in scenery.

Another problem that has developed is that even though I am no longer wearing the Primabella wrist band since beginning the Zofran, I have ongoing tingling and numbness in my hand. That is not good. I'm going to have to inform the manufacturer.

Early this morning, four o'clock to be exact, we had some excitement around here. My dad had set some traps in my attic because we suspected there are rats or mice hanging out there. Sure enough, this morning one got trapped. I could hear its cries. As much as I dislike free-range rodents, I felt badly that it was suffering. Dad will be coming by to deal with that later today. Sigh. . .

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ultrasound #5

Baby Labrador at 9 weeks, 5 days*

Today's ultrasound showed that baby is nearly 29 mm in length. The head is still at the bottom of the fetal shape. You can see the arms in the middle there. The heartbeat is going strong.

I had such a terrible night last night due to "morning sickness" (what a misnomer!), that I called for a substitute teacher and rescheduled my ultrasound appointment for later in the morning. Once the nurse took me back to the examination room, I complained again about my nausea, and she suggested that I start a prescription called Zofran. She told me that this is a pill that is taken under the tongue, and that their patients have had good success with it. I just dropped off my prescription, and I will pick it up before the afternoon nausea kicks in.

It is really remarkable to see the growth that occurs to my baby in the course of a week. What a miracle life is!

*Based on measurement, not the calendar. Learned something new today!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nine Weeks

Fetus at Nine Weeks

Baby Labrador is no longer considered an embryo. As of nine weeks, an embryo becomes a fetus. Did you know that the average rate of growth from now until birth is .06 inch per day? There's a lot going on in there!

Also (from
  • The embryo has grown to measure 30 mm (1.2 inches) in length.
  • The fingers and toes are well defined. Cartilage and bones begin to form.
  • The upper lip as well as the nose tip is being formed.
  • The tongue begins to develop and the larynx is developing.
  • The eyelids are developed, although they stay closed for several months.
  • The main construction of the heart is complete.
During this week of pregnancy your baby is now swimming round in a little bag of fluid. The arms and legs have lengthened. They fingers and toes are forming, but are still joined by webs of skin. They can flex their elbows and wrists. They are growing eyelids as well as forming their anus. The embryo is protected by the amniotic sac that is filled with fluid. Inside the embryo swims and moves gracefully. The embryo is now about 1 inch long.

During this time of development, the baby's head appears much larger than the body because the brain is growing very rapidly. Brain waves can now be measured. The main construction of the heart is complete. Through its parchment thin skin, the baby's veins are clearly visible. During this week the ears, the teeth and the palate are continuing to form.
I know it happens all the time, but I think it's really remarkable.

As for me, I'm still feeling very mediocre. I had a couple of better days this week, but overall everything related to my digestion is just messed up, and I had a headache that lasted for two days. I really hope that I'll start to feel better soon. Right now I just feel like I'm surviving.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Seven Months

Today marks seven months since Michael had to leave me.

I really miss him - especially now that I'm pregnant and back at work. He was such a good partner. He took such good care of me. I've been thinking about all he used to do since I've not been feeling well and I don't have as much time to get things done around here. Unlike some men, Michael was not above any household tasks. He would clean, cook, do laundry, run errands, take the dog to the vet - whatever was needed. I really appreciated his help.

Of course I miss his companionship, too. I feel much more isolated and I do fewer things than I did when he was here. I miss the lifestyle we had together. We were always having fun. Michael was fun.

Tomorrow marks a year since my grandmother passed away. I miss her, too, but I feel like I didn't have time to really mourn her passing because I was so busy caring for Michael and then mourning him.

Last week a coworker and friend passed away. She was so young. Her family is devastated. There are several things I could tell them that I think made a positive difference for me in my early grief, but there's no way around the gaping hole that remains in your life and the nagging sense of loss. You just have to learn to live with it the best you can.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ultrasound #4

Baby Labrador at 8 weeks, 4 days

Today's ultrasound shows us that Baby Labrador is now 21 mm long! Baby has grown 8 mm in just a week. Dr. Dourron pointed out that the baby's head is located at the bottom of the fetal shape in the picture. He reminded me that with each week that passes, the chance of miscarriage decreases. He also advised me to make an appointment with my regular OB/GYN for two or three weeks from now.

I complained about my ever increasing morning sickness, and I was given a device called Prima bella. At first I was skeptical, but after feeling pretty good most of the day, and into the evening which has been my worst time of the day, I'm beginning to think this is the ticket. The vibration is kind of annoying, but I prefer it to being sick.

Late in the afternoon the nurse called to tell me that my progesterone has increased to 50 from last week's level of 36.

Everything is looking good, and I know I'm blessed.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Eight Weeks

A Fetus at Eight Weeks
(Photo by Lennart Nilson)

Today marks the eighth week of pregnancy, and to celebrate I finally tossed my cookies last night. Thank you very much!

The Unisom and B6 does wonders for me during the day. I can eat breakfast and lunch without any trouble. But, the medication seems to wear off in the mid to late afternoon about the time that school is coming to a close. Then I'm crazy hungry, but the food aversions mean that there's not much I can eat that appeals to me. Fruit usually appeals to me, but it just doesn't fill me up and keep the hunger pains at bay for long. So all evening I struggle to eat enough to prevent the nausea. Couldn't do it last night.

I am bummed that I have to report to jury duty on Monday morning. I don't know how I'm going to manage that. At school, I keep my little fridge stocked with fruit and yogurt and other things to eat. I don't know how I'm going to get through the day in a jury room, and there's just no way I can serve on a jury right now. I first received this summons right after Michael passed away, and I was able to get a postponement then. There is nothing on this summons that gives instructions for postponing service or what to do if you're unable to report. So I guess I'm going to have to go in and tough it out.