Monday, October 2, 2017

October: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

Image result for october infant loss

I've been a statistic for awhile...I am that 1 in 6.  
But 16 months ago, I became the 1 in 4; miscarriage..
I should see something more...
Two of them, back to back.     

Being a fertility patient for so long, with no history of loss, a miscarriage was the furthest thing from my mind.  After all, I was young and healthy.  Embryos from a 21 year old don't result in a miscarriage, and certainly not twice!  But the truth is, miscarriages don't discriminate, and even at 21, it was still considered normal.  

That day, I wasn't caught completely off guard; I had a sneaking suspicion.  And when it was confirmed a week later...I'm so thankful for the friends that rallied next to me.    

If you're the 1 in 4, you're not alone.  
If you're the 1 in 4, and you feel robbed of not only what could have been, but all the beauty that then comes your way...you're not alone.  
If you're the 1 in 4 and you question your body's capability...you're not alone.  

Even being more than halfway through a healthy pregnancy, I still attach an 'if' to it's presence, not a when.  
I still have moments when I panic. 
People are still afraid to openly talk about my pregnancy to me.  
1 in 4.  

If you're the 1 in 4, I want to tell you something: one day, you'll get to the other side.  You might feel unstable, and insecure, and nervous, and paranoid...but the other side awaits you, one day at a time.  One day, you'll feel the weight lifted...
One day, you'll think about it a minute less...
One day, you'll smile just a little more...
One day, you'll laugh a little louder...
One day, you'll feel peace...
One day, you'll see the beauty...the rose among the thorns...

Image result for you don't spell it you feel it

Check out my profile on The Layers Project where I talk about pregnancy after miscarriage.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Bumpdate: 24 Weeks: Viability




I can't believe four weeks has flown by and I'm back with another bumpdate!  And...we're on the heels of October-how crazy is that?!? 

Total Weight Gain: So, interestingly enough, my weight has creeped up, putting me at at total gain of 20lbs. I anticipated that I'd gain similarly to my other pregnancies, and the fact that at my last appointment, at 25 weeks I was only up 20lbs, is nothing short of a miracle considering I've been eating maraconi out of a box, and my exercise until two weeks ago was whatever box I was unpacking!  I do hope to start eating more home cooked meals, and getting more consistent exercise in, which will hopefully help curtail the weight gain.  I had to lose about 50 with Hannah, what's another 10?!?

Maternity Clothes: I have bought a few maternity specific items like exercise tops and pants, a pair of maternity leggings and jeans to wear under dresses when it gets cooler, and some everyday tops.  I think I'm starting to look more pregnant, but there are times, like when I wear the tighter exercise clothes, I don't think it's completely obvious I'm with child.  Thankfully my trainer frequently talks about the baby and the pregnancy, so people around me might not actually think I'm just in need a good butt kicking!  I hope in the next few weeks to showcase more of a capsul maternity wardrobe I've put together, and some reviews on the maternity clothes I've had to buy this time.  

Sleep: With the cooler temperatures, and a cold that required me to work on finding a good fan placement, I've been sleeping much better.  Of course, lots of pillows are necessary.  

Best moment this month: in my last bumpbdate I mentioned that at 20 weeks I was finally able to feel the baby move from the outside, but at 23 weeks about, the movements became much more pronounced. I went to a Saturday night religious service with live music, and the amount of movement that could be felt from the outside was incredible! I thought that baby would bust out!  

Movement:  Lots of movement, lots! Thank goodness!  I'm starting to notice a pattern; we have a party goer on our hands, every night!  I can also poke myself enough to get a response back, which is so reassuring.  There was even a time when Moshe came into our room in the middle of the night, and we had a brief conversation-and the baby started moving!  I couldn't believe we already woke the baby! 

Exercise:  I have had five sessions with a trainer-twice a week, for 30 minutes.  I love it, even though it wasn't until this past time that I wasn't totally sore from head to toe.  You forget how capable your body is, and even when pregnant, with the help of a professional-we can push ourselves to great limits.  I am so excited to continue this journey with a personal trainer.  For now, I've been limited in how often I can exercise, but when my event is over (Safety Awareness Day) I will have much more free time and I plan on a 5-day a week exercise schedule.  

Gender: No idea, and loving it! I think boy!

Labor Signs: I think I might have had some braxton hicks, but I'm not sure.  So, no labor signs, thank goodness!

Belly Button in or out: In! I still have that awkward belly flab; it's filing out, but it's still there.

What  I miss:  nothing really...

What I'm looking forward to: nothing specifically baby related, but I do have my glucose test on Monday.  

I had my first OB appointment with a new OB here.  To be honest, I felt very disappointed.  The care here seems to be much more lax, which I'm not used to.  And besides not being used to it, lax care does not work well for me.  I don't want to be told by a doctor that I'm fine, I want to know, from blood work, or whatever other test that I'm fine-sometimes rare things happen, and sometimes doctors are wrong.  I went into the appointment knowing that no one could possibly replace my OB, but also knowing I'm not new at this, having been pregnant three other times. I know how to advocate for myself and as long as advocating gets me what I need, I'll be ok.  I felt the doctor was pretty dismissive of my concerns, and I did have to push for blood work regarding my concerns with the itching I've been having on my hands, feet and now arms and chest.  I also didn't like that when he couldn't get the heartbeat on the doppler because it was moving around so much, he was "ok with that" because I feel movement. They also didn't check for protein in my urine when I said I didn't have to pee.  While I'm sure most people are fine, I'm not comfortable with such lax treatment.  

Hindsight is 20/20 and I think the OB, and myself learned a valuable lesson.  One of the blood tests I pushed for was to check for parvovirus-after a community member had her baby very prematurely due to her baby being anemic from having been exposed due to the mother not having immunity.  It's extremely rare to have a manifestation like she did, but it happened, and  apparently this virus was being spread in Baltimore, and pregnant women were being urged to have a blood test, a simple blood test.  While there is no treatment for not having immunity, knowledge is power.  Knowing if you have immunity or not will help you be cautious and navigate certain situations.    

I pushed for the blood test and thankfully I did!  "Interestingly enough..." I've never been exposed to parvovirus and there's nothing to do about it.  However, I now have that knowledge, and I can move forward with the right information, caution, and power.  I also hope that this experience helps the doctor remember that while being cautious can sometimes cause extra annoyances and work on their end-sometimes rare things happen, and you can never be too safe.  

It also showed me that it's completely ok to be that "crazy person" because you are well within your right.  I feel so relieved I pushed for that information, because you never know, as rare as something may be, hey, sometimes we fall on the wrong side of statistics.  

For comparison, you can check out Hannah's bumpdate here.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Matters of the Heart: Fetal Echocardiogram





A couple weeks ago, I had a fetal echocardiogram.  In my previous pregnancies, back in NY, this was standard care for IVF patients.  Here, now that we're in Ohio, they thought it was an odd request, but obliged.  The ultrasound tech was slightly annoyed when she found out she was scanning due to an over-reactive preggo #dontmess but, the scan was faster than usual, we made nice small talk, and all was well.  

For starters, the scan is very boring.  Yes, I'm always relieved to have the chance to get a peek at the baby-but this is not one of the ultrasounds where you walk away with cutesy pictures.  In fact, the tech even told me I could watch on the screen!  I just told her this was a boring ultrasound, plus, it's all black and white with flickers of red and blue (to show the blood flow) what's to see anyway? She just chuckled...

The scan is scheduled to last between 45-60 minutes.  Mine was about 35 minutes, as the baby was rather cooperative.  And for those that are wondering-i did not budge on my desire to not know the gender.  I told her I didn't want to know, so she was careful where she scanned because it's legs were up over it's head.  Now, people suspect she must have seen it was a boy, or she wouldn't have made that comment-but she told me she makes a habit of not ever checking the gender because it doesn't matter for what she's looking for.  I think she knew based on seeing the legs and feet above the head, not to scan further down.  



I had never been told this before, but I was told that since I was before 27 weeks, I needed to have a full bladder.  The receptionist had mercy on me and let me pee when I arrived because there was no way I could arrive with a full bladder, and then go though an hour scan!  But, the tech was not thrilled with that and claimed that was why the baby was so low down and slumped making it a bit more difficult for her to get the images she needed.  

All in all, there were no concerns going into the exam, I requested it because it was standard in my past pregnancies, and peace of mind is highly valued in this pregnancy!  At the end, the doctor came in and told me everything looked great: all the right holes, no holes where there shouldn't be, everything flowed the right way, and there were no concerns!  


Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday Munchies...

Now that we are well into the holiday season, I wanted to share some seasonal holiday recipes that we can all enjoy!  To be honest, I can't believe I've never shared our traditional holiday recipes; and unfortunately, this year I was on hiatus, so those recipes will have to wait until next year!!!

Until then, let's browse Pinterest shall we...

These chewy Maple Glazed Apple Blondies taste like sweet apple pie with a warm maple icing! This homemade apple blondie recipe is the perfect fall dessert! It's easy, super flavorful, and always a crowd pleaser!

How mouthwatering do these maple glazed apple blondies look?

pumpkin_spice_butterscotch_popcorn(v6).jpg

Who doesn't love popcorn?

Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake - super moist, bursting with fall spices, and easy to make! Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Tis the season for pumpkin spiced everything! 

Classic Minestrone soup with a tomato vegetable broth base and loaded to the max with fresh veggies, beans, and tender pasta. Simmer with some spices and you have a delicious & healthy bowl of soup for dinner.

I always enjoy a nice hearty soup when it gets chilly!

Butterscotch Caramel Coffee Recipe. Perfect for a cold night! LivingLocurto.com

#butfirstcoffee 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday Munchies: One Pot Meals

We're nearing the one month mark since our move...and unfortunately there isn't an end in sight to the boxes! Which means we've been eating a lot of boxed macaroni #truthbomb 
BUT-with these recipes, once my kitchen is slightly unpacked, I can quickly get myself back in the game!  

If you try any of these out, you'll have to let me know which ones are keepers! 

One Pan Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken with Vegetables

Honey Mustard Chicken & Potatoes | https://cafedelites.com

One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice with roasted lemon halves is a quick weeknight meal with garlic, lemon, and super flavorful seasoned rice pilaf.

One Pot Skinny Creamy Garlic Noodles, a dinner recipe idea by Favorite Family Recipes


Thai Veggie Quinoa Bowl recipe is a perfect summer one pot meal. Full of crunchy flavors and a sharp and tangy Asian inspired dressing. Healthy and delicious. Vegan and Gluten-Free too.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Bumpdate! 20 weeks

I'm so glad to be back in this space! So much to share with you, but I'm mostly just thrilled that I get to come back and be in this current place. 21w6d...we've come a long, long way, thank God.  


Although I'm still wondering where my bump is exactly?  I definitely had one at 18 weeks with Hannah..now, people are still surprised when I tell them I'm pregnant!  

Total weight gain/loss: this is interesting: in my previous three pregnancies, I've always gained a lot of weight-it ranged from 40lbs-55lbs in total; first trimester was always a gain of 10lbs!  I exercised a lot less with Hannah, which is probably why I gained more than I did with my other pregnancies.  There's the idea that how you eat impacts the weight you'll gain, but this pregnancy has made me question if that's really true, or it there's some truth to the theory of you eat what you need and your body gains what it needs...
I gained 20lbs pre-pregnancy over the past year+ with treatments and miscarriages and just life in general!  I assumed once I got pregnant either I would buckle down on nutritious eating and exercise and keep the weight gain to a minimum, or, I'd gain the typical 40lbs-50lbs I gain in pregnancy.  Of course, I really hoped I could keep it to a minimum because I do plan on losing it all post baby.  Here's where it gets interesting, and I am not condoning this at all, but this is just my reality given my personal circumstances these days (moving, previous weight gain, lack of exercise, feeling overwhelmed, lacking the ability to cook my own food, etc) so far, at 21 weeks, with lack of exercise, and no conscience eating what so ever, I am up about 12 lbs. That, is very odd to me...but hey, I'll take it! Has anyone ever had an experience like that?

Maternity Clothes: I have some stretchy skirts and tunic tops I'm living in.  My maternity clothes remain by a friend and I was not able to get them before I moved out of town. Either I'll get them soon, or I'll have to buy new.  Either way, I figured that after having gone through my pregnancies and her pregnancies, combined with probably being completely  out of style, I was digging the idea of doing a capsule maternity wardrobe!  I've picked up a few pieces as needed, but I hope for at least my weekday staple wardrobe to be done through the capsule.  

Sleep:  Sleep has been somewhat challenging.  I have become uncomfortable sooner than I remember with the other pregnancies, and I requires pillows at this point.  But, I don't always have all the pillows I need and we have a shortage of pillows around here, so that makes things difficult at times.  I also seem to have been hit with heartburn all of a sudden! Heartburn was always my classic pregnancy symptom, beginning around the time of a pregnancy test!  This time, it wasn't until 20 weeks I experienced heart burn AND I already experienced that dreaded choking on your acid reflux in the middle of the night! That hasn't happened to me until the third trimester, oh boy!!!

Best moment this month: Our anatomy scan confirmed we have a seemingly healthy baby on our hands, thank God.  We weren't so fortunate with Hannah, but this baby is not presenting with the same issues!!!  We will follow up with another scan in a few weeks, and I have requested a fetal echocardiogram.  This is not being recommended to me, rather in NY, these were standard for pregnancies conceived via IVF.  That ultrasound gives me a lot of piece of mind, so I asked for it, and the doctor happily obliged! That is coming up in the next couple of weeks!  

Movement:  I have been feeling movement since 10 weeks, as crazy as that sounds!  I have heard from other women that the more pregnancies you have, the earlier you feel movement.  So, while I will never be 100% sure that what I felt was the baby, I know what it wasn't. But, what made that difficult is that having felt movement, makes it harder to not feel movement.  Not only is it not common to feel movement so early, even when fetal movement is normal, around 14-16 weeks, it's not consistent.  So that was challenging for me-that lack of fetal movement didn't mean fetal demise. Now, just after 20 weeks, I was able to feel movement from the outside!!

Exercise: For so many reasons, I haven't been exercising.  I know that I can't jump back into the routine I was doing pre-pregnancy, but I do plan on securing a trainer for 2-3 times a week (she recommended 30 minute sessions) and then doing some other form of exercise 1-2 times per week.  A friend invited me to barre, so I'll look into that!  Although exercise and dieting hasn't been an issue for me when I needed it to work, pregnancy is an easy excuse to be lax, and I don't want to end up in as out of shape as I was after Hannah, but I know unless  I make exercise an appointment, like everything else in my life now, I won't willingly take myself away from my crazy, unpacked, upside down house!  

Gender: For the first time, I succeeded in not finding out the gender of this baby!  I really, truly, don't want to know and I am so enjoying just finally bonding over the baby.

Labor signs: No, thankfully! And at the anatomy scan they offered me a cervical check, and thankfully mine was measuring solidly above their requirement, at 3.4. 

Belly button in or out: IN! Due to my pre-pregnancy weight gain, my stomach is still looking flabby and not necessarily pregnancy, so it has that concave shape a little...almost 22 weeks and still in an awkward pregnancy stage! #help #wheresthebump

What I miss: besides my clothes (specifically having enough underwear) and my house not being upside down-nothing!  

What I'm looking forward to: every week is a step in the right direction! Next Friday I have my requested fetal echocardiogram. 

Poll: Boy or Girl???

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

16 Week Check Up!

Here I am, solidly into the second trimester...thank God.  

I said I'd feel more relaxed...I don't.
I said I'd feel better...I don't.
I said I'd be more optimistic...I'm not.
I said I'd be more motivated...I'm not.
I said I'd stop worrying as much...I haven't.
I said I'd stop being convinced the baby had died...I haven't.

Anxiety is real...trauma is real...

I said all of these things, and they make complete sense!  Up until this point, I was still in that risky time.  Although I'm presently 16w2d, I hadn't seen the baby since 12w4d. So when people would excitedly remind me I was well into the second trimester, I just replied, "I don't know if the baby is in the second trimester!" That was to be confirmed today-and thank God it was! But this is how real and irrational anxiety and trauma are:  at almost halfway through this pregnancy, things are looking more and more positive. I should let myself breathe and think that maybe, just maybe, I'll bring home a baby in January.  I thought once I get there, I'll be ok. I'll stop worrying so much because I have every reason to be less worried! But anxiety tricks you-when you think you're comfortable, when you think you have a plan, it finds a new way to rob you of being comforted.  

Today it took some time to find the heartbeat again.  I got a sense the nurse was getting a little nervous, but eventually a heartbeat popped on the machine, "150 beats per minute," she proclaimed, and then just as quick as it was found, she turned the doppler off.  Relieved for half a second, I texted my husband:

It's alive, but I don't believe it. 

It took too long...
I only heard it for a second...
It was probably my own heartbeat...
How does she know...

I got to this place, this place I waited to be in for so long, this place that I thought would give me comfort, but I'm not comforted, now, not even a doppler can convince me all is well. 

You can follow my story this week at The Layers Project where I'm discussing my story and more about my anxiety and trauma resulting from the past 18 months...

     

There was an error in this gadget
 
Blogging tips