Lucy Grace in HD

Last Wednesday was one of my favorite days of the entire pregnancy. I have always been fascinated by the 3D/4D ultrasounds friends share on Facebook. It blows my mind that technology has come far enough to show us the features of a baby’s face before it’s even born. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would schedule one of those ultrasounds if I was lucky enough to get pregnant one day.

There are a couple of places in town that offer this service. Ever the Type A, over-analytical personality, I started researching all of the different options a few months back. That’s when I discovered a technology I didn’t even know existed: 5D/HD live. A local place called Angel Prints Ultrasound offered it. I scanned through dozens of pictures on their website and several videos on their Facebook page and I was absolutely stunned. The clarity and detail of their pictures and videos was unrivaled. They told me the best time to get a 5D/HD ultrasound is between 28 and 32 weeks. During this time period, babies have enough fat on their face where they no longer look like aliens but they also aren’t SO cramped yet that their faces are all squished. I was SOLD! I scheduled the appointment for 28 weeks and 4 days and started counting down the months and days until I could see my sweet baby girl’s face.

They advised me to drink between 64 and 100 ounces of water each day for at least 2 weeks prior to the appointment. This would ensure plenty of clear amniotic fluid for the best pictures possible. As the day neared I drank up and my excitement grew. I felt like a kid at Christmas time. I just couldn’t wait to unwrap my present.

When the day finally came, I found myself counting down the hours until we got to see her face. I can’t even imagine what I’ll feel like when it’s time to actually meet her.

Matt and I arrived at their office a little bit early and waited our turn. When we were called back, I couldn’t believe how nice the ultrasound room was. I got to lay on an incredibly comfortable bed with soft sheets and a wedge behind my neck. If I had one of those at home I might actually get some sleep! haha! The room was set up like a living room with a giant flat screen TV in front of us.

I hoped that my sweet angel wouldn’t have her hands in front of her face like she has during a few of our past ultrasounds. We were lucky enough to have the owner, Domannic, performing our scan. He said that while she didn’t have her hands in front of her face, she did have her face right up against the placenta which made it impossible to see her. I couldn’t blame her; I’d probably rest my head on that comfy pillow too. 🙂

I was a little worried because I’d heard horror stories from friends who went to other 3D ultrasound places and were told they couldn’t see the baby and sent on their way. Much to my surprise, that was not the case at all. Domannic spent over an hour with us moving my body into different positions until we finally got the placenta away from her face. How amazing is that? When her face finally came up on the screen, it seemed like he was just as excited as we were.

First he pulled her up in 2D and caught a few cute moments. He even caught her drinking the amniotic fluid. That was pretty cool to see!

After recording her heartbeat and positioning everything just right, he switched into HD mode. There she was! There was our beautiful angel. I have imagined her a million times and I dream about her often, but her perfect little face was so much better than any image I’ve ever had in my mind. We watched her yawn, suck on her toes and even smile! It was absolutely indescribable to finally see her face.

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smiling with her toes in her face

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She looks a little bit like Mommy here.

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such long fingers!

 

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pouty lips
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She looks just like Daddy here.

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We even got to take our first family photos:

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I would HIGHLY recommend this experience to all of the mamas to be out there. If you’re like me and you feel like you just have to get a sneak peek of your beautiful baby’s face before the big day, there is no better way to do that. Even Matt, who thought it was silly when I scheduled it, remarked that it was “the best money we’ve spent in a while” when he saw her. If you live in the New Orleans, Baton Rouge or Lafayette areas, you HAVE to check out Angel Prints Ultrasound. This is not a sponsored post, I didn’t get anything free and I’m not being paid to promote them. I just feel like it’s incredibly rare to find people who take such pride and joy in their work and go above and beyond to ensure an unforgettable experience for their clients. I promise you won’t regret it. You can find their contact info on their web site at http://www.angelprintsultrasound.com. If you live elsewhere, search for a business that offers 5D/HD live in your area. You cannot even imagine the feeling that will come over you when you see your baby’s face for the first time.

I have spent the past few days staring at her pictures and imagining the moment when they place her in my arms. Now that we’ve seen her in HD, the countdown is on until we see the real life version. 🙂

With love,

Praying to be Mommy

Baby P is a…

I have lots to update y’all on today! After a week on bed rest, we followed up with my OBGYN Monday. I had been blood free Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the previous week. Sunday and Monday I started with some spotting again. I wasn’t overly concerned because it was brown, which means it was old blood. An ultrasound showed the same area of discoloration on my uterus. The doctor told me last week that he believed the spot was just a uterine contraction. The fact that the same spot was still there a week later confirmed that it was NOT a uterine contraction. It was most likely a bleed, just like the hospital had initially diagnosed. My doctor advised me to go home and stay on strict bed rest until I was blood free for at least a week. He believed the problem would resolve on its own.

Matt and I decided to follow up with a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist for a second opinion. We were lucky enough to get an appointment with the MFM specialist that Wednesday thanks to two close friends (Thanks Brittanie and Mrs. Betty!). I went into the appointment feeling a little bit nervous. I wasn’t quite sure what he would find. He is regarded as one of the best specialists in the city, though, so I knew he was just the man for the job. I was hoping for a more definite diagnosis. Up until this point I was getting conflicting ideas of what it might be or what it could be that was causing the bleeding.

Our ultrasound at the specialist’s office was really cool. We got to watch everything on a giant flat screen TV. it was definitely the most detailed ultrasound I have ever had. As soon as the screen turned on, the tech pointed out the discolored area on my uterus. It was clear as day. She said it was obviously a small bleed. Then she inspected and measured every single nook and cranny of the baby. It’s amazing that they can do that! She took measurements of the head, the torso, the body length, the stomach, etc. As she was inspecting the legs, I asked her if there was anything in between them. She looked between the legs from various different angles and zoomed in several times. There was ABSOLUTELY nothing there. She confirmed that we are having a baby girl!

I was a little skeptical of such an early gender determination. She told me that a boy would definitely have SOMETHING growing between his legs by now. I said, “Maybe he’s just a late bloomer.” She looked at me with a crazy look on her face and told me to think about what I was saying. We all laughed. Matt and I were thrilled to learn that we are having a baby girl. Neither of us had a preference regarding the gender. We just wanted a healthy baby.

After the tech left the room, the doctor came in. He told me that it was clearly a small separation in the placenta causing the bleeding. He drew pictures for us and explained everything in great detail. He told me that he felt very confident that this would be completely resolved by my next ultrasound in 4 weeks. He said that in his entire time practicing, he has only seen one case like mine that became so bad that the mother lost the baby. However, he sees cases like mine DAILY that completely resolve without any intervention. That was music to my ears!

He took me off of bed rest because he doesn’t want me to develop blood clots in my legs. He said strict bed rest does not make any difference in the outcome of these types of scenarios. He just wants me to modify my activity level. For example, I can’t lift anything heavy or doing anything strenuous. The best news of all was that he looked at all of the measurements and pictures of the baby and said that the baby looks “great” and all of her structures look “perfect.” What a relief!

The MFM specialist decided to keep me as his patient for the remainder of the pregnancy and deliver the baby himself. He will continue to monitor me to make sure the tear heals and I don’t have any further complications. He is going to re-check me in 4 weeks but wants me to come in immediately if I experience any more heavy bleeding.

This week has been wonderful. One of the best doctors in the city told me how healthy my baby is, I got off of bed rest, I am receiving excellent care, I haven’t bled in 4 days and to top it all off we found out the baby’s gender. Last night we had our parents and siblings over for a small gender reveal. We shot off a pink confetti cannon in our yard and everyone cheered. Things are pretty great around here. We can’t wait for Lucy Grace to join our family in February!!

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It’s a girl!

The Scariest Day of My Life

Hi friends. A lot has transpired since my last post. You may remember that I was spotting and cramping two weekends ago and everything checked out fine when I visited my doctor the following Monday. Things went well all week until Friday. On Friday I was at the store picking up birthday presents for a few family members and I could tell something was wrong. I went to the bathroom and discovered blood. It was only a few spots, so I wasn’t too terribly concerned. I called my doctor’s office, but, as we know, the doctor doesn’t work on Friday. This baby sure does like to cause excitement when no one is working!

The nurse scheduled an appointment for Monday and told me to go to the hospital if it got worse. As soon as I got home and put my feet up the spotting stopped and Friday night came and went. Saturday morning I woke up to more blood. This time it wasn’t just spotting. Matt and I decided to go to the hospital just to be overly cautious. The doctor on call did a pelvic exam and found a little bit of blood on my cervix, but she didn’t think it was an alarming amount.

She took out the handheld doppler and quickly located the baby’s heartbeat (what a relief!). It was 170. She took some blood and came back to report that the blood work looked great and she wasn’t very concerned. Her main concern was that I am rh- and Matt is O+. Because she didn’t know the extent of the bleeding, she decided to play it safe and give me a Rhogam injection. If you are rh- and your baby has a positive blood type, your body can start producing antibodies that will kill the baby. Since Matt is O+, there is a strong chance that the baby will have a positive blood type as well. We waited a few hours while the blood bank mixed up the Rhogam injection and then they sent us on our way. They told us to come back if the bleeding worsened. I took it easy Saturday night and did not see any more bleeding.

Sunday was the scariest day of my life. When I woke up and got out of bed I looked down and noticed my pajama pants were soaked in blood and there was blood gushing down my legs. Talk about a heart stopping moment. I ran in the bathroom where Matt was showering and struggled to get words out. On the ride to the hospital, the tears streamed down my face and my mind raced. I had a pretty strong feeling that I was losing the baby and I just couldn’t bear the thought. How could I lose this little angel before I even got the chance to hold it in my arms? Why would God bring me this far just to end it all now? It just didn’t make sense. None of it made any sense.

By the time I got to the hospital the bleeding had stopped completely. The doctor did a pelvic exam and couldn’t find any blood. What?! How could that be? This time everyone seemed a little more serious. They called out the ultrasound tech immediately and started an IV in my arm to draw lots of blood. The ultrasound tech on call had to drive in from where she lived about 45 minutes away. Every moment seemed like an eternity. There’s nothing worse than sitting in your own blood and not knowing if your baby is alive or not.

When she finally arrived and wheeled me back I begged her to please tell me something. Anything! I told her I just wanted to know if she saw a heartbeat. She told me that it was against the rules to give me any information. I sat there clutching my St. Gerard medal and praying while she conducted the longest and most detailed ultrasound of my life. To my surprise, she turned the screen toward me and said, “Don’t tell anyone I showed you this, but I just can’t believe how cute it is. It looks like the baby is waving.”

Sure enough, my little troublemaker was moving the top half of his or her arm from the elbow joint and appeared to be saying, “Hi Mom. Sorry for all the trouble.” All I could do was laugh. This was my first true mom moment where I couldn’t even be mad at the unnecessary ruckus because I was just so damn glad to see that everything was OK. I felt such a great sense of relief as I got wheeled back to my room to wait on the doctor.

I thought everything had checked out perfectly until the doctor came back with a concerned look on his face. What the ultrasound tech failed to tell me was that she found blood behind the placenta. The doctor said he believed there was a tear in the placenta. He diagnosed me with a “threatened miscarriage.” He said that I might miscarry, but then again I might not. His guess was that I wouldn’t, but he really couldn’t be sure of that. I asked what they could do. Surely, I thought, there must be a solution to this problem. There must be a way to fix this or something I can take or do to hopefully prevent it.

He informed that at 13 weeks pregnant there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to prevent a miscarriage. NOTHING. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. That absolutely blew my mind. Coming from the world of infertility, I’m used to the doctor having solutions or at least suggestions for every problem that arises. If the uterine lining is too thin, progesterone will help. If you don’t ovulate, they can give you Femara. If you have hostile cervical mucus, they can circumvent the cervix all together with a procedure called IUI. If all else fails, they can do IVF.

How is it possible that in an age where doctors can operate on a baby’s heart inside of the womb no one can fix one tear in a placenta?! I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The doctor said all I could do was go home and lay in bed and follow up with my doctor in the morning. He said I would know if I was miscarrying if I soaked through 3 pads in an hour.

I left the hospital in tears and felt so desolate and confused. I’ve always heard that 12 weeks is the magic number. Lots of people don’t announce their pregnancy until 12 weeks when they feel they are in the “safe zone.” Everything is more stable at 12 weeks. My weekly app even went as far as to say that if you’ve reached 12 weeks and heard the heartbeat after 12 weeks, your chance of miscarriage is down to 1%. WAS I GOING TO BE THAT 1%? Was I going to make it to 13 weeks just to find out it had all been for nothing?

My head was reeling. Would God really bring me this far just to leave me now? Was this my fault? When I went through infertility, I always struggled with this horrible feeling that my body was failing me. Every time my body was supposed to do something or produce something naturally, it didn’t or it couldn’t. Most of the time it continued to fail me even with medical intervention. It was the most frustrating feeling of my life, and I thought those days were finally behind me.

But here I was 13 weeks pregnant and all of those feelings came rushing back. We had created this perfect little baby who had been unbelievably healthy and excelled at every turn. The first hcg levels were so high and healthy for this baby that the doctor initially thought it was twins. The hcg has continued to be one of the highest levels my doctor has seen. The baby has measured a week ahead at every ultrasound. Every time they look at the baby in depth everything looks perfectly beautiful so far. This baby is doing everything right to thrive and survive.

I have fallen so unbelievably in love with this adorable little angel by watching all of his or her antics every week on ultrasound. I didn’t even know it was possible to feel a love so strong so soon before I could even feel the baby kick. And I felt like my body was failing me once again, but this time my body was failing this perfect little baby. There’s such a sense of guilt associated with that when you don’t know if you will be able to hold onto your child. Not because there is something wrong with the baby, but because your body simply isn’t giving that child what it needs.

All of these thoughts were swirling around in my head all afternoon and then I had a pep talk with myself. I realized that I needed to start thinking positively for this child. Adding stress to the mixture wasn’t going to help anyone but that sure was easier said than done. I settled down and watched some TV and finally fell asleep.

All hell broke loose when I woke up in the middle of the night in another pool of blood. How could this be happening? Why did I go to sleep? Now I had to see if I soaked through 3 pads in the next hour. That was the only way to know if I miscarried the baby or not. What a horrible freaking feeling. All you can do is count pads to know if the life inside of you is still thriving or not. If you read my earlier posts during all of the dreaded two week waits to find out if I was pregnant, you’ll know that I thought those were the longest and most torturous waits anyone could endure. I retract that statement. Waiting to see if you soak through 3 pads or waiting to see if the bleeding stops to know if your child is alive is the WORST wait of your life.

I couldn’t go back to the sleep the rest of the night. I had the worst anxiety of my life. What if I feel back asleep and woke up covered in blood with no baby? I had to stay awake. Matt is out of town this week, so I came home with my mom when I was released from the hospital. I ran into her room last night in hysterics. I needed to be with someone. I had never felt so terrified in all my life.

All I wanted to do was protect my child and make sure it was safe, but I couldn’t do anything. All I could do was lay there like a dummy and wait to see how many pads I soaked through. It was the most helpless and panic-inducing situation I have ever encountered. I laid next to my mom and my dogs with my eyes wide open for the rest of the night and prayed.

When morning came I couldn’t wait to get to my doctor. Luckily, he painted a much better picture than the emergency room physician. After 2 ultrasounds, he determined that the area in question did not look like a tear or bleed in the placenta. He believed that it was actually a uterine contraction the tech at the hospital had seen. Since the uterus is a muscle, small contractions are completely normal at any time. While he could not assure me with 100% certainty that it was not a bleed or a tear, he was strongly convinced that it wasn’t. He said the baby and the placenta looked great.

The tech showed me my sweet little angel bee bopping around in the womb and told me that this baby was “clearly not bothered” by anything that was going on. We listened to the heartbeat on the ultrasound and the doctor remarked that it “sounds like a girl but don’t paint the room pink just yet.” I told him that I figured only a girl could bring this much drama with her. Either that or she is determined to have her picture taken every week until she makes her debut. We had a good laugh about that.

All of that was great news. The only problem is that I am still bleeding and we do not have a cause or a source of the bleeding. The doctor informed me that while it isn’t common, he has seen many patients throughout the years who just happen to bleed on and off throughout pregnancy for unexplained reasons. He said that some pregnant patients even come in at the same time every month with a full blown 5 day period. Talk about a mental breakdown!

He assured me that nearly all of these patients go on to deliver healthy babies and even told me about a recent patient in a similar situation who had just delivered a beautiful 8.5 pound baby. He put me on strict bed rest (I can only get up to potty) and told me that he feels confident that with proper rest this issue will resolve itself.

While he couldn’t completely rule out a miscarriage, he highly doubts that will happen in this case. He believes this baby will have a healthy delivery and go on to worry me every day for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. For now, you can find me laying flat for the foreseeable future. I have a follow up appointment a week from today. Let’s hope we don’t have any heart stopping moments between now and then. Prayers for a healthy, full-term pregnancy and a healthy baby are incredibly appreciated. If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout all of this it’s that God will always carry us through. Even when we are at our absolute lowest, He is hard at work in the background. I know, without a doubt, that this is someone special growing inside of me and God has bigger plans for us.

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Baby P, who is clearly not bothered by any of this.

The Past Few Weeks

Hi sweet friends! I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. There hasn’t been TOO much to report. We had an ultrasound with my regular OB a few weeks ago, and we finally got to HEAR the baby’s heartbeat. The machines at my specialist’s office do not have the feature that allows you to hear the heartbeat audibly. They were only able to show us the heart flickering and measure the heart rate. I have to say, it is the most beautiful sound. It’s amazing that something so small has a heart that is beating that strong. Here’s a little video of that wonderful moment:

The baby was sleeping during my last ultrasound, so Matt said I should drink a smoothie before this appointment to wake it up. Well it looked like he or she was doing gymnastics in the womb. It was moving around so much that we were unable to get any still pictures. Thanks, Matt! 🙂 It was fun to watch the baby flip around, though. The tech said the heart rate should be leveled off by this point in the pregnancy. It was 171. Our last heart rate was 174, so it seems to be consistently high.

A week and a half after that appointment, I started spotting and having cramps on a Thursday afternoon. I was incredibly nervous. Bright red blood is a scary sight when your baby is growing inside of you. I called the doctor’s office, but, of course, he was out of town. The nurse told me I could come in the following morning for blood work to make sure my hcg and progesterone levels hadn’t dropped. Their office closes at 1p.m. on Fridays, so I had to wait on pins and needles until Monday for results.

All I could do was stay off of my feet all weekend and pray that everything was ok. I was a nervous wreck. I tried to remind myself that stress isn’t good for the baby. When Monday morning finally came around, the nurse said the blood work looked “beautiful” but the doctor still wanted to do a cervical exam to be overly cautious.

After a thorough exam, the doctor assured me that everything was “better than great” with my sweet little bambino. He then remarked that he could still see worry and fear on my face. He said he wasn’t satisfied until I felt at ease, so he was going to send me for an ultrasound just to reassure me. Have I mentioned how much I love my doctor? THAT is the kind of prenatal care women need.

My anxiety turned into excitement as I waited to see my little angel on the screen. He or she was much less active (no smoothie today!) and appeared to be resting with crossed ankles. The baby’s ankles have been crossed in 2 ultrasounds so far. Apparently he or she has a favorite sleeping position already. The heart rate was 167, and I felt all of the fear leaving my body as I heard that strong heart beating. At a whopping 2.5 inches in length, the baby can no longer fit in one frame. They gave me two separate pictures. One was a picture of the baby from the neck down and one was a picture of the baby from the torso up. I didn’t want a headless or legless picture of my child, so I taped them together haha! It looks a little bizarre, but here is Baby P at 12 weeks:

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It’s remarkable to see how big this baby is getting. Just 4 weeks ago, he or she only took up a tiny little portion of the sac. I am so thankful that I have had so many ultrasounds. I love watching this miraculous process unfold.

The morning (make that all day) sickness is still wreaking havoc. I haven’t had a break from it yet. The Diclegis and Phenergan help a little bit some days, but they don’t help at all other days. It is just something I have learned to live with. The doctor said it should have been gone by now and that “the baby didn’t read the textbook.” He said it might go away soon or I might be that rare 1% of women who throw up every day until delivery. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

Things have been pretty crazy around here. We are remodeling our upstairs and trying to get everything in working order for the baby. I know things will only get more hectic as the due date nears. I have to keep reminding myself to slow down and put my feet up from time to time. It’s hard to remember that it’s more important to rest than worry about everything being perfect. I am a Type A personality, and I like to keep my house in tip top shape. That has been very difficult with all of the sickness and fatigue lately. I guess this is conditioning me for life with a newborn when I will have no time to clean anything anyway or life with a toddler whose toys are scattered all around the house. My cousin’s son left for college today and she told me, “It goes by so fast. Don’t spend it all cleaning.” That really hit home with me and I thought it was great advice.

My hormones and emotions have been really out of whack the past few weeks. I will hear a song on the radio or see a touching commercial and start crying uncontrollably. Sometimes I cry for no reason at all. I know this is all just part of pregnancy and I am doing my best to enjoy the wild ride.

My belly really started to pop out last week. I’m not sure where it came from, but it is definitely there.

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It feels nice to finally LOOK a little bit pregnant. I’m looking forward to buying maternity clothes and dressing my little bump soon. We are going to find out the gender in 2 and a half weeks, so I will be back to update y’all then! What do you think? Boy or girl? Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

Baby P in 3D

Today was a miraculous day! I got to see my sweet little angel in 3D!

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He or she appears to be taking a nap. It’s a bit hard to make out at first, but once you see it, it’s clear as day. The baby is on the right side of the sac laying on its side facing the left. You can see the yolk sac at the bottom then just above that you can see the little legs and feet crossed. The arms were crossed over the baby’s chest. Then at the top you can see the profile of the left side of baby’s head with an ear, an eye, a nose and that big ole brain at the top 😉 Here is a picture I labeled in case you still can’t see it. Don’t worry, it took the baby’s daddy a little while to see it too!

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This was honestly the coolest thing I have ever seen, and I have wasted the rest of the day staring at this picture and day dreaming. My sweet little Baby P is just over an inch long with a heart rate of 174. I can’t believe how developed and beautiful this tiny miracle is. I’m so thankful that I was able to see this moment in 3D, and I will cherish this picture forever. My husband couldn’t come to the appointment today, so I invited my mom. She was over the moon to see her very first grandchild!

Now onto the even bigger news…Because the baby looks so great and everything is going so well, my specialist released me today THREE WEEKS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE. It was bittersweet. I feel compelled to fall on my knees and thank God that I have gotten to this point. At the same time, I am so sad to leave his office! I know it might sound silly, but these people have been such an integral part of my journey. For the past 8 months, I have seen them at least once a week. Throughout my IVF process I saw them every single day.

Each and every person from the phlebotomist to the ultrasound tech to the receptionist to my nurse to the financial department to my brilliant doctor has been a cheerleader for this baby before he or she even existed and an invaluable support system for me.

These people hugged me when cycles got cancelled and things looked bleak and threw a party in the hallway when my test finally came up positive. When I first walked into that building back in January, I was completely broken. My previous doctor dismissed me with very little hope and even fewer answers or solutions. There were countless days and visits when I walked out in tears and didn’t think anyone would ever figure out my unpredictable body.

How beautiful is it that today I was cleared to stop taking all of my supplements and I walked out a regular ole’ pregnant gal with a heart stopping 3D picture of my little love? You never know what God has in store for you.

My doctor has one final assignment for me. He wants to hold this baby as soon as possible so he can see his finished product and show it off. Once the baby is born, I won’t be able to get it to him fast enough. Without him, Baby P would just be a dream instead of a reality. I can’t even begin to imagine how wonderful and rewarding it must feel to know that you gave a couple the one thing they wanted more than anything in the world. That is what you call gratifying work.

After hugging everybody, tearing up and begging and pleading to stay, I was sent on my way with a book of information for my OBGYN. I have selected a new OBGYN with the help of my specialist. It’s a little scary to meet a new caregiver when you’re already 9 weeks pregnant. It will be difficult for me to place all of my trust in someone else after all of this. I have my first appointment Monday so I’ll let y’all know how that goes.

The doctor told me today that from here on out he expects me to be a normal run of the mill OB patient. ME…NORMAL?! That was music to my ears. He also advised me to return exactly one year after giving birth to get working on the next one due to the severity of my endometriosis and PCOS. I gave him a dirty look and told him not to start on me while my nausea was so severe haha!

You might remember in one of my earlier posts when I was really struggling with infertility, I saw a newly pregnant girl projectile vomiting in the hallway and told her I would give anything to be in her shoes. God heard my prayers! I have lost 8 pounds since I found out I was pregnant. Today the doctor gave me something called Diclegis, which is a drug developed specifically for pregnant women to curb nausea. We’ll see if it works. This too shall pass!

I hope you have a wonderful rest of the day. I will probably spend most of it staring at this sweet blessing. 🙂

A Scary Week

Good morning! I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. We spent our 4th of July on vacation in Destin, FL. As I mentioned in my previous post, I spent our last Destin vacation (in 2013) in the hospital with a ruptured ovarian cyst. Unfortunately, I had a little scare and had to return to the same hospital this time. Our first morning there, my husband and my mom went out deep sea fishing. I stayed at the condo to rest because deep sea fishing isn’t safe for pregnant women and it isn’t my thing anyway. They left around 4a.m. A few hours later, I woke up in the most horrible discomfort I have ever experienced in my life.

I knew something was wrong. I went to the bathroom and the pain intensified. I looked in the toilet and noticed a pretty sizable amount of blood. You NEVER want to see blood when you’re pregnant. With my mom and hubby offshore and out of cell phone reception, I had no choice but to drive myself to the hospital. When I arrived, the nurse gave me a cup to provide a urine specimen in. I filled the cup and noticed it was full of blood. I started to panic, thinking that there was a good chance I was having a miscarriage and I was all alone.

The doctor came in to see me and ask a few questions about my history and the pregnancy. Then he left to test the urine. Thankfully, it turned out that I had hemorrhagic cystitis, which is basically such a bad UTI that you get little blood clots in your bladder that rupture when you go to the bathroom. The doctor said this is somewhat common in early pregnancy. When the uterus grows so quickly, it can block off the urethra making it impossible to properly eliminate all of the urine.

Phew! I felt a little better, but I was still worried about the baby. I begged and begged for an ultrasound but was met with an emphatic “NO!” The doctor said it was very clear that I had hemorrhagic cystitis and there was no reason to check the baby. I tried to explain that this baby was my little miracle baby who was conceived after a very long struggle with infertility. I told him it would alleviate all of my stress and fear if I could just see that little heart flickering on the screen. He not only refused but asked if I was questioning his authority that the baby was OK.

He left the room in a huff and returned moments later with 2 pills. He put the pills in my hand with a glass of water and instructed me to swallow them and sign my discharge papers. I asked him what pregnancy class these pills were in. He told me that he wasn’t sure. I asked if he could look it up. He said no and asked why I came to the hospital if I didn’t trust him to treat me.

I started to feel both upset and enraged that this doctor was treating me so poorly at such a stressful time. I told him that I would not swallow the pills or sign the discharge papers until I spoke to my doctor and that if my doctor thought I needed an ultrasound I would not move out of the bed until they gave me one. He looked surprised. He was definitely a pompous idiot, and I got the impression that he isn’t used to patients standing up to him. Mama Hen does not play.

I called my doctor’s office and got the on-call doctor. I told him all of my symptoms and before I could get the diagnosis out of my mouth, he said it was hemorrhagic cystitis. That made me feel SO much better. He calmed me down and explained the condition in a very patient manner, assuring me that this would not affect the baby. He told me that both medications the doctor prescribed were very safe to take. He also said that while he didn’t think an ultrasound was absolutely necessary, he was shocked that any doctor wouldn’t order one to ease an expectant mother’s worries. Thank you!

I hung up the phone in a much calmer state of mind, swallowed the pills and signed the discharge papers. The medicine made me feel pretty awful for the rest of the vacation and fear kept creeping into the back of my mind that this was somehow affecting the baby. I tried to enjoy myself as much as possible given the circumstances.

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Our little family of 5 on vacation

My doctor promised to do an ultrasound as soon as I returned home. The 5 days in between passed very slowly. Yesterday my ultrasound appointment was scheduled for 9:15. I showed up at 8:15 praying they would call me back early. I felt so anxious. I just had to see that little heart beating. As soon as I signed in, they called me back. I stared at the screen and the tears started flowing when I finally saw that little heart beating stronger than ever. The ultrasound tech didn’t even need to point it out this time. It was clear as day. My heart felt so full!

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Our little angel baby…a beautiful sight!

She was also able to point out the formation of the pre-brain, the spine and the little arm buds and leg buds. The baby was incredibly active, flip flopping all over the place and the heart rate was 159. I’ve never seen a more beautiful sight. I think it was the first time I really experienced that surreal feeling that someone is actually living inside of me.

A friend recently told me, “You’ll worry every day until you hold that baby in your arms and then you’ll worry every day for the rest of your life.” That definitely rang true this week. Even though I am still in the earliest stages of motherhood, it’s a crazy feeling to worry about the needs of someone else before your own every moment of the day. I think about the safety of every activity I do and every piece of food I put in my mouth. When I’m in pain, I’m more worried about the safety and health of the baby than getting relief and feeling better. This is just the beginning of this new stage of life where my needs take a back seat to another person, and I feel so lucky that God has given me the ability to experience this. I’m looking forward to being a crazy Mama Hen for the rest of my days. 🙂

Seeing Baby P’s Heartbeat

Hi, friends!! Just a quick little update today. We went to the doctor this morning for blood work and an ultrasound. Everything looks perfect. We got to see tiny Baby P and confirm that there is one baby (not two) in the sac. Most importantly, we got to see the little flickering heart on the screen. It was truly incredible. The baby is currently 6mm long. He or she is actually measuring a week ahead of schedule. It’s crazy that we can already see the heart of something so small! My hubby got teary eyed (something that never happens!) and I just stared in amazement. We feel so blessed to be in such a good place. Baby P’s heart rate was 126 beats per minute. For some reason, I’ve had a strong inkling that the baby is a boy since the very beginning. If you go by the old wives’ tales, the heart rate would suggest boy as well. I don’t think you can put too much stock in those, though. 🙂

Here’s a little video Matt took of the ultrasound so you can see everything in more detail:

Now we are headed off to Destin, Florida to celebrate the holiday weekend. Last time we went to Destin was July of 2013. During the vacation, I had to visit the hospital there, because a cyst the size of a golf ball ruptured on my ovary while I was laying on the beach. I was devastated. Not only was I upset that I missed out on the entire vacation. It was a stark realization that my endometriosis was getting so much worse, and I honestly wondered if we would ever be able to have a baby. I felt so hopeless at that time. How serendipitous to see our child’s heartbeat for the first time on the day of our return trip. It just goes to show you that you can never count yourself out. No matter how hopeless your situation seems, things can always turn around. Even miracles take a little time. Have a wonderful 4th of July, y’all. God Bless America!