Friday, January 30, 2015

20 Weeks & a Twist

Wow.  What a week.  I was expecting this post to talk about how thrilled I am to be halfway through this pregnancy but unfortunately that's not the focus.  I am thrilled, don't get me wrong, but we now have a more serious issue on our hands.  You may recall me mentioning in last week's post that we were waiting to hear back from my doctor's office regarding my blood work that was taken at my last appointment.  Well, we heard back but we didn't hear the best news.  It looks like this pregnancy is going to be quite the wild ride the rest of the way.

After consulting with high-risk specialists, it has been confirmed that little Austin has Rh Disease.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with this, I will do my best to explain what it is.  During my pregnancy with Eli, we discovered the I have Rh negative blood.  Because Eli likely had Rh positive blood from Logan (and he did), it would have been a danger to Eli if our blood mixed.  To prevent anything from happening to him, I received a RhoGam shot at 28 weeks, which would protect him in the event our blood mixed.  Mom's and baby's blood has the best chance of mixing toward the end of pregnancy which is why they give the shot later on.  I also received a RhoGam shot after delivery to protect the baby during my next pregnancy.  **RhoGam prevents your body from creating antibodies that would attack a baby with positive blood.**

While having negative blood isn't super common, a decent amount of women do have it so they receive the RhoGam shot and all is typically well.  I expected that to be the case with me.  However, I fall into the "small/rare" group of women (of course) who become what is called sensitized.  Becoming sensitized means that despite receiving the RhoGam shot, my body still developed antibodies that will fight positive blood. We may never know exactly how I became sensitized but the doctors have a fairly good idea.  I received blood work prior to starting IVF that came back clean but when I had my first blood draw of this pregnancy it came back showing the antibodies.  The doctors expect that mine and Austin's blood mixed early on in this pregnancy (which they say is very rare) and as soon as my body detected his positive blood I developed antibodies and thus became sensitized.

So, what does this mean for Austin and this pregnancy?  That's a great question.  My body will now start to target and attack Austin's red blood cells which can make him anemic.  It can also severely affect his bilirubin levels.  I will now be monitored by high risk doctors at IMC who will do an MCA scan at least every two weeks to check the blood flow to Austin's brain.  If the blood starts pumping faster, it tells us that he is becoming anemic because he's working harder to move blood throughout his body.  Fortunately this is all seen through a traditional U/S.  Right now, Austin's levels look great and he is still thriving and doing really well.  As they continue to monitor him, they will make sure his blood levels stay in a safe range.  If they drop too far, they will have to do an in-utero blood transfusion.  It's wonderful they are able to do this but it definitely comes with risks of its own so we are hoping to avoid it.  The doctors have said that some babies go the entire pregnancy without needing a transfusion while others need several.  Fingers crossed he won't need one.  If we can make it the entire pregnancy without needing a transfusion, I will likely be induced a few weeks early because the end of the pregnancy is even riskier for the baby.  We anticipate he'll need to spend some time in the NICU but hopefully for nothing major.  He could require a transfusion(s) after he's born and he may need to be under the lights for a while but he could also come out of this just fine.  Only time will tell!

The last bit of disappointing news with all of this is that it only gets progressively worse with each pregnancy. Once you become sensitized, you are sensitized forever and there's nothing they can do to help it.  The doctors tell us that this pregnancy will likely be the easiest/lowest risk and each subsequent pregnancy will get worse because I will develop more and more antibodies.  For now we are going to focus on little Austin and not even think that far down the road.

If I just confused you as you read, below is a simple but helpful diagram that explains Rh Disease.

It has definitely been an emotionally/mentally exhausting week as we've tried to wrap our minds around everything.  While it is discouraging to have this on our shoulders, we have absolutely witnessed many miracles on our behalf already.  I want to share some of them so we don't forget about them later on.

-Some women become sensitized after their initial blood work so it's not caught during their pregnancy and then serious things can happen so we are very grateful this was detected early on.

-My placenta is on the front side of my uterus rather than the back so in the event Austin needs a transfusion, they won't have to go through my entire uterus to get to the cord, they will be able to access it right after they enter my stomach.

-IMC handles cases like mine more than most hospitals in the country because of the number of babies that are born here and we only live 10 minutes away.  The specialists we are being followed by are very accomplished in all of this.

-Odds say I should have miscarried as soon as our blood mixed early on but we have been blessed with a healthy baby that continues to thrive and do so well.

-I was initially quite discouraged about having to deliver at IMC rather than Riverton because I may have to see a new OB but when I was talking to my pediatrician's nurse about everything that's going on she told me that because we're delivering at IMC, my pediatrician will come over to the hospital and take care of Austin as soon as he's born.  This was a huge relief to us!

Logan and I have great faith that this pregnancy and little Austin's health is in Heavenly Father's hands and that brings us a ton of peace.  Our goal is to keep this little boy cooking until he's full term so fingers crossed he stays well enough to make that happen!

Weight: 132.0 (This week: -.4 | Total: +11.2)

20 weeks down, 20 (hopefully!) to go!

Friday, January 23, 2015

19 Weeks

This week was great!  I have to start with our anatomy scan on Monday because that was the definite highlight of the week!  Austin is clearly ALL boy and he wasn't afraid to show us!  Even if we had never seen an U/S before it would have been easy to notice his little boy parts. Even more importantly: Everything looked healthy and well and his growth is right on track for how far along I am.  At the time of the U/S I was 18 weeks and 3 days and he measured exactly that!  We couldn't have asked for anything more from the anatomy scan and we feel so blessed.  One thing they will keep an eye on is my placenta because it is currently low line.  It's not completely covering my cervix but a small lip of it is covered. We will check it again in a couple months and if it hasn't moved then I will likely have to have a c-section. Honestly, I'm not worried about it at all. It's nice knowing about it because I likely won't feel him move as soon or as often but now I won't worry that I'm not.  I feel very peaceful about it and if I have to have a c-section then that's just fine.  As long as our boy is healthy, I'll be happy no matter how he comes out!

I can't remember if I already mentioned this (and I'm too lazy to look back) but I'm definitely continuing to feel Braxton Hicks and other fun stuff going on in my lower abdomen.  I wonder if I started feeling those things sooner this time around because my placenta is low line.  My doctor said it's all normal and nothing to worry about.  I'm hoping that within the next week or two I start to feel stronger movement but my doctor said to not be surprised if I don't because of where my placenta is.  I'm still convinced I've felt him here and there but nothing that has completely sold me yet.  

Throwing up is still a recurring event each morning but I do feel pretty good for the rest of the day afterwards.  I have a feeling the nausea is starting to slow down (hopefully!) and expect to be completely over it in a month or so like my last pregnancy.  My energy is slowly starting to pick back up so that's nice.  I'm not back to making regular dinners yet but I did make a home cooked meal last night for the first time in ages!  I hope, for Logan's sake, I can keep it up! 

I may be crazy but I'm pretty sure my inhalers are already making a big, positive difference.  I can breathe much easier and my blood pressure at my appointment on Monday was quite a bit lower than it has been lately.  Yahoo!  They repeated my OB blood work at my appointment to make sure nothing has jumped too high so hopefully we hear good news regarding that.

The nursery is coming along faster than I could have hoped for and it's so exciting!  Tomorrow will mark 3 weeks since they started working on it and the drywall is already completely up!  All we have left is mud and tape, paint, finishes, and carpet.  Ooh it's so much fun :)

Weight: 132.4 (This week: +.8 | Total: + 11.6) MUCH better!  **One thing I need to keep in mind as far as my weight goes is that I've been keeping track of it since I was 2.5 weeks so my weight gain is going to be a bit higher than if I had started tracking it at my first appointment (around 11 weeks) like last time.  According to my OB's records, I've gained 7 pounds so far this pregnancy.  Hearing that made me feel better for sure :)**

19 weeks down, 21 to go!

Friday, January 16, 2015

18 Weeks

18 weeks!  I tried out a dumb idea this week and don't plan on doing so again.  On Sunday I woke up sick but rather than throwing up, I went straight upstairs to eat.  I was hoping that maybe I felt so sick each morning because I had an empty stomach but that wasn't the case.  I didn't throw up what I ate but I felt even worse the rest of the day because I never got it out of my system early on.  I would much rather get the throwing up over with and feel a bit better throughout the day.

As far as food goes this week, I was really into cold cereal again.  If I can't find anything that sounds good then cereal is a safe fallback option for me.  I'm pretty sure I ate cereal for breakfast and dinner several times this week.  I should probably look into some less sugary cereals if I'm going to keep this trend up!  Turkey sandwiches were my go-to for lunch.  Yes, I eat turkey and no, I don't worry it's bad for Austin.  My doctor has told me it's just fine to eat lunch meat and his opinion is the one I value most.  

Headaches appeared with a vengeance this week.  I've dealt with constant headaches for years but they have been much better since I gave up caffeine last summer.  I was hoping the cause was mostly soda but obviously that's not the issue right now.  I know pregnancy can cause headaches but hopefully they don't last too long.  I try not to take too much pain relief since I'm pregnant so I've mostly been dealing with them on my own.  Fingers crossed they don't stay around forever!

Still no super strong movement but I'm definitely feeling lots of things here and there that I'm pretty sure are small arms and legs!  I woke up in the middle of the night one night this week and had my hand on my stomach and I swear I could feel him moving all across my hand.  I have no idea if it was real or if I was dreaming but I like to think it was real :) I'm hoping/thinking that within the next two weeks I'll feel something more convincing!

For many years (probably 10+) I've dealt with a breathing issue that causes shortness of breath and makes me feel like I often can't take a full, deep breath.  I saw an internist several years ago but nothing really came of it so I just put it on the back burner and dealt with it.  The issue seemed to come and go over the years but for the past 2ish years it has come on stronger and bothered me more.  After constant badgering from Logan and my family, I finally mentioned it to my OB and he referred me to a pulmonologist.  I went this week and I am SO glad I did!  My lungs sounded great and I was oxygenating at 100% but the results of the PFT (pulmonary function test) were quite telling.  They tested me once at the beginning of the appointment and then they gave me an Albuterol treatment and tested me again a few minutes later.  According to the doctor, the results of my PFT were significantly better after I was given the Albuterol treatment so she diagnosed me with moderate to severe asthma.  It is so nice having an answer!  I definitely noticed a difference in my breathing after the treatment so that was great.  I will be treated with two different inhalers and will go back in a month or so as a follow-up to see how it's going.  After my appointment I was doing some research on asthma and pregnant women and I read something that made me so excited!  It said that it is not uncommon for untreated asthma to lead to high blood pressure/pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.  I'm hoping that untreated asthma lead to my pre-eclampsia with Eli because then I'd be less likely to get it this time since I'll be treated.  Thank goodness for doctors!   

As for the nursery, they were able to get a lot done last Saturday!  Now that Logan has started school they will likely save the work for just Saturdays rather than also working on weeknights.  The framing is finished and so is all of the electrical!  I think the plan tomorrow is to put in the insulation and install the HVAC.  Drywall isn't too far out and I know it will start to feel much more complete once that happens!  (**We are going to paint on our own but want to hire the taping and mudding out.  If anyone knows someone that does taping and mudding but doesn't charge an arm and a leg we'd love to get their info!**)

We're pretty excited for our anatomy scan next week!  I can't wait to see how much baby Austin has grown and of course make sure he is developing well!

Weight: 131.6 (This week: +2.2 | Total: + 10.8) Umm...that's not okay...haha.

18 weeks down, 22 to go!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Birthday Week!

Last week was birthday week in our home!  Eli (would have) turned two on Sunday the 4th and Logan turned 25 on the 6th.  It has been a fun week with a few tearjerker moments and a lot of opportunities to remind ourselves how much we have to be grateful for.  It's definitely good for me to have those reminders during tougher times like these.

I can't believe my baby would be two.  Eli's first birthday wasn't too crazy for me to wrap my mind around but I really have a hard time believing he would be two.  I would give anything to see him running around, learning to talk, playing sports, and who knows, maybe even potty training!  I know we would have had so much fun this Christmas as he understood a bit more who Santa was and probably cared more about the presents than the wrapping paper and boxes.  Thinking about all of those things is difficult, of course, but I try to remind myself that we will get to see those things, we just need to wait awhile.  Obviously we would give anything to have Eli here with us but there have absolutely been moments that we've gone through something difficult unrelated to his passing where I knew he was with us and was so grateful to have him on the other side because I know he can work miracles where he is that he wouldn't be able to perform here.  We will continue to cherish having such a perfect guardian angel and do our best to remember that we will get back all of this lost time with him.

It's hard for me to know how much to celebrate the birthday of a child that has died so the last two years we've just played it by ear and done what feels best.  I would assume some years we'll make it a big deal while other years we won't do too much.  Last year was definitely tough and felt pretty somber so I wanted this year to be as fun and happy as possible, even if we didn't go all out.  I feel like we accomplished that!

When Logan and I were with the Jorgensens on New Year's Day, a lot of my family went to visit Eli and sing to him.  They sent us the sweetest video of them singing and it made me so happy but I also shed a few tears as well.  I'm sure he was right there with them!
On Eli's actual birthday we went over to my parents' for a delicious dinner and had a mini party for our boy. We sang Happy Birthday, ate a yummy cake, and of course had to open a present.  Last year my parents got me and Logan each a special gift from Eli and this year they gave little Austin an adorable outfit from his older brother.  Hopefully Eli doesn't mind giving rather than receiving on his birthday :)

I initially loved the the thought of Logan and Eli having their birthdays just two days apart but now it makes me nervous that Logan's special day will get lost in the remembrance of Eli.  I'm determined to make sure Logan has a HAPPY birthday each year so I hope that was the case this year!

Logan had never eaten at PF Changs so we went there for dinner and he loved it!  The highlight of the dinner was definitely the Banana Spring Rolls Dessert.  It is to die for!  The ice cream is coconut pineapple and it is heavenly.  Add fried bananas topped with their caramel/vanilla syrup and fresh fruit and you really can't get any better!
Logan claims he felt very spoiled on his birthday so that made me happy.  Everyone from his co-workers to both of our families and friends made him feel extra special, just like he deserves!  Happy 25th, Rico!  I sure love you and hope you had a special day!

Friday, January 9, 2015

17 Weeks

Week 17 was just dandy!  Nothing out of the ordinary happened so I couldn't be more pleased about that.  I continue to have a tough time getting my nausea under control throughout the day so hopefully I turn the corner soon.  I've tried several different tricks that people have been kind enough to share with me and none of them seem to hit the spot so I'm guessing it will be like my last pregnancy and I just need to wait it out.  I know things could be way worse so I truly am grateful that this is my biggest concern right now! Quick story: A man that works across the hall from me came into our office a few days ago and we started talking about my pregnancy because his wife is pregnant too.  He asked me if I get sick and I said: "Yeah, I do, it's super crappy."  He then proceeded to tell me that his wife also gets sick and that she had to have a PICC line placed because she lost so much weight during her first trimester from throwing up.  After that I was determined not to complain about my nausea anymore!  I quickly backtracked and told him that compared to her, I have it super easy.  I honestly am grateful my "morning" sickness isn't worse than it is!

As far as food this week, I loved wheat toast with peanut butter!  I'm not usually a big fan of wheat bread but it's way more filling than white bread so my stomach definitely liked that.  I've learned this week that I need to do a better job of not studying my food before each bite because the longer I stare at it, the more likely I am to find something wrong with it that makes me sick and then I can't finish eating.  My goal from now on is to just eat without looking down.  We'll see how it goes!

Movement is still about the same this week.  I'm definitely feeling things here and there but nothing that is definitive kicking quite yet.  Hopefully sometime in the next couple weeks that changes!

I am very, very blessed with an amazing job but it becomes more and more difficult to go every single day. Sitting at my desk all day makes me that much more excited to stay home and be a mom.  I'm trying to have a happy attitude at work for the sake of my co-workers and myself because I still have several months left but I may or may not make a paper chain pretty soon to count down the days!

The nursery is coming along very nicely and I am so excited about it!  Matt and Logan started the framing last Saturday, which will likely be one of the biggest (if not the biggest) jobs.  Each wall had to be framed as well as the ceiling because we're dropping it down to cover some plumbing and they also had to frame in a closet so it has been pretty time consuming for them.  They worked so hard on it several days this week and it looks awesome so far.  They should be able to finish up the framing tomorrow and then start on the electrical.  It's starting to feel more real!

Weight: 129.4 (This week: +.4 | Total: +8.6) I feel MUCH better about my weight gain this week compared to the last couple.  I didn't really change anything up with my diet so I'm sure I just needed a little extra weight the previous two weeks.

17 weeks down, 23 to go!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas and the New Year!

What a wonderfully special time of year!  I don't think anyone could say enough how magical Christmas is.  The spirit in the air is nearly tangible and I love the excitement it brings to everyone.  As always, our Christmas was fabulous!  We have been blessed to spend a lot of time with our families and enjoy everyone's time off before reality sets in again.  About a week before Christmas I was reading my friend's blog and she was talking about how she and her husband were going to do a Sub for Santa in honor of their precious four year old daughter who passed away this year.  I loved the idea and couldn't get it out of my mind.  It didn't feel right not doing anything for Eli so I ran the idea by Logan and he was right on board!  Despite it being so close to Christmas, we were able to find a little boy in need of some new clothes so we went shopping and fell in love with the outfits and shoes we were able to find for him.  I loved the experience of being a tiny light to this little boy and can't wait to continue the tradition each Christmas!

Christmas Eve was spent at my parents' this year and it was so much having our entire family together!  We ate a delicious dinner, listened to my grandpa read about the Savior's birth, sang songs, opened a few presents, and attempted to get a picture of all of the kids in their PJs.  They may not all be looking but at least we got something!
I like to tell myself that Eli is standing right there with them to bring the number to 13 :)
Left to Right: Nathan (6) Liam (6 Mos) Ben (4) Adam (4) Lily (2) Tanner (8) Will (10) Sterling (10 Mos) Amelia (2) Klara (6) Mady (9) James (6.5 Mos)
On Christmas morning, Logan and I woke up around 8:00, exchanged gifts and stockings, got ready for the day and headed over to my parents' to begin the festivities.  My mom always puts on a brunch so we enjoyed her delicious breakfast casseroles and hung out with the fam for the rest of the afternoon.  Around 4:00 we made our way to Logan's aunt and uncle's for their yummy Christmas dinner.  We spent the rest of the evening with Logan's family which was a great way to cap off a great Christmas!  I managed to take one measly picture.
Slowly but surely I'm starting to look pregnant!
A couple days after Christmas we took advantage of Cheryl being in town and went out for  a girls' day!  We started by getting much needed pedicures and then did what girls do best--shop!  We went to a couple stores and then made our way to the mall.  Not a ton of purchases were made but it sure was fun to look around and imagine what it would be like if I could afford to dress my kids in clothes from Janie and Jack!  They have the most adorable baby boy swim suit and shirt that I wanted soo badly but together they would have been like $60!  Insane.  We went to dinner at the delicious Brio and I'm pretty sure everyone loved what they ordered so it was definitely a success!  The part of the night we were all looking forward to the very most was seeing Into the Woods!  Cheryl sent us a text over a month ago saying we should see it when she was here so it had been on our schedule for awhile.  My mom and Cheryl bought tickets a couple days early so we'd have good seats but when we got to the theater and she swiped her card it wasn't able to find the tickets.  LOOONG story short, she accidentally bought tickets for the previous day.  We were super bummed but couldn't stop laughing at the situation!  Unfortunately the movie was sold out but the nicest man gave us movie passes to come back another time so we sat at a table to eat our treats and laugh a bit more.  We ended up getting home earlier than anticipated but the day was still a ton of fun!  Thanks for everything, mom! 
I'm not sure why this picture is so fuzzy...
We spent New Year's Eve/Day with Logan's family this year and they planned a great couple days for all of us!  We went to dinner and a movie on New Year's Eve and then we all went home around 10:00 because we're old and boring like that and we had to be up early the next morning.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, Logan's sister and her husband own a cabin up in Oakley so they rented snowmobiles for New Year's Day and it was tons of fun!  Because I'm pregnant I didn't want to take any unnecessary risks so I only rode one from the car up to the cabin but throughout the day everyone else was able to go out and ride for hours.  Logan was in heaven!  If you know him, you know that he loves anything like that.  He could have stayed out all day!  While people were out on the snowmobiles or sledding, those of us inside hung out by the fire to keep warm, chatted, and played games.  Hopefully next time I won't be pregnant so I can go out as well!
It was chilly!  -15 when we got there...


Our holiday season truly couldn't have been better!  Logan and I feel so blessed to have two amazing families that do so much for us.  Until next time!

Friday, January 2, 2015

16 Weeks

Another week down!  One positive thing about doing weekly blog updates during this pregnancy is that I feel like I'm posting all the time so in that sense the weeks go by pretty fast!  Everything is still going well and feeling normal so once again there's not too much to report.  My nausea is still hanging around but it's nothing unbearable.  I throw up first thing and feel much better, then I feel a bit nauseated until 10:00am or so and from then on I feel pretty good until I go to bed.  However, the last couple days I have thrown up two times and felt pretty sick most of the day so hopefully that's not a new trend.  If nausea is the worst of my worries then I consider myself quite blessed!  Gum is still my best friend and I probably go through each pack way too fast but it helps a ton so I'm sure it'll be around for awhile.  Another odd thing that helps my stomach quite a bit is briefly chewing a piece of gum and then dropping it in a water bottle and drinking the minty water.  Sounds nasty, I'm sure, but it helps a lot!

As far as food this week, I've been most satisfied by anything that's really bland.  Things like cold cereal and sandwiches have sounded way better than a hot cooked meal for whatever reason.  I've eaten Italian food a few times lately and the garlic hasn't been very nice to my stomach at all so I think I'll stay away from anything like that for awhile.  I also prefer making my own food right now so I can guarantee there aren't any hairs in the vicinity.  I've come across a few lately and it has nearly been the end of the world for my stomach.

I still haven't felt any strong movement but I have had several more moments where I've felt something that I think was him kicking but I couldn't be sure.  A few nights ago I actually woke up because of a Braxton Hicks contraction which kinda surprised me.  It didn't hurt at all and went away as soon as I rolled over but I was surprised it was strong enough to wake me up.  I felt them a ton during my pregnancy with Eli so I won't be surprised if I feel them a lot this time too.

The current plan is to begin work on the nursery this weekend and I can't wait!  Logan's sister's husband is a master handy man and is going to do nearly everything to turn our storage room into a completed bedroom.  I'm sure it will take awhile to finish but I can't wait until I can start decorating!

The holidays were tons of fun but I'm so excited to be in the new year!  Having this baby seems so much more real now that we're in 2015!

Weight: 129.0 (This week: +2.0 | Total: +8.2) Yeah, 2 pounds in one week and 3.6 in the last two weeks is not my ideal.  I'm a bit surprised I gained that much because I'm really not eating that bad.  I don't drink soda, eat fast food, eat too many sweets, and my portion sizes definitely aren't too big because I still don't have a huge appetite.  My body must think it needs the extra weight right now!

16 weeks down, 24 to go!