Sunday, December 28, 2008

At a loss...

My sister-in-law told me she was pregnant on Thanksgiving day, with her seventh child. She was a few weeks ahead of me, and due in early July. She asked me to keep it quiet, and I did, though I nearly stumbled a few times. On Christmas Day, she told her parents who were visiting for the holidays. And then she called her brother - my husband - and told him. Everyone's excitement was a bit tempered.

She and her husband had just sold their house at a huge loss and moved into a rental. She's a phenomenal mother - and homeschools all of her children. Her parents and brother worried that she was stretched too thin, that her husband's fishing trips were taking him away too long from his family. She's been dealing with a thyroid problem this last year, and they were worried about her health. How will she manage? Financially? Physically?

I have to admit there was a part of me that was jealous she was pregnant. I was baffled at how she could have a seventh when I struggled so hard to get to the point where I was hopefully having a second. I was angry that it was just so easy for her. Angry at who? I have no idea. Not her. The universe, perhaps. How embarrassingly petty of me.

We got a call late last night that she was in the hospital, and that she'd lost the baby. She was about 13 weeks along.

I'm at a loss as to what to say to her. I don't want to cause her additional pain, but I wish I could let her know how sorry I am for her loss. How much my heart is breaking for her.

Last night I started spotting pink after we went shopping for awhile. This morning I'm bleeding a deeper red. I hope that it's just the clot resolving itself. When I called the doctor's office Friday they said not to be alarmed if I had bleeding.

I'm afraid to hope for much of anything right now.

Friday, December 26, 2008

What a long, strange trip it's been.

A little over two weeks ago, I got extremely sick after eating baked potato soup for lunch. Violently, horribly sick. I went back to work on Thursday and Friday though I still was having severe abdominal pain. That Friday Friday, Patrick, Julian and I were out to dinner and I fell ill and was unable to finish much of my food. There was a searing pain in my lower right abdomen, and I was nauseated and unable to eat. The pain was absolutely blinding but I begged Patrick not to take me to the hospital. Saturday morning, I woke up and felt better. Then I ate again and an hour later was doubled over in pain.

By Saturday evening the pain was still unbearable so I finally caved.

We were in the emergency room for about 5 hours before I was admitted with likely appendicitis.

The ultrasounds were only able to show them so much, and they were unable to give me a CT scan to determine whether it was truly appendicitis, a gall bladder issue, or kidney stones because of the pregnancy. We did get to see the baby's heartbeat though - thumping away at about 150 beats per minute.

So based on my symptoms, they bet on appendicitis. I had an emergency appendectomy that Sunday morning. And as it turns out, my appendix was not to blame. During the surgery the doctor found evidence of a burst ovarian cyst due to a large amount of free fluid in the cul de sac, which is apparently common in pregnant women.

They gave me a lot of zofran for the nausea and an IV drip of morphine - and then vicodin - for the pain.

The nurses and surgeon were amazingly nice, except for one night nurse who I wanted to stab in the neck with a blunt pen. She kept insisting I just needed to take ibuprofen (not permitted for pregnant women) and needed to "suck it up" about the pain. The doctor humiliated me a bit at discharge and said that I was in so much pain because I was "surprisingly chunky" in the abdomen and she had to cut through a lot of fat. Look, chica - I get it. I'm not extremely thin - but that was a bit rude and in front of my husband. Patrick said she said it to him before when I was in recovery after the surgery.

I ended up there three nights and four days, and then was sent home without any clear explanation as to why I was still having extreme pain on the right side after meals. The following Thursday I called the doctor's office in tears and they told me that it was just surgical pain. Friday I vomited three times from the pain and finally went back to the E.R. - the doctor there seemed convinced it was my gallbladder but the ultrasound didn't show any stones. So they sent me back home after nearly 7 hours and told me to eat a low fat diet.

They did another pelvic ultrasound that day. Baby's heartrate was up to 171, but they found a subchorionic hemorrhage. I've been trying to follow up with my OBGYN since then, but with the holiday the office has been pretty non-responsive. I went to a hospital where they're not delivering anymore, so I guess they're having trouble getting the records or something. I'm not spotting but I've had some horrendous cramps over the last week that take my breath away. I'm just trying to be hopeful.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Paper Anniversary

Our first anniversary is a week from Saturday. Thankfully, I realized it now as opposed to a week after the anniversary. In our relationship, I'm much more the stereotype attributed to men of being forgetful and not as emotionally available. It's something I'm working on... slowly.

So. Christmas is only five days after our anniversary, and I've already spent a mint on him for that. The traditional gift for the first anniversary (why yes - I am pregnant with our second child and it's our first anniversary, because we're scandalous like that) is paper.

I'm crafty as long as it doesn't involve knitting, or sewing - but don't have too much time. He likes: penguins, 60s Italian films, soccer (Newcastle especially), travel, gardening, hockey and reading.

Any bright ideas for an anniversary gift?

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I don't remember ever being this tired and consistently sleepy when I was pregnant with Julian.


I don't know how I'll manage to stay awake through the end of the day.

And pssst - if you're lurking? How 'bout saying "hi"? I'd like to know a little about you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fuzzy math.

I will never understand the "conentional wisdom" of pregnancy dating.

At the ultrasound on Monday, the tech had a difficult time finding the embryo with the abdominal scan and so I ended up with a transvaginal. After a few tense moments, I finally saw a glimpse of the heartbeat flickering on the screen.

And there was just one.


However, I'm not completely in the clear yet. The ultrasound measurements showed that I was just barely 6 weeks pregnant. Only, that's impossible - as by the time of the ultrasound I've known that I was pregnant (from a positive generic HPT on November 17) for three weeks. The math just isn't adding up.

I didn't get the crown to rump measurement, but the embryo had clearly distinct arm and leg buds and the heartrate was in the 120s. I had this same issue when I was pregnant with Julian and then later in the pregnancy they started pulling the "whoa -this baby is way too big for his age!" Only he wasn't - he was perfectly in line with where he should've been based on my dating, notwithstanding that an early ultrasound is supposed to be the most accurate measurement of a pregnancy's duration.

They moved my due date up to August 2nd. According to my LMP I should be due 7/19. I don't think either is accurate. I think somewhere in the middle is probably correct.

I still haven't thrown up this time. Which is a huge change from last, when I was throwing up every day four times a day or more. I get queasy on the train, but the only thing I've noticed is I'm constantly exhausted and craving meat all the time. And considering I eat mainly vegetarian that's a big change for me.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Did you know that if you get pregnant while you're breastfeeding that you are nine times more likely to have twins? Yeah, me either.

If you consume dairy products (which as a mostly-vegetarian I eat cheese, milk, etc. to excess) you are five times more likely to have twins (theorized to be due to increased absorption of insulin-like growth factor).

Taller women (woo! I'm only 5'6" so I'm in the clear there) and women who are overweight (did not dodge that one) are more apt to have a multiple birth.

Having a previous twin pregnancy ups the risk, as does being over age 35. Having a large number of previous pregnancies also increases your risk.

And of course, infertility medications - which isn't a factor for me this time.

Apparently being Nigerian also skyrockets the chances up for you, due in large part to a diet high in cassava - a type of yam, which causes hyperovulation.

If you're Asian or Hispanic you're at a decreased risk, while African Americans are at a higher incidence of multiple births.

If you get pregnant on the pill you're also more likely to have multiples.

And then of course, there's the family history of the mom - and no - the father's family history does not matter. Until late last week I thought I was in the clear here, as I didn't think I had a family history. Until my stepmother called me and told me my grandmother (who died when my father was a child) was a triplet. Before this little bit of news, my doctor was hinting at the possibility of twins. Based on a variety of risk factors she said that instead of the 1 in 33 shot for most pregnancies of a twin or higher order multiple pregnancy, I had a 1 in 4 or 1 in 3 shot.

Our ultrasound is tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.

As a little girl, I always wanted twins. But as adorable as the twins of some of my friends' are - now, with a seven month old I simply don't see how I'd manage with three under 16 months old.

I'm praying hard tonight for just one. Just one, healthy little one. Patrick is a nervous wreck as he's had some kind of psychic power (or predictive abilities far outweighing mere chance) about my pregnancies thus far. He's convinced there's two.

We'll see. I'm trying not to be too nervous. But I'll say one thing - if there's two in there this time, I'm done. No more. Not ever. Finis.

Unlike my sister in law who I have been trying to hide the news from my in-laws that she's pregnant with her seventh child. Seven! And her oldest isn't even 11 yet. Absolutely no way that I could manage that life. I have a hard enough time with my one.

In other news, J is almost completely weaned. We've had just a few night nursings in the last week to calm him down. The doctor said that based on my pre-term contractions with him I need to be fully stopped by the end of my first trimester.

I completely switched out my regular clothes for maternity this weekend as all of my "fat" pants are woefully inadequate at buttoning at this point. Sigh. And I'd like to hide it at work for another month or so. I doubt that's going to be possible.