Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day

*12 weeks, 6 days*

Remember I said I was going to try to blog more frequently. Here's an attempt.

Today was Opening Day - Baby K's first Cubs game!!! Yay! Yes it was rainy and wet, but I was remarkably comfortable for the entire game. It rained on the walk from the car to the stadium, but I was smart and brought the umbrella, so I stayed dry. We sat in the upper deck, so even during the rain delay, we stayed dry. The temperature was so mild and the winds were even pretty mild. It was a long day - I don't even know how long the rain delay was - but even though there wasn't any scoring until the 9th inning, it was a fun game. As always, it's so awesome to experience the very start of the baseball season after having waited for what feels like an eternity for it to finally start! I'm so glad baseball's back!

Baby's first Cubs Game!!

Tomorrow (Tuesday) marks 13 weeks, and I begin my 14th week and second trimester! I can't believe these first roughly three months have flown by so quickly. It's crazy how fast time flies, and it's even crazier to think I'm growing a person (now about the size of a fist) inside of me. It's moving and it's heart is beating, and I just think the entire thing is remarkable.

On Sunday, my mom, sister, and I went to scope out a possible location for the baby shower, Riverside Receptions in Geneva. Julie had been in talks with the people there for awhile, and on Sunday we got a tour of the place. It's such a cool building, and when we saw the River Room - right on the Fox River - we were sold! So... *Save the Date!* ~ Sunday, July 20th at Riverside Receptions!

After visiting the shower site, we stopped for breakfast at Corner Bakery and my mom surprised me with an appointment for a manicure! I've been saying for weeks that I needed a manicure, so I was thrilled. After that, we stopped into the Motherhood Maternity at Geneva Commons and picked up a few cute items. I ordered some maternity pants tonight from Gap - they have Long maternity sizes, so I decided to splurge a little and get something I know will fit. Some of my pants still fit, others - not so much. I looked a the band thingy at Motherhood (which is sort of like the top part of pantyhose that you wear around your tummy so your regular pants still fit), but I thought it looked uncomfortable, so I took a pass.

Happy 2T to me!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Loud and clear

*12 weeks, 4 days*

Thursday (12w2d) was our first OB appointment with Dr. Carroll. The plan was for my mom to meet me at the office, because the appointment was at 11:45am and Ben wasn't going to be able to make it. The doctor's office had called the house on Wednesday saying they had an earlier appointment if I could make it in. Well - we didn't get that message until after they were already closed, and I guess I kind of got my hopes up that we could get in earlier so Ben could go with. So, of course when I called the office when it opened, the earlier appointment was no longer available, and I was really upset that Ben wasn't going to be able to go with after all. Ben knew I was upset, so I was beyond happy when he called later and said he'd talked to his boss about it, and his boss said he could leave for the appointment. Thanks boss!!

The appointment was actually a lot longer than I thought it would be. Of course, we waited awhile, and once it was time, I went in and gave some background info, peed in a cup, and got weighed. After mom & Ben came in, it was *finally* time for what we've all been waiting for!! The heartbeat!! No ultrasound today, just the doppler, but it was totally awesome. I didn't have the "oh my god", break-down-in-tears moment I have heard other people say they've had - I laughed! I guess it's what I do - I laughed when we saw the baby bouncing around in there, and like I told Dr. Carroll, I laughed when Ben proposed! My mom did the crying, so at least there were some tears shed. :)

Dr. Carroll said the heartbeat was in the 150s - exactly where it should be, so that was great news. After the doppler, he talked about what to expect over the next 7-8 months, in terms of appointmnents and just pregnancy in general. He talked to us about genetic testing (NT scan, triple- & quad-screens, and amnio) and told us we'd have to let him know at the next appointment if we want to have any testing done. I don't think we will. My thinking is "what's the point"? I guess if something was wrong it would give us time to process and grieve, but it doesn't mean we wouldn't keep the baby. So, ehh. The only thing I asked to be tested for is CMV (cytomegalovirus), which can cause severe birth defects, and there is a possibility I could have been exposed to it at work, though I seriously doubt it.

On another note - sorry there haven't been more updates! For one, we've been without internet for a few days. For two, there hasn't been much going on, aside from constipation and my pants starting to not fit. I didn't think you all would want to hear me whining about how I'm not regular anymore or about how one of my favorite pairs of pants is now out of the running indefinitely. Now that the doctor's appointments will be fewer and farther between, I will be better about updated, even if just about life in general.

Opening day is Monday - baby's first Cubs game!! It's going to be so cold and yucky, but I can't wait! I'm so excited that baseball is back!! Go Cubbies!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dancing Bean!

*10 weeks, 1 day*

Today was my last appointment at the REs office. We had our first ultrasound in three weeks, and it was incredible. Words can't really describe it. Baby K is now over an inch long, with arms and legs, and a giant head. And apparently, it's a dancer. The u/s tech showed us the heartbeat - 158 bpm today - and then pointed out it's movement. I nearly held my breathe, because I didn't want to think my talking, laughing, or breathing had anything to do with the flutter of movement we were seeing. Arm and legs were swinging all over the place, the body was squirming back and forth, and the head was turning left and right. It was so surreal. This little bean, this little PERSON (or fetus, however you want to look at it), is growing and moving inside of me. I know, I'm Captain Obvious, but to see it on the screen in real life was absolutely amazing. The tech pointed out the umbilical cord, which is now providing the baby's sustenance. She also pointed out the yolk sac, which is no longer needed now that the placenta and cord have taken over, so it is being absorbed back into my body. She did both internal and abdominal ultrasound because she was trying to get a really good look, but she said I'm sort of at that in between stage where it's hard to get a good look on either. The movements, though, were clear as day. You'd had to have been blind to miss it.

My baby's giant head is on the right
Click on image to enlarge.

Another angle...
Click on image to enlarge.

After the u/s, I met with Gabby, my nurse, who checked my weight and BP. For the record, if anyone's counting, I've already gained 4-6 lbs. Yikes - no wonder I'm feeling fat. After meeting with Gabby, we met with Dr. Lifchez for the last time. He told us things look great and said the likelihood of miscarriage is very slim from this point forward. He said I could do yoga, get a massage, and stop taking my IVF medications as of today (including the progesterone injections, oral estrogen, and baby aspirin), so that was all very good news!! He suggested that we not wait too long to try to get pregnant again after the baby's born, as he suspects we'll need to do IVF again, due to my history of infertility due to endometriosis and the post-op infection I had in 2006. He gave me a copy of my records for my OB and told us not to forget to send baby pictures!

On another note - I bought a bathing suit. I know, it's still cold and gray outside, but I had to think ahead. We're going to the cabin in August, and I'll be 8 months pregnant. I could have waited, but who knows what my options would be come summer or how much I'd have to pay... I ordered a cute tankini from Old Navy, and hopefully it'll work out! Here's some pics:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cool website

A girl at work showed me Basically, you can sign in, put in my due date - October 7, 2008 - and click on "Your Baby's Development". It will track the baby's day to day growth and development. I think it's a British website, and I don't get some of the references they use, but it's cool to check in every couple of days and see the "baby" looking so different. I like to look at what it looked like at my 7 week ultrasound, and see what it will look like this week, and then what it will look like at 12 weeks. Pretty neat!

Gross, gross, and gross

*9 weeks, 6 days*

Well, let's see. I'm constipated, my back hurts so much I feel like I can't breathe, and I actually fell down the stairs last week (I think it was Thursday night). I actually just slipped down the last three steps so it was nothing really bad. I was stepping over Toby, and my pregnancy clumsiness just knocked my feet out from under me. I hit my back on the stair pretty hard and it scared the bejeezus out of me, but I survived. My back actually didn't hurt the next day. I just had a weird bruise on my middle finger...

My chronic back pain, I've learned, can be attributed to my chest and not my arthritis. Apparently, the pain will likely worsen proportionate to the size of my boobs. Great. I see the doctor on Wednesday, and I'm *definitely* asking when it's safe for me to get a massage (or ten). I could probably get a prescription from my Rheumatologist to help with the back pain, but I don't want to be on drugs if I don't have to during this pregnancy. Well, save for the epidural. That sucker WILL be my best friend!

I'm still having just the occasional nausea. I find that I usually feel queasy in the car once I start moving. Usually water and a protein bar or similar snack helps. The other day (last Friday maybe?), I was feeling REALLY queasy still by the time I got to work. I had an early meeting that day, so I was up much earlier than usual, and I pretty much attributed the more extreme nausea to my body being confused by the change in schedule. I havne't vomited yet (YAY!), though on Friday, it would have made me feel so much better. It finally passed after about an hour at my desk eating Saltines and chugging water.

I am feeling fat right now. I'm not *showing* showing by any means, but my not-so-flat-to-begin-with stomach is starting to look a little beer-belly-gut-ish, and it makes me feel gross. I sort of feel like people look at me and whisper to each other "Man, I hope she's pregnant......" Everyone keeps saying, "YOU'RE PREGNANT!" and I know, I *really* shouldn't complain. I just feel gross. I think I'll feel better once a baby belly pops, and I can wear maternity tops and actually look pregnant, not just make people wonder...

Friday, March 7, 2008


*9 weeks, 3 days*

Here are the pictures I was looking for. These are the items I presented Ben with on January 30th upon learning that I was officially pregnant.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A quick note

*9 weeks*

So I forgot to mention in my blog yesterday, I got some new bras over the weekend. (I know, probably TMI for some of you guys. Oh well.) They have made a WORLD of difference in both the pain in my chest and in my back. I was wearing these stretched out, crappy old bras that barely did their job, so these new (bigger) bras are such a welcome change to how I feel.

I also wanted to say that I didn't forget that I said we'd put tummy pictures up. Ben hasn't uploaded them to the computer yet, but I think I want to wait anyway until you can actually see some changes, cuz otherwise, I just look kinda fat. Soon enough, I'm sure, I'll have something to show off. ;)

I'm also trying to find what I did with the pictures of the little goodies that I gave to Ben when I told him we were pregnant. I know they're here somewhere, and when I find them, I'll post them.

Monday, March 3, 2008

It's Official!

*8 weeks, 6 days*

We're publicly pregnant!! This past month of keeping secrets and lying to people has seemed endless, but finally it's over, and I can tell the world.

Saturday night, we had a get-together with the girls and had an absolutely lovely time. They were all drinking pretty good and there was a TON of food to go around. We had a couple of tricks up our sleeves, Ben & I, starting with my "vodka cranberries". Ben had emptied the rest of a bottle of vodka, cleaned it out really well, and filled it with water. When we got there, he started mixing me "drinks" of watered down cranberry juice! I think people took notice, but no one really said anything to me. I know at one point, Ben said that Elisa asked if I was drinking and he told her I was...

So when that didn't bring the topic into the open, Julie and Ben started getting the game "Apples to Apples" ready. We had previously discussed sneaking specific cards so that Ben and I could conspire to win a round, thus giving up our secret. The idea behind Apple to Apples is that one person chooses a green card - the card Ben had stuck between his legs was "Emotional", and everyone else has a set of red cards in their hand and you have to throw down a word that you think Ben would think was Emotional. The word Julie had slipped in my pocket was Babies. So everyone threw down their red cards, and Ben read through them, coming last to Babies. He chose Babies as the winner for the round, and said something like "Who has babies? Who has a baby?" So I replied "I have a baby in my tummy" and everyone just looked at me. It took a sec to sink in before there was a reaction, but then there was cheers and toasts and hugs all around.

Andrea wasn't able to make it to our little get together, and as a last ditch effort, Ben had spent a lot of time on an email earlier in the day. The context of the email was basically to try to persuade her to come up - he even tried bribing her with Cubs tickets! However, there was a hidden message in the email, which could have made her the first to know. The first letter of each line read "Mindy is pregnant", which neither Julie nor I (or Andrea for that matter) caught until Ben filled us in. So after our announcement, we got Andrea on the phone, and well, this is how it went:

Last night I emailed the news to the rest of our friends, and today I shared my news with everyone at work. It is so nice to be able to talk to people and share our happy news with the world after everything we've been though. I do still have the tiniest bit of nervousness since it is still early, and anything can happen at any point, but I think I've done a good job of staying positive and being as healthy as I can be.

We go back for our next ultrasound and last RE (reproductive endocrinologist or fertility specialist) appointment next Wednesday. That day can't come soon enough! I'm so excited to see our little bean again and make sure everything is still going swimmingly. I got really spoiled in the beginning with the weekly ultrasounds, and now it seems like an eternity between visits, and I just want to know that everything's still progressing well.

I am a little sad for the appointment too, because it means leaving all these amazing people I've come to know and trust. Not even so much my doctor - though he is wonderful, I honestly had very little interaction with him, and he didn't do my retrieval or transfer either time. The nurses at FCI are absolutely fabulous, as is the phlebotomist. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I have *horrible*, *terrible* veins, and she is amazing at getting me the first time, getting that tourniquet off right away, and just is a great person. She taught me the trick of eating and drinking plenty of water before b/w so that the veins are bigger! The ultrasound techs and the women at the front desk are so sweet, and I love that they knew me by name and were always so warm and welcoming. I should also comment on the anesthesiolgist, thought he's not a regular, thankfully, but that man was also amazing at sticking me the first time, both times, for my IV, which is usually a traumatic experience for me and these crappy veins. All around, I had a great experience with FCI, and IVF has been such a long, painful journey, but also an amazing, amazing process with all these people and the awesome technology.

Okay, sorry for the tangent. I just feel so strongly positive about my FCI experience, you all should know it's been a hard road, but I don't regret anything.

I also have my first OB appointment with Dr. Carroll scheduled for March 27th, so hopefully we'll get to see the bean again, and then I'll have the opportunity to bombard Dr. Carroll with the million questions I've been thinking up!!