Search This Blog

Saturday, December 29, 2012

12 & 13 Weeks Pregnant
So, my 12th & 13th weeks were some of the easiest so far, but somehow I never got around to writing about them...maybe because it was my mornings that were great, and my evenings were pretty awful, not every evening, but a lot of them.

My constipation disappeared too.  I didn't even do much differently, although it came around a time that I started eating less vegetables (I was eating salads every day and suddenly they stopped agreeing with me).  I'm still eating lots of Macintosh apples, though.  I had a couple of days (mornings) where I felt so good that I ate a couple of normal things.  On the Saturday before Christmas we all went shopping and I felt so good that morning that I ran around the house doing lots and lots of chores.  On Christmas Eve, I was also feeling fantastically most of the day.  I cleaned dishes, swept and mopped the kitchen (woah!) and baked three dishes--cookies, coffee cake, and meatloaf.  However, my indigestion (I'm not sure even if that's what it is, but it's a queasiness that seems to be an excess of sweetish acid in my stomach) is heightened by grains and sugars and stuff--the food that most people eat all the time-- so I discovered that if I stick to apples and protein (meatloaf and omelets and cheese) my stomach feels pretty good.  I also discovered that spearmint leaf candy and these weird strawberry laces candy that I found at the Mennonite store seem to quell the acidy feeling I get 10-30 minutes after eating.

Overall, though, everything is getting better.  I have seemed to continue a pattern of throwing up about once a week, but overall I'm not too nauseated.  Queasy, yes.  Not nauseated.  The queasy feeling is awful, though.  It's not that I'm feeling HORRIBLY, but I'm just uncomfortable enough not to be able to be myself most of the time.  Blah.  I just want it all to go away.  I just want to feel better, or find some medicine that helps things.  I'm thinking once the holiday ends and my midwife is back in her office (I don't even know if she took a vacation, actually) I'll ask her if we can try a different type of medicine.  I mean, I could try the Zantac again--it was a huge success with Bunny's pregnancy, but since I vomited so much on this one I'm afraid to try it.  Actually, I'm afraid to change much since it's only my meds that are keeping me from experiencing HG again.  I mean, I guess I'm still "experiencing" it, but I'm no longer vomiting in copious amounts.  Even on the meds, though, I've felt deathly ill until week 12 and 13.  And now I just feel slightly to moderately miserable.  I'm just praying that soon, very soon, I'll be over this part and to the glowing part.  I mean, I was sick in some capacity all 9 months with Noelle, but I remember glowing, happy times too.  I remember gaining back the capacity to clean my house on a regular basis, and to teach without gagging. I remember happy moments amidst the miserability that is pregnancy.  I'm just praying and hoping they come back with this one (and I'm trying very hard to have a good and accepting attitude about it since I did beg God for this child even though I knew that I might experience awful morning sickness again.

Today, for the first time, I am pleased to say that I did not take Zofran this morning and I'm feeling just as well without it as I did with it on all the days prior.  I guess that's a good thing.  Zofran doesn't take away the queasy feeling, but the sudden need to vomit and do it now disappears with it unless I've eaten something that my body really doesn't want to digest, in which case, I'll vomit anyway.

I believe I first felt the baby move at 9-10 weeks (and I'm sure I wrote about it here too), but I'm feeling him/her more and more and finally having a handful of moments where I feel I'm bonding with the human inside of me.  I feel the baby between 0-3 times a day and it's always, "Was that really the baby or just gas?"  I mean, I can usually differentiate the two based upon where I feel the stirrings, but still, s/he's so small that those movements are hard to distinguish.  I keep praying to feel it move because it will be February until my next midwife appointment and that's a long time until I can hear the heartbeat and feel signs of life again.  Besides, on days when I have long spans of time without morning sickness, there's nothing much to let me know that my baby is still living.  Maybe I'm crazy but I just get worried that he or she has stopped living--that I've done something to hurt him/her.  Dave says I worry too much and he's right and honestly I'm not nearly as worried as I would be with Bunny--there would be days I'd be worried to tears with her.  It's just, maybe this is selfish, but I've been through such an awful ordeal so far, and ticked so many weeks off my "time" that I can't bear to miscarry at this point and have to start it all over again.  It's more than that, of course.  I think any woman, no matter how much she's attached herself to her unborn baby, loves that baby with the fierce maternal instinct that God placed inside her.  I mean, we've already discussed names and nursery plans and future Christmases and family portraits with our new baby in mind. I didn't come this far not to be able to hold him in my arms.

Bunny is doing much better.  Can't say the same about my parenting skills, though they are improving somewhat as my overall feeling improves.  We've had more moments where I've been able to play with her--barbies, card games, dress-up, painting--and I'm so grateful for that.  But when I'm feeling especially poorly, I have so little patience for her and I spend so much time apologizing for being grumpy or short with her.  I don't know how much of that she can comprehend.  But she has adjusted to things as they are.  She has been so kind, selfless, and caring.  She's been more obedient when I ask her to put her toys away or go pee on the potty.  She's always a joy, even when she's a booger, but these past couple of weeks, she's really adjusted to things.  One of my sisters asked me if I was feeling better and Bunny chimed in quickly and incredulously, "No, she's not feeling better because she still has a baby in her tummy!"  My little precious.  What would I do without her sweetness to wrap around my heart?  I don't know. She's my treasure.  My princess.  My life wouldn't be complete without her smiles, giggles, stories, and songs.  I look at her so often and I wonder what her sibling will look like.  It's nice to have an idea this time.  With the first one, you don't really know how he or she is going to come out and who they're going to favor.  With the second one, at least you get an idea.  I cant imagine how much I'll love TWO little adorable people.

I don't know what else to say.  This was supposed to be a more uplifting post about how things are looking up but at the moment I'm feeling queasy and frustrated so it didn't turn out that way.  They are looking up, though.  I guess what frustrates me is that I just want to be normal now and I still have such a long way to go.  July is so far away still...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

11 Weeks

Almost there, almost there (and when I say that, I mean almost to the end of the morning sickness, not the pregnancy ) 

This week was characterized by a shift in the morning sickness.  There were moments--mornings especially where I felt even more human than normal.  It wasn't all day, it wasn't every day, but it was enough to help me see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I also made the amazing discovery that spearmint leaf candy is a wonderful cure for indigestion.  They work better than tums for me, and I got official permission from my midwife to use them any time I need to.

I still feel little stirrings that I'm sure are the baby.  I can't say they're more often than before, but I feel them every day or every couple of days.  I know this is so early for this but I also know what I'm feeling.

I wake up in the mornings feeling slightly better than I did the previous weeks and every day so far this week I've just taken the Protonix (for acid) and I've tried to avoid the Zofran (for nausea) because it's so expensive (and we get the generic brand so it's only $67 for 15 pills, down from $1,000 for the same amount of brand name) but so far, I'm always driven to have to take it.  The  most important thing for me is to keep things down.  The Zofran helps me keep down the Protonix which helps my stomach to be welcoming enough to food that everything stays down more permanently.  Then of course, there's the colace I have to keep taking since I'm still ridiculously constipated despite reason and the prenatal vitamins.  I'm almost done with the suppositories, though.  I feel torn about that because I'm half afraid that the bleeding will come back without them. 

I finally got to hear the hearbeat this week.  I have an anterior cervix which means my uterus leans back (my chiropractor told me that with Bunny and my OB doctors told me he was crazy but my midwife confirmed it which just confirmed my belief that medical doctors aren't always all there).  This means that a heartbeat is more difficult to find.  With Bunny, when I went to the OBGYN, they always looked for the heartbeat, gave up and pulled out the little ultrasound machine.  But my midwife doesn't seem to have one in her office and she was much more persistent in looking for the heartbeat.  I was so afraid there wouldn't be one because for 11 weeks, the only confirmation I've gotten was the pregnancy test.  Come to think of it, I did the hospital blood tests a few weeks ago, but I didn't have any calls about them or anything so I didn't really know more than the pregnancy test.  But after about a minute of searching, it was there, strong and fast at 174 beats per minute.  I started tearing up immediately but then I didn't want to cry in front of the midwife or my daughter so I stopped myself.  It was the most beautiful sound I could have ever heard and just the confirmation I needed to be able to focus mentally on more than my extreme sickness.

My midwife also told me that I'm probably slightly dehydrated and that it seems that my body hasn't fully been able to recover from what it's been going through.  She said that this is evidenced by my cloudy pee and by a slightly elevated temperature.  It's frustrating because drinking too much causes indigestion to flare up which threatens to make me vomit and lose any moisture I previously had.  Also, the persistent AWFUL taste in my mouth makes drinking water (which I normally love) a horrible experience.  But today I've worked really hard to drink lots and I've actually been peeing frequently and my urine is coming out closer to clear than to a deep yellow, which is a good sign.  But today, my nausea is slightly abated from a 9 to a 7 or so which makes keeping water down much easier.  Everything is a double edged sword in this pregnancy.  Everything. 

Noelle has had some heartbreaking moments, let me tell you.  On Tuesday I was feeling particularly well and got to spend more time with her and more time getting house chores done (so my exhausted husband would be able to just come home and rest) and she took it as a chance to act out.  Bunny has her moments, but over all she is a sweet, loving, and very considerate child.  But Tuesday she was having dramatic episodes of running away from me weeping and then throwing herself into dark corners of the house like her bed, my bed, or under the kitchen table and not letting me talk to her.  I followed after her each time holding her and talking to her and she'd pull away and do it again.  It usually came after I'd asked her not to touch the Christmas tree or to please pick up the orange peel she'd just thrown on the living room floor.  She didn't want to obey me which would lead to me threatening timeout which would lead to her dramatic exit from my presence.  Finally, I stopped talking and I just rubbed her hair and sat with her.  It seemed to help a bit.  Then later, I was in the kitchen doing the dishes and she was peeling her orange (she loves to peel oranges, currently) and she suddenly said quite dramatically, "I will NEVER be the same.  I will NEVER be the same!" and she threw her head to the one side with the saddest, most forlorn expression I'd never seen. 
      "Why is that?" I asked?
      "Because you never hold me when you're sick!"  (Poor baby's right. My mommy guilt is intensified with this statement but there's nothing I can do about it when I can't even peel myself off up the couch)
       "Well, I can hold you now.  Do you need me to hold you?"
        "Yeah, for a little bit."  I wanted to tell her that things would go back to normal but I knew I couldn't.  She was right.  So I told her that when the baby came there would also be times that the baby would need to be held and that I wouldn't be able to hold her but it didn't change how much I loved her or how much I wanted to hold her.  I told her that changes usually bring good things.  It's okay never to be the same because she would like the way things would change eventually.  I don't know how much got through to her.  She's still insanely excited about the new baby, but also struggling lots and lots with the immediate changes in her life.  Now granted, I'm thinking that some of this might be because she's three which makes me feel better.  At least, that's what fellow parents of three year olds have assured me.

      On another note, I get to have my first ultrasound! My midwife thinks it's a good idea to check for twins when someone is as sick as I am.  Honestly, I'd be happy either way, twins or not.  I did pray for twins, but I also know that having one would be easier so I'm happy with whatever God thinks I can handle.  What I'm most excited about is a chance to see my baby.  If hearing the heartbeat is amazing, then seeing a baby, in  my opinion, is so much more so.  I'm so, very happy about that!
    One more thing--with hearing the heartbeat, my extremely extroverted self was finally able to post the news on facebook! I did so with this picture, but then I followed it up with uploading my belly pictures which most people saw first.  Oh well.  I tried. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Appointment with the GI Doctor

So, I feel I should update.  I went to the GI doctor on Thursday and they told me (much like the ER doctor during my second trip there) that they were 99.9% sure it was internal hemorrhoids. The doctor didn't check me out much, he just listened to me tell my symptoms and how they've improved upon taking hydro-cortisone suppositories.  In fact, up to that point, I'd noticed absolutely no bleeding in conjunction with my bowel movements. 

We left things up in the air about an awake, exploratory proceedure that would involve looking at my lower digestive tract, but since I spotted the teensiest bit of blood this morning, I think I'm going to call and say go ahead and do it.  I just want to be sure that there's nothing cancerous in there, even though the chances of such thing are low due to my age and my health. 

Also, I gained two pounds back since losing 4 at the beginning of my pregnancy.  I'm pretty pleased about that since I've been trying so hard to eat well and to keep things down.  Whew!

I'm sort of curious to know if I have twins in there.  That's always a possibility for sufferers of hyperemesis gravidarum even though the chances for me are low due to my gene pool.  I mean, I did BEG God for twins during the last year that we were unable to get pregnant so who knows? Next Thursday I'm going to my "first" official appointment with my midwife.  We did have a visit back at week 6 or so because of my ridiculous morning sickness, but she didn't examine me or anything.  We only talked.  This time, the baby's heart beat should be strong enough that we can hear it so if nothing else, I'm going to hear the baby's heart beat.  Last time she mentioned possibly doing an ultrasound to check for twins, but we'll see if that actually happens. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

10 weeks

I can't even tell you how happy I am to be in double digits now! I realize that 12 weeks, for me, probably won't mean the end of this morning sickness, but at least it will mean I'm closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.  It also means that I'm 1/4 of the way through this thing, and so much closer to holding the baby that I have yet to comprehend in my arms for the first time.  Sometimes, I think I want the baby to be here more for my daughter than for me.  I want her to have the reward of all these weeks of less attention from Mommy.  I want her to see the reward that she so longs for of a little baby brother or sister to love and or play with.  I think all I want right now (it's sad, but true) is to be at the end of this tunnel so I can feel myself again.  A baby in my arms means that a he or she will no longer be living inside of me.  Again, I really wish I were one of those glowing women who just love being pregnant, but I'm not.  Pregnancy is miserable torture for me with moments of brilliance where I perceive and love the little life that lives inside me and depends upon me.  But, all the same, Dave and I made a decision that we won't use birth control again--that things are in God's hands and we trust Him with them.  I'm tempted to take it all back after this one--not to trust Him and to make sure I don't go through what I think I can't handle, until I remember how faithful He has been to us and how, despite 16 months of trying to get pregnant, we weren't able to do so until we were in a place where we could financially handle it, and in a place where Bunny would be old enough to have a measure of independence during these weeks and/or months of morning sickness.  I want more children and I hate being pregnant.  God knows both of those things, and I trust Him with the final outcome. 

SO this week, I started throwing up again.  Yesterday I threw up twice for the first time since adjusting my meds after my ambulance trip to the ER.  I was so bummed.  Then this morning, I threw up again.  I'm praying that I don't do it once more before bedtime.  The good thing is, that I seem to be keeping some things down.  I'm not throwing up everything like I did at first so hopefully, no more weight loss.  We'll see.  Again, it's in God's hands and I trust Him. 

Speaking of God, my relationship with Him is really suffering.  I miss those peaceful times I had with Him each day during Bunny's naptime in the months before I got pregnant.  Now, I try here and there to reestablish that communion with him, but I'm just so darn sick that I'd rather put on mindless TV.  It's a shame, really.  I'm trying to remedy it, but I'm sort of just waiting this thing out until I feel well enough to focus on God more.  And yes, I do realize that I'm doing this thing backwards.  I'm still working on it.

I have my GI appointment tomorrow.  Not looking forward to yet another doctor's appointment.  Tuesday I had to go to a dentist in a rush with a sudden toothache brought on by a piece of gummy candy I eat once in awhile to help with the nausea.  They discovered a cavity when I went in for my cleaning, but I was already 5 weeks pregnant by that point so they couldn't do an X-ray or anything to see if it was worse than what it looked like from my last X-rays.  They scheduled an appointment to get it filled for January once I'm past my 1st trimester, but anything earlier than that poses a risk to the baby so at this point, all he could do was cover the cavity and seal it to keep things from irritating it until the time is right for them to fix it.  Thankfully, though, that did the trick to assuage the toothache. 

I'm not sure what else I'll have to look forward to this week as far as miserable symptoms go, but next week, I have the appointment with my midwife to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time so I'm excited.  I think--and I emphasize think-- that I felt the baby move yesterday.  I know that moms pregnant for the second time can feel the baby earlier because they know what to look for so I decided to concentrate as I laid still and mentally separated the flutterings of my intestines from those in the area of my uterus.  They were so SO faint, but they were there.  I did feel Bunny first move at 11 weeks, so it's plausible that I'm feeling this one even earlier. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

9 Weeks

The most noteworthy thing that happened this week was that I had what looked like a massive amount of blood in my poop.  It looked like I was on my period.  It was scary, not because I thought I was miscarrying, no, I knew where it was coming from, but because that much blood is not normal.  I already had (have) an appointment with a gastroenterologist because of the blood we noticed after my first ER episode, but when this happened I thought it prudent to call them, and they told me, unfortunately, that I should go to the ER to get it checked out.  Bummer.

My second trip to the ER was much calmer than my first.  I was feeling as well as I can pregnant, and I brought my bag of food and my knitting bag with me so it looked like I was moving in.  I got there and the ER was empty--Praise the Lord!-- so I was seen right away!  The bad news was that they heard my story, checked me out down there quite briefly (and not as thoroughly as my normal doctor had) and said, "We can't really go in there and tell you much.  You'll have to wait til you see a GI doctor."  Great.  So I spent more money on the ER just to be told I shouldn't have gone?  I wasn't too happy.  They did, however do a blood test which came back clear and told me that from all my symptoms, I probably have internal hemorrhoids, which don't hurt at all (true) and which only cause bleeding when one has a bowel movement (also true).  She said that due to my age, anything else would be highly unlikely, though still possible.  So with that, I left with a prescription for suppositories to help the hemorrhoids which, over the course of the week, have seemed to minimize and even eliminate the bleeding. 

The rest of the week, there weren't many more changes.  Some days were better than others.  I didn't vomit at all since my first trip to the ER until yesterday, the 4th, so that's good.  Other than that, I was pretty much feeling queasy most of the time. 

When I could, I made a point of playing with Bunny--any time I was feeling almost normal, or to the point that I could stand such imaginative play.  When I was feeling my worst, I laid down and put on a movie for her to watch.  It's to the point that she wants to watch TV all the time.  I HATE that.  I absolutely hate hate HATE putting her in front of the TV and I am promising myself that when this Hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme morning sickness) passes, she shall go as many months without TV as she has gone with it.  It's just too much. 

I also discovered, this week, that poor Kate Middleton is suffering from a similar fate as I.  At first I was a bit comforted not to feel alone, but then it made me feel worse, hearing about my condition and it's extremes every time I turn on the TV.  It seems that the princess (or is it duchess?) and I are probably about the same amount of weeks along in our pregnancies--not quite 12 weeks, but too sick to hide it.  Poor girl.  I feel for her.  I'm sort of jealous that she gets such amazing care, and yet I'm glad that the whole world isn't hanging on my every bout of vomiting. 

Teaching is going well.  I have a box of popsicles in a freezer in the classroom across the hall and I eat about three of those throughout the course of my morning (I only teach from 8-noon).  My kids were apprised of the pregnancy way back at 7 weeks because I was too sick to hide it any longer and they're just wonderful, sweet, understanding kids who are being so kind about everything.  Like today, for instance, I was trying to go over the memory verse with the kids and I kept having to catch my breath to keep the nausea away and one of my students jumped up and took over for me.  I could have hugged him right there for his thoughtfulness.  As it was, I said how cute and sweet he was in front of the whole class, effectively embarrassing him and punishing him for his thoughtfulness.  I wish I had tact sometimes.  He didn't seem to mind, though.  He's one of those class-clown types that usually likes any attention, whether negative or positive.  I can relate.  I've always been that way too

As far as eating goes, I'm pretty much safe (so far) if I stick to salads, grapes, apples, eggs, and chocolate almond milk.  Sometimes I throw in some other things, sometimes not.  Usually, anything else--especially grains--just doesn't sit well. 

So that's that.  I wish I weren't complaining.  I don't want to complain, but I'm just so miserable it's hard not to.