Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Big Baby, Strong Heart

Yep, Raspberry's just as cute as I suspected! Today was our 8 week, 3 day ultrasound, and my OB said she'd tell us everything she knew, as soon as she knew it because she understood I was on the verge of having a stroke. Less than a second after turning on the machine, she said, "Big baby, strong heart." What a beautiful sentence.

Raspberry's measuring right on track with a glorious heart rate in the 170s. For the first time this pregnancy, my happiness outweighs my fear (even if just by a smidgen). I know the anxiety will never entirely go away, but at least I can breathe again.

I'm not sure how well versed you are in ultrasound pictures, but this one is pretty fantastic for 8w3d.
Flipped sideways to better show that MY BABY HAS A FACE! Also, try to ignore that it says 8w6d on the picture. I totally wish that were the case, but we're definitely 8w3d.
Now, keep growing, Baby Celis! We love you so, so much.

Monday, August 27, 2012

8 Weeks = Raspberry

A raspberry! I bought a pint of raspberries Thursday, and I can't stop looking at them. I can't believe our baby's that big already. There's actual substance to a raspberry! I can feel it when it's in my hand. Amazing.

This is a big week. Raspberry's little arms and legs are moving like crazy, his/her fingers and toes are only slightly webbed, and his/her tail (haha!) is gone. Sounds pretty stinkin' cute to me.

We have an ultrasound on Wednesday, thank God. I've been a bundle of nerves these last few days, so I can't wait to see that reassuring little heartbeat.

A huge (pun intended) pregnancy symptom set in this week. Great big, giant, full, heavy boobies--from out of nowhere. I woke up to this new rack Friday morning. I've always been well endowed, so I assumed I wouldn't notice any changes in that department. Wrong. Danny's response? "I'm in Heaven."  

You can kind of see my rack here. I wish we'd have taken a better picture of it. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Support Group

After my first loss, I started participating in an online miscarriage support group. Just knowing I wasn't alone--that other healthy, normal women have lost babies, too--saved me. I didn't want to talk to anybody besides Danny during that time because I felt like I was on a completely different plane of existence than everybody else in my life. I couldn't listen to other people's "problems" without wanting to slap the shit out of them. (To a certain extent, I still can't.) Meeting these other miscarriage survivors, ladies who "got it" dragged me out from under my sad, lonely rock.

Over these last 9 months or so, I've become very close to several of these ladies, and a group of us from Ohio have our own private Facebook group, where we talk nearly every day--and we've even met in person a few times. (If you'd have told me a year ago that I'd be driving to Columbus to meet some strangers from the Internet, I would have laughed.)

Anyway, I got a package in the mail today from my Ohio girls, and it melted my heart. They just wanted me to know they're thinking of me and remembering my baby's lost twin. I'm so, so lucky to have met these ladies.

Edgar loves my gift as much as I do.

Friday, August 24, 2012

First Baby Purchase

Our first baby item arrived in the mail yesterday. I'm not even 8 weeks pregnant yet.

Most people are fortunate enough not to really comprehend the significance of those two sentences, but many of my fellow loss mamas wouldn't dream of buying cute baby stuff so early in their pregnancies. There are few things more heartbreaking than having to fill a box with cute stuffed animals and itty-bitty shoes--and stash it somewhere safe, where you can't accidentally see it.

I'm doing my best to treat this pregnancy differently than my last one--which I tried not to even think about because I didn't want to get too attached. (Like that's even possible.) I'm going to live like an expectant mother who hasn't had the stars ripped from her sky. Whether this baby's with me for just 100 more heartbeats (God forbid) or 100 years (Please, God), I will celebrate every single second of his or her life.

I'm gonna buy so much cute shit (for 100 years).

First Purchase for Blueberry:  Decoylab Hedgehog Clock

Sunday, August 19, 2012

7 Weeks = Blueberry

I'm exactly 7 weeks pregnant today. My first two miscarriages were "missed miscarriages," so we didn't know it until further along into those pregnancies--but none of our other babies made it to week 7. 

Needless to say, this is a very exciting (and terrifying) time for us. Definitely looking forward to our next ultrasound, which is 10 days from now. I'm fortunate enough to have an appointment every other week--the one perk of being a "habitual aborter." 

Scooter can't wait to eat the blueberry.

I'm scared every day, but I'm confident (as confident as somebody in my shoes can be) that we'll see Blueberry's heart just beating away in 10 days. I've never felt this pregnant. I'm famished 24/7, and it's an intense, burning hunger--the kind I imagine sets in after 3 days of starvation--and often, it's tinged with minor nausea. I'm also getting up to pee three times a night, so I've been sleeping on the couch.

Just to be clear, I'm absolutely not complaining, and you won't catch me complaining once during this entire pregnancy, mark my words. I'd sleep sitting on the toilet if I had to. Anything, anything, anything for Blueberry.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

129 (By Danny)

Today This past year has been one long emotional roller coaster.  After our first two losses, we no doubt entered the OB waiting room today with some trepidation.  As Amanda has already said, we hoped for the best but secretly expected the worst.

I could feel a heaviness in my chest as we were led into the ultrasound tech's office, a heaviness that only got worse as she began the ultrasound.  Don't misunderstand--the ultrasound tech was really nice, but both of us were busy trying to read her demeanor and body language as to what she was seeing on the screen.  She studied her screen in near silence, and it was brutal. What was probably two or three minutes of silence felt like an hour.  I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, but I refused to look at the monitor, even though I'm confident I wouldn't know what I was looking at anyway (all those ultrasound pictures look the same to me).

I just held on to Amanda and kept my head down, waiting for someone to say something.

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime (exacerbated by the fact that I wasn't breathing), the ultrasound tech spoke:  "Baby has a heart rate of 129!"

I burst into tears.  Not the tiny tears that well up in the corners of your eyes, but full-on lip shaking, nostril flaring, hyperventilating sobbing--which no doubt looks ridiculous coming from a grown-ass man.  I didn't care. Our baby was still alive.  Our baby was still alive with an exceptional heartbeat.  Our baby was still alive with an exceptional heartbeat and was growing normally.  For people who've never experienced a loss, this small feat may sound silly, but those who have know that a simple thing like a heartbeat really is a miracle.

Sheer Joy
Amanda swears the baby is waving here. Can you see it??

6 Weeks = Sweet Pea (And Some Sad News)

I'm actually 6 weeks, 2 days pregnant today, and our baby is approximately the size of a sweet pea. Danny remembered to buy sweet peas when he got groceries this week. How cute is that? I picked the largest sweet pea I could find to reflect these extra two days.

We waited to take these photos until we knew Sweet Pea was okay. We had a serious scare on Saturday, and we didn't know until today that everything's still on track.

So, Saturday. Lots of blood and clots. I had every reason to believe I was miscarrying, and I almost just let nature run its course, but I figured we should head to the ER so they could confirm that it was over.

Imagine our surprise when the doctor told us that Sweet Pea was measuring right on track with a heart rate of 103bpm! He told me this rate was on the low side, which I knew was bullshit. Anything over 90 is bangin' for a 5w6d baby. Some babies don't even have a heartbeat this early.

He went on to say that I have a subchorionic hemorrhage (SCH), which I still don't entirely understand. All I heard was "...does increase the risk of miscarriage..." and "...very well could still miscarry..." He sent us home and told me not to leave my bed until I could see my OB. We spent the weekend not even knowing what to think, and trying (and failing) not to fall in love with Sweet Pea until my OB could (hopefully) put our minds at ease.

My appointment with my OB was today. I can't tell you how nervous we were. When the sonographer said, "Baby has a heart rate of 129!" Danny wailed. It was one of the most wonderful sounds I've ever heard, second only to the sound of our baby's heartbeat. Baby is measuring 6w2d, which is exactly where he/she should be.

Here comes the crazy stuff. My OB is very pleased with Sweet Pea's progress, but she told us that my SCH is a complex hemorrhage, which means it was most likely a twin that passed away. I actually was miscarrying on Saturday. Apparently, this is called "Vanishing Twin Syndrome" and happens more often than people realize. The remaining tissue--the SCH--poses no risk to Sweet Pea. How's that for bittersweet? I'm doing my best not to dwell on what we've lost, and instead, focus my attention on the healthy little baby we do have, but wow. How much shit do we have to go through?

I'll probably mention them often, but I'll never really write about my miscarriages because its the kind of pain that I could never put into words--but suffice it to say that when we suffered our first two losses, not only did we mourn our babies, we mourned a version of the future that we'll never, ever get to live. This is how I feel about today's news. We've been robbed of yet another version of the future--this time, one with twins. They would have been best buddies. I can't believe we have three babies in heaven.

But Sweet Pea's still here--and healthy, and I'm head over heels in love.    

Sunday, August 5, 2012

5 Weeks = Appleseed

Today, I am exactly 5 weeks pregnant, and our baby is the size of an appleseed.

I swear my eye wrinkles aren't like this in real life.