Thursday, December 31, 2009

amazing technology

I'm not sure which is more incredible; how developed everything is at just 16 weeks or the fact that we can see it so well. We were able to get 8 minutes of video of our new little one, but I'll spare you that. Here is a few seconds if you would like to watch:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

IT'S A . . .

I had an ultrasound and doctors appointment today that went very well. The baby looks healthy and gave us a great show of it's wiggles and acrobatics. The placenta abruption area has appeared to have gone from 7 cm down to 2 cm, which is very good.

The plan for returning to work is to start January 11, and work half days for 2 weeks to ease back into the activity. It has been a relaxing 3 weeks, but it was also very nice to see outside of our house today!

And yes, we were able to see certain anatomy. It is quite early for that (16 weeks) but the tech got a good look and is pretty certain it's a . . .

. . . GIRL!

We do know how to make girls and we are certainly excited to have some more sugar and spice in our household. Tom did say he needed to go home and watch some sports to feel manly again.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

season's greetings

Sending some Christmas cheer from our home to yours!

Even though we originally planned to be in Montana with our families, we still had a special time together at home. After being away from the girls for a week and a half, it was a sweet reunion.

On Christmas Eve we let the girls open a couple of presents to get them started: pajamas, a game, and a Christmas movie.

This picture was taken the next morning with their new prized American Girl dolls.

You might have noticed Sarah's new short "do". Well, she took the scissors to her own hair, not once, but twice, so we had to do a little evening up. I actually had to choke back tears while doing it because her hair has grown so slow. :( Oh well, suits her sassy personality I guess.

Tom got me a Kindle for Christmas so I've been passing my time in bed with a good book,"Three Cups of Tea". I recommend it. Now I'm moving on to the next book, "Stones into Schools". Both are about a guy (who happens to live in Bozeman, MT) who has dedicated his life to building coed, non-religious, non-extremist schools in small villages in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is pretty remarkable to think about spending your life in such a selfless way.

Happy Holidays to all! Good night.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

an update

Today I had a visit with the doctor. She listened to the baby's heartbeat (healthy and strong) and drew blood to see if my body was doing its job of building its supply back up. I don't yet know the results of that. I am feeling a little stronger each day but am still battling with morning (all day) sickness.

Here is the plan at this time: I am to be on bed rest for another 2 weeks. Then I'll have an ultrasound to see if the placenta is healing properly. Then, with a good report, I might be able to increase my activity and go back to work. That will bring us almost to the new year!

Thanks to all of you for your support, e-mails, phone calls, comments, etc. It builds me up and keeps me encouraged (and gives me something to do in bed!) Thanks also to our amazing neighbors who are providing us with yummy meals. Your help is so much appreciated.

We were also advised to cancel our plans to go to Montana for Christmas, unfortunately. We knew that might be coming, but it is hard just the same. We may have Tom go up and bring our girls back next week so they can be with us in time for Christmas.

One thing I neglected to mention in my last post—my official due date is June 13!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

plans are what you make until you know what you're doing

So, I spent the weekend in the hospital.

Oh boy. This is a long story. Where to start.

I've kept this close to my chest for awhile because it seemed like it would be easier "in case", but now it is apparent that I won't be able to keep it to my self much longer, plus I've realized the support of everyone around me is so valuable. I am 14 weeks pregnant! This unexpected expectation has us delighted and scared at the same time. It all started when I was feeling really lousy for days. I thought I was coming down with the flu and went in for a test. The doctor ruled out the flu but drew my blood to check for mono (turns out I've already had that-who knew?) and various other ailments. The tests came back negative on all accounts, so he diagnosed me with stress and depression. I thought I was going crazy. It wasn't until I was chatting with a friend about my symptoms and she said "Are you pregnant?" that things clicked. I took a test and immediately called the doctor (a different one!). I had been using the Mirena IUD for about 3 years. It is supposed to be 99.9% effective, and when pregnancy does happen it is often ectopic (tubal) or due to a displaced IUD. Not the case with me. How could we not feel like this was meant to be?

The first ultrasound indicated that the IUD was so close to the the sac (or even in the sac) that removing it would almost surely result in miscarriage. After a second ultrasound and advice from a specialist that leaving the IUD in place would create even more serious complications (premature labor and infection), we choose to remove the IUD.

Remarkably, an ultrasound 2 weeks later revealed a normal pregnancy. I say remarkable because from even before I was pregnant, I was constantly bleeding. Sometimes terribly. I had so many scary moments where I have completely lost hope, only to find it again. The bleeding continued but I was able to get reassurance every couple of weeks when my doctor listened for the heartbeat.

The last couple of weeks I saw some improvement. I was looking forward to hitting the 14 week mark where I would hopefully see the morning sickness start to subside (as it did with Abby and Sarah). Fast forward to last Friday. I headed to the doctor for a routine prenatal appointment. It was supposed to be my last bit of reassurance before I broke the news. That is where the hospital comes in.

(Warning... stop here if you want to avoid TMI-too much info!!!) I walked into the clinic and stood in line waiting to check in when I suddenly felt a huge gush of blood. So much so that I could feel it running down my leg. I rushed into the bathroom and proceeded to bleed a very alarming amount of blood and clots. I used my cell phone to call the clinic, and my doctor was able to come in and help me. She advised me to call Tom to come get me as I was going to have to go to the ER to have a probable D&C (to terminate the pregnancy). In the meantime I was very close to passing out from losing so much blood so she decided to call the paramedics. The rest is a bit of a blur, but I had my first (and hopefully last) ambulance ride and arrived at the ER. When I got there they did an ultrasound, and miraculously, there was Baby. Kicking and sucking his/her thumb. (Sorry. Too early to tell which!)

The ultrasound revealed a placental abrubtion. Basically, a portion of the placenta detaches from the uterus and causes the bleeding. This can occur without affecting the pregnancy. It is unclear whether or not this was a new injury or the cause of my bleeding all along. Over the course of the next two days they monitored my blood levels, gave me a transfusion, and sent me home with orders of bed rest, at least until the bleeding has subsided. I'm am pale and weak, so at this point I'm just not sure when I will be able to return to work and normal life.

The prognosis is good. Hopeful. If the bleeding starts again (at a signifcant level), worst case scenario is they will have to terminate the pregnancy to stop the bleeding. Best case, I get lots of rest and the placenta heals itself.

I've been on a blogging hiatus the past couple of months because I've had to focus simply on taking care of myself. I will do my best to keep updating about my situation. In the meantime, I can't say enough thanks to our family, friends, and neighbors for your support and prayers through this challenging time.

My Mom and Dad braved the bad weather arrived yesterday to retreive the girls and keep them until Christmas, so they are well taken care of.

On a final note, since this post has gone on long enough, I wanted to give a shout out to all of my friends and fellow bloggers who are going through their own pregnancy experiences. I feel like I haven't given adequate congratulations while being so uncertain of my own fate, but I am truly excited and happy for all of you!