Saying Good-bye Again

The title may seem alarming, so let me assure you that we are not saying good-bye to another baby. Thank God. Instead, I am saying bye to my job once again. 

As many of you know, I am a teacher and sufferred through 3 IVF cycles, all to followed by miscarriages, while in the classroom. After the 3rd loss, I resigned for various reasons (mostly for my sanity), but long story short, I ended up only taking the summer off before heading back into the classroom yet again this past year. I must say I am so happy that my arm was twisted a bit and I got to put in one more year at my amazing “A” rated school.

When we got pregnant from this 4th IVF cycle back in April, I ended up having to take yet another medical leave in May due to it being a heterotopic pregnancy. Between the recovery from that surgery, and a large SCH that popped up, I never made it back to finish the year off with my students. 

As usual, the school that I had been at for the past 6 years was more than understanding. I had a wonderful team of adminstrators and teachers who took over and got done what needed to be to keep things going smoothly. For that, I am forever grateful.  

After my SCH cleared up, I found out I had complete placenta previa about a month ago. I was, once again, put on limited movement. It was then I realized that since we found out we were pregnant back in April I have pretty much been on bed rest and pelvic rest. 

The good news is that my previa is moving and it is already marginal, not complete anymore. However, both my OB and MFM doctor feel that being on rest has served us good throughout my pregnancy so far. Hubby and I have to agree. This is the farthest along we have ever gotten. 

Which brings us to the good-bye. Per doctors orders, my medical leave will be extended until baby comes in December. After that, I will continue my maternity leave as I originally planned until the end of the school year. This being said, I will be out for the whole year. 

Once again, I have received open arms from my principal and team mates about this situation. This really helps because I hate to disappoint those who count on me. Plus, lets face it, being home all the time allowing your mind to race isnt the easiest thing. And financially, well, I dont even need to go there, because most middle class folks understand the struggle here. But staying home, stress free, off my feet all day, is the BEST thing for a healthy full term baby and thats the priority right now. We simply cannot risk it. 

So that was the “big” secret I mentioned in my last post. It might not seem “big” to some, but I love my job and will miss it a lot. I guess we will see what Fall 2017 has to bring for me and my teaching career…

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A Cliffhanger

My OB just rang to let us know that our AFP test came back negative.  For those who dont know, this test measures for an elevated protein in the blood that indicates Spina Bifida. The Panorama test that ruled out trisomies earlier in our pregnancy did not test for this. So, of course, this is fantastic news! 

In other great news, my Medela In-Style Advanced Double Electric breast pump has arrived, free of charge thanks to my insurance. It was quite easy to apply for the pump. All I had to do was go to Medela’s site and enter my and my docs info. From my understanding, under the Affordable Care Act, most should qualify for a free pump. It is def worth checking out since pumps are so darn expensive nowadays. *Note-there is no income verfication for this. 

Symptoms? 

I have failed to add this piece into my last few posts. So here goes… Low back pain takes the cake. Its awful! Are there any ladies out there that can recommend a back brace/support for this?? I plan to ask my MFM at my next appointment, and if he cant assist, I may make an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon to see what he says. My scoliosis and herniated discs are not helping this situation Im sure. Things like the pool and stretching do relieve some pressure but I think I need more. 

Pregnancy brain is going strong. Usually math is my strong suit, and lately I have noticed my computation is quite off. I even forget things like what month or year it is. Crazy, I know. I have also been experiencing some “brain zaps” which I attribute to going off my Lexapro (generalized anxiety disorder medication). I hadnt advertised here that I was ever on Lexapro, but cat out of the bag, after our last loss occurred back in the spring of 2015 it was what was best for me.  I never mentioned it because some people tend to judge, especially those who have not experienced true anxiety or panic.  Anyways, I started weaning off of it this pregnancy at 12 weeks, and was completely done by 16 weeks. I knew prior to being pregnant this time that I wanted to be on it through at least the first trimester, but off of it before my 3rd trimester, as it *can* be associated with pre-term labor, poor lung development, withdrawls for baby, etc. Needless to say, I have been off for about 2 weeks now and almost all of my withdrawls are gone except for the odd brain zaps here & there. Id try to explain these zaps, but I dont know how. Anyone who has gone off of a medication probably knows what I mean. 

Being on the Lexapro/going off the Lexapro was a really tough decision, but we had the opinions of many doctors, close friends, and family to help us. In the beginning, the benefits outweighed the risks (and we thank God everyday that baby has proven to be healthy despite being on it), but the further along we get, the risks outweigh the benefits. U fortunately, I can definitely tell that my anxiety has come back since off of it, but it is manageable and I will survive. 

Other than preggo brain, anxiety, and backaches, Id say my only other symptoms would be difficulty sleeping at night and excessive hunger. Im used to sleeping on my stomach which is becoming harder by the day. Although none of these are anything to complain about…All worth it for baby boy! 

This week my mom and I are meeting with the cake lady to finalize the baby shower cake. I dont want to say too much about the cake, Id rather it be a surprise.  Speaking of surprises, we are about 98% sure of miracles first name! Picking baby names is tough, and boy names are even tougher. Throw in being a teacher and having had a student in your class with every name and you are screwed. Lol. We are really just debating middle names more than anything at this point. 

I do have some other major news to report (nothing to worry about), but it wont come until later in the week or next week. Ill leave you all in suspense until then…

Radio Silence

This is probably the longest I have gone without blogging in quite some time.

Before I begin, it is important that I say that I do not by any means want to take away from the wonderful fact that we are now 17 weeks pregnant…I still can’t believe it and thank God numerous times a day. 

However, my mindset changes daily… I go from being on cloud 9 to crying my eyes out.  I am sure a lot of this is the normal hormonal pregnant woman, but I believe some of it is also due to our past.  I never had any idea how hard pregnancy after loss would actually be. When you are so used to things going wrong, it’s difficult to believe things are finally going right.  In addition to being naive about the challenges of pregnancy after loss, I was also quite naive about how I would feel so much better (mentally) once I got out of the first trimester. All I can say to that is…YEA RIGHT (sarcastically).  Instead of early loss, you just worry about late loss.  As a recurrent miscarrier, unfortunately those fears don’t just disappear the farther along you get.

Despite the roller coaster ride of emotions, things have been pretty uneventful the past few weeks.  At 16 weeks, I officially stopped taking all forms of progesterone. Since I was on triple progesterone, my RE weaned me off one at a time.  First was the Crinone at 12 weeks, then the PIO shots at 14 weeks, and finally the Prometrium at 16 weeks.  I was incredibly nervous to go off at first…wondering “will my body do what it needs to do???”  Thankfully, so far it has and I haven’t had any bleeding from it, or from the Placenta Previa.  

In the meantime, I also started back up on the Baby Aspirin to prevent any clotting since my Sub-Chorionic is long gone (my RE took me off it back when that was around) and I am a heterogeneous carrier for a Prothrombin disorder. Other than the baby aspirin, I am just taking my prenatal and Folgard.  It’s so weird not to be taking a million pills a day! To be honest, I cried when I put away my pill boxes, band-aids, gauze pads, syringes, and alcohol wipes.  Not because I was sad to be done with them (Im not that crazy), but because of the many tough days and nights associated with them.

In order to keep tabs on my cervix, I have been seeing either my OB or the MFM every week. Today we saw the MFM doc for our anatomy scan.  I guess he prefers to do them a little earlier than usual.  I had to use my doppler before the appointment to calm my nerves.  The scan lasted about 30 minutes and hubby and I got some great pics of miracle.

The tech keep commenting on how active he was, so she was having trouble getting the pics of his brain that she needed.  She had to tap my stomach with the wand a few times to get him to move out of the way, which of course freaked me out.  I barely touch my stomach, let alone tap on it.  Yes, I know baby is protected, but still. Not taking any chances here.  Anyways, he finally cooperated and she got what she needed!

We met with the doctor right after, and he thoroughly went through each image with us.  Baby boy looked normal, or as I like to call it, perfect, in all areas.  He was even measuring a week ahead in some places.  My due date has gone from Christmas day, to the 23rd, to now the 20th.  Speaking of due dates,  we were pretty sure a C-section was the way we would be bringing our son into the world (due to my prior fibroid surgery and the previa).  Well, after speaking with my RE this past week about the specifics of my fibroid removal, it appears we may have a chance of delivering vaginally still.  Here is the email we received from her…

So, if the Previa moves up as most do as the pregnancy progresses, we wont be scheduled for a section anymore.  It seems like we will just be taking it a day at a time with this, and make decisions as we go.  Although my main concern is that baby enters this world safely, I must say I am happy to know that there is a chance I could deliver naturally now.  I feel like so much of this process has been “un-natural” that it would be nice to have something I could do naturally.

The MFM doc laid out his plan for us today.  He said he likes to monitor his IVF patients a little more frequently than not, which means appointments every 2 weeks until about 28 weeks. From his experience, he said that ART patients tend to encounter more placenta problems than non-ART patients. I didnt ask too much about what these problems could be, Id rather just not know unless needed. Unnecessary anxiety! 

The next appointment we will look more in depth at the heart (he did confirm all 4 chambers were there today), the appointment after that we will do a vaginal swab that tests for any trace of pre-term labor chemicals, along with continual cervix checks.  My cervix was at 3.8 today…anything over 3 is good.  Praying it stays nice and long!

On the home front, exciting things have been taking place! Hubby painted the nursery, and we ordered the carpet and baseboards.  They will be installed in a little over a week. The crib, mattress, and bookshelf have all arrived too.  We won’t be unpacking them until the carpet goes in though.  


Hubby is planning to get the closet organization system in within the next month or so.  I am reallllyyy looking forward to this because currently all the baby clothes are spread out randomly throughout the house.  I can’t wait to see it all come together! And I cannot wait to go in the room and nest a bit too!  I also started our registry which has been a ton of fun.  Thankfully, I have had the assistance of some of my great friends and family members.

Things are happening fast, and we are getting closer to our goal of 24 weeks everyday.  I am always thinking of all the TTC ladies out there, regardless of where you are at in this process.  Be kind to yourself and take it one day at a time.
 

*Feeling* Fireworks

Since my last post, and being diagnosed with the placenta previa, we have taken some major steps forward with our pregnancy. Positive ones that is.

First off, thank you so much to everyone who commented on this diagnosis, making me feel a lot better. I have realized just how common it is and how good the outlooks are for it with proper treatment. 

That being said, we have ordered some big nursery items! Pottery barn was having a 4th of July 25% off sale and we have been interested in their cribs due to the excellent quality. Hubby is big on the materials used when we buy furniture, so I listen to him because I really have no clue. We ended up ordering the crib we wanted for a great deal and I am so excited! Hubby said it is basically hand crafted. It should be here in about 2 weeks and I will give more details on it then. We also purchased a bookshelf and a changing table. Initially, we werent going to get a changing table, just use the top of a dresser, but we have decided not to get a dresser for now because hubby is redoing the closet and putting drawers in it. He plans to do something similar to this…


Buying these items was somewhat scary, because I still wonder ‘what if something goes wrong?’ but I am trying to work past those thoughts. All we need now is a rocker/glider, but we will hold off for a bit on it, although we have picked one out we both like. My mom offered to help with the furniture, but I refused since she is paying for our shower. I am hoping to register for the rest of our big items (mattress, stroller, baby monitor, car seat, high chair, play pen, mamaroo, etc.) and perhaps get them that way. I have been doing tons of research on the safest items, and have begun making some decisions. So far, I like to dedicate a day or so to each item, reading and watching videos, and then make a decision on which one we would like. 

In other EXCITING news, I officially felt our miracle baby boy move today!!! At first I wasnt sure what was going on, but then in a moment I knew what the rolling flutter in my tummy was. It was awesome. Fireworks went off inside of me. Ive been waiting a reallyyyy long time for this day and yet I feel at a loss for words about it. For all of you who are reading this, and think it will never happen or it seems so far out of reach right now, dont give up. I am so glad we didnt, even though we wanted to many times. Keep believing. 

To celebrate this milestone, I bought a temperature gauge for the bathtub so I could take a warm bath. I havent had one since March, and I used to take them daily. 


This guy is my new BFF. LOL. The bath was so relaxing and I didnt worry since I could see the temp the whole time. 

As I type this, I can hear tons of fireworks going off outside. Hubby is at work, the dogs are in hiding, and I am tucked into bed. I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th! Sending love~